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Condensed Chaos

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  1,663 ratings  ·  73 reviews
Condensed Chaos provides a practical introduction to Chaos Magic, one of the fastest growing areas of Western Occultism. Through it you can change your circumstances, live according to a developing sense of personal responsibility, effect change around you, and stop living as a helpless cog in some clockwork universe. All acts of personal/collective liberation are magical ...more
Paperback, 192 pages
Published November 1st 2009 by Original Falcon Press (first published July 1st 1995)
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Average rating 4.01  · 
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 ·  1,663 ratings  ·  73 reviews

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Feb 05, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: magick
I learned how to turn invisible, and to shoot lightning from my eyes.
Dec 03, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Hard to review this one. I am congenitally allergic to anything with this many typos, but that aside, there's some neat stuff in here -- despite the fact that I am highly disinclined to call it "magic." As far as I can tell, this is a fairly useful book about techniques for self-actualization cloaked in magical terminology.

For example, at one point Hine talks about using magic to generate the resources to buy a new computer. His spells keep failing, his bank won't loan him money, etc, so he ask
Nikki Ashendorf
Sep 12, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who wants a new perspective to put in their magical repitoir
I've been an Eclectic Witch for 14 years. I am not Wiccan. I was for the first couple of years but now I personaly view Wicca as elementary school.
I know several people who are Chaos magicians. At first I thought like most people do, that its all dark ooooo... But I read some web sites about and laughed my butt off. I resounated with everything they wrote about. I wanted more so I bought this book. I apsolutely love it. It is funny, it is everything that I your own thing, use what y
Nov 20, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It is easy to mistake a complex mess for wisdom. "I don't understand what this guy is saying. He must be brilliant!" Or, alternatively, he's so broken he's spewing a stream of consciousness word salad that cannot be interpreted. Because there is no meaning.

A serious chaos magician might respond to my criticism by saying, "Yes, yes, that's the point exactly." To which I say, screw off. The games are boring, friend. Say it straight, or shut up.

"Ah, but you're not ready to recieve..."

No. Shut up.

Clive F
Jul 24, 2019 rated it liked it
I should confess first of all that this book isn't really about my kind of thing: I'm a maths/science geek, so a book talking about how to perform real magic, with spirit summoning and so forth, isn't likely to be my cup of tea. But it was on my wishlist (because of a recommendation by an author I rate) and my thoughtful son bought me a copy for my birthday, so I read it with some curiosity.

And it's fair to say that even from my somewhat doubting point of view, Phil Hine does a great job here. H
Jamie Watts
May 14, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Juvenile, and full of "quotes" to "describe things", which really "pisses me off."
Clara Babbage
Jun 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: occult, philosophy
I tried to read Peter Carroll Once. I'm not saying the man doesn't have good ideas, but his prose is somewhat unwieldy.

Some thirty years later, enter Phil Hine who does an expert job of decrypting and re-interpretting ancient arcane ideas for the modern generation.

I'm not saying I believing everything that was written, but it is highly readable and certainly somethings stayed with me.
Steve Cran
Apr 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow this book was awesome. Short powerful and too the point. wish I had read this earlier in my quest. This book is pure magical technique. If you want to get started with magic this book is a great place to start. If it is piffy little spells you are looking for then this will not be what your looking for. Chaos magick is a very unique form of magick. . There are several paradigms of magic; Ceremonial, Wicca, Voodoo etc. Chaos is not exactly it's on paradigm yet it is a philosophy that let lets ...more
Yomna hosny
My feelings about Phil Hine are that I want to a) Hug him a) slap the shit out of him!

other than that this books is a pretty firm introduction to Chaos Magic and digresses nicely every now and then into other types of magical practice. Chaos magic is great as an introduction to the occult because it avoides all the pompous, rigorous rituals and instructions that will almost definitely discourage anyone from "dabbling" if that's what you're into.

It's also really terrible for beginners of the occ
Jul 16, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well.... I... um......
This book is kind of a mess..... but not necessarily BAD. I mean it's literally a mess, as in it's not exactly ORGANIZED, like, at all. It's very stream of consciousness, which is not how one expects an overview of a subject to be written. At the same time, it DID give a good solid overview of the subject, on the whole.
As for the subject itself..... the jury's still out. Parts of it are so mundane that I know I've had multiple therapists tell me exactly the sa
Oct 08, 2018 rated it liked it
Similar to Liber Null and Psychonaut, Condensed Chaos is chock full of magical techniques, but they’re not as detailed as I’d like. In contrast though, I do appreciate Phil Hine’s more relatable and down to earth writing style. There’s a lot of seemingly good stuff in this book, minus the serious and arcane vibe that Peter Carroll gave off.

My biggest gripe is that there’s no clear entry point or guidance for the inexperienced / beginners - yet this is supposed to be an introduction to chaos mag
Jan 13, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the book I’ve been waiting years to find! Phil Hine’s gentle easing into the fascinating world of chaos magic is simple enough that even people with no knowledge of magic can follow it, full of humour and useful analogies (which is crucial for a subject like this) and, perhaps most importantly, completely devoid of the usual ego-stroking pretention that fills other books like this. What’s great about this book is that it really explains the concept of chaos magic in an incredibly logical ...more
Feb 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spiritual, nonfiction
Do you think like Agent Scully and at the same time you really want to believe? Here's the book for you. This is a clear-cut introduction to the basics of magic. It's actually a great primer for ANY spiritual background whether its magickal function is prayer, magick, voodoo, e-meters, the force, or Brony friendship. It takes a rational nearly scientific approach to spiritual practices.

However, science disbelieves until something is true. This book tells you how to set aside your disbelief to ac
Nov 09, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone searching for the Truth
Recommended to Tim by: My higher power, my true self, a half eaten bagel and a talking
Shelves: occult-magick
Having been a solitary pagan for a the last three years, and after changing paths several times over, through whatever process exists (if any), I came across Condense Chaos. It is a pragmatic and easy to understand short manual on what magic is, what it isn't, how anyone with the desire can learn to apply magic to their everyday lives and most importantly, the lifting of the 'occultic secret veil' that seems to permeate nearly every book written on the subject of magic.
Phil Hine writes in a conc
Jul 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: weirdos and creatives
Recommended to Catherine by: Last Podcast on the Left
The subtitle leads you to believe that this slim volume is an introduction to Chaos Magic, which I suppose it is. But this book is also a really cool, non-floofy self-help manual for people who think in terms of symbols and systems and for people who like to understand things but also like that not everything is understandable. As someone who has searched for, created, and banished any number of ordering principles to help me navigate life, I appreciate the ideas in this book. The acknowledgemen ...more
Dec 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theory, self-help, magic
An appealingly accessible introduction to chaos magic. I began reading Liber Null first, and am very thankful that I was pointed towards this book instead. I'll be reading other volumes about magic, but this was an ideal starting point. Only a couple of "huh." moments and nothing terribly cringeworthy, despire the book being from the 90s. The "cyber-" prefix coming in here and there dates it a bit, but overall, you hardly notice that the book is over a decade old.

The other thing I like is that H
Ryan Musante
Jan 31, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a great top-level primer for chaos magic. I'm a total noob on the subject, so I can't say for certain that this covers everything that needs to be covered, but it defines a certain "outlook" that seems to be at the heart of chaos magic. It seems a tough subject to properly describe due to its manipulable and, well... "chaotic" nature, but the author has a steady and clear point of view that leads the reader into what seems to be a distilled "essence" of chaos magic.

This book did its job
Oct 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It’s like ‘The Science of Getting Rich’ or ‘The Secret’ meets early cyberpunk and psychology-based self-help literature, only with a whole lot of mysticism and furious masturbating on symbols.

In short, what a delightful read. An absurd amount of fun and memorable passages and a perfect read for SPOOKTOBER. I will likely engage in more heady stuff than this and have all ready tapped into some of the recommended reads and mentioned titles sprinkled throughout — it’s a solid introduction to the wo
Nov 17, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The 1-5 Star Review is the total of what I have to say about this book, specifically.

Caveat: This review is historical/archival in nature. 'Date read' is speculative.

This book is one of many books I have read about the occult/paganism/witchcraft. This was the readily available faith in my household as a child. Additionally, I worked for a company in this field, 2015-2016, and had to read an ocean of this stuff to do my job.
Ryan Hunter
Jul 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A journey into chaos

A someone who has read many a book on magic over the years, going on my own journey, I found this book helpful in confirming what I already know in a down to earth, matter of fact way. With the occasional inspired insight it describes what chaos magick is so that the reader comes away with a feeling of achievement and the desire to learn more...
Aivaras Žukauskas
There is some good advice to be found in the first half of the book, although it's nothing you can't find in any other self-help book nowadays. And the magic part was too vague for me for it to make much sense. I found some useful stuff in this, but probably would look for a better introduction elsewhere.
Alyssa Eve
While reading this it became apparent that the attributes that make a good anthropologist also make a good chaos magician. As such the world view it promotes was very appealing to me. Aside from a few editing errors found throughout the book it was an overall enjoyable read (though the errors mostly just made me laugh).
Tem Yousafi
Jun 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not badly written, even though there were a million typos and the text should've been divided into more paragraphs.

Couldn't tell whether it was a beginner's guide to Chaos Magic or the world's most psychotic self-help book. 7/10 would read again.
Hilda Ellis-Davidson
Jun 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
One part new age philosophy. One part science paper. One part manual to hack the universe.

Even as a placebo, this is a good book... and if even half of what it claims is true then the cosmos is a very interesting place.
2018 Popsugar Reading Challenge prompt: a book you meant to read in 2017 but didn't get to.

As a fan of Last Podcast on the Left, I was keen to read this after it was recommended by Marcus and Henry, but I liked their explanation of Chaos Magic better than this book. Interesting read, though.
Sep 12, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: occult
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reread
More readable/understandable than most magic books. It is also down to earth
Tana Ash
Apr 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A complete pre-requisite before you do any Magick.
Dean Parker
I think underneath all the hocus and pocus there is some really good life advice.
Eric Fritz
Sep 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: magick
A great look at chaos magick. Concisely written with good examples. Veers a little too close to pseudoscience at times, but overall a great work with a lot of practical knowledge
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Phil Hine is an author and occasional lecturer on a variety of occult & related subjects, when he gets time away from producing print & digital magazines & IT Management. He edited an acclaimed Pagan magazine - Pagan News for five years. ...more

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