Knavish Illuminati guarding Animus

Anton Channing Cybermorphic

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Anton Channing
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Chemical Serpents
Kaos Hieroglyphica
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(Magazine of Minor Arcana)
The Ethics of Chaos
The Chaos Approach to Magick
Austin Osman Spare style Sigils
Magickal Training
Liberation and Paradox
Discordianism and Eris
Monas Hieroglyphica

Quest Magazine:

Uncertainty, Chaos and the Atheist Pantheon

University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire

Magick and Technology.

Pagan Dawn

A Post-modern Perspective on Elemental Spirits

The Cybermorphic Kaosphere System

Chaos International

The Kaosphere and New Aeon Alchemy

He handles the planets and weights their dust, he mounts on the comet’s car, And he lifts the veil of the sun, and stares in the eyes of the uttermost star...

Alfred Austin

Chaos Magicians have been using the eight coloured chaosphere system of magick, as presented by Pete Carroll in Liber Kaos to a fair amount of success. Perhaps it is this success which has caused few, if any, Chaos Magicians to openly question what other inner secrets it may reveal. Perhaps those magicians interested in the more abstract mysticism of studying a system in depth, have turned to studying Kabala on the side. Perhaps Chaos Magicians have been content to just treat the chaosphere as a simple way of describing and giving a category to different types of magic. For what ever reason, the innate depth and mysticism of the system seems to have been overlooked.

The first thing one might notice about the chaosphere is that it is made up four axis. It is very surprising that no-one has openly attempted to attribute traditional elemental correspondences to these axis. One explanation is the awkward problems and inconsistencies that such an exercise unravels. Chaos magicians have preferred to work in ignorance of the limitations of their own magical system rather than correct these inconsistencies. Not that I am intending to criticise them for this, for despite the mistakes they have still managed not only some very powerful and effective magic, but also to be at the fore-front of magical innovation. No, criticism is not the reason for my drawing attention to these mistakes, my reason is that a considered correction of these mistakes can lead to a better understanding of our magical system and hence the continued survival of a refreshed and enlivened magical tradition fit for the fifth aeon.

I now present my thoughts, starting with an elemental analysis and showing all workings out and arguments. The first problem I found myself confronted with when trying to work out elemental correspondences is where to begin. The names and colours are more a distraction than a guide. I decided to look at the natures of the polarities. I found that there seemed to be two pairs of polarities, the +(cross) and the x(ex). The + seemed to be object-oriented, whereas x seemed to be process-oriented. I decided to name these ‘being’ and ‘doing’ respectively. I then analysed the + pair of axis, the ‘being’ pair. It struck me within this pairing that the vertical, yellow-octarine pair seemed to be about the self being/object, and further to this a vertical line is the letter I. Contrastingly the horizontal, orange-blue axis would seem to be about how one relates to other beings/objects. I thus created a sub-polarity within the + pair. I decided to name the sub-polarity the self/other sub-polarity.

Next I analysed the x pair of axis, the doing pair. On a closer inspection it would seem that the sex/death axis relates to dividing processes, whilst the love/war axis appears to be about uniting processes. Sex, or creation, is about the separation of a new complex being/object from the self. This may be the result of a loving union but at the end of the day sex is about separation. Death is about the decay process, or entropy, where all the constituent parts of an object are separated and spread about evenly by stochastic mechanisms. Love is about mutual union, a combining of two forces, on equal or fair terms, in order to form a third new thing. Contrastingly, war is a forced union, where one thing takes another thing over and makes it a part of itself. Although in effect a new third thing is created, it allows the illusion of the "winner" continuing as itself only having consumed the loser. This connection between War and Consumption suggests that the connection between conflict and hunting, and the fact that Mars was originally a god of agriculture, are more than just coincidences.

At this stage I found it useful to tabulate my observations to make it easier to analyse them. As you can see from the table below, the results are not without their problems. However, the problems seem to be more in Pete Carroll’s structuring of the system rather than with my own observations. I realise that is a bold statement to make and I will attempt to argue my case.

Axis Dualities Positive polarity Negative polarity
Identity (Fire) Being: Self Ego (Yellow) Magick (Octarine)
Resources (Earth) Being: Other Thinking (Orange) Wealth (Blue)
Separation (Air) Doing: Divide Sex (Purple) Death (Black)
Attraction (Water) Doing: Unite Love (Green) War (Red)

I am not the first one to have noticed an odd inconsistency with the thinking-wealth "polarity". Sex/Death and Love/War are easy to spot polarities. The Ego/Magick polarity takes a little thought but is feasible. Thinking/Wealth just doesn’t make sense as a polarity. The other main problem is with octarine or pure magic. The correct elemental correspondence for octarine magick would be Ether, the life force energy known to Chaos Magicians as Kia. This would suggest that Octarine should never have been one of the eight colours, but should be drawn at the centre of the chaosphere, with the four elemental axis emanating from it.

To replace Octarine at the top of the chaosphere I propose Psyche magick. White, Aquamarine or Pearl are the suggested colours. My reasoning for this is that it is the negative polarity of the identity axis, reflecting the inner self. Mysticism is the study of the inner workings of thyself, the psyche. In this sense, psychology is essentially atheist mysticism. Ego magic remains unchanged as the outward expression of the self. I also suggest a vague association to the planetary energy of Neptune, which H. T. Cannibal describes, in her paper "Symbolism of the planets"...

Neptune shows the need to escape from physical and material limitations and find spiritual wholeness, our impressionability, evasiveness, compassion and idealism, illusion and fantasy.

This, in addition to the renaming of Thinking and Wealth magick as Work and Play magic causes the table to look quite different...

Axis Dualities Positive polarity Negative polarity
Identity (Fire) Being: Self Ego (Yellow) Psyche (White)
Resources (Earth) Being: Other Work (Orange) Play (Blue)
Separation (Air) Doing: Divide Sex (Purple) Death (Black)
Attraction (Water) Doing: Unite Love (Green) War (Red)

You may be wondering why I have chosen the new names Work and Play for orange and blue magick. Pete Carroll’s ideas about wealth seemed nice in theory but seemed to contradict my own observations that if you really wanted serious money, you’d have to work for it. Blue magic only seemed to succeed in getting one off handouts of cash and/or time for spending/using when there was something you wanted to spend it on. I propose that this is because blue magic is about spending or using resources, whilst earning it is more related to the stress and activity of orange magic and mercury. Thus I came to draw the following table. The old name of the magic is in the parentheses.

Orange - Work Magick (Thinking Magick) Blue - Play Magick (Wealth Magick)
Mercury Jupiter
Servant/Submissive Master/Dominant
Work/Effort/Business/Stress Play/Rest/Pleasure/Relaxation
Earning/Accumulating Resources Using/Spending Resources

I propose an end to the idea of blue magic being about wealth, it is only a half truth and a distracting half-truth at that! Using a system of negative and positive polarities I suggest both the new name Resource Magic and the correspondence with the entire Orange-Blue axis, rather than just the blue polarity. Incidently the only way to have play without work is to get other people do the work for you. In British society there are only two ways to do this and they are to be unemployed or to own a successful business.

The drawback of these changes is that Thinking Magic no longer seems to exist. In fact I believe that thinking magic has been more effectively liberated from the uneccessary restrictions placed on it by Carrolls system. There are many types of thinking and they can now all be attributed to various magical catagories depending upon the nature of the thinking taking place. The quick ‘thinking without thinking’ technique described by Carroll would fit into Work magic in most cases, logical thought is an operation of seperation magick, air magick. Thinking about your own thoughts would fit most comfortably in Psyche magick.

In my new proposed chaosphere system, there is a considerable amount more categories of magic than before, sixteen in all, with a lot more correspondences between them. In addition I propose the following shorthand for the types of magic, based on their expression as either a positive or negative polarity.

Magical Type Colour/Element Notation
Kaos Magic Primal Chaos ¥
Pure Magic Octarine (Ether, Alchemical Mercury) o
Being Magic Soul (Alchemical Salt) -
Doing Magic Spirit (Alchemical Sulphur) +
Identity Magic Wand (Fire) --
Resource Magic Pentacle (Earth) -+
Separation Magic Sword (Air) +-
Attraction Magic Cup (Water) ++
Psyche Magic White (Neptune) ---
Ego Magic Yellow (Sun) --+
Play Magic Blue (Jupiter) -+-
Work Magic Orange (Mercury) -++
Death Magic Black (Saturn) +--
Sex Magic Purple (Moon) +-+
War Magic Red (Mars) ++-
Love Magic Green (Venus) +++

The intention of this notation is that it helps show up the correspondences, but also it helps to show the binary nature of the system. It perhaps also reveals, less misleadingly, the dualities which need to be transcended in order to do Octarine, or pure magick properly. It is also hoped that new proposed system has corrected the bias in favour of Doing which Carroll’s work had displayed, perhaps itself as a reaction against the bias in favour of Being inherent in most right hand path magic. I’m not sure if the notation will prove useful in magic but it presents a simple way of conducting a mystical analysis of the chaosphere system.


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Base image created and released by Tsuzuki26
Cybermorphic Kaosphere Model by Anton Channing
Present image by Feather


Peter Carroll's view
Image licensed under Creative Commons
Image by Feather

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