Let’s Recommend: “The Chaos Protocols”

I’ve rambled a bit about chaos magic before, and at the risk of doing so again, let me recommend a book about it!

Cover of "The Chaos Protocols"

Gordon White’s The Chaos Protocols, published in 2016, is one part chaos magic and one part socio-economics. If this sounds like a strange combination, I can only guess you’re new here.

If you’ve always kept your magic and your politics firmly separated, now more than ever is the time to entangle them.

One of the ideas I’ve come to have about magic, is that it is principally a tool for the marginalized. With a few notable exceptions (particularly along the Levi-Mathers-Crowley trunk of the family tree), magicians in “the West” are more likely to come from the underclasses of society than from its upper crust. Whether you’re talking about witches, cunning folk, root workers, or fortune tellers, the magically-inclined have historically been outcasts.

Or, at least, that’s how they’re usually treated by “fine, upstanding folks,” until the need for their services arises.

And this makes sense, when you think about it. If you’re a member of the ruling elite, and you hold all of the economic and political power, there’s no need to take your grievances to the crossroads.

This is much less true if you happen to belong to the “wrong” ethnicity, gender, or class. When you have little if any material or social currency, and no practical way to beat your oppressors, the “supernatural” might be the only ally you’ve got.

Magic isn’t a tool for the Powers That Be. It’s a tool to be used in spite of them, if not against them.

In The Chaos Protocols, Gordon White lays out the case that the socio-economic systems presently dominating the globe simply weren’t made for our benefit. Rather, thanks to a decades-long marketing campaign by the elite, we’ve been fooled into buying into a pack of economic lies, and trapped ourselves in a cage.

And breaking out of that cage should be the first order of business for the budding magician.

Now, to be fair, I don’t agree with everything in this book, and you’d probably do well to hit up some solid works on anarchist economic theory once you’ve gotten through the material. I do agree with most of it, though, and it had me Googling housing costs and inflation rates for half a night, so there’s that.

Oh, and if you do decide that cutting a deal at the crossroads is your best bet after reading this book, it’s got a ritual for that, too.

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