Synchromysticism, a portmanteau of synchronicity and mysticism, is "the art of realising meaningful coincidences in the seemingly mundane with mystical or esoteric significance". The word was coined by Jake Kotze in August 2006. Synchromysticism has been described as a phenomenon "existing on the fringe of areas already considered fringe". Steven Sutcliff and Carole Cusack describe synchromysticism as "part artistic practice, part spiritual or metaphysical system, part conspiracy culture", while Jason Horsley describes it as "a form of postmodern animism" that "combines Jung's notion of meaningful coincidences with the quest for the divine, or self-actualization through experience of the divine."
Synchronicity is a concept first introduced by analytical psychologist Carl Jung, which holds that events are "meaningful coincidences" if they occur with no causal relationship yet seem to be meaningfully related. Jung defined synchronicity as an "acausal connecting (togetherness) principle", "meaningful coincidence", and "acausal parallelism."
Jung's belief was that, just as events may be connected by causality, they may also be connected by meaning. Jung used the concept in arguing for the existence of the paranormal. A believer in the paranormal, Arthur Koestler wrote extensively on synchronicity in his 1972 book The Roots of Coincidence.
Mysticism, in turn, has been loosely defined as union with God or the Absolute. An influential proponent of this understanding was William James (1842–1910), who stated that "in mystic states we both become one with the Absolute and we become aware of our oneness." James popularized this use of the term "religious experience" in his The Varieties of Religious Experience, contributing to the interpretation of mysticism as a distinctive experience, comparable to sensory experiences. Religious experiences belong to the "personal religion", which he considered to be "more fundamental than either theology or ecclesiasticism".
Synchromysticism, as the union of synchronicity and mysticism, is thus the sense of interconnectedness and oneness with reality that comes from a heightened and enhanced awareness of synchronicity. A form of "postmodern animism", Horsley argues that synchromysticism "underlines a common theme beneath three apparently disparate areas: that of the religious quest for meaning or 'signs,' the shamanic/animistic relationship with Nature, and the schizophrenic's inability to distinguish between reality and fantasy."
Within chaos magic
Chaos magic is a contemporary magical practice consisting of "techniques" (most frequently, entering into an altered state of consciousness and manipulating symbols) to attain objective "results" in physical reality. From the beginning, the founders of chaos magic were explicit in stating that these "results" take the form of synchronicities, with Peter J. Carroll stating in Liber Null & Psychonaut (1978):
All magical paradigms partake of some form of action at a distance, be it distance in space or time or both... In magic this is called synchronicity. A mental event, perception, or an act of will occurs at the same time (synchronously) as an event in the material world... Of course, this can always be excused as coincidence, but most magicians would be quite content with being able to arrange coincidences.
Essentially, chaos magic consists of a set of techniques for deliberately engineering synchronicities. As Carroll makes clear in later texts, magical "results" consist of "meaningful coincidences" or "a series of events going somewhat improbably in the desired direction." Later chaos magicians have made the link between chaos magic and synchromysticism more overt. Gordon White, for example, writes in Synchromysticism as Kabbalah:
How does the Technical Hermetica 'work'? How did Ficino's system of planetary ritual magic 'work'? Simply put, both work because some things are associated with other things. Symbols recur, patterns repeat, sounds heard on a radio associate with similar outcomes in your life. An Animist universe speaks a language of symbol and synchronicity. To you, to itself, to the birds. This awareness underpins systems of magical correspondence the world over—such as practical Kabbalah or Technical Hermetica... These systems are indications that the universe speaks in a symbolic language... use them in a wider synchromystic context.
Elsewhere, White speculates that this may be "the secret of kabbalistic apotheosis"—"hearing the language behind the words, connecting the things that aren't connected... a mystical framework for exploring and encouraging synchronicity."