K.'.I.'.A.'. Idealist Annwn

Sigil of Chaos

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The Emergence

Moorcock's Chaos symbol


In Michael Moorcock's Eternal Champion series, the Symbol of Chaos comprises eight arrows in a radial pattern (in contrast, the symbol of Law is a single upright arrow). It is also called the Arms of Chaos, the Arrows of Chaos, the Chaos Star, the Symbol of Eight, Chaostar, and other such names. Moorcock conceived this symbol while writing the first Elric of Melniboné stories in the early 1960s. It was thereafter adopted into popculture mainstreams, emerging in such places as roleplaying games and modern occult traditions.

Quoting Moorcock; "The origin of the Chaos Symbol was me doodling sitting at the kitchen table and wondering what to tell Jim Cawthorn the arms of Chaos looked like. I drew a straightforward geographical quadrant (which often has arrows, too!) – N, S, E, W – and then added another four directions and that was that – eight arrows representing all possibilities, one arrow representing the single, certain road of Law. I have since been told to my face that it is an "ancient symbol of Chaos" and if it is then it confirms a lot of theories about the race mind. … As far as I know the symbol, drawn by Jim Cawthorn, first appeared on an Elric cover of Science Fantasy in 1962[1], then later appeared in his first comic version of Stormbringer done by Savoy."[2]

Qouting Moorcock; "I drew it at my kitchen table while thinking up suitable symbols for Law (a single arrow) and Chaos (eight arrows representing all possible choices). Games Workshop couldn't exist without the things they've ripped off from me and Tolkien. If they'd made more of the material, I wouldn't mind. But they've dumbed it down, too. Sometimes I get weary of this crap. Other times, people remind me, that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. A more sincere form of flattery than that, of course, is when they ask you first. As I've often said -- they can say it's flattery, but that's the flattery of the guy you catch in your apartment when you come home at night and he's just heading for the fire escape with your new TV. 'Great taste in TVs, man,' he says....[3]



image by WarX[4]

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