KAOS is an occult magazine, first published in London in the 1980s. It was the underground zine that introduced the writings of Hakim Bey to Europe, and published new work by Lionel Snell, Stephen Sennitt, Mouse (ex Psychic TV), and others. KAOS influenced the comic-book writer Alan Moore, who now writes in issue 14, a 200 page large format book that appears after a 13 year absence.
In 1988, in London, Joel Biroco performed a magical operation with Babalon that has subsequently become known as the 'KAOS-BABALON Working'. The object of the operation was to initiate the '156 current', essentially the Cult of 'Chaos conjoined with Babalon', to advance and supersede the now defunct 93 current of Thelema and transform the Chaos current. Initial details were published in the last KAOS in 1989, just before Biroco disappeared from the occult scene altogether.
KAOS 14 contains further information about this Working and explores the significance of the KAOS-BABALON 156 current, the impetus of which arose out the skrying of the Enochian Æthyrs by Aleister Crowley and Victor Neuburg in Algeria in 1909, and prior to that from the receipt of the Angelic language by Dr. John Dee and Edward Kelly in Cracow, Poland, in 1584. In the aftermath of the KAOS-BABALON Working in 1989 it seemed that this magick, despite its intensity, had failed to achieve its objective, but in 2001 it became apparent that all along it had been a dormant seed awaiting the right conditions for its growth. There has been a great need to make available all that is known about the 156 current to provide a background for those seeking initiation into its mysteries.
In addition to this main theme, KAOS continues the documentation of recent underground occult history that proved immensely popular in the 80s, which gained the magazine a reputation for being remarkably well-informed about the magick and personalities of contemporary occultism. KAOS 14 also analyses in depth Kenneth Grant's contribution to the occult and discusses the ultimate aim of the Ordo Templi Orientis.
Other topics range from the seven-headed dragon and the demon Choronzon to Austin Osman Spare, Jack Parsons' relationship with Babalon, and 'The Black Room, the Chamber of Death, and the Red Room'. The Moon and Serpent Grand Egyptian Theatre of Marvels, long rumoured to be an actual occult order set up by the magus Alan Moore, comes out of silence in this issue.
Published as a signed limited edition of 156 copies in April 2002, KAOS 14 is now available as a free PDF ebook. Plus a 69 page supplement, 'The Black Lodge of Santa Cruz', a personal memoir by an Enochian magician who was at the heart of a chaotic magical working in the States in the early 90s that also appears to have been a party to the birth of the 156 current.
About Joel Biroco
After studying chemistry at University in London, Biroco secluded himself away to write. KAOS began in 1985 when Joel decided to publish his 'attic writings', typified by 'The Exorcist of Revolution' (1986) and other juvenilia, interspersed with comment on the then burgeoning 'Chaos current' and 'Chaos Magick'. But in 1989 after the KAOS-BABALON Working, a slightly infernal magical operation with a female erotic artiste from the Church of Satan in Amsterdam, Biroco put together what was to be his last KAOS for 13 years and promptly disappeared from the occult scene.
In the 90s he still continued to bash out writings on an old typewriter under various pseudonyms (including Coleman Healy) and to paint pictures. Some of these writings were published in limited editions at his own Herculaneum Press. He also attained recognition for his major scholarly work on the Chinese Yijing oracle. When some of his more political writings were published in Russian and Romanian translation, he enjoyed notoriety in the anarchist poetry scene of the Black Sea area. KAOS was a thing of the past.
Unexpectedly, in early 2001 Babalon revisited Biroco and told him it was time to go back on the black pilgrimage. At first Biroco rejected the challenge, wishing only for the comforts of his 'miaunici' in Bucharest. But on a return to London his presence was demanded at an important meeting of The Moon and Serpent Grand Egyptian Theatre of Marvels, at which the Exquisite Basilisk himself would be present, otherwise known as the supreme magus Alan Moore. After an evening of excellently skinned 'Camberwell carrots', Moore managed to persuade Biroco to bring back KAOS, and promised him an article or two, but little did Biroco realise that KAOS would swell to 200 pages and take over a year to complete.