'Message from thee temple': magick, occultism, mysticism, and psychic TV

Dines, Mike ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9706-979X and Grimes, Matt (2021) 'Message from thee temple': magick, occultism, mysticism, and psychic TV. In: Exploring the spiritual in popular music: Beatified beats. Gregory, Georgina and Dines, Mike ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9706-979X, eds. Bloomsbury Studies in Religion and Popular Music . Bloomsbury Academic, London, pp. 193-208. ISBN 9781350086920, e-ISBN 9781350086951, e-ISBN 9781350086937, e-ISBN 9781350086944, pbk-ISBN 9781350198708. [Book Section] (doi:10.5040/9781350086951.ch-010)


Writing in The Psychick Bible (2006) Genesis P-Orridge notes how ‘Thee Temple ov Psychick Youth has been convened in order to act as a catalyst and focus for the Individual (sic) development of all those who wish to reach inwards and strike out. ‘Maybe you are one of these,’ he continues, ‘already feeling different, dissatisfied, separate from the mass around you, instinctive and alert? You are already one of us.’ Founded after the disbanding of Throbbing Gristle (seen by many as the founding fathers of the industrial music genre ), Psychic TV was formed in 1981 and over a period of more than thirty years, have produced a vast oeuvre of mixed media work including recordings, moving image, art installations and literature. As a band and performing arts group, they have embodied various incarnations, working collaboratively with over thirty musicians, writers, artists and philosophers, with P-Orridge remaining the one constant core member of the band.

P-Orridge’s awareness in the occult and pagan ritual was integral to forming Psychic TV, and was also central to the simultaneous formation of the Thee Temple ov Psychick Youth (TOPY), an organisation that was to become the magickal and philosophical wing of Psychic TV, and which subsequently led to the incorporation of magick, occultism and ritual into their music and multi-media productions. Using the Psychic TV’s debut album, Force the Hand of Chance (1982) as an investigative framework, this chapter seeks to investigate, scrutinise and illuminate Psychic TV’s past and on-going relationship with magick, occultism, mysticism and paganism. A semiotic and discursive analysis of Psychic TV and TOPY’s multi-media texts, performances, rituals and interviews, this chapter unpacks the significance of magick, occultism and ritual in asserting Psychic TV’s occupying of an interesting ‘cult’ural and philosophical space between music, performance art and the practice and exposition of ‘chaos magick.’

Item Type: Book Section
Research Areas: A. > School of Media and Performing Arts > Performing Arts > Music group
Item ID: 28267
Useful Links:
Depositing User: Mike Dines
Date Deposited: 21 Nov 2019 22:55
Last Modified: 22 Apr 2021 21:58
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/28267

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