The word ‘Octarine’ comes to us from Terry Pratchett’s very first Diskworld novel, ‘The colour of magic‘ published in 1983. Pratchett describes an eighth colour of the spectrum, invisible to all with the exception of magicians, witches, children and cats. The idea that there exist realms and beings visible only to the psychically aware was not new of course, nor even that such things exist on a different part of the light spectrum to that humanly visible. For example, back in 1970, in ‘Operation Trojan Horse’, the author John Keel describes his theory that ultraterrestrial beings become visible to us by entering and leaving the visible light spectrum as they pass through our dimension, appearing as ghosts, faeries, angels, aliens and UFOs.
Pratchett was clever enough to give this magical portion of the light spectrum a name. This doesn’t mean it actually exists as a scientifically measurable wavelength on the light spectrum of course, but this doesn’t stop it from being a magically useful idea. The first magician to publish the idea of using the word in actual magic, to my knowledge, was Peter J Carroll in Liber Kaos, 1992 and as a result its popularity flourished in chaos magic circles.
In the section on Octarine magic, Carroll describes the colours he sees in his most important visions, working with god-forms that closely correspond to the magician-self for magical inspiration and illumination. He also describes ‘pure magic’ as opposed to ‘applied magic’. By which he means development of magical philosophy, theory, symbol systems and languages as opposed to results magic of various kinds. He also explains the ‘self’ that corresponds to the Octarine power, the magician-self, is the self that sees how the other selves relate to each other to form a single organism. He also hints at the significance of the serpent power to octarine in a couple of places. This is all good information to get the magician started on working with this power.
In ‘Kaos Hieroglyphica‘, 2003, I was perhaps over dismissive in my assessment of Carroll’s chapter probably as I was to some extent imitating his own aloof writing style and mirroring it back to him. I expanded Octarine magic in this book to include Auric magic, banishing rituals, initiation rituals and a correspondence to Timothy Leary’s ‘circuit VIII’. All useful areas of exploration for Octarine magic.