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Liber Null and Psychonaut: An Introduction to Chaos Magic
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Liber Null and Psychonaut: An Introduction to Chaos Magic

3.97  ·  Rating Details ·  1,524 Ratings  ·  53 Reviews
Two complete volumes in one. Liber Null contains a selection of extremely powerful rituals and exercises for committed occultists. Psychonaut is a manual comprising the theory and practice of magic aimed atthose seeking to perform group magic, or who work as shamanic priests to the community.
Paperback, 214 pages
Published April 1st 1987 by Weiser Books (first published January 15th 1987)
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Jun 02, 2009 Michael rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Chaos Magicians, beginning magicians, occult theorists
Recommended to Michael by: Osiris
I wasn't terribly impressed with this book at the time I read it, although it does contain some interesting material. Essentially it is the compiled handbooks (or "libers") of the Illuminates of Thanateros (IOT, worked out by Peter Carroll and others during the 1970s and early 1980s. The IOT prides itself on exploring occult traditions while breaking with much of the hierarchy and stick-up-the-ass seriousness of traditional magical study. Chaos Magic, as I used to say, is what happens to you ...more
Garrett Cook
Jan 23, 2011 Garrett Cook rated it really liked it
"When we are born, we are soft and supple, in death we are stiff and inflexible. To be inflexible is to be the servant of death"- the Tao Te Ching

Even if chaos magick is not a magical tradition you practice, even if you are not a practicing magician at all, there is much to learn from Liber Null. It is a guide to psychic flexibility, to seeing shades of meaning in your environment and to expressing intent. As such, this is a seminal work not just for the magician, but for the artist as well. Lea
Lizbeth Gabriel
Mar 20, 2016 Lizbeth Gabriel rated it liked it
My head hurts. It really hurts. Also, my copy is missing a page of text and half its contents table. Damn to demise all marshmallows in existence and some theoretical ones.

How can someone actively choose to experiment on everything that makes them who they are AND work 9-5? The advice is pretty clear: change your personality, change your sexuality, do all the things that normally you would not do, try a different lifestyle, support a point of view you don't agree with and so on. Keep doing that
Terra Bosart
Jun 04, 2009 Terra Bosart rated it really liked it
This was my first introduction to Chaos Magic, and it came across quite well. The writing and descriptions and concepts resonated with me so well that I began magical practice again. This book, along with Liber Kaos, challenged my perspectives and dropped me off where I started. Lovely.
Jan 14, 2015 Wesley rated it really liked it
Ah... This book was interesting. Sure it's all in our heads - but how big are our heads? Hah. If your mind is stuck in familiar ruts, this book might be a good place to go "off road". Caveat emptor.
B Lizzard
Sep 03, 2015 B Lizzard rated it it was amazing
One of the Seminal texts on postmodern magick. A true classic which definitely changed my view on magick dramatically, perhaps even my life. A liberating book that inspires creativity, and self-expression. If you're tired of overly-complex rituals based on some medieval mythos that seems like a joke to you, then this is the book for you. I mean, if you don't believe in the supernatural at all, then how could you take things like demons, angels, Gods, and Goddesses seriously? Yet you can still do ...more
Pieter-Jan Beyul
Sep 09, 2012 Pieter-Jan Beyul rated it really liked it
Shelves: my-shelf
Despite its notoriety, chaos magic isn't the blackest magic out there, but the postmodern twitch on the oldest of arts. It is only as notorious as the magician wills it. The 'chaotic' aspect of it has nothing to do with full blown anarchic and nihilistic appliance of magic to whatever means. It has to do with the understanding of the nature of reality as being (the son/daughter of) pure Chaos. Then again, this insight isn't the discovery of a single genius or a truth that has been transmitted ...more
May 14, 2013 Roewoof rated it it was amazing
This book was amazing. I'm not quite sure how to go about writing a review for it, so I'll start by saying, that many magicians who turn to writing, have a very arrogant manner of introducing the subject matter. They stress secrecy, over complicate things for the reader, and the entire work serves as a way for them to feed their ego. Making it less about actually wanting to introduce the subject to new adepts. This is not the case with Carroll. His writing is straightforward and isn't bogged ...more
Aug 11, 2015 Rjyan rated it liked it
Carroll has some ideas that are definitely worth pinching, but there was more than a few times when the Order dude is describing/creating here sounds like fat camp, if there was a fat camp for becoming a total sociopath instead of losing weight. or whatever. His ability to cut huge mystical concepts down into clean, manageable pieces is sometimes impressive and practical, and sometimes conspicuously void of any of kind of awe or wonder-- which may not be a problem for you, and even if it is, it ...more
Aug 31, 2009 Jessecooperlevy rated it it was amazing
The neon bible. It's what every harry potter fan should read upon growing up and being discouraged.
Oct 10, 2010 Aaron rated it it was amazing
I never get tired of reading this.
Oct 24, 2016 Joshua rated it it was amazing
This is an excellent book if you're into the ideas of radical personal development or the occult. If you're into either field, you must read this book. Yes, this is not a scientific book, but if you approach it as such, you're a fool anyway.

This is a book about how to gain more control over your subjective facets. Whether or not you ultimately buy the philosophic arguments Carroll puts down for magick or not, the real point of the book is to help you gain an occult perspective on the world, whi
Nov 14, 2016 Constantin rated it it was amazing
Shelves: occult-related
I think that this book is an excellent introduction to Chaos Magick and to the Occult in general.
It gives plenty of information on different subjects in order to give to the reader an all-round image
of what this is all about.
It speaks about magick, while keeps the things in a realistic level and this is very hard to find in books of this genre.
Oct 27, 2016 Sarja rated it liked it
Shelves: occult, non-fiction, 2016
To be honest, I found it too brief. It's not horrible, but I would have enjoyed some context to it all. Even the companion volume, Psychonaut, did not satisfy me.

The book is, however, meant to be practical, so I can see why he would cut out some theory.

I will probably revisit this book in due time, but at this time I'm unable to understand all the praise it gets.
Kind of but not really what I was expecting. The most useful part for me was in the first chapter.
His views were interesting and some I agreed with and some were new and some I didn't. Some accurate & less so prophesizing of what was going to be happening in the near future (which is now).
I don't know if I can truly say I completed this as I had to return it to the library and hadn't fully read the last 20 or so pages.
Gonna see if the local new age book shop has this in stock, grab one of
Filippus  Sergius Angelus
This book is 25% Peter J.Carroll's personal beliefs, which I didn't always agree with. And 75% material that has been passed down over time, from the earliest mystical texts, to medieval grimoirs, and finally to Crowley and the modern western esotericists. Material that is and ever was present in ALL religions. The difference here, is that it's finally written in a clear and concise manner instead of steeped in symbolism and vague allegory.

Unfortunately, the roots of these concepts are so compl
Sep 19, 2016 lucas rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2016
It was okay. I didn't expect nothing more/less from this.

Some of this reminds me of Prometheus Rising, in which gives an account of "Reality Tunnels" theory.

And although most of the book was just a reproduction of Crowley and Osman Spare systems, I could say that he expanded it in some points.

Leaving apart his shallow approach of the gnostic tradition, I will give 3 stars.
Guinevere Liddell
Dec 07, 2012 Guinevere Liddell rated it liked it
An alright intro to chaos magic theory. Pretty useless for some, really useful for others. Chaos is one of those things that is more improv than anything else and even the weak systems described in this are a bit too much structure, I feel. But this WAS for an order in Chaos magic. You have to take everything in it with a grain of salt and not take the literal descriptions he offers as a constant truth. It's an older text, but keep in mind that Chaos magic theory has changed a good deal in 40 ...more
Shea Mastison
Dec 29, 2014 Shea Mastison rated it really liked it
"Nothing is true, everything is permitted" essentially sums up the overall arch of the book. Postulating the subjective existence of each individual's ego, Peter J. Carroll offers up an interesting look at the rituals of the Initiates of Thanateros--a postmodern occult group that traces their lineage back to prehistoric shamans and the Western esoteric tradition as a whole.

This is one of the better primers on chaos magic; and the ways in which one can use it to develop as a person in our societ
Jul 16, 2016 Oliver rated it really liked it
Although Carroll makes some very sweeping statements about the importance of his invented branch of esoteric thought, here is for one a book containing both practical and theoretical information about the occult in short easily-digested chunks. Unfortunately I found the reasoning behind many of the ideas presented inadequate and often based solely upon the experiences of Carroll himself, the book deals with thought-evoking topics in such a way that both the devout religious and the atheist is ...more
Jul 08, 2012 Dolphin rated it liked it
Shelves: spiritual
Peter J. Carroll was born in 1953, traveled around the world as young, and started magic activities called IOT in his 30s. He defines his thought as "Chaos Magik", which integrate magical trends appeared in the history, including from Shamanism to Quantum Mechanics. The core concept is Void, which appears as duality in the 3rd dimension but cannot be recognized by the senses of that level. I think this book is worth reading, though it sounds too serious to me in spite of it supports cosmic joke.
Aug 06, 2011 Lindsey rated it really liked it
Carroll's first book Liber Kaos (using Chaos Theory as a magical theory) was refreshing in it's symplicity - using the power of the subconscious mind to generate a desired result that, and this was the best part, did not stem from a religion, nor a religious based magical theory - hence no excessive morals, codes, etc. that really just take up space in the book. Well, this book was lacking in that ripped down, rebuilt from scratch feel. Liber Null and Psychonaut was more like the Chaos Magic ...more
Dec 16, 2009 Adam rated it liked it
Decent book about chaos theory and chaos magick. Think of chaos magick as sort of the agnosticism of occult thought. It takes a lot from all other "traditions" but leaves it up to the user to do whatever is effective. To this end the book succeeds in explaining what chaos magicians believe but comes off as a little pretentious in it's secrecy and levels of priesthood. For chaos theorists, this book seems to represent the ones that need order and group thinking to succeed.
Jul 18, 2012 Katie rated it really liked it
Shelves: magic
Very useful book on magic. Author describes different aspects (or areas of interest) concisely. Great to get started in practical magic, also useful for psychonauts. Section on Magic Paradigms at the end I found particularly interesting. Often throughout I found I wanted to know more on a subject, but I can find that in other books. This one would make a good reference book or table book. I want to add it to my personal collection.
Valenfore Alestreneon
Dec 16, 2012 Valenfore Alestreneon rated it it was amazing
A combination of two of the most revolutionary books in the era of Modern Magik. It has a very good training program and exercises. I disagree with Carroll's modelling of spirits as being strictly psychological, since, as Phil Hine points out in Condensed Chaos there are times when the spirits summon YOU!

Also, Carroll believes in an afterlife, which cannot exist without a belief in objective spirits.
Jan 22, 2011 Suzi rated it it was amazing

Finished the entirety of the book. Incredible. I still plan to re-read (and re-re-read, and then read it again). For those not familiar with chaos theory in physics, I highly recommend getting a brief overview of the concept before reading this book as it will help give perspective to the concepts presented in the pages.
Iris Campion
Dec 19, 2013 Iris Campion rated it it was amazing
This book blew my mind, especially in light of the work I have been doing with Stan Smith. I see now many of the tools he has been using are in the lineage of this strange and fascinating tradition of magic. I know I will be going back to this book over and over. I am cautious to take any of the exercises on however...maybe over time.
Dam Aeducan
Feb 10, 2016 Dam Aeducan rated it liked it
It's a suggestible book for those who are new to chaos magick. But it's missing serious parts of the path of a mage: originality, discovery and motivation. Liber Null is just like throwing you ideas and wants you to absorb them. Mages I know who had read Liber Null and Psychonaut are weak defending their path and ideas. If you are serious with occult, it's not a witch's bedside book.
Dec 23, 2008 William rated it really liked it
Shelves: magick-and-myth
Very good--if often pompous and opaque--text from Pope Pete. Probably not a good introductory book on Chaos Magick, as the spiralling idea-play sometimes nears the Crowleyesque. Still, it can be an exciting read, even if the concepts aren't as easily appliccable as when outlined by Hine.
Michael Evans
Jul 17, 2012 Michael Evans rated it really liked it
This is a great book if you are interested in psychology and physics with at least a passing interest in the occult. While it really is an introductory book on chaos magic, there are some heavy concepts to wrap your head around fully. I enjoyed it, but I wouldn't recommend it to everyone.
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He maintains a personal website at

and acts as Chancellor to Arcanorium College:-

Peter Carroll began his career in Magic at London University where the Chemistry proved so tedious that he settled on a pass degree in that and an unauthorized first in Magic, with Liber Null & Psychonaut emerging as his postgraduate thesis over the next several years w
More about Peter J. Carroll...

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“It is a mistake to consider any belief more liberated than another. It is the possibility of change which is important. Every new form of liberation is destined to eventually become another form of enslavement for most of its adherents. There is no freedom from duality on this plane of existence, but one may at least aspire to choice of duality.” 31 likes
“Ideas about a person's place in society, his role, lifestyle, and ego qualities will lose their hold as the cohesive forces in society disintegrate. Subculture values will proliferate to such a bewildering extent that a whole new class of professionals will arise to control them. Such a Transmutation Technology will deal in fashions, in ways of being. Lifestyle consultants will become the new priests of our civilizations. They will be the new magicians.” 5 likes
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