The Majick of Metal: Discordianism

Discordianism and chaos magic are often confused. This is fitting, considering confusion is the stock and trade of both to some extent. Discordianism involves ritual, but is more of a religion of mirth; rather than chaos magic, which we will talk about more, hmmm… maybe next week. Discordianism involves the worship of the Greek chaos goddess Eris. Founders Greg Hill, otherwise known as Malaclypse the Younger, and Kerry Thornley, or Omar Khayyam Ravenhurst, had a revelation regarding this goddess in a California bowling alley in 1957, thus preceding chaos magic, which despite pulling from many older sources, did not get to rolling until the 1970s. Discordianism had its brush with infamy when Thornley joined the Marines and worked alongside Lee Harvey Oswald.

 

Discordians adhere – as much as their chaotic nature allows them to – things such as the Law of Fives, which states that all things happen in fives, and are either multiples of or divisible by five. While we are on the subject of fives, the five point statement of faith, the Pentabarf, states things like, “there is no goddess and she is you goddess,” “Discordians shall always use the official discordian document numbering system,” “after the first Friday of illumination go off alone and joyously enjoy a hot dog,” “a Discordian shall not partake of hot dog buns,” and “a Discordian is prohibited to believe what they read.” The Principia Discordia, which is the most definitive work about this “religion,” states that Chaos is the true reality, and both apparent order and apparent disorder are just mental constructs humans have developed to help them cope with reality. The pineal gland is thought to be a more reliable source of information than either the heart or the brain. But like The motto of Discordianism in the 60s said, “We Discordians shall stick apart” – these beliefs vary, though they see magic as a way of diverting one from everyday life rather than being attached to too many formal rituals.

 

 

Founder Greg Hill started Discordianism as more of a joke, being an atheist; but later he came to believe that Eris was an authentic goddess and he was a cosmic clown. The polarities of theism and atheism became a joke. He said he started thinking of gods as an illusion. He said, “it’s up to the individual to decide if they are real, but if you take a goddess of confusion seriously it can be just as profound and metaphysical of a trip as taking Yahweh seriously.” Discordians see magic as being synonymous with symbolic actions, things like averting the curse of gray face with the Turkey curse, which is nothing more than waving your arms and saying “gobble, gobble, gobble…” – to serious magicians, this might be seen as absurd, low brow comic relief, but if you stop reading this and stand up wherever you are, particularly at work, and do this, you can imagine how this simple action would take you out of the mundane order of your day. I did this in the privacy of my own home, and my fiancé would have thought I forgot to take my meds if I had not already been spouting off about it. They also think western magic focuses too much on the wrong polarities, like male/female or good/evil, and fails to see more important ones, like chaos/order and humor/serious. What Discordians could then contribute to modern magic would be teaching other so-called mystery schools to lighten up, and to approach philosophy as a malleable art rather than an immutable truth. During these glimpses into the majick of metal, I have tried to keep my opinions and beliefs out of this, but I will express my belief that if you can’t poke fun at your own belief system, then your faith in it is outweighed by your insecurity and doubt.

 

 

Obviously entwined in Discordianism, Robert Anton Wilson’s Illuminatus! trilogy touches on many occult elements, ranging from Satanism to a Lovecraftian sea monster that falls in love with a super computer. Though similar in many ways, the Church of Sub-genius is not a Discordian organization, though a clear influence can be felt. The range of artists who delve into Discordianism spans a a wide range, from neo-folk to industrial to prog, with such bands Sol Invictis, Death In June, Mr. Bungle, the Butthole Surfers, Skinny Puppy, Crash Worship and NegativLand all giving a nod to Eris. Psychic Tv’s Genesis P-Orridge formed the Temple of Psychic Youth. Since the birth of the internet, Discordianism has flourished, with cabals cropping up in their own online forums. Gobble, Gobble, Gobble.

Suggested Reading:

Whatever you read, you will be prohibited to believe in it

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The Author

Wil Cifer

Wil Cifer

Wil spouts his thoughts and theories on metal / goth/ post-punk/ and darker indie rock on blogs like Abysmal Hymns,No Clean Singing, Geekinthings, Treblezine etc...
Father of 6 year old a six year daughter London, He is very passionate about horror movies, comic books, the occult and Morrissey , though David Bowie will live on in his heart forever