by Peter J. Carroll
KAOS KERAUNOS KYBERNETOS
(THE CHAOS THUNDERBOLT STEERS ALL THINGS)
Liber KKK is the first, complete, systematic magical training programme for some centuries. It is a definitive replacement for the Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage, which system has become obsolete due to its monotheist transcendentalism and its dependency on repressive forms of inhibitory gnosis now considered
Liber KKK is presented as a series of general magical techniques which the magician must develop into a workable programme using whatever symbols, instruments and forms of gnosis that appeal to him. It would be inappropriate for a Chaos Magic text to prescribe any particular beliefs or dogmas, except that magic works if certain general principles are followed. It would be inappropriate for any Chaos magician to slavishly adhere to the fine detail of any system. Much can be learnt from Liber KKK in the process of adapting general procedures to personal taste and objectives. Liber KKK may be attempted by any adult. The word \\\\\\\"magician\\\\\\\" applies equally to either sex and the use of the male personal pronouns in the text is merely a literary convention in the absence of neutral forms in English.
Liber KKK is a series of twenty-five magical operations or \\\\\\\"conjurations\\\\\\\". The five classical conjurations of Evocation, Divination, Enchantment, Invocation and Illumination are each performed on the five levels of Sorcery, Shamanic Magic, Ritual Magic, Astral Magic and High Magic. Thus the whole work systematically resumes the entire tradition of magical technique, leading the magician from simple practices and the manufacture of tools towards the mastery of more complex experiments on the psychic level.
It is highly desirable that the magician has some form of private temple for his conjurations. Yet it is essential that the magician remains active in the world for the period of the work as a whole. The work does not entail any form of retreat from the world, but rather the world surrounding the magician is used as the proving ground for magic. Thus the business and social affairs of the magician are the prime focus for his magic. In performing that magic he gradually defines his style or spirituality. For it is senseless to define spirituality as other than the way one lives. If the Way of Magic is to have a spiritual component it can only be discovered through the performance, all strictures and exhortations are
There is no upper limit on the time that may be alloted to complete the entire work but it cannot be completed in less than a single year. Any person with the time to complete the operation in less than a year should consider adopting further worldly commitments as arbitrary goals in support of which, various parts of the work can be used. Objective results are the proof of magic, all else is
Samples of the Philosophers Stone which do not transmute lead to gold will also fail as elixirs of enlightenment in a lifestyle of risk and uncertainty. The magician may need to consider whether he needs to adopt projects involving these elements before he begins the work.
For the purpose of this operation, the five classical magical acts of Evocation, Divination, Enchantment, Invocation and Illumination are defined as
Is work with entities which may be naturally occuring or manufactured. They may be regarded as independent spirits, fragments or the magicians subconscious, or the egregores of various species of life form, according to taste and belief structure. In practice Evocation is usually performed for Enchantment, in which the evoked entities are made to create effects on behalf of the magician. Evoked entities also find some application in Divination, when they are used to discover information for the magician.
Includes all those practices in which the magician attempts to extend his perception by magical
Includes all those practices in which the magician attempts to impose his will on reality.
Is the deliberate attunement of consciousness and the unconscious with some archetypal or significant nexus of thought. The classical conceptions of Pagan god forms are often used but other principles may serve. Invocation creates states of inspiration or possession during which Enchantment, Divination, or occasionally Evocation, can be performed.
Is deliberate self modification by magic and may include spells of Enchantment cast at oneself to repair weaknesses or increase strengths, and Divination and
Invocation performed for inspiration and direction.
Thus all magical operations are based on the use of will, perception and imagination, which is to say that they are all species of Enchantment or Divination. Imagination is that which occurs when will and perception stimulate each other.
The five levels of magical activity, Socercery, Shamanic, Ritual, Astral and High Magic are for the purposes of this operation defined as follows:-
Is simple magic which depends on the occult connections which exist between physical phenomena. Sorcery is a mechanical art which does not require the theory that connection exist between the mind of the operator and the target. Any effects arising from such a connection can, however, be regarded as an added bonus. Workng on the sorcery level the magician creates artifacts, tools and instruments which interact magically with the physical world and which can be used again in more subtle ways on the other levels. The sorcery level work should be performed thoroughly, for simple as its practices seem they are the foundation on which the higher level work rests.
Works on the level of trance, vision, imagination and dream. It opens the magician\\\\\\\'s subconscious by negating the psychic censor with various techniques. The magician faces considerable danger on this level and may have frequent recourse to sorcery techniques or banishing ritual if it threatens to obsess or overwhelm
Combines the abilities developed on the Sorcery and Shamanic levels. The magician brings together the use of tools from the Sorcery level with the subconscious powers liberated on the Shamanic levels and combines their use in a disciplined and controlled fashion.
Is performed by visualisation and altered states of consciousness or gnosis, alone. Physical paraphernalia is not used although the tools and instruments from the previous levels can be used in the form of visualised images. At first the magician will probably require seclusion, silence, darkness and considerable effort at concentration and trance to succeed with such magic, but practice will allow it to be performed anywhere.
Is that which occurs when there is no impediment to the direct magical effect of will, no barrier to direct clairvoyance and prescience, and no seperation
between the magician and any form of rapport or consciousness he chooses to enter into. For most people the portals of High Magic are open at a few peak moments in a lifetime. As the magician progresses through his training the momentum he acquires will force open the gates to the miraculous more often. No procedures are given here for the five conjurations of High Magic. High Magic represents the point where technique gives way to intuitive genius and each must intuit the key to unleashing such powers for
The first twenty conjurations teach the full gamut of artificial tricks and techniques for throwing and catching the magical thunderbolt. In High Magic the primordial Chaos at the centre of our being grabs or hurls the thunderbolt by
The five conjurations on each level may be attempted in any order but all five should be completed before beginning on the next level. The magician should prepare to begin the whole operation on a date that is auspicious or personally significant. Perhaps a birthday or a seasonal turning point. A book is prepared in which the magician is to record successes with each of the twenty-five conjurations. Only successful results are noted and the magician must modify his approach to each conjuration until results worthy of recording are achieved. Lesser results may be recorded elsewhere for reference. The record of the Liber KKK operation, however, should contain an account of notable successes with each of the twenty-five conjurations. A single success with each should be regarded as an absolute minimum whilst five successes with each of the twenty-five conjurations can be regarded as thorough work.
With the possible exception of acts of High Magic, all conjurations should be planned in detail beforehand. Upon entering the temple beginning work, the magician should know precisely what he intends to do. Most magicians prefer to write out a rubric for a conjuration even if they rarely use the written form as a cue. The magician will often have to do more than is planned as inspiration and necessity move him. Yet he should never fail to carry out what he has planned or begin work with a vague idea of doing some
The Gnostic Banishing Ritual
During the period of the performance of the Liber KKK operation the magician may need to defend himself against the results of his own mistakes and hostile psychic influences. He may also need to replenish his own health and psychic forces. For these purposes the Gnostic Banishing Ritual may be used. It is a technically compact and powerful conjuration of Ritual Enchantment for all of the above purposes. It may be used freely during the work as a whole and particularly as a prelude and an ending to each of the first fifteen conjurations.
Conjurations One to Five - Sorcery Level Magic
Sorcery depends on exploiting psychic connection between the physical phenomena and only secondarily on establishing psychic connections between mind and physical phenomena. Each of the conjurations requires the use of physical instruments which can be used again on other levels. It is highly desirable that the magician make these instruments by his own hand. However the magician may adapt existing objects for use if such objects are especially significant, or unique artifacts, or designed by the magician, or if such objects become available to the magician in an unusual or meaningful manner. It is no accident that sorcery techniques often resemble certain childhood behaviour patterns. Children often have a natural familiarity with the simple principles of magic even if they lack the persistance or encouragement to make them work. The adult magician is seeking to regain that childlike sense of imagination, fluidity and wishful thinking, and turn it into something of real power.
Conjuration One - Sorcery Evocation
The magician creates with his own hands a physical representation of a fetish entity by carving, moulding or assembly. Its functions are in general to attract success, to protect by repelling misfortune and to act as a reservoir of power for the magician. It is usually shaped to resemble some kind of actual living being or chimerical being whose form suggests its function. If it is vaguely humanoid in shape it is known as a Homunculus. It may be made to contain parts of the magician\\\\\\\'s body or be annointed with blood or sexual fluids. The magician treats the fetish as a living being, speaking his will to it, commanding it to exert its its influence in his favour and carrying it on his person when on critical errands. Some magicians prefer to make two fetishes, one to implement will, the other to bring knowledge and information.
Conjuration Two - Sorcery Divination
The magician prepares a simple model of the universe for use as a divinatory tool. A set of Rune Sticks or Rune Stones is most excellent for this purpose. Occidental geomancy sticks provide a somewhat simpler model whilst the systems of Tarot or I Ching can prove too complex for later work on the Shamanic levels unless abbreviated in some way. The magician should perform divination both for general trends and for answer to specific questions. The element of the divinatory tool should be treated as having a fairly direct relationship to the parts of reality they represent and the procedures of sortiledge should be regarded as a mirror of the process by which reality takes its decisions. Divinatory activity should be pitched at a frequency and complexity which allows answers to be remembered. It is preferable to divine for phenomena which are likely to confirm or negate the divination within a relatively short time period.
Conjuration Three - Sorcery Enchantment
For the work of the third conjuration the magician may need to prepare or acquire a variety of instruments, but chief amongst these should be a single special tool or magical weapon, for enchantment. A small pointed wand or a knife are especially convenient. This special instrument or weapon can also be usefully employed to trace the pentagrams in the Gnostic Banishing Ritual. A fist sized piece of modelling clay or other plastic material may be the only other instrument required. To perform Sorcery Enchantment the magician makes physical representations of his will and desire. Where possible the magical weapon should be used to help make or manipulate these representations. The magician should perform one or several conjurations of this type per week. As always he should aim to influence events before nature has made her mind up, and he should not put too great a strain on nature by conjuring for highly improbable events.
Conjuration Four - Sorcery Invocation
The aim of the fourth conjuration is to create radical changes in behaviour by temporarily altering the environment. There is no limit to the variation of experience the magician may wish to arrange for himself. He might, for example, after some careful background research, depart in disguise to some strange place and play out a completely new social role. Alternatively, he may wish to equip his temple and himself in such a way that he experiences being an ancient Egyptian god for a time. In Sorcery Evocation the magician tests to the limit his ability to create arbitrary change by modifying his environment and his behaviour.
Conjuration Five - Sorcery Illumination
In works of Illumination the magician aims for self improvement in some precisely defined and specific way. Grandiose plans for spiritual enlightenment should be abandoned in favour of identifying and overcoming the more obvious weaknesses and increasing existing strengths. For the work of Illumination the magician makes or acquires some object to represent his quest as a whole. This objects is technically known as a \\\\\\\"lamp\\\\\\\" although it may take the form of anything from a ring to a mandala. The \\\\\\\"lamp\\\\\\\" is used as a basis over which to proclaim various oaths and resolutions. Such oaths and resolutions may also be marked onto the design of the lamp. The magician may need to perform various supplementary acts of invocation, enchantment, divination and even evocation to make progress with the work of illumination. It is not unusual for the magician to destroy and rebuild the lamp during the work of illumination.
Conjurations Six to Ten - Shamanic Level Magic
Shamanic Magic depends on the use of altered states of consciousness in which active visualistation and passive vision seeking can most easily occur. The altered states which are easiest and safest to access are those of half- sleep, dream and light trances brought on by quiet meditation. However, any method of Gnosis can be used according to taste, but in initial exercises it is wise to avoid certain dangerous and ecstatic practices which can lead to a loss of control. In general it is preferable to try and deepen the trance by concentrating on visualisation and vision than to deepen it by extreme Gnosis beforehand. In Shamanic Magic the magician is seeking to discover and establish connections between his mental imagery and phenomena in the world. Visions frequently occur in symbolic language, thus for example, diseases take on the appearance of insects or loathsome animals, and fears or desires may appear as spirits. The magician or shaman should deal with such things as the images in which they present themselves, banishing or invoking such forms by force of visualisation and interpreting their physical meaning where necessary. Shamanic magic tends to become a very idiosyncratic and free form exercise in which the magician also explores his symbol synthesising faculties.
Conjuration Six - Shamanic Evocation
In this work the magician strives to establish a vision of an entity which he projects to do his bidding. It is often useful to work with the visualised forms of the entities used for the sorcery evocation although other forms can be chosen. In general, entities are used to encourage desired events to materialise, or to seek out information, in situations which are too complex for simple spells or divinations to be formulated. Entities act as semi- intelligent spells with a limited degree of independent action. The magician seeks to build an increasing rapport with the entities he has conjured by imagination until they begin to have real effect upon the world. Some of the best work with entities can often best be achieved by interacting with them in dreams.
Conjuration Seven - Shamanic Divination
In Shamanic Magic divination consists of a vision quest for answers to particular questions. However, the traditional term \\\\\\\"vision quest\\\\\\\" should be understood to include a quest for an answer sensed in any way, be it hallucinatory voices, tactile sensation or whatever. In general the magician concentrates on the question he wishes to put as he enters his state of dream, half-sleep or trance and then allows a flow of images, voices or other sensations to arise within himself. A completely free form vision can be attempted and later interpreted, or the magician may attempt to structure his experience by looking for special symbols, particularly those chosen for the sorcery divination work.
Conjuration Eight - Shamanic Enchantment
In Shamanic Enchantment the magician seeks to impress his will upon the world by a direct or symbolic visualization of his desire. Thus whilst in his chosen form of trance he summons up an image of the target phenomena and visualises his desire coming to pass. The magician will often find it helpful to visualise himself in the spirit vision travelling to the person or situation he wishes to influence. He then visualises an imaginative enactment during which the situation or the person\\\\\\\'s behaviour changes to fit his desire. It is not unusual for the visualisation to become somewhat symbolic or distorted or coloured by the magician\\\\\\\'s imagination. In general these distractions should be banished by greater concentration on the desired visualisation. However, if they are persistent they may reveal some knowledge about the target or the magician\\\\\\\'s relationship to it which he can use to improve his enchantment. For example, if a target person repeatedly appears to have some kind of aura or animal form in a vision it is often best to work ones visualisation directly upon this. Similarly, if a target situation seems to have some kind of characteristic vibration or \\\\\\\"feel\\\\\\\" about it in the spirit vision then the magician will often succeed by spirit vision then the magician will often succeed by working his magic upon a visualisation of this rather than of the actual substance of the situation.
Conjuration Nine - Shamanic Invocation
In Shamanic Invocation the magician draws knowledge and power from Atavisms, normally animal atavisms. A number of ingenious explanations exist as to why such experiences are possible. The human genetic code contains a huge amount of apparently unused information. Much of this must relate to our evolutionary history. The human brain has developed by a process of accretion rather than by complete modification. The older parts of our brain contain circuits and programs identical with those in other animals. Some magicians consider that the psychic part of humans is built up from the psychic debris of many past beings including animals, in much the same way as the physical body is. Others consider that the collective psyches of the various animal species is available to them
To perform Shamanic Invocation the magician strives from some kind of possession by an animal atavism. The selection of a particular animal form is a very person matter. It may be that the magician has had some affinity with a particular animal since childhood, or has some characteristic, physical or mental, which suggests an animal, or it may be that an intuition builds up or that a sudden visionary revelation occurs. To develop the invocation the magician should try to visualise himself in animal form whilst in trance and even to project himself in astral travel as an animal. It is often useful to physically act out the behaviour of the animal in a suitable environment. With practice, varying degrees of split consciousness can be achieved in which it is possible for the magician to interrogate his atavism upon matters it understands and to ask it to provide him with such of its powers as his physical or astral bodies can support.
Conjuration Ten - Shamanic Illumination
The so called medicine journey of Shamanic Illumination is a quest for self-knowledge, self renewal or self improvement. It can take many forms. Traditionally it often takes the form of a death and rebirth experience in which the magician visualises his own death and dismemberment of his body followed by a rebuilding of his body and \\\\\\\"spirit\\\\\\\" and a rebirth. Sometimes this process is accompanied by physical privations such as sleeplessness, fasting and pain to deepen trance. Another method is to conduct a series of visionary journeys summoning up the so called \\\\\\\"spirits\\\\\\\" of natural phenomena, animals, plants and stones and asking them to yield knowledge. The simplest method of all is to retire for some days to a wild and secluded place far from the habitations of men and there to conduct a complete review of one\\\\\\\'s life up to that point, and also of one\\\\\\\'s future expectations.
Conjurations Eleven to Fifteen - Ritual Magic
In ritual magic, the physical use of magical instruments is combined with altered states of consciousness in a series of structured ceremonies. You, the magician, also begin to incorporate certain magical theories into the design of your work to make it more precise and effective. In particular, you should seek to broaden your use of trance by using various techniques of gnosis. This has the effect of bringing the unconscious parts of the mind, which actually do the magic, more fully into play. In ritual magic, considerable use is made of various systems of symbolic correspondence, analogical thinking, and sigils. These are used to communicate with the unconscious and to preoccupy the conscious mind while magic is being worked.
Ritual magic is always structured as an indirect approach to desire on the conscious level. The ritual magician never works with a direct representation or visualization of what he or she wants, but rather with some sigil or symbolic analogy which in a gnostic state stimulates actual desire in the unconscious.
Conjuration Eleven - Ritual Evocation
For ritual evocation, magicians may choose to continue using the entity forms employed in the sorcery or shamanic levels or may wish to experiment with traditional forms from the classical grimoires of spirits. Alternatively they may attempt to build up their own entity forms. Tradition has it that a magician should not seek to maintain more than four entities at the same time, and in practice this seems a good rule of thumb. In ritual evocation a material basis is always used even if this is merely a graphic sigil on paper. In the initial evocations, the magician builds up a strong visualized image of the entity using full gnosis. In subsequent evocations, you address various commands and directions to the material basis of the entity or else seek to receive information from it. The material basis should be handled ritually and while in a gnostic state whenever possible. When not in use, it should be concealed.
Conjuration Twelve - Ritual Divination
In ritual divination some kind of physical instrument is manipulated to give a symbolic or analogical answer while in a state of gnosis. Deep states of gnosis tend to preclude the use of complex divinatory instruments such as the Kabbala or I Ching for many people. Others may find that very simple systems such as bone casting tend to yield too little information for this kind of work, while systems of intermediate complexity such as runes, tarot or occidental geomancy are often most useful. Before the divination, the magician should ritually charge the divinatory instrument with a sigil or analogical representation of the question. The divinatory selection is then made under gnosis. The interpretation may be made under gnosis also or on return to ordinary consciousness.
Conjuration Thirteen - Ritual Enchantment
For ritual enchantment, the magician may well choose to use the special instrument of enchantment from the sorcery level work, unless particularly inspired to create a better tool. The instrument of enchantment or \\\\\\\"magical weapon\\\\\\\" is used to trace sigils in the air, and also where possible in the manufacture and manipulation of various spells. All ritual enchantments depend upon the use of some kind of spell to occupy and bypass the conscious mind and bring the more powerful unconscious into action. A spell can consist of virtually anything from the manufacture and consecration of a sigil, to the manipulation of wax images, or a ritual enactment of some analogy of desire. In all cases, the magician must use gnosis and concentration upon the spell itself, rather than the desire it represents to work effective enchantments.
Conjuration Fourteen - Ritual Invocation
In ritual invocation, you, the magician seek to saturate your senses with experiences corresponding to, or symbolic of, some particular quality you wish to invoke. Thus you may dress your temple and person with colors, smells, symbols, numbers, stones, plants, metals, and sounds corresponding to that which is to be invoked. You also adapt your behaviour, thoughts, and visualizations while in gnosis in an attempt to become possessed by what you invoke. In practice, the classical god-forms are frequently used as the pagan pantheons offer a spectrum of qualities resuming the whole of psychology. You should not confine yourself to invoking only those qualities for which you have a personal sympathy. Any particularly successful invocation should be followed by an invocation of quite different qualities at some later time. A thorough program of ritual invocation should encompass success with at least five completely different invocations.
Conjuration Fifteen - Ritual Illumination
In Ritual Illumination the magician applies various ritual acts of divination, enchantment, evocation and invocation to himself for self improvement. As with all acts of illumination the changes attempted should be specific rather than vague and general. The magician may find it useful to prepare a more elaborate \\\\\\\"lamp\\\\\\\" perhaps in the form of a mandala representing his self or soul for this conjuration. One effect of ritual illumination is often to force the magician to choose between Atman and Anatta. If he works within the paradigm of Anatta, the hypothesis of no-soul, then illumination is a matter of the addition or the deletion of certain patterns of thought and behaviour. If the magician works within the paradigm of Atman, the doctrine of personal soul, or Holy Guardian Angel, then he faces a more complex, dangerous and confusing situation. If a personal soul is presumed to exist but without a true will then the atman magician can proceed as if he were an Anattaist. If a true will is presumed to exist then the conjuration must be directed towards its discovery and implementation. The author has avoided treading too far along this path but has observed the process go spectacularly wrong in numerous cases. Those who wish to attempt it are counselled to avoid accepting as true will, anything which conflicts radically with ordinary commonsense or \\\\\\\"lower will\\\\\\\", as it is disparity called in this paradigm.
Conjurations Sixteen to Twenty - Astral Magic
Astral Magic is Ritual Magic performed entirely on the plane of visualisation and imagination. Unlike Shamanic Magic where a fairly free form use of images and visions is explored, this magic requires the precise and accurate visualisation of an internal landscape. In this landscape the magician carries out processes designed to bring him knowledge of the ordinary world or to change the world or himself. Astral Magic has to be approached with at least as much preparation and effort as it put into ritual magic or else it can tend to become a brief series of excursions around the imagination to little magical effect. Properly performed, it can be a source of extraordinary power and it has the advantage of requiring no physical equipment. Astral Magic is usually begun in some quiet secluded place whilst the magician is comfortably seated or couched with closed eyes. There may be few outward signs that anything is happening apart from perhaps a variation in breathing rates or posture or facial expressions as the magician enters gnosis.
To prepare for Astral Magic a temple or series of temples needs to be erected on the plane of visualised imagination. Such temples can take any convenient form although some magicians prefer to work with an exact simulacrum of their physical temple. The astral temple is visualised in fine detail and should contain all the equipment required for ritual or at least cupboards where any required instruments can be found. Any objects visualised into the temple shold always remain there for subsequent inspection unless specifically dissolved or removed. The most important object in the temple is the magician\\\\\\\'s image of himself working in it. At first it may seem that he is merely manipulating a puppet of himself in the temple but with persistence this should give way to a feeling of actually being there.
Before beginning Astral Magic proper, the required temple and instruments together with an image of the magician moving about in it should be built up by a repeated series of visualisations until all the details are perfect. Only when this is complete should the magician begin to use the temple. Each conjuration that is performed should be planned in advance with the same attention to detail as in Ritual Magic. The various acts of astral evocation, divination, enchantment, invocation and illumination take on a similar general form to the acts of Ritual Magic which the magician adapts for astral work.
Conjurations Twenty One to Twenty Five - High Magic
All the techniques of magic are really just so many ways of tricking some indefinable parts of ourselves into performing magic. The universe is basically a magical structure and we are all capable of magic. The really useful theories of magic are those which explain why magic tends to work so erratically and why we have such enormous inhibitions about believing in it, making it work, and recognising that it has worked. It is as if the universe has cast a spell upon us to convince us we are not magicians. However, this spell is rather a playful cosmic joke. The universe challenges us to shatter the illusion by leaving a few cracks in it.
No details are presented for the five conjurations of High Magic, nor can they be given, the reader is referred back to the remarks made on them in the introduction. The magician must rely on the momentum of his work in sorcery, shamanism, ritual and astral magics to carry him into the domain of high magic where he evolves his own tricks and empty handed techniques for spontaneously liberating the chaotic creativity within.
KAOS KERAUNOS KYBERNETOS