The strength of a tiger
However, it is important that in the end the sigil is as simple as possible with the various letters recognizable (even with slight difficulty). The artistic quality of the sigil is irrelevant, but for simple psychological reasons it should be obvious that you should not just scribble or doodle it in haste. You should strive to make it to the best of your abilities.
The finished sigil, which in the beginning will probably take a few attempts to construe, will then be fixated. You may draw it on parchment, on paper, in the sand, or even on a wall. According to Spare's short instructions, it should be destroyed after its internalization, Thus, you will either bum the parchment, wipe it out in the sand, etc. Spare's basic idea is that the sigil, together with its meaning, must be planted into the unconscious. Afterwards, the consciousness has to forget it so that the unconscious can obey its encoded direction without hindrance.
Formulating the sentence of desire8 and drawing the sigil should be done with the utmost concentration. It makes the following activation ("charging") much easier.
When the sigil is ready, it is activated by implanting it into the psyche. This is the most difficult part in this process, and Spare offers only very few hints on practical procedures. However, it is crucial that the sigil is internalized in a trance of sorts. This may take place in a state of euphoria (for example, by means of drugs), in ecstasy (for example, sex magically by masturbation, sexual intercourse or a ritual), or in a state of physical fatigue. For the latter example, eyes and arms may be tired by the magician folding his/her arms behind the head while standing in front of a mirror and staring fixedly at his/her image. The important thing is that it should click, meaning that the sigil must be internalized spasmodically, which, of course, requires some exercise and control. This procedure may be supported by repeating the sentence of desire rhythmically and monotonously like a mantra, becoming faster and faster; in doing so, one must stare fixedly at the sigil. (In our example of looking into the mirror [a magical mirror may be used, too], it is useful to draw the sigil onto the mirror with water-soluble paint.)
After spasmodical internalization, the symbol must be destroyed and deleted from the conscious mind. As mentioned before, from now on it will be the unconscious which has to do the work.
In my own practical work I have discovered that it may even be useful to keep the sigil on you, such as wearing a ring engraved with it, etc. But this will depend upon the magician's individual predilection, and everybody should find his/her own way. Occasionally, it may prove necessary to repeat the whole procedure, especially if the goal is a very problematical one, requiring an outstanding amount of energy. Nevertheless, experience shows that it is of prime importance not to bring back the meaning and aim of the sigil into consciousness at any time. We are, after all, dealing with a technique akin to autosuggestion; thus, the rules are the same as with autosuggestions themselves. Therefore, you may not use negative formulas such as "THIS MY WISH NOT TO..." because very often the unconscious tends neither to recognize nor understand this "not," and you might end up getting the opposite result than that which you originally desired. If you see a sigil every day, perhaps on a wall or engraved on the outer side of a ring, this should only take place unconsciously, just as one might not consciously notice an object which is in use all the time. Of course, you should keep your operation secret, for discussing it with skeptics or even good friends may dissolve the sigil's power.
The advantages of this method, of which only a short summary can be given here, are obvious. It is temptingly easy, and with only a little practice it may be performed at any time and at any place. It does not call for any costly paraphernalia; protective Circles and Pentagram rituals are not required (though sometimes they may prove useful, especially with operations of magical protection), etc.
People who tend to psychic instability should, however, be cautious. Although the threshold to schizophrenia is not as easily crossed with this method as with common evocations, it does involve cutting deeply into the ecology of the psyche, an act which should be considered carefully in any case. The psycho-magical consequences are sometimes quite incalculable. As is well known, the real problem with magic is not so much the question whether it works, but rather the fact that it does.
Used with responsibility, this method offers the magician a tool which provides him/her with a limitless variety of possible magical applications.
1. Horst E. Miers does not mention him at all in his Lexikon der Geheimwissenschaften (Freiburg, 1970) [Enyclopedia of the Occult Arts], but this work is generally faulty in many other respects as well.
3. The edition used here is a Canadian reprint by 93 Publishing (Montreal, 1975).
4. Kenneth Grant, Images and Oracles of Austin Osman Spare (York Beach, ME: Samuel Weiser, Inc., 1975).
5. First, numbers were assigned to the Hebrew letters, and second, the cameas, or magical number squares, were related to the different planets. For example, the names of the planetary intelligences were converted into numerical values and then the pertinent numbers in the squares were connected with one another, the whole resulting in a sigil. The late Israel Regardie gives a detailed introduction into this method in How to Make and Use Talismans (Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, England: The Aquarian Press, 1972 ff).
6. This term, which was coined by the author of this study, describes a certain type of magic which is based on subjective empiricism, or individual experiences without prior postulates. The opposite is Dogmatic magic, which demands a fair amount of faith from its practitioners, such as belief in the hierarchy of astral entities, correspondences, gnostic dualism, etc. We are not saying here that these concepts cannot be found at all in Pragmatic Magic but merely that they are only considered as possible models of explanation amongst others of equal value. The Pragmatic magician is perfectly free to abandon them if s/he achieves the desired success without their help. S/he is, therefore, independent of so-called "revelations" of many a charlatan. On the other hand, of course, s/he cannot claim his/her experiences to be universal "truth." This prevents—at least ideally—the megalomania very common to practitioners of magic. A detailed discussion of these concepts remains to be covered by a larger, more specialized volume.
7. A facile way of looking at a subject like this quite often demands the use of illustration rather than differentiation. Thus, for example, the problem of reception cannot be dealt with here. It would certainly be an exaggeration to say that Spare influenced Pragmatic Magic directly. Rather, Pragmatists found him to be one of their ilk. Neither do we want to state that there are no Dogmatists left in the Anglo-Saxon countries. But the aforementioned writers, as is commonly known, are considered to be the leading thinkers of the magical scene of Great Britain, Canada, Australia and the USA.
8. The formula "THIS MY WILL TO..." has proved to be very powerful in practice. Of course, it may be changed according to taste or even completely exchanged by any other formula. Practice has shown, however, that it is useful to begin every sigil working with the same formula because in the course of time the unconscious seems to respond to this with reflexive receptivity.
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