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Encyclopedia > Illuminates of Thanateros

The Illuminates of Thanateros are an occult society, founded in 1978, that pursues chaos magic. The word occult comes from Latin occultus (hidden), referring to the knowledge of the secret or knowledge of the hidden and often meaning knowledge of the supernatural, as opposed to knowledge of the visible or knowledge of the measurable, usually referred to as science. ... 1978 (MCMLXXVIII) was a common year starting on Sunday (the link is to a full 1978 calendar). ... The chaos star (called a chaosphere by some practitioners) is the most popular symbol of chaos magic. ...

Contents


History

In the late 1970s, Ray Sherwin and Peter Carroll, two young British occultists with a strong interest in ritual magic, began to publish a magazine called The New Equinox. Both were connected with a burgeoning occult scene developing around a metaphysical bookstore in London's East End called The Phoenix. According to themselves, both men quickly became dissatisfied with the state of the Magical Arts and the deficiencies they saw in the available occult groups. So in 1978 they published a small announcement in their magazine proclaiming the creation of a new kind of magical order, one based on a hierarchy of magical ability rather than invitation, a magical meritocracy. It was to incorporate elements of Thelema, Zos Kia Cultus, shamanism, tantra and Taoism. They called their creation the Illuminates of Thanateros (IOT), referring to the dualism of the gods of Death (Thanatos) and Love (Eros). 1970 (MCMLXX) was a common year starting on Thursday. ... Ray Sherwin is known in occult circles as the author of the Book of Results (Morton Press) and The Theatre of Magic and one of the first popularly acknowledged chaos magicians. ... Peter J. Carroll (born 8th January 1953, 1:30am; 50 degrees 50 minutes N, 0 degrees 25 minutes W) is a modern occultist, author and co-founder of the Illuminates of Thanateros. ... Ritual magic is the performance of a ritual for magical purposes. ... The New Equinox, founded by two young British occultists in the 1970s Ray Sherwin and Peter Carroll, is a journal published irregularly in the late 20th Century relating to ceremonial magic and related subjects. ... Part of the London skyline viewed from the South Bank London is the most populous city in the European Union, with an estimated population on 1 January 2005 of 7. ... The term East End is most commonly used to refer to the East End of London. ... the suffix -cracy implies, meritocracy is strictly speaking a system of government based on rule by ability (merit) rather than by wealth or social position. ... Thelema is the English transliteration of the Ancient Greek noun θέλημα will, from the verb ἐθέλω // Aleister Crowleys Thelema Thelema is the name of a philosophical/religious system established in 1904 through Aleister Crowley and his wife, Rose Edith Kelly, with the writing of Liber AL vel Legis, or The Book... Zos Kia Cultus is a form, style, or school of magic developed by Austin Osman Spare. ... A shaman doctor of Kyzyl. ... Tantra (Sanskrit: loom), tantric yoga or tantrism is any of several esoteric traditions rooted in the religions of India. ... Taoism (sometimes written as Daoism) is the English name for (a) the Chinese folk religion; (b) a family of organized Chinese religious movements such as the Zhengyi (Orthodox One) or Quanzhen (Complete Reality) sects, which collectively trace back to Zhang Daoling in the late Han dynasty; and/or (c) academic... Death is the cessation of physical life in a living organism, or the state of the organism after that event. ... In Greek mythology, Thanatos (θάνατος, death) was the personification of death (Roman equivalent: Mors). ... The heart, a frequent modern symbol of love Love has several different meanings in English, from something that gives a little pleasure (I loved that meal) to something one would die for (patriotism, pairbonding). ... Eros can refer to: Eros, a god in Greek mythology The Greek word Eros, which means sexual love 433 Eros, an asteroid EROS, the Extremely Reliable Operating System Pjur Eros, a premium latex-safe personal lubricant Eros, the life instinct postulated by Freudian psychology, standing in opposition to Thanatos The...


Carroll and Sherwin began to publish private monographs detailing their system of magical practice, some of which had been articles in The New Equinox, others being intended as instruction to members of their order. The new style of magic they introduced, which focused on practical skills as opposed to metaphysical systems, became known as chaos magic. In the 1980s they began to attract a following in England, Germany and Austria, including some influential occult writers and practitioners. But before the decade was out, Sherwin would resign in protest that the IOT was beginning to resemble the hierarchical orders that were once anathema to the concept of the group. The chaos star (called a chaosphere by some practitioners) is the most popular symbol of chaos magic. ... Wikimedia Commons has media related to: England Travel guide to England from Wikitravel English language English law English (people) List of monarchs of England – Kings of England family tree List of English people Angeln (region in northern Germany, presumably the origin of the Angles for whom England is named) UK...


Carroll carried on and made the IOT known to occultists around the world largely through his books Liber Null and Psychonaut. Carroll would later refine the direction of the IOT as a "real" magical order and manifest it as The Magical Pact of the IOT, or simply The Pact.


In the early 1990s this chaos magic order suffered from what was called the Ice Magick Wars, and several schisms broke from the group into factions such as the Reformed IOT (RIOT) in Germany and The AutonomatriX in California. Shortly after, Carroll published Liber Kaos and retired from active participation. He explicitly stated this was not a consequence of disagreement with the state of the Pact but a matter of his personal development. The 1990s decade refers to the years from 1990 to 1999, inclusive, the last decade of the 20th Century. ... Riots in Newark, New Jersey. ... The AutonomatriX (AX) is a network of Chaos Magicians, striving to discover and rejuvenate magical philosophy and technique with success as the only key to validity. ...


Structure

The Pact organizes itself along the somewhat "traditional" lines of a fraternal occult order, with initiations into progressive degrees denoting magickal skill and leadership within the group. It is notable that unlike other occult societies with a degree system, the Pact rewards progression in degree with hardly any privileges, but "punishes" it with added duties and responsibilities.


Degrees:

  • 4° Neophyte
  • 3° Initiate
  • 2° Adept
  • 1° Magus

There also are several offices, most notably including the Insubordinate, a low-ranking member who is to be informed about all work of a high-ranking member s/he is assigned to, to criticize and ridicule it, channel feedback from others concerning it, and will veto it if necessary. Every Adept, Magus, and Magister Templi (leader of a local group) has an Insubordinate. There also is a special degree "0°=5°", a degree for 2° and 1° members who retire from their duties, described as identical to the 3°.


There are no membership or initiation fees. This is a difference from all magical orders of comparable influence. Coming from the Latin, initiation implies a beginning. ...


The Pact consists mostly of small, semi-autonomous Temples arranged into geographical Sections, i.e. Austria, United Kingdom, USA, Germany, Brazil etc.


Members are obliged to keep silent on internal affairs and the identities of their fellows. The latter rule does not seem to apply to deceased persons, as it is not a secret William S. Burroughs and Timothy Leary have been members. William S. Burroughs William Seward Burroughs (February 5, 1914 – August 2, 1997) was an American novelist, essayist, social critic and spoken word performer. ... Dr. Timothy Francis Leary (October 22, 1920 – May 31, 1996) was an American writer, psychologist, campaigner for psychedelic drug research and use, 60s counterculture icon and computer software designer. ...


Relation to the occult subculture

The Pact still exists as of 2005, as does the AutonomatriX; RIOT and other splinter factions do not. In the past decade, the Pact of the IOT has acquired a less outspoken leadership. It also replaced the former charta Liber Pactionis with The Book, which gives a more realistic picture of the Pact than its predecessor. 2005 is a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Unlike such groups as the OTO or various offshoots of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, The Pact is an informal confederation of like-minded practitioners, rather than a legal entity or non-profit corporation. It has been described by Phil Hine as "the Order for 'serious' Chaos Magicians in the same way that the OTO exists for 'serious' Thelemites." Ordo Templi Orientis (O.T.O.) (Order of the Temple of the East, or the Order of Oriental Templars) is an international fraternal and religious organization. ... Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers, in Egyptian costume, performs a ritual of Isis (not a Rite of the Golden Dawn). ... Phil Hine is a writer and occultist, author of the Pseudonomicon, Condensed Chaos, Prime Chaos, as well as several essays on the topics of chaos magic and Cthulhu Mythos magic. ... Thelema is the English transliteration of the Ancient Greek noun θέλημα will, from the verb ἐθέλω // Aleister Crowleys Thelema Thelema is the name of a philosophical/religious system established in 1904 through Aleister Crowley and his wife, Rose Edith Kelly, with the writing of Liber AL vel Legis, or The Book...


The presence of hierarchy in the IOT has been the cause of a lot of dispute around it in the chaos magic scene. Opposers think the concept is un-chaotic and limiting to individual members, while defenders believe the tradeoff in chaoticism allows for much more effective group work, especially on an international scale. For the various types of hierarchy, see hierarchy (disambiguation) A hierarchy (in Greek: Ιεραρχία, it is derived from ιερός-hieros, sacred, and άρχω-arkho, rule) is a system of ranking and organizing things or people, where each element of the system (except for the top element) is subordinate to a single other element. ...


The Pact claims to be involved in continuous "magical research" but appears hesitant to let others participate in the process. The group has a comparatively difficult application procedure and appears to reject a great majority of applicants. IOT members such as the aforementioned, Ramsey Dukes, Dave Lee, Joshua Wetzel, Julian Vayne and others continue to produce a large part of the literature available on chaos magic. Ramsey Dukes is the pen name of Lionel Snell, a contemporary author on magick and philosophy. ... Dave Lee is a contemporary occultist, chaos magician and author. ... Joshua Wetzel is a contemporary chaos magician. ... Julian Vayne is a British occultist, chaos magician and author. ...


External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Illuminates of Thanateros - definition of Illuminates of Thanateros in Encyclopedia (871 words)
The Illuminates of Thanateros are an occult society that pursues chaos magic.
The presence of hierarchy in the IOT has been the cause of a lot of dispute around it in the chaos magic scene.
IOT members such as the aforementioned, Ramsey Dukes, Dave Lee, Joshua Wetzel, Julian Vayne and others continue to produce a large part of the literature available on chaos magic.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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