Before moving onto a couple of notes on advanced sigil magic,
there are a few points worth clearing up.
Some readers, Iíve noticed, convulse with nervous laughter
whenever I mention the word Ďmasturbationí. And no wonder,
next to wetting the bed or shitting in your own catís box for a
laugh, itís the one thing no-one likes to admit to.
Well, Iím afraid there are more embarrassed giggles afoot as we
tackle this topic one last time and hopefully reassure some
worried correspondents: Masturbation is only ONE of countless
methods you can use to bring your mental chatter to a
standstill for the split-second it takes to charge and launch a
sigil. I suggest masturbation because Iím kind-hearted, because
itís convenient and because itís fun for most of us.
However...one does not change the universe simply by masturbating
(tell THAT to the millions of sperm fighting for their life
and the future of the species in a balled up Kleenex). If that
were true, every vague fantasy we had in our heads at the moment
of orgasm would come true within months. Intent is what makes the
Forget the wanking for just one moment if you can and remember
that the sigil is the important part of the magic being
performed here. The moment of orgasm will clear your mind, thatís
all. There are numerous other ways to clear your mind
and you can use any of them. Dancing or spinning to exhaustion is
very effective. Meditation is effective but takes years to
learn properly. Fear and shock are very good for charging sigils,
so you could probably watch a scary movie and launch your
sigil at the bit where the heroís head comes bouncing down the
aluminium stepladder into his girlfriendís lap. A run around
the block clutching a sigil might be enough to charge it.
Children of Christian Fundamentalists or any other youngsters
checking out this site in defiance of their parentsí insistence on
the literal truth of a series of folk histories composed several
thousand years ago in the Middle East, may find it difficult to
masturbate in the face of the Bibleís strict rules about spilling
seed on stony ground (lucky for you, girls! In spite of His
thoughtful addition of a clitoris to Adamís lively rib God
apparently overlooked the potential for female masturbation and
forgot to prohibit it. Then again, he did add Ďthou shalt not
suffer a witch to liveí to cover His ass in any eventuality).
Under these circumstances, Iíd suggest a chaste kiss or a ride on
the dodgems, either of which should be enough to white out
consciousness for as long as you need.
If you donít suffer from the symptoms of religious mania but STILL
canít make the one-backed beast with yourself, Iím afraid you may
have to use a more involved method. Bungee off a bridge, perhaps,
or sit naked in your local graveyard at night. Or dance until you
fall over. The important thing is to find your own best method for
stopping that inner chat just long enough to launch a fiercely-visualised
sigil into the gap. States of exhaustion following ANY intense
arousal or deprivation are ideal.
And if you experiment and still have trouble with sigils, try some
of the other beginner exercises for a while (see upcoming chapters
of POP MAGIC! or get hold of some good spell books from the list
over in the second week of the column. Iíve only met a couple of
people whoíve told me they canít make sigils work so maybe there
are a few of you out there who genuinely have problems in this
particular area. Tough luck but it doesnít mean thereís no magic
for you to play with. I couldnít wheeze ĎTwinkle twinkle little
star...í out of a clarinet but I can play the guitar well enough
to have written hundreds of fabulous songs. If Iíd stuck with the
clarinet and got nowhere would that mean there is no such thing as
music? Or would it indicate simply that I have an aptitude for
playing the guitar which I canít seem to replicate using a
clarinet? If I want to make music I use the instrument Iím most
comfortable and accomplished with. The same is true for magical
practise. Donít get uptight about it. This is not about defending
a belief system, this is about producing results.
USE ONLY WHAT WORKS.
Some people keep their sigils, some dispose of them in an element
appropriate to the magicianís intent (I have burned, buried,
flushed away and scattered sigils to the winds, depending on how I
felt about them. Love-sigils went to water - flushed down the
toilet or thrown into rivers or boiled in kettles. War-sigils were
burned etc... Some of my sigils are still around because I decided
they were slow-burners and worth keeping. Some are even still in
print. Do what feels right and produces results.)
Soiled paper and tissues can easily be disposed of in your mumís
purse or the pocket of dadís raincoat.
The viral sigil also known as the BRAND or LOGO is not of recent
development (see Ďthe Nazisí 20c. 20s-40s) but has become an
inescapable global phenomenon in recent years. The Nazis were the
last thinkers of the Imperial Age; they still thought world
domination meant tramping over the 'enemy' and taking his real
estate. If only theyíd had the foresight to see that global
domination is only possible using corporate stealth-violence
methods and combined that with their undoubted design senses; the
rejected artists who engineered the Third Reich might have created
the worldís first global superbrand. The McDonaldís Golden Arches,
the Nike swish and the Virgin autograph are all corporate viral
Corporate sigils are super-breeders. They attack unbranded
imaginative space. They invade Red Square, they infest the cranky
streets of Tibet, they etch themselves into hairstyles. They breed
across clothing, turning people into advertising hoardings. They
are a very powerful development in the history of sigil magic,
which dates back to the first bison drawn on the first cave wall.
The logo or brand, like any sigil, is a condensation, a compressed
symbolic summing up of the world of desire the corporation intends
to represent. The logo is the only visible sign of the corporate
intelligence seething behind it. Walt Disney died long ago but his
sigil, his cartoonish signature persists, carrying its own vast
weight of meanings, associations, nostalgia and significance.
People are born and grow up to become Disney executives, mouthing
the jargon and the credo of a living corporate entity. Walt Disney
the man is long-dead and frozen (or so folk myth would have it)
but Disney, the immense, invisible corporate egregore persists.
Corporate entities are worth studying. They and other ghosts like
them rule our world. So...figure out why the Coca-Cola spirit is
stronger than the Doctor Pepper spirit (what great complex of
ideas, longings and deficiencies has the Coke logo succeeded in
condensing into two words, two colours, taking Orwellís 1984
concept of Newspeak to its logical conclusion?) Watch their
habits, track their movements over time, monitor their repeated
behaviours and watch how they react to change and novelty. Learn
how to imitate them, steal their successful strategies and use
them as your own. Create your own brand, your own logo and see how
quickly you can make it spread.
Build your own god and set it loose.
Is about making things happen and performing experiments. In these
endeavours we do not need to know HOW magic works only that it
does. We prove this by doing the work, recording the results and
sharing our information with other magicians. Theoretical magic is
all the mad ideas you come up with to explain whatís happening to
you. Applied magic is what makes them happen.
THE MAGICAL RECORD
Always keep a journal of your experiments. Itís easy to forget
things youíve done or to miss interesting little connections and
correspondences. Make a note of everything, from the intent to the
fulfilment. Make a note of dates, times, moods, successes
Study YOURSELF the way a hunter studies prey. Exploit your own
weaknesses to create desired changes within yourself.
Banishing is a way of preparing a space for ritual use. There are
many elaborate banishing rituals available, ranging across
the full spectrum of pomposity. Think of banishing as installing
virus protection software. The banishing is a kind of
vaccination against infection from Beyond.
Most banishings are intended to surround the magician with an
impenetrable shield of will. This usually takes the form of an
acknowledgment of the elemental powers at the four cardinal points
of the compass. Some like to visualise themselves surrounded and
protected by columns of light or by four angels. Any protective
image will do - spaceships, superheroes, warrior-monks, whatever.
I donít bother with any of that and usually visualise a bubble
radiating outwards from my body into space all around above and
below me as far as I think Iíll need it.
Why the need for protection?
Remember that you may be opening some part of yourself to an
influx of information from Ďnon-ordinaryí, apparently ĎOtherí
sources. If you practise ceremonial magic and attempt to summon
godforms or spirits (see next month) things will undoubtedly
happen. Your foundations will be tested. There is always the
danger of obsession and madness. As magical work progresses, you
will be forced into confrontation with your deepest darkest fears
and desires. Itís easy to become scared, paranoid and stupid. Stay
fluid, cling to no one self-image and maintain your sense of
humour at all times.
Banishing reminds you that no matter how many gods you talk to,
you still have to take a shite and be able to cook dinner
and talk to people without scaring them.
When you complete any magical work, ground yourself with a good
laugh, a good meal, a good shag, a run or anything else that
connects you with the real world. Banishing after your ritual is
over works as a decompression back into normal world of bills and
bus stops and job satisfaction. The magicianís job is not to get
lost in the Otherworld but to bring back its treasures for
everyone to play with.
You now have the basic techniques of magical practise at your
Get out there and cause trouble.
Next in POP MAGIC! weíll move forward into some of the more
exciting and bizarre areas of magical work including :-
BUILDING SERVITORS AND OTHER CYBERNETIC THOUGHTFORMS
HOW TO CHAT UP GODS
BEYOND THE ABYSS: THE MAGICAL SELFPLEX
See you there. Bring your own wand.
TO BE CONTINUED