Monday, August 5, 2013

Moar Sigils & Experimental Procedures

Gordon's comment on my last post got me thinking... And I decided I'd follow up the last post with another describing other ways I've used the technique, and encouraging folks to be more experimental with it. Don't get me wrong: plenty are. It happens to be precisely the Chaotes that are not that I want to mess with and encourage to try some new shit.

But let us hash out a few warnings:
1. If a Chaos Magician tells you something should work “in theory,” you should either do divination before proceeding or run into a ritual guns blazing and without a care in the world as to whether it blows up in your face or not.
2. Some of what I'm going to suggest involves being sneaky. You'll see it in a short bit. If you dislike that? Don't do it. No one's going to say you're “not a real magician” or witch or whatever for deciding to play the straight and narrow card.
3. If you're going to put sigils online, divination beforehand is the key. Questions to ask involve: “will putting this sigil online bring harm to someone else?” “Will putting this online leave an open 'astral gate' which can be traced back to me and cause problems?” Etc.
4. Remember that all experiments come with them the chance for whatever theory you have to backfire. Be prepared to make mistakes, cause problems for yourself, and be forced into learning what it is that you lack.
5. Seek joy over power. Sigils allow for you to tap into a certain amount of occult power – the range depending on the experience and capacity of the practitioner – but don't let that cloud your judgment. The best results, in my experience, involve the cultivation of joy and love for the work.
Now, let's get started: “Consensus Reality will crumble before us!” 

Sigils and Mantras.

In response to the last entry, Gordon writes:
“[...] But what appears to work for me if the 'centre of meaning' in a statement is located more in the vowels than in the consonants (does that make sense?)... then I try it out as a mantra.

You'd think that you could mantra the vowels and use the mantra to charge the sigil... but this is a dog I just can't get to hunt.”
I think I do follow you, and we can add some substitution formulas to allow for more frequent vowels in our sigils versus consonants. In this case, we can reduce as the repeating consonants while leaving the vowel strings as they are in the core statement of intent. An example could be:
(Note: in this substitution “X” will not represent a letter, but that I've removed one.)
 Now we reduce the string, giving us:
There isn't a big deal with re-arranging the consonants and the vowels at this point, because the core statement is still hidden within it; we still have the first of each of the consonants, and the vowel string to work with. So we could reformulate the string to look like something like this:
Now we can also arrange sigils to match the mantra, and chant the “barbarous words” we've created (and it is similar to the way the Voces Mageia look, although not the same at all as far as I can tell) while we charge up our sigil. This is a different means of producing similar arrangements for our Sigils, but it still works. It also offers up more vowels to be used and allows us to do a bit more with what we've got. Hell, we can even vibrate the formulas we produce if we prefer than to chanting.

Cryptography and Sigils.

I was hinting at this last night, but I shall now be blunt about the matter: crytography lends itself very well to the production of sigils and magical characters. To explain what I mean, we'll use the most basic form of encryption: the substitution code.

In such a code each letter of the alphabet is substituted for something else. Whether it be a number or a cryptographic letter that is replaced by the original letter, either is very much worthwhile. As the best example, we'll use the Runes of Honorius (also occasionally called the Alphabet of Honorius or the Theban Alphabet depending on who references it):

We can thus take each of our statements of intent – or divine names or whatever we're rendering into sigils – and then translate them into the Runes. We can then begin to blend the lines together in a manner similar to what we'd do with the normal characters of the English alphabet. The end result is something you are unlikely to produce – unless you happen to be the reincarnation of Austin Spare – with the typical technique. It lends itself very, very well and even more fully cloaks our SOI. Quite often beginners with the technique complain that they can't form sigils which do not actually look like English letters, and that this saps some of the fun of the process out of their experience. This problem can be ducked using simple substitution codes like Theban and then applying the normal sigilization process to what the result is. In the future I may provide a simple demonstration of the technique, but at present I am feeling a bit lazy. Last night was a late night, after all.

You're some kind of... sneaky... witch-thief!”
- Alastair,
Dragon Age: Origins.
If need to quickly influence a group of individuals, but find yourself unable to flash a sigil at them without giving yourself away? We have you covered, dude or dudette. Using a variant technique like the mantraic sigils referenced above, you can produce a sigil string.

Then look at the capacity for dispersing it in front of you: are you sending the individuals something written? Cloaking will definitely work if that is the case. Take your sigil string, and then using the consonants and vowels found within the string begin placing them within your text at specific intervals: For example, perhaps the third paragraph of what you've written will lend itself well. Use one of the vowels or consonants in your string to begin each sentence found within it. Or disperse the consonants and vowels across the text:

They can easily be placed in the first or last letter in the first or last sentence of each part of the text. The result is that you've encoded the mantra you've produced within the text. Now, render a sigil for the Mantra. The sum total of this combination lies in the fact that you have three pieces of magical material to energize and focus; the text has your encoded string, you have a mantra to chant, and a sigil to bind the three together and focus your power on. It will then be flexed out across all three items as you charge them. You can even hide the sigil in white crayon on the back of one of the text's printed pages, if it is a printed piece.

This allows for quite a bit of utility. An adept poet, for example, can create charged poetry that “links readers in” to the visionary space that they inhabited when they were possessed by the drive to put down their poetry. Or they could use it for deity work, creating a system of magical items that tie in to a hymn and possibly help “provide a straight-jack” for folks into the deity and its presence. The potentials are simply limitless.

Using Sigils with Traditional Material, Like the PGM.

“Change not the barbarous words,” shout the Adepts of the past! Worry not. We won't have to.

We can take some of the core strings of the Voces Mageia in the PGM and render sigils out of them. This may sound unhelpful, but bear with me. Take for example one of the primary VM strings in the Stele of Jeu:
I am fairly sure that this string represents the six named formula that you write on the papyrus. I say that because on occasions when I've performed the ritual with a copy of it in hand, I've occasionally glanced at the page and seen the formula glowing blue. Definitely a weird result, but kind've cool.

Anyway: we now use each of the six names to create a single sigil. We could, of course, turn them into one over-arching sigil... But I prefer to use six names and six sigils in sequence. This means that you haven't “warped the barbarous words” as previous generations of magicians warned one not to do, but rather created a set of symbols that can coincide with what is within the ritual.

This is particularly useful when combined with a tactic that Daniel Ogden calls “encircling” in Greek and Roman Necromancy:
Circular Movements. Sometimes one could move in a circle around the focal point of the necromancy, whatever this was to be. Deliodorus twice speaks of Egyptian necromancers circling around dead bodies. When he tells us that his old woman of Bessa leaped repeatedly between the pit and the fire, between which she had laid out her son's corpse, we are presumably to imagine she did so in a circle... Ps.-Quintilian's sorcerer binds a restless ghost into its tomb by “surrounding” it (circumdantur) with a harmful spell. After the Suda's psuchagogoi have located the spot in which the corpse of a restless ghost lies, they mark it off and walk around it, conversing with the ghosts and asking them the reasons for their disquiet. An obscure clause of the sacred law from Selinus (ca. 460 BCE) prescribing mechanisms for ridding oneself of an attacking ghost (see chapter 8) seems to suggest one should move in a circle after offering the ghost a meal and sacrificing a piglet to Zeus. This accords with the use of circular libations around the pit, discussed above. As with these libations, the purpose of circular movements was clearly to purify the area marked off by them. The circle can concomitantly be thought of as constituting some sort of protective barrier between the living and the ghosts, as appears from the complementary process in Lucian's Menippus. Here it is not a matter of an individual ghost being summoned into the realm of the living, but of an individual living person descending into the realm of the dead. As part of the purifications Mithrobarzanes performs for Menippus prior to his necromantic descent, he walks around him in order to protect him from the ghosts. The Greeks often carried sacrificed victims around areas or individuals to be purified...”
- (P. 178 - 179)
While this tactic is explicitly used in Necromancy, it also avails itself to PGM work quite readily... Although, this is certainly not traditonal. We're using it not for protection, but as a focal point. This is especially useful for a ritual like the Headless One's rite. The magician, sorcerer, or witch can inscribe the six sigils at the center of the area they plan to encircle. Then, while practicing the Stele, they can begin to encircle the area moving Deosil. As they recite the ritual, they can point at the six sigils. Finally, at the last part of the ritual – while they are identifying with the Headless Daimon – they can step in to the area upon the six sigils they've been encircling.

This allows one to perform the praises and recite the primary areas of the ritual while empowering representative symbols for the six names, and then stepping directly into the sphere of the Daimon. It has worked very well for me, but remains a tactic that “
can work in theory” and is only recommended to those who have experience with the ritual and wish test it out.

I specify Deosil movement because, due to its associations with the sun and the movement of a clock's hands, it works very well with High Gods. Cthonic spirits may prefer you move Widdershins, and it is recommended that you consider trying both movements to see what movements work best for you and what you do. Remember that you can always stop the ritual if the empowerment process starts to feel toxic.

Anyway. Here you go. Even moar sigil thoughts. Hope you enjoyed them.

Be seeing you,


petoskystone said...

Very nice.

IV Bromius said...

Great stuff! I use a magical alphabet of my own design to do letter substitution before creating a sigil. I also love the reference to steganography.

D.K Manubious said...

Loved this post and agree with it's content. I have been veiling my sigils with symbolic fonts pretty much since starting use of them a couple years back.

I use this sigil generator which I discovered on Chaos matrix

Perhaps it does not have that same creativity as sitting with ink and parchment, however ease of use, the ability shoal in about 5 minutes and the intense lingering of the image fading into ones mind due to the backlit screen and contrast of black and white, I truly love this tool..

While I love to experiment with various types of magick I find that I am a man of results and sigils are the most effective magick I have come across for my own uses. To fire sigils at events which already have a higher probability of happening seem to close the deal more often than not.

I use magick mostly for my "real" job as a sales and marketing professional however I have found that using an altered version of spares technique to create a symbol around the name of my band has proven to be most useful in generating a both a hypersigil and egregore.

I would suggest sigils are a great way to create a magickal atmosphere where other magicks can become more potent in their manifestations of results.

Anyway, great post, huge fan of your blog which also turned me on to runesoup a few years ago and between the two of your blogs I find my mind most comfortable.

Cheers and thanks!