Why Do Sigils In Sigil Magik Have Borders

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b) You may also form all the letters of the whole sentence (again without any repeats) into one general sigjll, avoiding the construction of several single sigils.

Egyptian Magic Sigils

With a little bit of experience, you will be able to combine steps 3 and 4 into one single operation, especially if you have developed your own personal artistic "sigil style." A. O. Spare, who practiced this technique throughout all of his life, had an advantage over the average sigil drawer because he was a highly talented and acknowledged artist who could develop very beautiful and attractive sigils. But artistic talent is no criterion for the success of sigil magic/ THE MOST IMPORTANT POINT IS THAT YOU CREATE THE SIGILS FOR YOURSELF.

Our glyphs may even look a bit "ugly," "primitive," "roughhewn" or "handmade," and sometimes this may even be an added bonus. Because of their "unrefined" image, they will appear to our unconscious (which will have to struggle with them) much more "magical" or maybe just "less ordinary." In other words, a so-called "ugly" sigil differs a lot from our standardized and smoothed-up everyday environment of glossy machines and industrial pseudo-aesthetics. Since we are working with Magis, or the original magical power which belongs, according to current theories, to a praeter-conscious, i.e., "primitive" stage of being, everything which reminds us of the times of amateurish handicraft will awaken primordial impulses in our reptilian brain. This will virtually automatically liberate the magical power in this section of the brain or awaken it in the first place.

Of course, all this depends largely on the magician's personal paradigm. So place your trust in your feelings (i.e., your intuition) rather than in rules which other magicians have set up according to their own subjective biases, disaffections and tempers. If you prefer putting a lot of effort into a sigil, wishing to create a "real piece of artwork," you are, of course, perfectly free to do so. It is recommended, however, for reasons to be discussed at greater length later, that you should not spend too much time consciously creating a sigil. This is because, among other arguments, it will be much more difficult to forget the sigil's outline and contents or to push it out of the consciousness, which is so essential for its proper working.

Before we start our discussion of the techniques for activating sigils, I would like to give you a few more practical tips.

The first recommendation involves the method of constructing a sentence of desire. Sigil magic is primarily success magic. It aims at achieving very tangible and verifiable results. Accordingly, sentences of will should be concrete and specific. Ambiguity will confuse the unconscious and may lead to only partial success at best, but more frequently it will provoke total failure.

My own experience has shown, as mentioned in chapter 1, that it is advisable to begin each sentence of desire with the same formula; in our example it was "THIS MY WISH...One might also simply say "I WISH.. ."or "IT IS MY WILL..or something similar. Specifically mentioning the will is advantageous since the injunction given to the unconscious is clearer and easier to understand. Feeble phrasings such as "I WOULD LIKE TO...," "I WOULD WISH TO.. ."or "I SHOULD WANT TO..lack conviction and should be avoided. In the end, you will always have to learn from your own experiences and find your own optimal formula.

We know from various other systems of manipulation of consciousness that negative formulas are usually not properly comprehended by the unconscious. While the unconscious is capable of understanding the metaphorical language (and sigils constructed with the word method are really nothing else) in expressions like "eradicate," "remove" or "avoid," it does seem to ignore words like "not," "none," "never," etc., for most people. Therefore, do not say "THIS MY WISH NOT TO BECOME ILL," but say "THIS MY WISH TO REMAIN HEALTHY."

Interestingly enough, this does not apply to all areas of practical magic. For example, the difference between talismans and amulets is commonly defined in that talismans are for something while amulets are against something. Thus, a talisman may be constructed for health; however, an amulet would be constructed against illness. But even with amulets one will usually restrain from using negative formulations

(e.g., "PROTECT ME FROM ALL ILLNESS," or something similar).

Later on, when we look at the theories which purport to explain how sigil magic works, we will realize that this mechanism has less to do with negative wording than with the general problem of how to get around the "psychic censor." The experiences of some magicians who have achieved success with negative formulas have confirmed this point of view. But this is an exception to the rule, and you should try to avoid any risk, especially when starting with your practical work.

The question as to whether one should formulate precisely or a bit "hazily" is arguable. In my experience, it is not sensible to dictate overly detailed directives to the unconscious. Sentences like "THIS MY WISH TO MEET FRANZ BARDON ON THE 17TH OF OCTOBER AT 3:32 pal IN SHARKY'S BAR" not only make great demands on your own Magis (or, as Indian shamans would label it, on your "control of the nagual") but also presuppose a rather generous, good-willed unconscious. One should never put too great a strain on the universe. But this is a general problem in practical magic, and the sigil magician is not the only one compelled to tackle it, as it also applies to the ceremonial magician, the sorcerer and the theurgist.

Experience shows that it is quite feasible to include the time factor in the sentence of desire. For example, "THIS MY WISH TO BECOME HEALTHY AGAIN THIS MONTH," etc. But an overloaded psychic time schedule in manager fashion would definitely be too much for our magical faculty. In the chapter "But How Does It Work?" we will take a closer look at time factors and control of success.

Thus, you should try for a proper balance between wishy-washy and overly specific formulations. A sentence of desire of the "THIS MY WISH TO BE RATHER WELL" format is somewhat too vague, for even if the sigil did produce the desired success, you probably would not become aware of it. Spells for winning in a lottery in which you strive to fix the exact amount of money to the third decimal place will, due to information overload, force your whole system to collapse. At best, nothing will happen at all; at worst, however, the bailiff might suddenly turn up with a writ and his/her calculator. But, here again, personal experience is better than a thousand cookbooks.

Incidentally, it is advisable (at least sometimes), when using all the methods of sigil construction discussed here, for you to place a border round the sigil, either in the form of a triangle, circle, square or something similar. See Figures 4, 5, and 6.

This has two advantages. First, it makes it easier to concentrate on the sigil when charging it. Second, it gives the sigil a "definite" and "conclusive" touch, for if you work a lot with sigils, occasionally you may find the sigils becoming "entangled" in your unconscious to form undesirable chains and combinations. However, this happens very rarely, and the risk is comparatively small. It also happens mainly to sigil fanatics who don't do anything else all day long but inoculate their unconscious, cramming it full with glyphs. The sigil of Figure 3, however, is an example of a construction which does not need an additional border.

Another aspect of putting a border around the sigil is that Mandala structures (as depth pychology has shown) will awaken and activate archetypal material in the unconscious. Thus, a border will facilitate the arousal of the inner psychic elemental forces (Magis). If we look at the subject in greater depth, Mandalas (cf. Tibetan Thangkas and Yantras) are basically somewhat more complicated sigils that transport philosophical, mythical, spiritual and similar contents, which, of course, can be said of most spiritual symbols anyway.

Before beginning our discussion of sigil activation, we shall take a closer look at how to simplify them. Overly complicated sigils are as ineffective as baroque tapeworm sentences of desire. Always keep in mind that you will have to internalize ("charge") the sigil in a state of magical or "gnostic" trance. This may mean that you will have to imagine it actively. Such a procedure might not be a problem as long as you actually have the sigil in front of you, such as hanging it on a wall or painting it onto a mirror, but even then it could be difficult to internalize a glyph with too many details to it. There are no limits to your fantasy or artistic talent when simplifying or stylizing sigils. You may even "cheat" a bit, as long as you are emotionally satisfied with the result of your drawing.

Let us look at a new example. The sentence of desire "THIS IS MY WISH TO EARN FIVE HUNDRED POUNDS TOMORROW" leaves us with the following letters:

This long list of letters can form this general sigil: K

Since this is far too complicated, we will want to simplify it:

Figure 7

Figure 7

You will note that we have left out quite a lot, but we have also added some embroideries or supplements, e.g., the vertical line drawn through the middle of the whole sigil and the horizontal line cutting the whole circle in half. What is important—at least in the beginning—is that we are theoretically able to rediscover all our basic letters in the sigil (even in its stylized version). Now we certainly won't find it difficult to recognize the letters T, H, I, Y, W, O, E, V, U, D, and P, especially if we keep in mind that the same lines may be interpreted in several different fashions. The arc, for example, may stand at the same time for a U as well as for a D.

But what has happened to the letters S, R and M? And where is the A? If we want to keep the basic form of this sigil as it is, we will have to "cheat" a bit:

Austin Osman Spare

Figure 11

Admittedly, M and S might look a bit better, but, after all, we merely want to illustrate how to proceed with abstractions.

Now, it may be argued that nearly any letter could be rediscovered in nearly any glyph with this method, if you only had enough cheek and a vivid imagination. To some extent, this is certainly true, but the main point is that you are constructing the sigils so that all other possibilities become irrelevant.


Of course, we do need the finished sigil, i.e., the graphic end result, for otherwise we could not charge or activate it. But it would be of no use to you at all if you had not constructed it alone, without any outside help. (We will discuss some exceptions to this rule in our chapter on the pictorial method.) The above-mentioned mnemonic is little more than a rephrasing of an exhortation which you will hear frequently from Zen masters—"The way is the goal____"

Perhaps we should now deal with how to decorate a sigil. We have already seen that it is important that the sigil strikes us as being "magical," "out of the ordinary." This will mean different things to different people. My own style of sigil construction, which I have developed in the course of more than 12 years of practice, prefers horizontal glyphs with squiggles and triangles for decoration. So I would decorate the sigil from the last example in this fashion (Figure 12):

Figure 12

These embroideries do not have a meaning in themselves (just as a sigil no longer has any consciously "recognizable" meaning); they serve the sole purpose of creating the right "atmosphere" or giving the sigil a "magic" touch (or, for the more romantically minded, a touch of "mystery"). This can enhance its effect substantially, and I strongly advise you to experiment.

Figure 12

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Fundamentals of Magick

Fundamentals of Magick

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  • keiran
    Why do sigils in sigil magik have borders?
    4 years ago
  • mimosa
    How to simplify sigils?
    4 years ago
  • J Eisenberg
    Why border around sigil?
    4 years ago
  • semira abaalom
    Why do sigils need circles around them?
    3 years ago
  • fesahaye
    Does a sigil have to be in a circle?
    2 years ago
  • bisirat kifle
    Do sigils need a circle or a square around?
    2 years ago
  • Terttu Ikonen
    What is the most important sigil to down load on phone fo a prosperous life?
    1 year ago
    How important is it to connect the lines of your sigil?
    1 year ago
  • Danielle
    What to write within sigil circle?
    11 months ago
  • zewdi
    How did the ceremonial magicians devise their sigils?
    2 months ago
  • ulrich
    Does a sigil start with a circle or dash?
    2 months ago
    Does a sigil need a circle round it?
    2 months ago

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