The following article is designed for those younger magickians who are just setting out on their first spiritual journey. It covers some often overlooked social aspects of the occult lifestyle, as well as identifying a few of the mental stumbling blocks that can get in the way too.
Considering the bloody and bruised path which many walk towards enlightenment, lists of hard won experience such as this should be easily available to those who will carry that Promethean torch onward into the future.
But as with everything in the mystical realm, there are no absolutes, and all of these points can be disregarded should the chaote find value in doing so.
There is no need to wear a label
For some reason, those who are involved with magick seem to be expected to equate their entire spiritual being with the school of sorcery that they practice.
Said tribalism can be highly detrimental, and those who hope to find a pre-built community awaiting them by virtue of shared interests become disillusioned relatively quickly upon realising that it does not always exist.
In truth, the mystical realm comprises many allied trades, and longer term practitioners will rarely sit easily in a single category, anyway. Remember, the key is finding how the wider occult movement fits in around you, and not the other way around.
There is no need to practice in secret
While it can be advantageous to keep your weird under a blanket, especially in overtly religious areas, there is also a solid case for just being open about what you do too.
Many magickians have made vibrant, lasting friendships by simply mentioning their witchy or Neopagan roots and been pleasantly surprised at just how many others are walking a similar path, albeit in the shadows.
Remember, modern paranormal media has created an environment where personal ghost stories are an acceptable topic for workplace conversation now, so exploit it to push the envelope towards more interesting areas when you can.
There is no need to search for a mentor
As with all things serendipitous, your teacher will appear when he or she is supposed to. Or not, as the case may be, and that is fine too.
For those who are adept at conducting their own research, there is a wealth of resources available to assist you in becoming a proactive member of the magickal community, as well as a path to personalised empowerment.
It is also worth being wary of supposed gurus that seek large down payments to receive their wisdom. While these people need to eat like everyone else, they also rarely offer anything that you cannot learn yourself for free with enough time and effort.
There is no need to find a group
For some, the occult is a joint enterprise. Covens, ceremonial groups, these are available for those who wish to take advantage of them.
But magickal socialisation is no longer only limited to the initiatory structure and mock masonic orders. The internet has opened up alternative channels of conversation on these topics, freeing the aspiring magus to solicit for advice without signing up for a belief system or dogma as well.
Solo occultism is viewed in some circles as a watered down offshoot, but the self reliance and resourcefulness that it teaches is invaluable.
There is no need to stick with one system
As previously alluded to, there is no single path to enlightenment and no need to accept the dogma of others, either. At its core, the chaos current is distinctly postmodern in tone.
It offers the practitioner the leeway to find the right tool for any particular job, even if it belongs within the sphere of another discipline entirely.
It is like viewing your journey into the weird as something akin to a roleplaying game, wherein the character switches classes to redistribute skill points on the fly as the need arises - and gains much needed fluidity by doing so.
There is no need to choose the left or right-hand path
There has been much written about ethics within the occult world.
To hex or not to hex, that is always the question it seems, and entire bookcases could be filled to overflowing with different takes on the supposedly definitive answer. Yet there is no reason you need to make a blanket decision about your ultimate polarity.
If magick is only a tool, then it follows that it has no moral compass of its own. There is a great deal of personal responsibility in viewing the occult in such a way, and realising that the ultimate decision to hurt or heal is always up to you.
There is no need to stop learning
As a system that disregards grades and instead promotes results, chaos magick in general, requires more of a mental investment than most.
Excellence in this field will demand more than just the memorisation of a few spirit catalogues and obscure hand gestures, though taken on their own merits, these skills definitely help the chaote get the job done.
A permanent love of learning is key, be it from the experiences of others or the anecdotal evidence they leave behind. Far from making this a daunting path to walk, it should instead fill you with the confidence to change both your own and the wider world, one unreal experiment at a time.