To summarize quickly before going into greater detail, the spell-caster begins with a statement of intent, a declaration of what the spell-caster hopes to achieve, the ultimate effect or goal of the spell. This statement of intent is written down and then linguistically stripped down until it becomes a symbol rather than a sentence or even a word. The spell-caster “charges” the sigil with emotional energy and then destroys the sigil to allow it to work its effect. Sigils work best when the spell-caster forgets about the magic and lets it do its own work.
The sigil begins as a statement of intent. What is it that the spell-caster desires? In many ways the statement of intent is similar to the dramatic need of a character in a story. Every character has to be motivated by some desire to achieve a personal goal. The achievement of this goal is the resolution of the story or perhaps just a scene. As you are plotting your hypersigil, you might turn your statement of intent into your character's dramatic needs.
Like with any wish, the statement of intent needs to be thoughtfully declared to avoid any Monkey’s Paw. Make sure you are asking for what you really want. For example, wanting a new boyfriend or girlfriend may be an obvious need but do you really want a new significant other? I admit that right now I simply do not have the time or energy to invest in an intimate relationship so a new boyfriend would be counter-productive to my life. Sex is always a goal but as much as I fantasize about sexual encounters, I don’t think about them realistically. Perhaps I would like more of an activity partner with benefits but I am so stressed that my creative drives are at their lowest: I wouldn’t even know what to do on a date. My statement of intent would be less looking for a new boyfriend and more about looking for things to do, either by myself or with some type of heterosexual partner.
Statement of intents best start out small and practical. Otherwise you are setting yourself up for failure. Casting a spell to lose 10 lbs in one week is asking for failure, and even asking to lose 10 lbs in two months is too ambitious a goal. How might you go about losing that weight? Through exercise, dieting, changes in life-style? It is better to set a series of subgoals rather than one larger goal. It is better to cast a spell like “I want to eat healthy for a week” and then follow up with the same spell again along with an additional “I want to exercise properly for a week.”
Joseph Max comments
The simpler the statement of intent, the better the effect. Max continues,
First there is the need for absolute precision and lack of ambiguity. I've heard of a test that is used in military officer's training schools, in which the squad leader is assigned a mission and required to cut a set of orders for the squad that he or she thinks is totally unambiguous. Then those under his or her command will try to follow those orders to the letter, but in such a way that is NOT what the leader really intended -- they try to purposely misinterpret the orders. If they find it impossible to do so, the leader passes the test. So a good way to test one's Sentence of Desire is to see if you can come up with any alternative meaning other than what was intended. If so, try formulating it in another way.
Also, the sentence must be expressed only in positive, not negative terms. The subconscious has the annoying habit of perceiving everything positively. For example, if you want to create a Sentence to protect you from traffic accidents, do not express it as "I will not be in a traffic accident" -- the deep mind ignores the "not" and hears this as "I will be in a traffic accident"! Instead, express it as something like "I will drive safely".
Instead of focusing on negative aspects, it is better to focus on positive solutions. These positive solutions provide more probable solutions to the negative behavior. If your statement of intent goes something like, “I will not eat like a pig today” the question will pop up, well, how exactly do you plan to not do that? What is your plan of action?
Once a statement of intent is formulated, write it down. Always write your magic down. Writing it down makes it real.
The statement of intent must then be stripped down linguistically until it is in its rawest form.
Begin by removing all letters except for the first letter of each word, eliminating any repeated letters. For example, a statement of intent like “I want to eat healthy for one week” would become i w t e h f o or possibly i w t e h 4 1 or i w t e h f 1 or whatever strikes your fancy with capitalization and other grammatical issues depending upon your creative whim.
Next, combine the letters into one shape, keeping the shape as simple as possible.
The process of creating the sigil is part of the process of empowering it. Care, effort, and creativity should be exercised while fashioning a sigil. Simply scratching it out on a slip of paper isn’t the best thing to do. I usually use a photoshop program to construct mine after experimenting with different hand-drawn forms.
Keep streamlining your sigil until it gets to a pleasing shape. The sigil I drew above eventually looked like this:
The sigil needs to be kept as simple as possible but also artistically satisfying and unique so that the sigil can be easily visualized. I’ve read many magicians who recommend enclosing a sigil within a greater geometric form such as a circle or square. I’ve yet to do that but see no harm or reason not to.
By investing time and organization into the creation of the sigil, we are temporarily changing our psychic makeup. We are unintentionally meditating and focusing upon a desire and the result is a greater focus on the achievement of that desire. We clear our heads, concentrate, and meditate into the right state of mind required to actualize our goal. We’re getting ourselves together.
I’ve seen a couple sigil generators online. The Rose Cross Sigil Creator uses a calendar like tool that draws zig-zag lines from letter to letter. I don’t like the shape of these sigils but if I ever become bored, I may use it for variety. Also, the XaoGnosis Sigiliser automatically creates sigils from statement of intents. I used this for awhile because it allowed me to create a quick sigil and to forget what the sigil was for. However, the sigils that the XaoGnosis Sigiliser creates are too complex and too un-artistic for me.
Max adds that a more complex sigil can be less of a symbol and more of an actual picture of the ultimate intent. I will fantasize about this later but in anticipating a transition from sigil to hypersigil, a picture form is more easily translatable into some type of structure or system, like the panels of a comic book. I’m not quote sure how to turn ordinary sigils into a sentence.
The reason the statement of intent is stripped down in such a fashion is to destroy its linguistic representation. Magic stems from what is called the collective unconscious which is part of our psychic landscape made up with all intelligent beings and their thoughts in harmony with the universe. When we cast a spell, we are synchronizing with the universe and asking it to fulfill our desires. However, the universe does not understand language because language is a human technology. The universe only understands communication through symbols. The statement of intent is reduced to symbolic form that the universe can understand.
Once a sigil is created, the hardest part is to forget about the statement of intent. By focusing on the results, the spell-caster is being counter-productive. This is called lust for result. Have you ever watched a pot boil or downloaded a movie off the internet? These things take forever but if you walk away and come back later on, you’ll find the task finished. Similarly, if you start growing a garden and then sit there waiting for it to grow, you’ll go bonkers. You plant your seed, water it occasionally, tend to it, and let the garden grow on its own.
Likewise, psychologically speaking, the more you focus on the results of the sigil the more you pressurize your results. Have you ever had someone looking over your shoulder while you’re doing something and you find it impossible to concentrate on even an easy task? Or perhaps you suddenly become self-conscious, aware that an audience of friends and strangers is watching you perform and you choke? The best performances ignore the audience. Don’t think about the magic – that is your conscious mind working, not your subconscious – just do the magic. The sigil becomes like a subliminal message acting without you knowing.
The best way to reduce the lust for results tendency is to work on simultaneous sigils. Create a lesser sigil whose ultimate outcome you could care less about. Keep your focus on that sigil and forget about the more important one. I did that once where I made a sigil to help me stay in control of my mood swings and another sigil love spell. I got so caught up in the control sigil that I forgot what the love sigil was for.
Your goal is to forget the original statement of intent and visualize only the sigil. Although I am recommending forgetting the sigil, I don’t necessarily mean forget about it but rather forget its linguistic form and visualize on its symbolic subconscious form. I generally keep new sigils nearby so that I can visually cram their image into my imagination. Most often, I’ll draw a sigil on the back of my hand. It becomes a part of everyday life like the sun or the moon, but when was the last time you really noticed the sun or the moon?
A period of time from roughly three days to a week should be taken between creating a sigil and “charging” the sigil.
I call this the RAP period. RAP stands for
R = Subconscious Resistance
A = Conscious Awareness
P = Probability of results
During this period, you will want to look at various factors related to the success of your sigil and actively reduce negative influences.
Subconscious Resistance (R) means that there are a variety of blocks to power hidden in your subconscious. Your subconscious is part of the true power of magic and from whence comes the creative faculties and potential of magic and art. However, events well-hidden and forgotten in the past put blocks on our ability to access our subconscious power. These blocks are generally some type of powerful feeling related to a repressed event, like shame or embarrassment or feelings or rejection that have affected your behavior. We have forgotten about the events associated with these lingering feelings but they are still there. Once the gates to the subconscious are opened through magic, these repressed feelings swim down the stream of consciousness and block the water-flow. For example, I find that I constantly pick losers for boyfriends and every time my relationship turns to hell, I curse all men for being losers, but in truth I am subconsciously choosing my boyfriends for their self-destructive potential as a way of escaping from relationship commitment. Likewise, when I first started real estate, I was afraid of being successful because success lead me into areas that were beyond my familiarity and thus, scary. In both, and many more, circumstances, I was subconsciously sabotaging myself.
At another time, I will go over ways to reduce this subconscious resistance, but in the meanwhile, be aware, and focus within this RAP time on possibilities of sabotage in order to decrease resistance to sabotaging your magic and increase the likelihood of the magic succeeding.
Conscious Awareness (A) refers to the above “forgetting” of your sigil. You want to take time to forget your statement of intent. Once it’s forgotten then you can prepare for the charging.
Probability of results (P) simply means, what are the chances of your sigil actually working? You need to increase the probability of the magic working through mundane actions. You’ll never win the lottery if you never play. How will you lose weight? Do you know anything about eating healthy or exercise? Take time to bone up on necessary information, tasks, and/or skills that will make your success more likely. Connecting this with hypersigilia, a character has a dramatic need (statement of intent) but plot and conflict occur as the character is trying to realize this goal. How will the character achieve his goal?
Bear in mind that magic isn’t always instant and may take days, weeks, months, or more to take effect. The rule of thumb is that sigils work within a period of three: 3 days, 3 weeks, 3 months, even 3 years. One particular love sigil took three months to work.
Charging a sigil requires a change in consciousness. The two methods can be Hermetic or Orphic. Hermetic charging involves quiet meditative states like, uh, well, naturally, meditation, tai chi, sleep, juggling, and the like. Orphic charging involves high emotional stimulation, usually a heightened emotional state: laughing until you cry at a comedy movie, being frightened while watching a horror film or bungee jumping, getting the adrenaline pumping or blood flowing while dancing, spinning, exercise, etc. One author recommended playing the bongo in a dance routine: whatever floats your boat but that sounds a little too retarded to me.
The most commonly recommended method of charging a sigil is, sigh, help me, the wank method. For those of you not familiar with the term wank, it is British slang for masturbation. Yes, this is true: that dizzy pleasure at the moment of orgasm is perhaps the most powerful way to charge a sigil.
The key is to visualize the sigil throughout Hermetic meditation or at the moment of emotional Orphic intensity. I re-draw the sigil in my imagination. This visualization at the moment of temporary transcendence symbolically shoots the sigil from your conscious to your subconscious.
Once the sigil is charged, it must be destroyed. Sigils dealing with creativity and action should be destroyed by fire. Sigils involving emotional states should be disposed of in water, during a rainy night or thrown in a river. Sigils involving practical, material, or financial issues should be buried. Sigils involving intellectual pursuits, honestly, I don’t know what to do with them; these are air sigils so something more creative involving the air is needed.
I had a situation occur a couple times where I forgot what a sigil was for and then couldn’t dispose of it properly because I couldn’t remember what its intent was. A trick around this is to color code your sigils. I’ve studied a little bit of color magic and admit that I’m not fond of it. When I’m in a different mood I will delve more deeply into color magic and graphic design but for now I tend to focus on the four basic colors or range of colors: red for “fire”-based sigils, blues for emotion sigils, earth tones for earth sigils obviously, and lighter colors or pastels for air signs. I admit I am being lazy and I will come back to this topic and flesh it out better at another time.
Once you have charged and disposed of your sigil, you must Banish. Banishing is important to shut the door between your conscious and subconscious and return to your normal life. You'll find particularly that once you have entered into an Orphic state, calming yourself down is difficult.
I'll continue with more focused uses for sigils in next week's post.