Joined: 03 Jan 2005
Location: London, UK.
|Posted: Tue Apr 12, 2005 5:21 am Post subject: What sigils are and how they work
|What sigils are and how they work
By Saint Terry
The use of sigils in magical practice has been an on going thing for a very long time. In the early histories of mankind, symbols were used as languages and codes to the different races of men. This is easily seen in the history of Ancient Egypt and their hieroglyphics form of writing. You can also look at the Judaic works of King Solomon and find the early use of symbols in magical works. It is at this point that the idea for sigils begin. It wouldn't be until more well known magicians, such as Spare, Crowley, and Carroll, began documenting and teaching of their use that they became a prominent part of a magicians training curriculum.
To answer the question, "What are sigils and how do they work?" you first half to delve into the properties of the human mind. There are two states of awareness inside of the human brain; the conscious awareness and the subconscious awareness. The conscious awareness is the state of mind that receives direct input from the various human senses and processes them in the main scope of human thought. It is the awareness that is highly associated with the waking state of human existence. The subconscious awareness is the awareness that resides deeply rooted inside of the mind and, for the most part, unreachable through direct connection by the conscious awareness. It is the subconscious awareness that is said to control dreams and maintain the highly complex functions of the human body.
There are many theories on how the two awareness function with respect to each other. In all of my research, I have found one that I have made slight modifications to that I generally except as "my idea" of how they interact. It is based very heavily on the works of Dr. Raphael Rhodes and Dr. Foster Kennedy. This theory is that they are balanced like a lever (sea-saw) with a fulcrum at the exact center. What this means is that they directly affect each other in proportional quantities. For instance, if you are in a waking state and your conscious awareness is believed (it cannot be measured scientifically) to be 80% in control of your mind, your subconscious awareness would be performing at 20%. As you relax more into a sleeping or meditative state and your subconscious awareness increases to 60%, your conscious awareness will recede to 40%. It is this idea that I base my theory and practical application of sigils on at this current time.
To begin answering our stated question, lets look at the purpose behind a sigil. In other words, why do we use them? Based on the theory above, the conscious awareness cannot have a direct connection with the subconscious awareness. Through the pretense of magical work, it is seen that the conscious awareness is where our known desires are located and actual magical work takes place in the subconscious awareness. Because of the sea-saw balance of the awareness, there is no way to directly transfer conscious desires to the subconscious work area. This is where sigils come into play.
A sigil is a graphical or encrypted vocal representation of conscious desire. There are many different methods of creating or forming sigils but they all revolve around these two basic types. The actual methods for making sigils will come later. Now the question we have to ask is, "Why is it exactly that we need to use these sigils to manifest our desire?" The first answer to this is to transfer our desire from the conscious awareness to the subconscious awareness. Because the two cannot have direct connections, at least that are known to our own understanding of their abilities, we need to trick the subconscious awareness into accepting conscious thoughts. You could also look at this as forcing the subconscious awareness into accepting them. The second reason is to significantly reduce the "lust for desire" factor that we often have when dealing with magic. Through the use of encrypted desires, there is no longer any content for the conscious awareness to dwell on. This will allow the subconscious awareness to work unrestricted on the process of manifesting the desire through reduction of the level of conscious awareness at hand in the project.
You should now have a pretty good understanding of what sigils are, how why they work, and why they work. Now we are going to look at the different methods to create a sigil. I cannot even begin to cover all of the methods one could use to create a sigil. But I can give general guidelines to get someone started. Each person will evolve their own method to sigil creation that they feel comfortable with and confident in.
The two main types of sigils are graphical and mantra. The first few steps in creating each type of sigil are identical to each other. They begin to differ once you have your desire written down and encrypted.
The first step to creating either type of sigil is to write down your conscious desire. Do not write just anything down. You must be specific and use words that are geared more to making something happen rather than possibly making it happen. What I mean by this is use forceful words to describe your desire. For instance, if you are want to make a sigil to help you find a better job, your desire should be something along the lines of, "I WILL FIND A BETTER JOB!" instead of "I WANT A BETTER JOB." As I said before, the more specific and forceful you are about depicting exactly what you want, the better chances you will have of actually manifesting that desire in the long run.
The second step is to rearrange the letters and then randomly or systematically remove certain ones. There are millions of ways to do this. Some magicians who are more mathematically oriented will convert the letters to numbers, run them through an equation, and then turn the answer back into letters. Other will just remove letters that appear more than once and be done with it. The method that you use for this step is up to you. Magic is a personal endeavor and this is just another chance to be yourself.
It is at this point that the two main types of sigil creation take separate paths.
Graphical: Now that you have your mixed up 'encrypted' letter, you should draw a picture or symbol using those letters. Make sure that you use every single letter. You can bend them, stretch them, squeeze them, contort them, ect. in any way that you choose. Once you have your symbol containing all of your letters, simplify it. Slide the lines around a little, remove certain ones at your own discretion, ect. Continue to play with it and redraw it until you have found your sigil. It can be as complex or simple as you would like. This is entirely up to you.
Mantra: Now that you have your mixed up 'encrypted' letter, rearrange them to form something that flows smoothly when pronounced. If you are having trouble, you can go back to the second step and instead of removing letters, double all of your vowels or something of this nature. What matters is that your end product is something that you can remember and something that flows smoothly so that you will have no problem chanting or vocalizing it. As an example of this method, the "I WILL FIND A BETTER JOB" could become "JIT LEND WILOB DA".
There, now you have created your sigil. Regardless of the method you used, you should have the encrypted version of your desire. The next step is the easiest to remember but the hardest to do. Forget what your original desire was. I know quite a few magicians who will create twenty sigils at a time and then put them away for two weeks. Then they will randomly place them and begin charging them. The reason is because the time and the randomness of the casting makes them completely forget why they made them originally. But how can your desire manifest if you forgot what your desire was? Well, you have not really forgotten. You have erased the association of that sigil to the desire in your conscious awareness. In other words, your conscious awareness has completely forgotten what that sigil represents. Even if the original desire still resides in your conscious awareness, the link connecting it to your sigil is gone. But, that link IS connected to the subconscious awareness.
It is at this point that you should have made the connection to how sigils really work. It is the link that now exists between the sigil and the subconscious awareness that allows your conscious awareness to be taken out of the picture. Although you made the sigil and will charge the sigil in a conscious state, the conscious awareness no longer holds the links to that sigil in regards to the desire. Therefore, your subconscious awareness is free from any bonds placed on it by the conscious awareness to do the work needed to manifest that desire.
It is now time to cover the last topic dealing with sigils and it is the most diverse topic regarding sigil casting. This topic is the different methods of charging sigils. Each person has their own way of charging sigils. Some deal with achieving meditative states of gnosis while others tend to enter chaotic states of gnosis. Either way, gnosis is an important part of charging sigils. Why exactly is that?
Well, the reason is because you have to give the subconscious awareness the green light to begin working on the desire. Think of a car; you have the battery hooked up under the hood, the tank full of gas, and your sitting in the drivers seat. But, your not going anywhere. Why? You haven't started the car yet! The same principle holds true to sigils. You have the sigil created, you have the desire erased from your conscious awareness, and you have the desire linked to the subconscious. Now you just have to start the subconscious. This is what you accomplish through charging the sigil.
Once gnosis is achieved, there are millions of ways to charge the sigil. Many of these methods depend on the form of gnosis you are using. One way is chanting the mantra sigil or visualizing the graphical sigil as you achieve gnosis through meditative methods; dancing, drumming, meditation, ect. Another way is visualize or chant the sigil as you achieve orgasm through sex gnosis. As you can see there are many different methods in which one can charge a sigil and it is up to the individual to find their preferred method.
It is my hope that you now understand MY ideals behind sigils. I hope that you can look at my ideals and methods and use those to develop your own set of sigil workings. As with any magical practice, the diversity of answers you will get to the above questions is vast. It will depend on the various ideals of each magician and how they see the human mind and the fabric of existence working.