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I am a big fan of Steve’s writing. At first, it was his posts on the Blog of Baphomet that drew my attention to his writing. His very unique and personal take on chaos magick resonates with everything I wanted to learn and explore for myself at the time. Steve and I corresponded for a while, I can’t recall for how long, but I can say that his teaching, guidance and mentoring had a profound impact on my life.
Chaos Monk is an invitation to spiritual intensity. In the face of life’s brevity, it seeks to offer a challenge to consider what truly matters and how we might find skilful means for exploring such a question.
From my own personal experiences of working with Steve, I can say that his ‘monastic ways’ always help and guided me in the most intense and crucial times of my life.
Sometimes the deepest and highest forms of gnosis are in simplicity, faithfulness and accountability and stillness.
Other titles by Steve Dee:
A Gnostic’s Progress: Magic and the Path of Awakening
The Heretic’s Journey: Spiritual Freethinking for Difficult Times
Chaos Craft: The Wheel of the Year in Eight Colours
Can you introduce yourself and say a little about what you do, and your aims and objectives with Chaos Monk in your writing?
Yes, I’m Steve Dee. I live in Devon in the UK where I work as a Psychotherapist within the National Health Service. I like surfing, walking and leading a fairly quiet life. My writing is generally the over-spill of my own exploration, research and magical practice. I tend to make sense of things by trying to write about them and hopefully what I write can be helpful to others.
If you haven’t already, can you say a little more about your family background, ie past and current – ie are you married, children, work – people like a little bit of personal stuff if you ok to share?
Sure, I come from Cardiff in South Wales but also spent a chunk of my childhood growing up in Australia. I studied theology when I was in my late teens-early 20s and came close to becoming a monk and an Anglican Priest but this all changed when I bumped into the Gnostics and Carl Jung.
I identify as being Queer. I have a long-term partner and we have two young adult sons together. I am quite introverted by nature and friends often describe me as being either a contemplative or a hermit.
When my Christian faith expanded in my mid-20 I decided to train as a social worker (rather than the priesthood) and eventually trained as a psychotherapist specialising in family work and working with people who self-harm.
Do you call yourself a magician/chaos magician, witch, or monk – if so what does this mean to you? And is it important?
I would probably describe myself as a magical practitioner or Gnostic explorer as these are vague and talk about the doing of stuff. Other words like Witch or Yogi also apply but I use them less as people tend to have more preconceived ideas about what they mean.
You are primarily interested in what I think is called Chaos magic?- can you explain what that is and what it is that attracted you to that way?
For me, Chaos Magic focuses more on what you do rather than having to believe in a specific worldview or metaphysical scaffolding. These things can be helpful but they can also be limiting.
Personally, I am more interested in what happens when we use Gnostic technologies for opening up the body, the heart and the mind. This has a lot of similarities with how I see the early Yogis trying to use the whole of their lives as a laboratory for exploration.
You’ve written 3 previous books – can you say a little about them
Chaos Craft (2014) was co-written with my good friend Julian Vayne as a result of us running a magical group for a number of years that sought to explore a form of Witchcraft heavily inspired by Chaos Magic. The book maps the 8 colours of magic from Pete Carroll’s Liber Kaos onto the Pagan wheel of the year and then describes some of the bold magical adventures and ideas that resulted from this work.
A Gnostic’s Progress (2016) Seeks to explore how the cosmologies and practices of the early Gnostics can be of value to contemporary magicians. It’s full of fun experiments and strange ideas for triggering experiences of awakening from sleeping states of consciousness.
The Heretic’s Journey (2018) explores what it might mean to be a Spiritual Freethinker in response to attempts in society to create dogmas and orthodoxies. It looks especially at Queer theory, Surrealism and the Ma’at current as a form of Post-Crowley Thelema.
Is the journey in your books for everyone or is it only for the expert or indeed aimed at the beginner?
People often describe my writing as being clear but some of the ideas that I reference are quite complex. So I hope that a newcomer would find something helpful and inspiring, but I write because I find it interesting and personally illuminating rather than having a specific audience in mind.
That’s a lot of questions – can you try and summarise, in a nutshell, the enduring message of the book – Chaos Monk
I don’t think I can do better than quoting myself in the book’s introduction :
“This book is an invitation to spiritual intensity. In the face of life’s brevity, it seeks to offer a challenge to consider what truly matters and how we might find skilful means for exploring such a question. As the pace and pressures of daily living seek to crowd out our ability to find space and silence, I believe that those traditions and techniques associated with monasticism provide vital keys for regaining our balance. While some may view such paths as ones of restriction or severity, as we travel together I hope to demonstrate the profound value of what simplicity, faithfulness and accountability might bring us when viewed through dynamic and responsive lens of Chaos magical practice.”
Anything else you want to add?
Your greatest magical act is to fully manifest to the world the uniqueness of who you are. That’s what the world needs. Know Thyself! Create Thyself! Become the One you know you are.
Do you have a webpage or blog?