As I grew up in a secular home magic was never my kinda thing. It was something you heard that the really weird (and delusional) kids were doing. Sure, Wicca was becoming more mainstream, but it was still considered as something… well… delusional.
I have always been a gamer though and an avid reader. And I love mythology so… I had always been attracted to stories of the fantastical. I spent my childhood playing games like Baldurs Gate and Diablo, so the 'magical' element has always been present.
And on the 17th of August 2016, two years ago today, I was intuitively moved to purchase a Tzeentch Pendant, and at that moment I unintentionally began my Path of Magic, Cunning, and Sorcery. The pendant arrived on August the 23rd, and it all went downhill from there…
Backdrop: I used to play Warhammer (40K) before and as I am always curious about the backstories and lore of the games I played, I consumed all I could find about it. And I found Tzeentch; a being with a portfolio of such things like change, evolution, intrigue, ambition, knowledge, and sorcery. It spoke to me directly. The idea of Tzeentch was the perfect catalyst to channel my focus and ambition to get me unstuck from my dreary daily routine and mental prison that I've known for life. I was in a sense, love-struck.
I had no idea at the time, but I suppose it was some sort of unintentional modern demonolatry or demonosophy. Sure, it wasn’t really worship per se, and I knew it was always just a fictitious god and 'a thought construct.' But it got me going though. And then it escalated from there... Tzeentch being a 'chaos god' with a focus on all things magic, I obviously slipped into the literature of chaos magic (which has nothing to do with each other, really), and not after long I found the books of Gordon White, and I was stuck. Magick had gotten a firm grip of my life, and it would not yield me under any circumstances. My life was forever altered, and I was now an aspiring chaos mage.
It's been quite a journey… and a life-changing one at that...
What then is a 'chaos god'?
In the Warhammer universe(s) the Chaos Gods (also referred to as the 'Ruinous Powers') are what could only be described as ridiculously overpowered meta-egoregores. Tzeentch, for instance, would be the embodiment of the ambition, hopes, wishes for change, hunger for knowledge, desire for psychic and magical powers, and so on. He would be the thought construct of the collective psychic energy-output of the sentience species of the universe, birthed from those very emotions and desires. In short, Tzeentch was created the moment someone started dreaming about something more, or hoping for a better future... And the more that people desired or hoped for, the stronger he grew.
Now in the game those beings are as malignant as they are devious, and Tzeentch is a real douche to boot... Even his schemes have plots of their own, and the only one's to truly defeat him is either his own schemes doubling down, or some dude called Creed... Anyway, he is the one that the ravenous ones turn to in their quest and hunger for knowledge...
In the game there are four (five?) of those Ruinous Powers, being aspects and egoregores of different emotional outputs from the sentient species. I won't cover them here since only Tzeentch is the one that matters at the moment.
Being Tzeentchian in real life?
It is a bit weird, I'll admit, to adhere to something that is from a game and is purely fictitious thereof. Yet, it is real in it's metaphorical aspects and focus. Let me elaborate.
Being 'Tzeentchian' in real life would not (at least for me) be the the practice of worship of a fictional character-god, but more of an adherence to principles and focuses that are indeed very real. Principles and focuses as I mentioned above; change, evolution, intrigue (or for me more accurately, cunning), ambition, knowledge, and sorcery.
Most people desire change, but they don't want to actually work for that change; it's against our nature to go against our learned thought patterns, and it requires tremendous thought and effort to do so. Most people are also manipulative in their nature, trying to influence others to act for their own benefit (just look at our children - their survival is dependent on their skill to manipulate adults to care for them!), yet most people don't know that they are doing this and have no idea what to do when someone does that to themselves. Cunning is not just about learning to actively shape the world around you as it comes tumbling down on you, but it is the ability to shield yourself from outer manipulations as well. Basically it's psychological bullet-time. Also cunning doesn't have to be about preying on others either.
What's more, most people have thoughts and dreams of ambition, but never have the fuel or courage to shape it into something real. Most people stay the same, yet we need to evolve to reach a higher level of human thought and conscious in order to reach higher and to achieve more. Many seek knowledge, yet lack the desire for real truth. And when, admittedly, most people really don't have sorcerous aspirations, those of us who does must perceive it as a real practice and craft, very much comparable to that of industrious professionals or that of athletes. Those of us with magickal ambitions must treat it as something real and, while also ethereal - something very potent and tangible.
And that is why that I've found that the Mark of Tzeentch works so well for me. There is magick in symbolism, and the symbol of Tzeentch contains all of the above. Just seeing the Mark reminds me of all those things, and I remember why I embarked on this path; for a higher level of knowledge - no matter what.
Aspects of Tzeentch
Now, in the game lore of the Warhammer universes, Tzeentch is just a sentient being of collective emotional output of the sentient species (albeit a very powerful one...).
But wait, isn't that what what we call 'autonomous thought constructs' in psionics and magickal practice?
Yes, it is. And if we assume that all emotional output creates thought constructs in one way or form or another... from that perspective one could assume the name of Tzeentch for the collective thought constructs of hope, dreams, change, ambition, and hunger for knowledge of the human race. A kind of meta-egoregore for all those aspects. That would in fact make the idea of Tzeentch very... real. And if you perceive yourself as someone who is aspiring for those things... being Tzeenchian suddenly doesn't seem so weird after all...
Another perspective would be that of a more dramatic psychological one; and that is that of using Tzeentch as a focal point in your own development. I used it to kick-start my own personal development and psychological maturing - focusing on learning, and on conscious change. I needed that to get out of the personal rut that I found myself in at the time. It worked as a dramatic catalyst, and it worked surprisingly well.
A final Reality check
Magick is a strange thing. It is as real as it is not, and is just as much about changing our inner world as it is about changing our outer one. Those of us who practice it must be prepared to maddeningly tear ourselves apart, so that we can rebuild ourselves back again in our own images. Practicing it is indeed both an act of sanity, and one of madness... Aspiring for greater knowledge means to look beyond the falsehoods of the perceived world, and when you lift the veil, well... you realize that the world is indeed and by all means... quite insane.
But the image and the Mark of Tzeentch has worked very well for me as a focal point and catalyst for my own personal, spiritual, intellectual and magickal development, while also at the same time having been entangled with my other passions and hobbies - making it not only very familiar, but also very relatable. I've looked around for other 'symbols' of similar meaning and purposes, but I always came back to this one. So I realized that I simply didn't need another one; and that this one would do just fine... The Mark of Tzeentch got me through.
So I would keep asking myself this question as a reality check, in times of doubt and weakness, just to see where I stood..."What are you prepared to sacrifice in your quest for knowledge?"
And my answer, well...
My answer would be... "Everything."
And in the end... "Chaos is the only true answer."
I'm gonna stop now...
Yours truly, in chaos, magick, and fellow geekery