Chaos Magic and The Pagan Year

There are eight Sabbats and eight colours of magic (in the system devised by Pete Carroll) and so (as someone steeped in both the Wiccan Paganism and chaotic/eclectic occultism) it makes sense to me to explore how these systems can relate to each other. Of course the esoteric cake can be cut any number of ways and so this is simply my (current) serving suggestion. A Brother of mine in Germany has been working on similar lines and has come up with some slightly different ideas, and that’s all good.  There is an immediate difference between these models in that the eight rays of the chaosphere are simply indicative of the many, many arrows which rush out from the singularity of Kia. (I could begin to discuss the great mystery of the ‘other colours’; of the ☀☀☀☀, ☀☀☀☀☀ & ☀☀☀☀☀☀☀☀☀☀☀ rays…but then I’d have to kill you 😉 [Censored! Classified information… NW]

But if we stick to the 8=fold symbolism for now…

We start with the ‘conventional’ colours of magick as given by Pete in Liber Kaos:

The Eight Colours of Magic

The Eight Colours of Magic

I asked Pete recently why he chose the locations for the colours as given in his diagram above. Of course these energies/colours/styles are in opposing (or perhaps ‘complementary’ pairs). However the diagram doesn’t fit with either the Qabalistic system (if you overlay the chaosphere on Isaac Luria’s ten-balls-and-twenty-two-sticks model of the Tree it doesn’t match up). Neither is there any obvious astrological relationship (like the order of the planets as given on the heptagram shown in Crowley’s Book of Thoth). Mr Carroll told me that the order was ‘essentially arbitrary’ and therefore by changing the position of the colours (while maintaining the complementary pairs) I wouldn’t be ‘committing any great heresy’ (phew!)

So my proposal is that the order of colours as given by Pete Carroll can be re-arranged to give a neat fit between the core symbolism of each Pagan sabbat and each colour of magick. I’ve only been using this model for a few months, but by working with love (the type of love that allows a mother to nourish her baby with milk) at Imbolc, and the more cerebral vibe of opening out my ability to communicate at the most recent equinox, it seems to be working out for me.

The symbolic links between the directions and colours are:

Yule – Octarine, the Sun at Midnight, the paradox and play of festival, the birth of the God Son.
Imbolc – Green, love and sacrifice, parenthood, the promise of Spring.
Spring Equinox – Orange, the incoming power of the year, East.
Beltane – Purple, sex.
Midsummer – Yellow, the self, the waking consciousness.
Lammas – Red, agriculture, war, John Barleycorn must die.
Autumn Equinox – Blue, wealth, reflecting on what we have gathered in the year.
Samhain – Black, death.

The Wheel of Chaos

The Wheel of Chaos

This type of re-configuration is, of course, one of the delights of modern magickal culture. We can create blends that suit our own spiritual tastes. Rather than going from system to system, abandoning one psychic structure to invest in a nice new shiny one, we can also manufacture hybrids. The alchemy of birthing such ceremonial chimera helps to keep our styles of magick strong and vigorous. And as a dedicated chaos magician and witch I’d rather be a robust mongrel than a sickly pedigree!


14 thoughts on “Chaos Magic and The Pagan Year

  1. kevin jay says:

    excellent piece…a definate need to re-arrange correspondence for our ever changing age to suit personal requirements

  2. Michael Clarke says:

    I am not versed enough in Chaos theory to know if this has been done before, but I equated the days of the week with the diagram in Liber Kaos page 109, in 1992 when it came out in the Weiser Edition.
    It works as follows:
    Black Death Magic= Saturday= Saturn or Sater (norse)
    Blue Wealth Magic= Thurday= Jupiter or Thor
    Green Love Magic= Monday= Venus or Freya
    Yellow Ego Magic=Sunday= Sol/Apollo or Suna
    Purple or Silver Sex magic= Friday= Luna or Moon
    Orange Thinking magic=Wednesday=Mercury or Woden
    Red War Magic=Tuesday= Mars or Tiw
    Octarine or Pure Magic I class as being beyond time or space or perhaps symbolising the whole week. At the time I used this system for magical workings of an operative and speculative sort, the speculative ones being assisted by the roll of an eight sided dice.

    • I believe several people have noted the planetary correspondences of the colours of magick & the days of the week, and I have used this idea myself. I stuck with Moon=Monday and Venus/Frigg=Friday though. I’m intrigued as to your reasoning behind swapping them.

      For Octarine I use the nights one sometimes spends without sleep, effectively gaining an extra day of time outside the standard model. I attributed this day to Eris…


      • Michael Clarke says:

        Looking at it now with the benefit of another twenty years of experience it would make more sense for green magick to be attached to Friday and purple or silver magic to be attached to Monday. In those days I was inclined to mix the two together in an all encompassing obsessive relationship. I am also far less inclined to add to or alter other people’s systems. I am still working with planets though it is now with the Olympian Planetary Spirits.

  3. Keoki says:

    Great to see you posting your personal progression 🙂

    The mysteries that can get pursued by looking into timekeeping seem profound. Demonstrating, as you have, that one can immerse oneself into a schema that might offer illumination in elemental/seasonal, planetary and astrological pursuits, shows a depth of connection possible, of living out ones path. I applaud you!

    You seemed relieved, albeit in jest: That you weren’t propagating any heresy towards PJC’s 8 fold model – But one can’t help wondering about the adoption of Gaelic words, concepts and traditions, names of months from Irish culture, into the nebulous neopagan movement.

    Can we wonder if messers Nichols and Gardner were simply ignorant of Irish language, during the early years of regained Irish independence. Assuming a forgotten component of culture, consigned to the past.

    In any case, neo pagan dogma seems to insist on these borrowings. Whilst initiates of Wicca, The Obod etc as well as the wider community of those that identify as neopagan, have found much joy and inspiration in the adoption and adaption of seasonal rites; the rich cultural resources of the Gaelic speaking cultures seem largely ignored and unexplored, which seems surprising to me. A treasure trove awaits, those that step beyond the dogmatised, ideas of the 1950s nudists 😉

    Each of us, I suspect, can pursue mysteries and magic as best we are able and as we can. I for one am happy to see someone questioning, exploring and synthesizing ones own unique ‘take’ and flavour.

    With every good wish and with respect,


  4. jamadara says:

    Having likewise mapped the colors of Chaos to the days of the week, I noticed a curious symmetry a few years ago, which I did not see recognized above. Pairing the complementary colors and their days:

    Sun (Yel)———————|
    Mon (Pur)—————| |
    Tue (Red)———-| | |
    Wed (Ora)—–| | | |
    Thu (Blu)——-| | | |
    Fri (Gre)————| | |
    Sat (Bla)—————–| |
    Bey (Oct)———————|

    (Bey = Beyond)

  5. greg ashley says:

    I’ve never been comfy with the orignal configuration of the colours of the Octaris. The one you present here fits better with my own experiments, starting with obviously BLACK for Samhaine. Tho, its got a Northern Hemispherical Bias, once again showing us that nothing is true, and yet everything is permitted. Choy.

  6. Kenneth Blight says:

    Seems like a good idea to me, I especially enjoyed keokis reflex ions and what a relief, we can all do what we like which is what we have been doing anyway..

  7. […] Imbolc symbolizes the awakening of nature, new beginnings and love which creates a magickal window to work some green magic. […]

  8. […] The British archipelago, that cluster of islands off the European mainland on which I live, is changing colour. The sky, while still sometimes blessed with the bright blue of summer, now fills with the grey of anvil headed thunder clouds, gravid with rain. The green of the land, with trees magnificent in their full leaf, tips over into the gold of harvest time. Rolls, bales, and here in North Devon even stooks of grain, stand sculptural in the fields. This is the time of Lammas, a time associated with Red Magic in the Chaos Craft interpretation of The Wheel of the Year. […]

  9. […] Dans le livre Chaos Craft : The Wheel of the Year in Eight Colours, Julian Vayne et Steve Dee font une proposition tout à faire originale ; attribuer chacune des huit fêtes du système wicca/néopaïen à une des huit couleurs de la magie du système carrollien et vivre le passage du temps et la course annuelle du Soleil à l’aune de ces huit couleurs. Vous trouverez un article décrivant la réflexion et l’application qu’ils ont faites en libre accès ici. […]

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