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 the latest edition, 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. The latest KAOS 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 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 is now available for free download as a PDF. Plus a 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 entertainer 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 I Ching 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.

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.

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About Jay Babcock

I am an independent writer and editor based in Tucson, Arizona. In 2023: I publish an email newsletter called LANDLINE = Previously: I co-founded and edited Arthur Magazine (2002-2008, 2012-13) and curated the three Arthur music festival events (Arthurfest, ArthurBall, and Arthur Nights) (2005-6). Prior to that I was a district office staffer for Congressman Henry A. Waxman, a DJ at Silver Lake pirate radio station KBLT, a copy editor at Larry Flynt Publications, an editor at Mean magazine, and a freelance journalist contributing work to LAWeekly, Mojo, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Vibe, Rap Pages, Grand Royal and many other print and online outlets. An extended piece I wrote on Fela Kuti was selected for the Da Capo Best Music Writing 2000 anthology. In 2006, I was somehow listed in the Music section of Los Angeles Magazine's annual "Power" issue. In 2007-8, I produced a blog called "Nature Trumps," about the L.A. River. From 2010 to 2021, I lived in rural wilderness in Joshua Tree, Ca.