For those who do not know the name Ray Sherwin he is the chap who originally coined the term ‘Chaos Magic’ and put the work in to form the original Illuminates of Thanateros. Without Ray none of it would have happened. It might surprise you to learn he is no peacock, swanning around boasting and claiming responsibility for everything – which is why his name has remained relatively obscure compared to certain cuckoos in the nest we shall not name here. It might also surprise you to learn that he does not consider any of this to be some kind of legacy, or anything to be particularly proud of.
There is more wisdom in this one book than in the entire corpus of Chaos Magic published so far. It contains, hands down, the most important information that anyone interested or in any way involved with the ‘path’ at any level could possibly read. In a time where certain big names have been so intent on covering up the true story of Chaos Magick and the I.O.T.’s origins – including, among other atrocities, crimes of extreme child abuse and the death of three youngsters – it is a great relief to see that at least one of it’s innovators has the balls to tell the truth. Occultism in general can only benefit from such honesty.
But there is much more to this book than blowing away the false glamours of pretentious and abusive fools. There is also real magick, from a reappraisal of sigil magick to musings upon the nature of Self in relation to Kaos and Kosmos. Ray presents us with insights drawn from decades of experience; arguably more than any other person associated with the Chaos current. This is not so much a book of instructions of ‘how to do’ so much as a book about ‘how it was done’. As Ray puts it himself, the secrets of magick can be written on the back of a postage stamp, which may be oversimplifying things but you get the point. What we find here are examples as to how those secrets were applied.
What stand out for me personally, apart from the great relief that someone with some real ‘weight’ behind them has finally outed all those nasty paedophiles in Chaos Magick (and Satanism, too), is that Ray actually has some TALENT. The poetry and prose in the rituals published here are a joy to read, and to re-read. There are things that can only be expressed as ‘sidereal’, as Austin Spare put it, and not everybody is capable of doing this.
But what about his ‘results’, you ask? Other than inventing Chaos Magick, that is?
I happen to know all the supposedly ‘big names’ in the Chaos current. The only one who made himself even slightly wealthy (not ‘rich’, as he claims) did so by copying Ray’s business model. Apart from this, he is also the only one who seems to have married well. Have you ever noticed how plain most of the women in Chaos Magick are? Or how the men who have wives keep them hidden, and you never hear from them? And before anyone accuses me of being ‘sexist’ for having said so, it is not me who adheres to the myth that a woman cannot be both intelligent and beautiful at the same time.. a myth certain unnamed Chaos magicians seem to use to excuse themselves for having such butt ugly wives, and an attitude similarly shared by most of the women they associate with, who cannot take women seriously if they are better looking than they are.
Not only is Ray’s wife Lorraine beautiful, she is also talented. Her artwork graces the pages of Ouroboros, and she also did the covers for this book and Ray’s previous publication V.I.T.R.I.O.L.
Sell all your old Chaos Magick books, give them to a charity shop, better yet burn them all, and read this one instead. When you have finished reading it, read it again.
You won’t be disappointed.
FRA. ANIMI IMPERIO ⸫ Ɵ ⸫