DiscordianismEris, the goddess of Chaos and confusion, started in the 1960s by Greg Hill and Kerry Thornley. Eris was known by the name Discordia in Roman paganism. According to this religion every man, woman and child is a pope. Discordianism was popularised in the novels of Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shea that formed the Illuminatus! trilogy.
Holy symbols include the Apple of Discord, the Sacred Chao and the number 5. Influenced by William S Burroughs, Robert Anton Wilson also included numerous references to the number 23.
Since the religion has as one of its tenets that humour is as important as seriousness, some find it difficult to tell if the religion itself isn't just an elaborate joke. Others say it really is a religion and that the elaborate joke is the disguise. Yet others say both are true.
The Apple of Discord
The Apple of Discord was presented by the goddess Eris at the wedding of Peleus and Thetis, baring the inscription ΤΗΙ ΚΑΛΛΙΣΤΗΙ, or 'For the Fairest'. Obviously intended for the bride, none-the-less the goddesses fell into fighting over it. Eventually Paris was called upon by Zeus to judge the three finalists, and his choice lead to the Trojan war. For this reason Discordians use the symbol of the letter K within an apple, or an apple inscribed with the word Kallisti, as one of their holy symbols.
The Sacred Chao
This image looks like the Taijitu, the Taoist symbol of Yin and Yang, only instead of dots one side has an Apple of Discord and the other has a pentagon. These represent the forces of order and disorder. Discordians use the terms Hodge and Podge for the two sides, and also the terms Eristic and Aneristic principles.
A movement to fill the arts with references to the Illuminati, partly as an elaborate prank, but also to manifest Discordian objectives. Robert Anton Wilson was one of the more public and outspoken conspirators.
The first edition of the Principia Discordia was published in 1964, however the more well known forth edition was from 1970. These are the main, but not only, holy books of the Discordian religion.
- 1964 First Edition circulated as 5 copies printed on a Xerox machine
- Second Edition: Principia Discordia or How the West was Lost
- Third Edition: ???
- 1970 Forth Edition: Principia Discordia or How I Found Goddess and What I did to her when found her.
- Fifth Edition: Lots and lots of the 'M' printed in error on a fax machine.
- Principia Discordia Nice online edition with proper pictures and formatting. Very sleek.
- Annotated Principia Discordia Some very interesting discussion about the hidden symbolism, in jokes and coded messages on each page.
- Historia Discordia A website that explores the rich history of the Discordian religion.