“In this place let us affirm without evasion that the Great Magical Agent–the double current of light, the living and astral fire of the earth–was represented by the serpent with the head of an ox, goat or dog, in ancient theogenies. It is the dual serpent of the caduceus, the old serpent of GENESIS, but it is also the brazen serpent of Moses, twined about the TAU, that is, the generating lingam. It is, moreover, the Goat of the Sabbath and the Baphomet of the Templars.”
~ Eliphas Levi
Since KIA recently changed its main acronym to ‘KIA Invisible Agents’ and we replaced the idea of ‘Members’ with the idea of ‘Agents’ I thought it might be timely to write a brief intro the word ‘agent’ in relation to magic. And by this I mean something more profound than simply seeing Crowley as ‘agent 666’ in the British secret services, or John Dee as the original ‘agent 007’.
FOR YOUR EYES ONLY
No instead I start with Levi, who in ‘Transcendental Magic: Its Doctrine and Ritual’, calls Baphomet a representation of the Great Magical Agent, which he also describes as the Astral Light (light of the stars). This astral light we may think of as Octarine light in chaos magic terms. In a sense we can say that the very substance of magic was called an ‘Agent’ by Levi. Or at least the English translation into English by Arthur Edward Waite. Perhaps someone more familiar with the French original can expand on the meaning of the word translated as such.
“MAGIC is the Highest, most Absolute, and most Divine Knowledge of Natural Philosophy, advanced in its works and wonderful operations by a right understanding of the inward and occult virtue of things; so that true Agents being applied to proper Patients, strange and admirable effects will thereby be produced. Whence magicians are profound and diligent searchers into Nature; they, because of their skill, know how to anticipate an effort, the which to the vulgar shall seem to be a miracle.”
~ De Laurence
Okay, so if we can call magic itself an agent, what of the magician? For this I turn to the preliminary definition of magic in ‘Goetia: The Lesser Key of Solomon’, the De Laurence translation. Here we see the term Agent being used for a magician, with the term Patient being used for the object of the magicians actions. The analogy here might suggest that the magician performs the healing role of doctor. The same terms we find used also by Levi, who calls the Agent ‘Active’ and the Patient ‘assive’.
WE’RE HERE BECAUSE WE’RE NOT FREE
Herein lies a deeper mystery. For how can we call one a magician who allows themselves to be swept up passively in lifes events? As tides of change sweep across the world, for better or worse, how can we call one a magician who does not comprehend these events and forces that affect their life? How can we call one a magician who does not take responsibility for informing themselves of the various methods by which outside forces beyond their direct control manipulate them and techniques by which they might avoid these unwanted influences?
QUESTIONS ARE A BURDEN FOR OTHERS. ANSWERS A PRISON FOR ONESELF.
As Dave Lee discusses in Chaotopia, a magician shouldn’t obsess with control. They need the ability to let go, relax and enjoy, for only then do we reach our most ecstatic states. But a good magician must know when control is required and when letting go is safe. If life is drifting down a river on a raft, sometimes we may allow ourselves to drift in the flow, but at other times some control helps us through treacherous rapids that may otherwise destroy our vessel. We need to know when to take an active role in steering our own fate.
BLACK AS MIDNIGHT ON A MOONLESS NIGHT.
Here we come to understand that the magician must delve into those areas of knowledge hidden from us. Actively suppressed knowledge becomes the magicians concern. This path leads the magician on a trail not unlike that of a ‘secret agent’. Books on magic and alchemy during the times of witch burnings and persecution were often hidden in the most secret ciphers and coded language. But delve deeper and we find books on ciphers and codes disguised as books on magic. The magical quest, when it gets going, can lead to an unravelling of clues and secrets, ultimately facing the secrets of our own past.
TRUST NO ONE.
For me the change of wording in KIA from ‘Adept’ to ‘Agent’, implies a change of focus from merely valuing ability (adept: noun: a person who is skilled or proficient at something.) to valuing activity, regardless of skill or proficiency. A change in value to respect current practise over past achievements. Of course we value skill and ability, but those that practise will gain these with active persistence only. An agent will take responsibility for themselves. This does not mean we can’t cooperate with fellow agents, just that we must recognise that a fellow agent can never do the work for us. They can only inspire us to do the work ourselves. Too much trust in another becomes an unhealthy substitute for our own personal growth and discovery.
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.
I think ….now is the time for me to be thinking in another new way, everything appears to be lining up for another part of the general flow of things. There are a few things that I read recently that have a very profound effect on my way of thinking.
It’s strange that I had read them at least twice already and although I thought the idea was really wonderful, it didn’t have nearly the same impact before. I’m not sure why the idea is so different now, but it is.
These are some of the things that can help us change reality into something that is actually “real”, if we want to allow them to.
With many thanks to Dr Fred Alan Wolf, for being my ongoing inspiration.
And many thanks to everyone else for being the initial one.
In Alchemy, there is no distinction between past, present and future. Everything is in the ‘now’.
In the future there are waves of unrealised possibilities, in the past there are actualities that only exist in our memories.
Therefore nothing is real but the present.
We have all been conditioned to believe in cause and effect, it’s what we are used to…. it helps us map out our lives and keeps our thoughts within the safe boundary of blaming someone or something else when things don’t go the way we want them to.
We make ourselves a nice linear time map… in which causes in the past affect outcomes in the future.
On a quantum physical level there is ultimately no cause or effect, so… what is causing these effects?
why then do we feel guilty, remorseful, angry, sad about the past?
Solely because that is how we remember it. to another person the same events may be recalled as happy, joyful, amusing. the illusion of linear time appears to do us no at all.
We are afraid of the future sometimes too.. A vast array of situations from starting a new job to the prospect of death, we can’t begin to get our heads round the concept of no longer being aware. I wonder why…
Could it be that there is no death of the mind at all? Could it be that all minds are one?
When we become aware of something, it immediately changes the something. When we are not looking, it is a wave.. when we are looking, it is a particle.
The double-slit experiment illustrates this very well.
This new Alchemy embraces the idea that there is no difference between anything at all. Be it animal, vegetable, mineral or photons of light.
Matter is mind and mind is matter. We are in everything and everything lies within us.
When we are in a happy frame of mind, or we meditate..or are in a trance-state etc… sometimes we can feel the one-ness.
It’s usually very hard to stay with it though, as we are so tuned to the world that we are accustomed to, it’s not easy to believe that all you ever need to know is, and has been with you all along.
But it’s always there, like a coiled serpent eagerly waiting to be released from its “black iron prison”…for us to realise that our potential only needs to be realised as every creation that has, is and will be created.
Breaking free of separation is the key.
The possibilities really are endless!
The field of possibilities is a changeable and chaotic one. it can be moulded very easily from the very first inkling of creativity, a very tiny initial intention can make a shitload of difference!
And what better place to start than with chaos magik? at the beginning, and of course, also at the end.
Mind is the hope of matter.
Chaos is the law of nature.
Order is the dream of man.