The Wheel of Chaos

In early 2007, I’m not sure where my life was exactly, but my fevered mind produced The Wheel of Chaos. Oh, I remember, I was working an IT job in Monterey with people I hated and each morning I’d come to work and pull into the parking lot and picture the place on fire with people leaping out through the windows (on fire, preferable). I felt trapped and miserable and like I wanted rescue.  Thus was born the Wheel of Chaos.

Wheel of Chaos Brainstorm

The idea was this:  There is a physical wheel, ala Wheel of Fortune, upon whose spokes are fastened removable cards that detail your fate.  Before you spin, you have the option of removing one decree and replacing it with your own.

If you are unable to abide by all of the decrees that you may receive, you really have no business spinning.  This is a Wheel of Chaos for desperate people who are committed to introducing serious change, nay chaos, into their lives.

In spinning, you automatically enter into a pact with your fellow co-spinners to ensure that the dictates of the Wheel of Chaos are carried out.

The rules are simple and spelled out precisely on the Wheel:

  1. Do not play unless you can abide by the decision of the Wheel.
  2. Players in each game are entering into a Pact with the Other Players.
  3. Before spinning, Player may choose to replace one Decree with their own
  4. Each Player must spin exactly once.
  5. Wheel must spin freely around one whole turn.
  6. Player must follow the Decree or be subject to Other Players own Chaos.
  7. Interpretation of a Decree is by consensus of all players, and no interpretation may be non-chaotic.
Wheel of Chaos Decrees

The Wheel of Chaos doesn’t fuck around.  There are no, “Kiss the person to your left” decrees.  This is not Truth or Dare.  The idea is to introduce a level of chaos to your life from which there is no return.  After spinning the wheel, your life will be inexorably changed in some way.

Here are some of the Wheel of Chaos decrees (or dooms, as we also called them):

  • Vow of Silence – A two week vow of complete silence
  • Bone Break – Break any human bone on a live person
  • Desert issolation – a week without seeing another person, you leave tomorrow
  • Abduction pact – sometime in the next month, you will be suddenly abducted
  • Burn Bridges – You have 10 minutes to confront someone in your life and cut off all ties forever
  • Judy Tat – Publicly-visible tattoo – a man or woman’s name
  • Chaos Canoe – Strapped in a canoe down a major river

UPDATE: Still thinking about this, how it would look, what size, how it would be built.

I originally imagined the Wheel of Chaos not much bigger than a breadbox.  But what if the Wheel of Chaos were BIG?

What if it were big?

Or at least medium sized?

And then how could this thing be configured?  We need a window to see your the Wheel of Chaos Dictate, and a place to attach the Rules of Engagement. And the whole thing has to look like something you would take seriously as it rearranged your entire future.

I’m happy to report that my life feels less in need of the Wheel of Chaos. ¬†However, I’d still very much like to create the Wheel to help others who are at their most stuck.

6 thoughts on “The Wheel of Chaos

    1. That is from the amazing Collective Tarot. The most amazing tarot deck ever, I think. I talk about it in this post on my games blog: Story Generation Games & Tarot.

      A tarot deck that is queer-, kink-, and poly-friendly, sex-positive, fat- and disability-friendly, anti-hierarchical, non-authoritatian, and radical, collectively and collaboratively created, and absolutely beautiful. Of as they put it:

      The Collective Tarot is a collaborative publishing project/magical art-spell consisting of: 5 core collective members; 25 contributing artists/co-collaborators; 78 full-color cards; a 275-page accompanying booklet; hundreds of supporters, fans, and Collective Tarot magic-makers.

      What makes it amazing is the sizable book that comes with the deck, helping you interpret the cards you pull. If you want something pretty different for either creating stories or gaining magical insight into your world, try to track down a deck of the Collective Tarot.

      You can find out a little bit more about the deck here:

  1. When we thought up The Wheel it was forged in that moment. A real and true thing that we could not undo or escape from, we had committed to The Wheel already and it was bonded to us. Forevermore it determines our fates. Our great excitement about it triggered the initial first spin but we soon noticed that once started it never stops spinning. Cards fly into our faces at random intervals and our lives are changed forever, over and over and over again but the cards never run out and The Wheel never slows.

  2. Amazing to walk into the MAH and see an inspiring piece in Fun.A Day and then see my old friiend John in the piece and then use the art piece to post my thoughts. Down the rabbit hole…

  3. Consider a locking mechanism. In order to spin the wheel, one must unlock it, engaging with the Mutual Chaos Pact rules.

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