I’ve had a computer nearly my entire 33 years. In fact, I still remember the command line sequence to boot up games on my long dead Commodore 64(LOAD”*”,8,1 if you cared). I’ve had imbedded in me the idea that a simple command line, or the pressing of ‘start’ can call into existence, rather quickly, an entire new reality in which I could exist. And, because of Commodore 64, I think Chaos Magick matters in this, the “New Aeon.”
If you’re not familiar with the “New Aeon,” it’s simply the newest stage in humanity: The Age of Aquarius; The Satya Yuga; The New Age; there’s quite a few more names for it, but you get the idea. I use the “New Aeon,” as coined by occultist supreme Aleister Crowley because he is seen as the last great mage of the old age, or the first of the new… either way he’s on top of the pyramid of the secret and the arcane.
But what does a command line from an ancient computer have to do with Chaos Magick and Aleister Crowley, you ask? Nothing really, it’s called a metaphor, deal with it.
What I’m getting at is that my generation and the ones following me have an innate sense and capability to enter into altered states with nothing more complex than a few keystrokes, or hitting ‘start.’ We’re a fast thinking and reacting lot who have come to accept the ease at which a suburban basement could change into a battle ground on which the forces of the evil King Koopa could be vanquished by a humble human plumber and some magic mushrooms. We don’t need to know how to program a computer, or build it from scratch to understand how warp zones work, or how to play Summer Games… we just know it works and how to get to the action as expediently as possible.
Traditional ceremonial magick is like the old guard computer programmers steadfastly claiming that knowing binary is key to knowing computers… and you know what? They’re pretty spot on, except for one small point: we don’t need to know how it works to make it work. Traditional ceremonial magick, and to beat this metaphor to death slightly more, computer programmers are excellent at what they do… they’re amazing. I wish I knew Assembler/binary, and I wish I knew how to chart my exact horoscope including all the arcane overlaps, ascensions, descensions, and whatever else goes into it. That stuff is pretty amazing. But, as with my trusty commodore, I can type a few words and get the same result… Ah, there’s the rub, chaos magick.
It’s as easy as you want it to be: get yourself in a magickal mindset, ,8,1, ENTER, and the world can be changed… so long as you believe it can be changed. That’s the tricky part, and where the binary starts to hurt: you have to believe… well, that’s easy if you play acted being Link, Mario, Kung Fu, or Panama Joe(from the horribly named Montezuma’s Revenge) you’re built for the sort of altered states magickal practice needs to be effective. However, some people need vast charts of zodiacal signs and alchemical symbols; they need the perfect date for the perfect spell; they need the right herbs burning and the right angels watching or the mood won’t be right, the altered state of the magician doesn’t come. But the new Aeon seems to be screaming to us, the short attention span magicians; the eaters of fire-flowers and magic mushrooms; the children of a quantum age that have been raised to accept that something called ‘spooky action at a distance’ is a real thing- That a new reality is just a click or two away. We are a generation that accepts a mutable reality as the norm; just as our forefathers accepted the then accepted mechanistic/Newtonian reality. The rituals and structures of any given time reflect the understandings of that time. Just as you’d not expect an ancient Egyptian to preach democracy; you’d not expect a modern physicist to preach an A to B linear description of reality.
I’m not trying to dismiss traditional ritual magick. In fact I think it’s damn fantastic. I love the ceremony; I love the pomp; I love the arcane symbols; I love it all… but I don’t have time to wade through generations of magickal technique just to realize all you’ve learned is symbolic psychedelia: you’ve just taken 30 years of study to achieve that magickal trance-like state where real magick can happen.
Well, the computer made everything faster, from information gathering, to dating, to magick. Please, follow your hermetic traditions; be Gnostic; draw pentagrams and call forth guiding angels; I’ll be happy when you do. But I’m fine listening to binaural beats with a head full of video game logic and semi-legal marijuana, changing my personal reality to fit my personal sense of magic. We’re gifted the ability to enter into the magickal state much more easily than our more learned forefathers, those of the ancient arts of binary coding, and those of the eldritch libraries full of arcane texts.
The Greater Keys of Solomon are perfect in all their ancient grimoire glory; but I think that I’ll stick to that old 8bit reality- called forth with a simply keystroke, and a more modern form of magickal awareness.