Maat Magick and Chaos Magick


 Margarete Ingalls

 Even though I had read Peter Carroll's "Liber Null" and "Psychonaut"
 many years ago, I had never resonated with Chaos Magick as he had
 presented it. Since discovering the Internet, however, I have met a
 number of Chaos Magickians online; one of them, Joseph Max of
 California, published the text of a lecture he had delivered to a
 Magickal gathering. In it, he cited Maat Magick as a good example of
 Chaos Magick. It immediately occurred to me to investigate further, to
 compare and contrast the two methods.
 At this point it would be wise to distinguish between the Magickal
 methods as they appear in print and the individual Mages who use them.
 Both Chaos Magickians and Maat Magickians tend to be highly
 individualistic (as is proper in this Art), and every one I have met
 thus far has his or her own grasp of the methods employed. The
 Magickians are more similar in their independent creativity than they
 are different in their philosophy or terminology. I base my statements
 on how the two methods appear in print, modified by experience and
 comments from practitioners.
 With the exception of Austin Osman Spare's work, there was little, if
 any, innovation in the field of Western Magick from the death of
 Aleister Crowley until the early 1970s. Jack Parson's work is firmly
 Thelemic, distinguished by his passion for freedom and self-sovereignty
 and by his devotion to the manifestation of Babalon. Charles Stansfeld
 Jones declared the beginning of the Aeon of Maat, but failed to develop
 an initiatory system based on that 'new' frequency of the Magickal
 Current. Kenneth Grant's explorations of the Nightside of Magick first
 manifested in print with his "Cults of the Shadow" in 1975 and
 continues to this day; I see little mention of his work in the
 literature of Chaos Magick, save as the person who made public the life
 and works of Spare.
 The most obvious similarity between Chaos Magick and Maat Magick is
 that they are both post-Crowleyan Magicks. Science, technology and
 global communications have altered the world radically since the end of
 World War Il. Both methods avail themselves of these sources of new
 metaphor in their general world-views, terminology, and techniques.
 Chaos Magick declares itself new, and Maat Magick honours its roots,
 but as Mr. Max points out:
    Yes, CM [Chaos Magick] is a 'new' tradition
    (isn't that an oxymoron?), but as it is based
    upon deconstruction of the traditional forms,
    it definitely owes a debt to the past. So I
    would say that CM is derived from older
    traditions by deconstruction, whereas MM [Maat
    Magick] is derived by extrapolation.
 The differences in the similarities between the two Magicks is mirrored
 by the similarities in the differences, as will become clear in the
 course of our considerations.
 Both Magicks have an Aeonic map. In "Liber Kaos", Mr. Carroll presents
 a table summarizing his view of the course of past, present and future
 psychohistory. It uses four Aeons (Shamanic, Religious, Rationalist and
 Pandemon) divided into two sub-Aeons each (Animist/Spiritist,
 Pagan/Monotheist, Atheist/Nihilist, and Chaoist/?) These are presented
 left-to-right, and above them twine three sine-waves representing the
 Materialistic Paradigm, the Magickal Paradigm and the Transcendental
 Paradigm. The waveforms show the relative dominance of each paradigm
 (the consensus-reality or Zeitgeist of a contemporary culture at any
 given point in history) for each Aeon and sub-Aeon.
 It is an elegant schema, and I commend it to your attention. I have no
 idea whether any other Chaote subscribes to it or not, but for me it
 has the satisfying 'click' of a complex idea that makes sense. Maat
 Magick's Aeonic Map consists of.
 the Nameless Aeon (prehistory-hunting/gathering: animism, shamanism,
 the Aeon of Isis (herding, farming, fishing: the Great Mother and pagan
 the Aeon of Osiris (city-states, invasion, war: Judaism, Christianity,
 the Aeon of Horus (atomic energy, radio, television: Thelema, atheism,
 the Aeon of Maat (quantum theory, genetic manipulation, the Internet:
   Chaos Magick, Maat Magick, a growing number of new Magickal
   methods/schools); and
 the Wordless Aeon (the near and far manifested future wherein a new
   species emerges from the human genus).
 The Wordless Aeon and the Pandemon Aeon seem to represent the
 same 'condition'; the Chaos view sees it as a time when Magick prevails
 as a way of life, and the Maatian view is of a double state of
 consciousness, individual and collective. Both Magicks see the manifest
 future as fundamentally different from the present, on a global scale,
 and both see the development and use of technology as integral to that
 (Note: In the course of developing and using Maat Magick, I have met
 the 'personality' of our double-consciousnessed future self, who called
 itself N'Aton. I recognize in the Internet the skeleton and nervous
 system of N'Aton, 'fleshing-up' even as we speak.)
 A sub-similarity exists between the Magicks, in that the Magickal
 formulae of all Aeons are currently available for competent and
 appropriate use. I encountered this realization in the course of
 working with Maat Magick, and called it PanAeonic Magick. Somewhere in
 the world today there are people practising and living under the
 influence of each of the Aeons. Instead of the linear, or even the
 cumulative, model of the development of Magickal vision and practice, I
 think the timeless/eternal model most closely approximates 'reality'.
 The writings I have seen on Chaos Magick encourage the open and free
 use of metaphors and techniques of all cultures and ages.
 Chaos and Maat Magicks both make use of A.O.Spare's sigil Magick, the
 process where one's intention is written, reduced, and rearranged into
 an abstraction on paper (or other suitable material), forgotten, then
 recalled at a moment of high passion and released into the universe to
 manifest. The sigilization process moves the intention from conscious
 awareness to the Unconscious - or, more accurately in my opinion, to
 the Deep Mind, a phrase used by Jan Fries ("Visual Magick", Helrunar).
 This is done in the act of forgetting. The Deep Mind, consisting as it
 does of the powers accumulated in the course of our evolution from
 single cells, as well as the underlying connection of all things, can
 and does act without the restrictions imposed by consciousness and ego.
 Turning a coherent written sentence into an incomprehensible abstract
 design removes the intent from the grasp of ordinary consciousness and
 delivers it to the pre/post-verbal realm of the Deep Mind.
 Chaos Magick and Maat Magick also share Spare's use of belief as a
 tool. Humans tend to be restricted by belief, kept to a specific
 doctrine or set of dogmas, and provided with a pseudo-security in that
 restriction. There's a slogan sometimes seen on American
 bumper-stickers that reads: "The Bible says it, I believe it, and that
 settles it!". Wars have been fought over differing religious beliefs
 (Crusades, Jihads and pogroms) as well as over differing philosophies
 of ethics and/or biology (as in the American Civil War over slavery).
 I see belief as an extension of our survival urge of fight or flight, a
 reflex of grasping tightly the nearest bough when wind disturbs the
 treetops. Belief must be emptied of content to be an effective Magickal
 tool, however. One must believe intensely and passionately in the
 godform one is invoking, for instance, or the transformation of the
 Magickian into the god will not occur. It is necessary to be able to
 return to your usual self after the ritual, without that god residing
 permanently in your belief, so that when you need to believe in
 something else on another occasion, you will have a clean, receptive
 tool available.
 The number eight plays a prominent part in both Chaos Magick and Maat
 Magick. Eight arrows radiating from a central point is the primary
 symbol of Chaos, and it is used in "Liber Kaos" as the schema for eight
 types of Magick that are ascribed to various colours:
 Black: Death Magick, for experiencing the nature of death personally,
   or for sending death-spells. (I refrain from comment.) It seems to
   resonate with Saturn.
 Blue: Wealth Magick is Jupiterian.
 Green: Love Magick reflects the nature of Venus.
 Yellow: Ego Magick fits with Solar energy. A sub-similarity exists here
   with Maat Magick's Dance of the Masks.
 Purple or Silver: Sex Magick. Purple is for passion, and silver is for
   the moon.
 Orange: Thinking Magick is Mercurial in nature.
 Red: War Magick
 Octarine: Pure Magick, with octarine being the colour which the
   individual associates with the essence of Magick.
 It is interesting to note that although Chaos Magick doesn't use the
 Tree of Life as a structure template, the colours listed above with
 their particular Magicks correspond with the Queen Scale colours of the
 Sephiroth which share the same attributes. For me, Octarine evokes a
 spinning triad of white, gray and black, the Queen Scale colours of
 Kether, Chokmah and Binah.
 Maat Magick has an eight-fold banishment, and the Forgotten Ones, or
 survival-urges, are linked to the seven-Chakras-plus-Bindu in an octet.
 Other similarities that bear investigation include the construction of
 an astral temple in one's private 'vestibule' outside the Astral
 Commons; the probability worlds and the Akasha; and the human origins
 of gods and their attainment of independent life through generations of
 worship and belief There are other similarities which I find each time
 I read through any of the Chaos literature, and I invite your own
 I found fewer differences than similarities between the two schools,
 and the first one reflects the 'cussedness' of human nature to an
 amusing degree.
 In writing and speaking about Maat Magick, I have taken great pains to
 emphasize that it doesn't support the founding of any order, coven or
 'official' group of practitioners. The reason for this is simple and
 basic: Maat Magick, like any valid 'system' of Initiation,
 self-destructs upon successful completion. It works itself out of a
 job. What does remain is a network of colleagues who share information
 about current protects and adventures, help each other out with leads
 for research and recommended reading, and occasionally congregate for
 ritual. The latter is quite an undertaking, since the network of Maat
 Magickians is international and spread out over the USA and elsewhere
 at flying distances.
 Maat Magickians are usually steeped in their own styles of Magickal
 work of varying kinds, and rarely identify themselves primarily as
 'Maat Magickians'. I consider this a healthy indication that the mojo
 is working as it should.
 Despite this basic spirit of disestablishmentarianism, there does exist
 (mainly on the Astral) the Horus-Maat Lodge, whose purpose is to spread
 the word about the Double Current of Horus and Maat. Since its
 foundation, the recognition of the existence of PanAeonic Magick seems
 to have expanded its scope. It was not my idea, but the people who
 wanted the Lodge to exist won my cooperation in its founding through
 their collective charisma, energy, and good intentions. The Lodge has
 no 'official' address, no meetings, no dues, no charter, no tax-free
 status, no officers, no grades.
 Chaos Magick, on the other hand, has the Illuminates of Thanateros
 (I.O.T). For a complete description, see Mr. Carroll's Liber Kaos,
 Appendix 4,'Liber Pactionis'.
 Mr. Max writes:
    Ouch! Them's fightin' words in some circles!
    There are far more learned and powerful
    magicians who have been excommunicated from
    the IOT than there are currently in their
    membership! IMNSHO [in my not so humble
    opinion], the IOT gave up all rights and
    claims to being the avatars of CM when they
    decided to become a junior-OTO institute
    invitatioll-only degree systems, place all
    administrative power in one person's hands and
    declare 'magical war' on anybody they didn't
    like. The founders Ray Sherwin and even Peter
    Carroll long ago left in disgust.
 Now there can be made a case for the concept that the IOT is not 'The
 Pact', but that The Pact is only the'outer order' and the real IOT is
 itself like the "invisible A.·. A.·." - to practice Chaos Magic is to be
 an Illuminate of Thanateros, and 'membership' in any organization is
 not a requirement. This is how I like to think of it, and it is more in
 keeping with the original conception of Sherwin and Carroll.
 Another distinction I see is that Chaos Magick uses 'servitors' whilst
 Maat Magick doesn't. Servitors are entities created, summoned, or
 obtained to carry out the Magickian's intent by proxy as an automatic
 device. Maat Magick tends to work through direct impression of intent
 on the Magickal Current, or 'ongoingness of things', through which the
 intent acquires power to manifest.
 Mr. Max:
    Indeed, Chaotes generally are very much into
    using servitors, but there are many workings
    that fall into the 'enchantment' category as
    well. I would not extrapolate a general
    tendency into a strict 'law'. Most of the work
    I do is not servitor based ...
 The only other major distinction between the Magicks that I have found,
 based only on published material, is that Chaos Magick focuses its
 attention on the individual practitioner, whilst Maat Magick begins
 with the individual but extends its concerns to the human race and
 beyond. To the concept of Chaos Magick's focus on the individual, Mr.
 Max responds:
    True enough on the surface. My experience is
    that each Chaos Mage finds their own
    particular emphasis on the 'beyond' but such
    focus in not 'canonical' so to speak. In my
    own case, I see the 'greater' effect of my
    magical practice as bringing forth the
    Pandaemoneon - the Aeon of Chaos, the new
    magical age. Such things as artificially
    enhanced ESP and mind/machine interfaces may
    be just around the corner, blurring the line
    between technology and magic (which is already
    blurred - tell me the computer isn't a magical
    device!) To me this is the hope and dream of
    humanity, and our ultimate salvation.
 I see the rise of Chaos Magick as a good sign that Magick is alive and
 thriving at the close of the Twentieth Century. It appears to me that
 it is heading in the same direction that Maat Magick is, toward an
 'Omega Point' of radical individual and species transformation. I
 anticipate the rise of other Magicks as well, springing from the
 creativity of those who understand the underlying principles of
 individuals effecting macrocosmic change by the precision and aptness
 of their microcosmic Work.

 If you are interested in how that process works, I advise you to obtain
 and read the following books:
 Carroll,Peter J.: Liber Null and Psychonaut. Samuel Weiser, York Beach,
   ME 1987. Liber Kaos. Samuel Weiser, York Beach, ME 1993.
 Fries, Jan: Visual Magick: a Manual of Freestyle Shamanism. Mandrake of
   Oxford, 1992.
 Grant, Kenneth: Cults of the Shadow. Frederick Muller Ltd, London 1975.
   Skoob Books Publishing, London 1993.
 Hine, Phil: Condensed Chaos: An Introduction to Chaos Magic. New Falcon
   Publications, Tempe, AZ 1995.
 Nema: Maat Magick: a Guide to Self-Initiation. Samuel Weiser, York
   Beach, ME 1995.

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