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The Chaos Protocols: Magical Techniques for Navigating the New Economic Reality Paperback – April 8, 2016
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From the Publisher
Magic for the New Economic Reality
The years since the financial crash have seen the realization dawn that the great promise of modern civilization will go unfulfilled. Study hard, work hard, buy a house, retire happy. It's all a lie, spun for the benefit of a tiny elite. The richest eighty-five people on earth have as much wealth as the poorest 3.5 billion. Each month, the numbers change but they never improve.
Magical and spiritual discourse has failed to keep up with this new reality. The Chaos Protocols aims to fix that.
Join Gordon White as he shows you how to use chaos magic not only to navigate these trying times, but to triumph as well. Discover how to become invincible through initiation, and wage the mind war that will keep you moving toward what you really want. From sigil magic to working with spiritual allies, The Chaos Protocols helps you act on the unwavering belief that your life should matter and you're not going to let something as trifling as the apocalypse get in the way of it.
"Gordon White gives a master class on the hard economic realities and the kind of low down and dirty magic for which he has become famous. Pragmatic, sharp, and funny, The Chaos Protocols is a treasure of a book."―Peter Grey, author of Apocalyptic Witchcraft
"Take two parts Magick Without Tears, a measure of The Wealth of Nations, a pinch of Ian Fleming and a dash of Noel Coward and you have this almost promiscuously readable text. Whoever said books on magick can't be fabulously entertaining as well as eminently practical has obviously not read up on their Gordon White. Remedy that situation."―Chris Knowles, author of The Secret History of Rock n' Roll and Our Gods Wear Spandex
About the Author
Gordon White (London) runs one of the leading chaos magic blogs, Rune Soup. He has worked nationally and internationally for some of the world's largest digital and social media companies, including BBC Worldwide, Discovery Channel, and Yelp. Gordon has presented at media events across Europe on social strategy and the changing behaviors and priorities of Generation Y. During this time, he has partied with princes, dined in castles, been mentored by a former director of a private spy agency, and even had a billionaire knight buy him bottles of champagne.
- Publisher : Llewellyn Publications (April 8, 2016)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 240 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0738744719
- ISBN-13 : 978-0738744711
- Item Weight : 11.2 ounces
- Dimensions : 6 x 0.7 x 8.9 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #312,819 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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The short form: This is a really, really good book. Highly recommended.
What makes it a good book (and particularly a good chaos magic book) are a number of things.
1. Context. The context in which we work now is different from the one in which I first came in contact with chaos magic. Gordon References Stephen Mace’s Stealing the Fire from Heaven which was an early influence on my own work. I bought my copy after reading some of Mace’s article in Chaos International, sending cash to Mr. Mace who sent me what I think I recall as a velo bound book obviously hand typed with illustrations hand set & then photocopied. I think the process took about six weeks in total. A very different time! Consider this again when we look at Crowley, Carroll, Levi, etc. Things change fast. We live & work in a different setting, and our work should reflect that while not rejecting what is effective from the past, which this book does in spades.
Whether you agree 100% with Gordon’s assessment of the current state of the world (I’m probably in the high 90’s personally), this is a damn good thing for most anyone with a magical worldview to read. More important than the technical aspects in most cases.
2. Focus. The book is focused on ‘success’ in a particularly weird economic time, the work & working contained are very much pointed in this direction, in appropriately lateral ways. At the same time, it is a good generalist work, as really all work ‘should’ be pointed towards success, yes? We are not enchanting to fail, right?
3. Technical approaches. In a nice variation from a lot of views on chaos magic, much of the ‘ritual’ bits are modifications of or use parts from VERY old texts, from the PGM, Treatise of Solomon, and Orphic Hymns. These things just work, and to me chaos magic has always been about using what works. Also no fear of of using Judeo-Christian bits, and correcting some of the whack around that.
4. Actual ritual bits. These are well devised, and will certainly work if applied intelligently. A nice section on sigils that while mostly available on the Rune Soup blog would have been an error to leave from the book. This stuff works if you work with it, and this is a nice, simple, wank-free approach. Good stuff. If you aren’t already using Gordon’s shoaling & robofish methods, perhaps this will get you to try them. They work.
5. Probability. This is one of the cornerstones that often gets ignored and causes folk’s metaphorical houses to get all wonky and dropped pens to roll from the living room off into the garage where they are swallowed by a giant crack never to be seen again. Metaphorically speaking.
In closing, the strategic approaches and explanation of working with probabilities, luck generation, and Becoming Invincible are all gold. The ritual and technical bits are very good, and give a nice, compact tool set to do nearly anything that one would want to approach from a magical perspective. Some of these will be brought into my own work to see how they play with what I already do, and that really almost never happens, and that is about the highest praise I can give a book.
This one gets added to Visual Magick: A Manual of Freestyle Shamanism by Jan Fries, The Oracle Travels Light by Camelia Elias, and Protection and Reversal Magic by Jason Miller, and Draja Mickaharics books as my top suggestions for general books on magic as I see it in practice.
Aidan Wachter, April 4, 2016
The first book would be on "the new economic reality." Now, his theories are not new. I had the unfortunate experience of having Netflix on autoplay one evening and ended up falling asleep. When I awoke, there was this very scary show on; it was the scariest thing I'd ever seen. The show was on what money actually is and how the American government screws people the world over (including Americans) using rigged and evil policies. This author goes into this rather extensively in his book, and I both enjoyed this part of the book, as well as learned something.
The second book would be "You Probably Don't Know This, But People In White Coats With Letters Before and After Their Names Are Researching Magic." This part of the book was enormously enlightening, even though it's still going to take me about a decade to wrap my brain around quantum physics. I learned a little less from this part of the book than the economic part, but it was still interesting. The discussions of what all the people in white coats around the world have determined was mind-blowing.
The third book would be "Hey Millennials, Don't Be An Evil Baby Boomer." I'll save my personal commentary on Millennials, because nobody cares what I think, but as a card-carrying member of Generation X, you can imagine I don't agree with all of this author's assertions. I'm not going to say he's off the mark, because I think not buying into the b.s. the advertising world is dishing up is a very good idea. I wish my generation had the good sense to avoid that, but unfortunately we grew up loving Ronald Reagan. We were screwed from the outset. His main advice to Millennials is don't you DARE buy a house (seriously, he's very adamant about this point) and live like a nomad. Is this bad advice? Perhaps not, but it's not a "magical technique."
The fourth book would be the "magical techniques." This information could be put into a slim little pamphlet any Gallery of Magick disciple could appreciate. The techniques are quite vague, however, and if you're like me and ended up buying this book because you've purchased every Gallery of Magick book (except the one on using demons to generate wealth and yes I know that makes me a wuss) you will be sorely disappointed in this book.
Is it wrong to discuss theories and "how magic works?" Certainly not. In fact, I'm buying books like this because GoM books are all about how to do magic and they refuse to meander around talking about theory. Unfortunately, I'm the type of person who needs to know how everything works, and I NEED to know more. From the reviews, this book looked like it would be stuffed with magic techniques and workings, along with the explanations of how this magic stuff works. It was, at best, 25% stuffed, which makes it quite floppy.
I have some background in understanding the laws of nature and bending them to suit my tastes. I may not know much about chaos magic, and I'll be the first to admit that I'm sure I'm missing some deep and oh so juicy point to meandering books like this one, but my understanding is that chaos magic isn't a doctrine and so it doesn't have a "point" that should appeal to all. Chaos magic for people to try it and add their results to the growing body of knowledge. So from this perspective, I can't recommend this book.
If you're looking for more scaffolding to build a framework upon which to construct your own magical practices, then this book isn't really for you. This book is definitely doctrine, and a quite extensive and complicated doctrine at that.
Chaos magic appeals to me because you don't have to BE anything, such as Christian, Buddhist, vegan, Pagan, or crystal hottie (don't EVEN ask) to earn the right to access the secret knowledge. You can be that crazy mish mash of yourself and still have access to magic. And so it is from this perspective (the crazy mish mash of me that is probably only interesting to myself, but Amazon will let me write what I want) I write this review. Your mileage may vary.
Mr. White actually consistently uses incorrect data as a cornerstone for his argument. He claims that investing in a home has never been, and will never be, an investment that outpaces inflation. This is patently false. Anyone can go on the Federal Reserve FRED website, that tracks multiple economic datasets, and compare the numbers for yourself. I would recommend headline CPI and All-transaction House Price Index. His claim may be true for the few years after the recession. But even if that is what he means, then he is largely misunderstanding how investing should (and does, if done right) work.
Now I happen to agree that living your life within the capitalist system is a fool's errand if you want to live a meaningful life. But the assertion that one cannot build wealth as a committed capitalist is horribly wrong, and frankly a terrible thing to tell someone if that is what they want to do. It is perfectly possible to come from a middle class household, study hard, go to a good school, major in capitalism, and make bank. I did that. Whether that is at all fulfilling, or ever will be, is the real question.
That being said, it’s a great book on magic. Hence the 3 stars. Actually, the magical content of the book is largely divorced from his leftist screed, which--thank god. If he kept all the tiresome, rehashed polemic out of it, it would be a solid 5/5.
Top reviews from other countries
Definitely worth reading if you are considering dipping your toe into the thrilling world of Chaos Magick.