Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for August, 2010

More on sigils

“Sigils are monograms of thought, for the government of energy”
~ A. O. Spare, The Book Of Pleasure

The principle of sigil magic is founded on the theory that the conscious mind inhibits the action of magic on the world, and so it must be sidestepped in order to work magic (parallels between this and shamanic trancework). The sigil does not have any inherent power; it is only the energy invested in them by their creator that imbues them with magical potential. This is dissimilar to the use of charms and talismans, in that the latter uses pre-existing symbols with pre-existing associations that are retained after use (Max suggests that the physical representation of the sigil be destroyed after use).

Sigil magic requires no spiritwork or deity requests, as it is entirely based on the theory of subconscious creation – the ability of the subconscious to rearrange reality.

The three main stages of sigil creation are:

  1. Setting intent
  2. Creating the graphical sigil
  3. Implanting the glyph into the subconscious

Setting intent

There are a number of rules to be followed while setting intent:

  • The statement must be in the present tense, otherwise the subconscious mind will continue to manifest it in the future.
  • The statement must be precise and totally unambiguous. Spend some time deliberately trying to misinterpret or subvert the phrase.
  • The phrase must be brief, but this should be balanced against the need for clarity.
  • The statement must be positive. The subconscious mind interprets everything positively and ignores words like ‘not’. ‘I will not..’ becomes ‘I will…’
  • A strong declaration at the beginning makes the whole phrase stronger. Max prefers to use “It is my will…”, but acknowledges that many Chaos magicians skip the initial statement altogether.

In Cutter’s video, the example given is I HAVE LUCID DREAMS WHILE SLEEPING. It is a positive phrase in the present tense, which is both clear and concise.

Creating the graphic

Write the phrase in block capitals, and remove duplicated letters: I HAVE LUCID DREAMS WHILE SLEEPING

Some techniques suggest breaking the phrase down into its elements  – IT IS MY WILL // TO HAVE LUCID DREAMS // WHILE SLEEPING – then remove the duplicate letters from each part – IT IS MY WILL // TO HAVE LUCID DREAMS // WHILE SLEEPING

This method is advisable for longer sentences, so that the sigil doesn’t end up as a mess of letters.

Using the letters, create a graphic design.Letters can be inverted, mirrored, rotated, resized, overlapping and/or connected until the design is satisfyingly impressive.

If the ‘component parts’ method was used, three proto-sigils should be created, which are then merged into the final graphic.

At this point, the paper with the sentence and list of letters written on it should be discarded, and the sigil refined and simplified until it no longer resembles a construct of letters, but a purely graphical device. A balance must be struck between making the sigil graphical and powerful looking, and making the meaning of the sigil obscure enough that the long-term memory cannot recall it. Containing it within a circle can help make it more concise and to retain the energy it is empowered with in the next step.

“A sigil whose meaning is remembered at the point is it charged is a sigil that won’t work”
~Joseph Max, on Spare’s theory

Both Cutter and Max suggests creating four or five sigils at the same time, then putting them out of sight for a week, or until you forget which is which (no peeking!), then charge them once the meaning is forgotten, although Ray Sherwin (Action Sigils) suggests that this fragments the energies used and is undesirable (Chaos magicians seem particularly bad for contradicting each other), preferring to create an Action sigil instead (see bibliography).

Another method of forgetting is to keep the sigil around where you will see it regularly, in such a fashion that it fades into the background and the conscious mind ignores it and forgets its meaning.

Empowerment

Here, Cutter and the Chaos magicians differ; for Cutter, the empowerment stage is the act of filling the glyph with energy and setting the mind to change the world around it. The Chaos magicians set the sigil into the subconscious in order for it act upon the magician. For my part, I’m not sure of the ‘right’ way, if they are both saying the same thing or even if it matters how it works, so long as it does (actually, it matters to me, but I will have to let it slide until I know more about magic and the mind).

The sigil is introduced to the subconscious while in a state of trance (here Max provides a list of techniques for achieving this, including yoga, drumming, chanting, dancing and sex). One of Spare’s suggestions for implanting the sigil  is to paint it on to a mirror, then stare through the mirror into your own eyes without blinking until the sigil disappears from view.

When meditating or chanting to induce a trance state, it is possible to create a specific mantra by rearranging the letters used to create the sigil into nonsense words.

Following Cutter’s advice, the act of creation itself is a powerful tool, and one that can be utilised to charge the sigil, although Max recommends destroying the created sigil afterwards. The time and attention spent on creating the sigil-image is a huge investment of energy and intent, and it becomes more important to use borders to contain the energy with the image. Any colours or symbolic elements used must be fully understood and used deliberately and with awareness of their meaning.

Afterwards:

After the sigil is created and implanted/charged, it is important to disassociate yourself from the ritual. Max recommends abstaining from meditation, magical or craft work, discussing the ritual with anyone, sexual activity or philosophical thought for about three hours.

Of vital importance is to avoid the stimulus that caused you to create the sigil. A sigil with a long-term outcome (to earn more money, to improve a relationship) is unlikely to work if you constantly fret over having a low-paid job or an uncaring partner. If this is unavoidable, a different magical technique is probably required.

Avoid journalling the working, to encourage forgetfulness. It might be a good idea to record the intent before working, then put the diary away for a few months, or cover up the entry until a later date.

It is not necessary to repeat the procedure. In fact, according to Jan Fries (Visual Magick), repeating the process will negate it’s effects.

Bibliography:

Boudicca’s Bard: Sigils is an e-book by Chaos magician Joseph Max.

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 – Rob Cutter’s YouTube channel (now defunct)

Sigils, Servitors, and Godforms is part one of three of an essay by Mark Defrates

Action sigils by Ray Sherwin

Further reading:

Spare, Austin Osman;  The Book of Pleasure

Fries, Jan; Visual Magick

Carroll, Peter;  Liber Kaos

Crowley, Aleister;  Magick

Sound sigils by Kevin Max Krebs

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

I’ve recently discovered Rob Cutter’s YouTube channel (username: Angeldeluz1970). He’s been inactive for 2 years, with no intention of returning, so I want to jot down some of his advice so I still have it if the videos get deleted for whatever reason.

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4

Candle meditation

Set a piece of paper and a pencil in your meditation space.

Darken the room and light a candle.

Cutter suggests a birthday candle, as he has found that they burn for about ten minutes. As you wish to increase the length of the practice, increase the size of the candle.

Sit comfortably and take a few deep breaths.

Centre.

Watch the centre of the candle’s flame.

Focus on the top of the flame.

As you find your mind wandering, make a mark on the paper and return your attention to the flame.

This is intended to stop the  cycle of ‘Oh no, I just had a thought! Drat! That was a thought, too. And that. And that…’

As you practice, the number of marks you obtain will increase as you become more aware of your thoughts; eventually you will be able to school your mind and the marks will decrease in number.

Do not try to empty the mind – that’s a recipe for failure. As a wise master once said “Do or do not; there is no try”.

Cutter recommends doing this for ten minutes daily, followed by ten minutes of visualisation and ten of energy-raising, which seems reasonable enough.

——

I have tried this meditation twice now – once in the morning and once at night – and I find it unpleasant. Gazing at a flame for ten minutes leaves my eyes feeling strained and tired, even first thing after I wake, and neither attempt left me feeling as calm and relaxed as my regular breathing meditation

Perhaps calling it a ‘meditation’ is a misnomer. Concentration practice might be more accurate, but I still think that perhaps there is a way to increase my focus without killing my eyes.

EDIT – 13-Aug-2010:

This method is similar to the second stage of a Buddhist practice called ‘Trataka’.

The first stage of Trataka is fixing the gaze on a symbol (e.g.: the Om symbol, or a deity image). “The practice continues until the eyes begin to water, at which point they are closed, and relaxed.” (Wikipedia: Trataka, 13-Aug-2010).

Read Full Post »

This post is out-of-date.

I have updated it and expanded it in More on sigils

——————————————————–

I’ve recently discovered Rob Cutter’s YouTube channel (username: Angeldeluz1970). He’s been inactive for 2 years, with no intention of returning, so I want to jot down some of his advice so I still have it if the videos get deleted for whatever reason.

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3

Sigils work on the principle of conscious creation – that the subconscious mind is responsible for the creation of the reality we experience on a day-to-day basis. This creation is most effective when it is not interfered with by the conscious mind.

To create a sigil, form a statement of desire.

In the video, the example given is I HAVE LUCID DREAMS WHILE SLEEPING.

The statement must be in the present tense, otherwise the subconscious mind will continue to manifest it in the future.

Using each letter once (per letter, not per occurrence), create a graphic design.

Letters can be inverted, mirrored, rotated, resized, overlapping and/or connected if desired

The sigil is basically a word puzzle that the subconscious will continue to chew on long after the conscious mind has forgotten it. This is ideal for subconscious creation, where the conscious mind will get in the way.

To facilitate the conscious mind in forgetting the meaning of the sigil, create four or five at the same time, then hide them for a week or until you forget which is which (no peeking!). If they look similar enough that you can’t distinguish between them after a week, they may be even more effective.

Although it may be possible to get effects by just leaving the sigils lying around, a better method is to imbue them with energy via energy-raising or meditation.

A concentration meditation (candle flame meditation, breathing exercises etc) will suffice for this, using deep breathing to raise energy whilst looking at the sigil.

Of more interest to me personally is the practice of raising energy through creative practices.

The time and attention spent on creating the sigil-image is a huge investment of energy and intent

Use borders to contain the energy with the image

Use colours and symbolic or graphic elements purposefully, aware of their deeper meanings

Use glyphs (eg: Ogham or Runes) to imbue characteristics into the image

After imbuing the sigils with energy, regular review will keep them in mind and enhance their effects.

Read Full Post »