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Illuminates of Thanateros

Updated: Jun 14, 2023

The Order of the Chaos Magicians

Order, is nothing but a false sense of how things should be, and is affected by every individual’s perception and beliefs. When it comes to Albert Einstein’s statement that “God does not play dice with the universe”, Chaos Magick responds with the exact opposite. Since reality cannot have a definitive description because of its unpredictable nature, it is pointless to set boundaries in our way of thinking. Who are the people who follow these beliefs? Which are the secret orders that follow the paths of Chaos?

Since the dawn of human history, humankind has any innate wish for security. None loves uncertainty or changes. Security and stability are a medicine that heals the emotional and mental wounds of every human. People tend to check every single aspect of their existence, and sometimes they sacrifice their unique instincts in order to achieve stability. They do all that in order to overcome the fear they feel when they find themselves in front of uncertain and unknown for them situations. It is not random after all these specific words are being used so frequently by politicians in their campaigns before the elections, since they know very well that these are terms that can get a grip in the human psyche of the voters. Chaos though, is a word that is being hated by those in positions of power. By Chaos, we refer to the complete lack of form and order, the uncertain, that which cannot be controlled. These terms fill the human mind with images of destruction, anarchy, but also fantasy, too.

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Chaotic Fluidity

For most, the universe is a world which is stable, unchanging, and established, a world in which everything walks with clockwork precision. For a Chaos Magician, this idea is just amusing, because the world is simply an open, dynamic, and ever-changing universe of possibilities. Our social status has convinced us that we have to believe that no matter how much someone tries, only few things can change with the power of will and desire. Additionally, everything otherworldly or fantastical, it is instantly banished from the field of what is acceptable and logical and it is transformed to something “imaginary”.

When we referred to Chaos Magick, we do not only talk about the newest and fastest developing magical path, but also for a revolution regarding the way of thinking and the perception we have for the world around us. Every scientific, political, or religious dogma has an ideological core, specific method of action and the system of values and rules which has to be followed and respected by those who want to be part of it. In Chaos Magick this isn’t a requirement. Its ideological core is summarised in some basic principles, and after that, everyone is able to create their own rules and follow their own systems that they feel are more drastic. One could say that Chaos Magick is the magick of results. All details, methods, and protocols, are scrapped as long as there is a result.

A basic key for this magical path is a state that in Chaos Magick is called Gnosis. It is the doorway to an alternative state of consciousness which is known to many different traditions as “Non-Thinking” or Santori, and it is the main key for a magician to unlock their abilities. In this state, consciousness is empty for every kind of sensory information and it is solely focused on desire.

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The Path of Chaos

The first Chaos Order was created towards the end of the 70’s in England, at a time when the new wave of punk rock music was on the front page of the newspapers and when scientists started discovering new information about the universe through the mysterious world of mathematics. In 1978 some new articles appeared in “The New Equinox” magazine, regarding the new magical order called the “Illuminates of Thanateros”. The word Thanateros, comes from the Greek words “Thanatos” which means death, and “Eros” which means love. IOT, in short, was a magical order practising Shamanism, Taoism, Tantra, and Thelema. The announcement of IOT, was followed by a publication by the father of Chaos Magic and the founder of the order, Peter Caroll. The book was titled “Liber Null” and it was a new door to the basic philosophy and practices of Chaos Magic. By creating IOT, Caroll wanted to eliminate administration errors and turbulence among the members that existed in earlier magical orders, as he characteristically said “Strict ideas, strict hierarchy and established teachings and beliefs, are able to dull the creative spirit”.

Even till this day, every initiate in IOT are by themselves at Temple, able to experiment with any technique, rituals, and ideas that satisfy them. Every single member of IOT can share techniques and results with other members and they can (or must) attend the annual gathering of the order. IOT, according to Peter Caroll, is in order that emphasises more in the creativity of each member rather than the typical subjects of discipline. Focal point are people who have magick as a daily lifestyle and who experience it as a living entity, rather than people who are able to follow instructions and ethical codes. A big characteristic of the IOT members is the freedom they have when it comes to changing at will all magical models that they are practising, also known as “Magical Paradigm Shift”.

There are 4 degrees of initiation and evolution in the IOT, and these are: Neophyte, Initiate, Adept, and Magus.

Some Basic Principles

Nothing is real. Everything is allowed. “Ego” and “Self” are an illusion. There isn’t a stable “Self”, as we are made of many selves, roles were forced to play by society, roles forced upon us by human interactions, instincts, unconscious prompts, and desires are hiding behind the mask of “ME”.

The removal of mainstream beliefs around one’s self and society are an important part for the Chaos Mage. The less tied is someone on their beliefs, the easier it is for them to change them or to edit them when it is necessary. Belief in mass mainstream perceptions is capable to bound our energy, thus the goal of the Chaos Mage is to give themselves free and independent of dogma.

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