Wonderland Unveiled: 1987

The Eighties cower before me, & are abased.
It had been forty years since the rise of the Thelemic Kingdom of Man – so named because every man in it was a King, rather than after its actual system of government. There were cracks in the system, now…not every human could be encouraged to find their Will, and some seemed – quite oddly, in fact – not to have a True Will at all. Magic was faltering as the children of the sixties turned to the Hindu cults rising as a traditionalist-but-not-quite backlash against Thelema’s dominion over the world religious sphere. The new flower children, the sons and daughters of Krishna who took more strange drugs than anyone ever had at a ritual of Nuit (with the one exception perhaps being Crowley himself) were growing into their own establishment as the 80s wore on. Several heavy metal bands had adopted a Thelemite image to bring the meaning to a new era, and some had taken on images with actual edge to them. Satanic records, for example…there was even a band called the Black Brothers of Hell, with a top ten single in the US. (Individual countries had, in fact, remained as self-governing territories…but the utopia had held on. A leader aware of his True Will is a wise leader.)

Worst of all, some of the kids were getting into esoterically inclined pursuits, blending avant-garde art with drugs and the theories of Austin Osman Spare. They called it chaos magic…one of their prophets had written a trilogy of novels in the 1970s about the Illuminati, which was subversive as anything and not that far from the actual truth. However, the Thelemite leaders had wisely realized his role in lampooning the idea that the public might have been bamboozled, rather than that FDR might have gone from New Deal to New Aeon of his own free Will, and left his works to stand as a “blind”.

In any case, the whole idea of chaos magic was blasphemous. Carroll was the only one among them who taught that a True Will or an Augoeides might actually exist, and the movement seemed hellbent on tearing down dogmas right and left, destroying the once-popular Law of Thelema almost from the inside, as if nonsense could assail scientific Law. Yes…it would seem that the heirs of Crowley had squandered his legacy. How often had this happened in Utopias before? It had happened as early as the 1920s in the USSR, and in an alternate reality it had happened in Communist China…and since all these things had happened before, they would all happen again for sure. And indeed they were happening now!

But no one suspected where the Chaos Magic was coming from, except a few of its wisest proponents…there was a reason Pope Pete wrote under the pen name Carroll. Under the ground, in a literal place rather than a shamanic underworld, there lived beings who had fought off a Nazi invasion of their “Hollow Earth” during World War II, and who would not permit the forces of dictatorship and censorship and dogma to proliferate above or below the ground…in Wonderland or in Midwestern America.

Is a God to live in a Dog?

Yes. The New Aeon was dying, and the journeys Peter Carroll had taken through the rabbit hole, a hundred-odd years after Alice Liddell had first discovered the strange world inside it, had taught him the value of many things. Like shoes and ships and sealing-wax, and the question of whether Pigs had Wings…which, of course, they did. This was a world with flying saucers and hollow earths, after all. The beings there had also taught him to believe six impossible things before breakfast, to know that with the golden apple of Eris he could poison the Jabberwock With 93 Heads from within. And so the Illuminates of Thanateros were born, counting several fantastic beings from talking animals to playing cards as their members, and the White Queen on the board of Secret Chiefs…but this was not enough.

Not for heavy metal maniacs like The Marauders, who emblazoned a Nuclear Armageddon Chaostar on the cover of each album. They demanded total autonomy, the death of old concepts, dry dogmas – such as Secret Chiefs and traditional forms of magic. They were merely one group, who went further underground into both the metal and occult scenes (by 2010, they were a “true metal” footnote, only remembered musically for a string of thrash/death albums decrying the “pinkness” of grunge in the mid-1990s), and their reach was not enough in the early years of chaos magic to spin things away from dogmatic groove-riding rather than the glorious wind-riding they proposed. But they as well had fans Below, including the Mad Hatter himself (notable for his tendency toward anarchy and innovative magic, of course)…and their magical current would grow much more than their record sales.

Chaos magic and the new, fresh air bristling with energy continued to rise from the Underlands, invigorating  mankind. The old masters were losing their grip…Humanity was on the edge of two Aeons, one enshrined in the law of the most powerful governments on earth, and the other simply open to anyone who chose to align with it. As heavy metal and gangster rap panicked the mothers of the New Children, and Satanic Ritual Abuse scandals were invented by Thelemic TV hosts to save their dying future, the bells tolled and Crowley’s ghost turned in his grave, knowing that at Dawn his life’s work would be “taken to the gallows pole”, cthonic madness engulfed the world. Within 15 years, the reckoning would begin…

And perhaps, finally, as the Hanged Man, the Beast himself, was reborn into a new current for a new millennium, the chaos would finally unveil the simplest Law of Life, Liberty, Light and Love that had ever been spoken to man…

EVERY MAN FOR HIMSELF.

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