Sigils in Theory and Practice
By Frater FP
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paper, the first of the ‘[email protected]’ series, examines the use
of sigils for causing changes in the individual and their
environment, according to their will. The approach of chaos magick
is taken, where experiment and results are encouraged over beliefs
about the mechanism by which the change is effected.
The word ‘sigil’ is derived from the Latin, signum, a sign, and is also the root of sigillum, a seal. It is part of our common English words signature, sign and signal. It’s meaning can be seen in three ways;
mundane terms, we use our name as a representation of ourselves,
we use a signature as authorization, and we see traffic lights or
signals as evidence that a train is coming! A sigil is hence a
visible symbol, representing something else. In esoteric terms, we
have the signs of the Zodiac as representing abstract qualities
given to each sign. For example, the sign d represents qualities
of balance, harmony, justice, and so forth.
literature is littered with seals, symbols and sigils used for
various purposes. These are often drawn on talismans, staves,
wands, pentacles, or inscribed on robes during ritual. They can
also be drawn on the ground to act as magical circles of
protection. However, a sigil has a far more specific use to the
practical magician, and this is as a tool to effect changes in
accordance with will.
esoteric artist, Austin Osman Spare (1888-1956) defined sigils as
“the means of guiding and uniting the partially free belief.” By
‘partially free belief’ he meant anything desired that was not yet
an obsession. This reminds us of Aleister Crowley’s injunction to
work “without lust of result.” That is to say, if the change you
require to take place is bigger than you, and you are not in
control of it, then you are unlikely to succeed in bringing it
about. Fanatical love or revenge spells rarely work if the person
is consumed by the desire. It is far easier to bring change
through already available channels in small ways than it is to
change the entire universe to suit you! It is easier to work for
promotion if you are already in a job; if you cast a luck sigil,
start playing games of chance; and if you do decide on a love
sigil, get out of the house more!
There are many ways of describing or explaining exactly how a sigil – or any magick – works. These are fairly irrelevant to the chance of the spell working. You do not have to believe anything to perform the activities of sigil magick. Here are a few of the general beliefs that can be adopted :
creation of a sigil has two phases; construction and casting. In
the first part, the sigil is planned, designed and created as a
physical item (although it can be created as a visualised sigil
with the same process), and in the second part, it is empowered to
make it live.
Begin by stating your aim in one sentence. If it is more complex, simplify it. As in business, if you cannot state what you are aiming for in a single sentence, you are making too much of a hard job of it.
Start the sentence with “My aim is …” or “My will is …”
will is to meet someone who can advise me about my health problem.
Another useful rule is that “You have to know it when you see it.”
That is to say, avoid vague statements such as “My will is to be
happy when my parents visit.” You must be able to recognise
immediately the result which has been aimed for. In such a case,
you might wish to redefine your aim as “My will is to be able to
stop drinking alcohol whilst my parents visit.” Which will be far
more easier to judge – either you are or you aren’t.
construct the sigil from a number of symbolic systems. In
rune-lore, this is known as loading.
example, you could take the 1st, 20th and 40th letter from the
sentence and turn it into a design, like
You could further stylise the design, adding other components to it. You could perhaps paint it on a certain type of wood suited to healing, in a healthy golden colour.
Choose relevant key words : -health-advice-meet-
Reversing the words gives us : teemecivdahtlaeh
Which could be pronounced as a mantra : TEEM EKI VAD LAAH
There are a number of methods by which a sigil – or any other spellform – can be cast. Strangely enough, these boil down to variations of sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll! The common element to these methods, as with ritual, is a repetitive nature, and the all-consuming manner by which their success takes over the conscious mind. In a sense, they all tend to unity. As we saw in our models of magick, if Unity is the natural state of the universe, methods by which we achieve recognition of that unity are likely to be closer to the mechanics of the universe so that we can cause change.
: Paper, Marker Pen, one large candle, one small candle per
the ritual in your diary or magical journal and record the results
when they take place. Review the ritual and the results after a
month to make any further observations that were not apparent at
As an example of results magick, when this talk was given and the above ritual carried out, one participant stated “It is my will to receive a gift from someone within the week.” The very next day they received a surprise free gift certificate from Amazon on-line bookstore in the UK for £5, and an electronic equivalent from Amazon in the USA for $10. This was used to buy a book and a CD for the next set of talks!
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