The practical method of using symbols seems to have a troubling tendency in a way that they do not work nearly the way we would like them to, that is, as prescribed by the books. They do not work the way we believed they would or in the way we secretly longed for and even rejoiced thinking about what will happen when that wish comes true. In our minds, we have spent all the money we got in the lottery, thinking about romantic dinners with the bookkeeper of our dreams. Nevertheless, all this is so far from the fact that all the aids and mechanisms of fulfilling our wishes just do not work. The anticipation of hopes, wishes, and dreams fulfilled crumbling under the crushing blow of reality reveals two glaring and equally valid facts:
- we do not know what we want, and
- we do not know how to get what we want.
The relationship between a sigil and a symbol is perhaps best represented by the story of Icarus. The symbol is Daedalus, while the sigil is Icarus – he is given wings he uses so freely, yet after flying too close to the Self, he went plummeting to his demise. The rational mind looks down on him and sends him into oblivion – falling into the sea and disappearing in the waves for good.
Daedalus, as a symbol, survives by following a path away from the Sun, but his nature remains unfulfilled despite his longevity. Although he is indisputably the hero of the story, we will not follow his way at all. We will dare to reach the goal by daring to use the means. Instead, we will employ the daring of Icarus by deliberately ascending to the Sun despite the risk of complete failure and death. We will even consciously provoke our fall to awaken the subconscious and silent currents of our Self. Our direction, however, is not the Sun in the skies but the dark waters of the soul. We do not actually ascend to the heights but descend deep into the darkness of our own existence ruled by the primordial laws of chaos. Far away from the Will and the Ego, deep down is our quest. Deep down, in deepest depths, true Sun-Self is never in divine heights, but it is resting deep in the universal and primordial waters. To truly grasp this counterintuitive tale, seemingly both fantastic and impossible, we need only to act again as children by reviving our inner child. This magick is so effective precisely because it is so chaotic. There are no rules in it because the rules serve to tighten and limit, but the chaos we consciously create here is like an energy storm shaped by our Will and our Selfhood.
This story is a perfect allegory for working with a sigil, and with understanding the meaning contained therein, we magicians learn precious lessons about unconscious instincts, the value of acting in silence, and the censorial mechanism of rationality that governs our life and instincts. Ultimately, we discover how to bypass our own neuroses, which affect the flow of our happiness and desires.
The entire process has a similar nature to the one that drives the Enochian affairs. First of all, it is different and completely lively, deviating from the usual rules; all its liveliness is equally divergent and out of the system. This is not a model to take up and go along, but rather sneak and slide away so it does not attract the attention of the guard of the harem.
A sigil must never and in no way be a symbol. A symbol is associated with a higher idea, it is a link to a logical sequence of circumstances – which are likely to thwart our intentions before they can even be put into motion and tend to originate from within ourselves. Therefore, a sigil is a mechanism that we activate subconsciously and often blindly. It is truly a perfect method of self-deception for the ultimate benefit of wish-fulfillment. Some find this to be a great place to distinguish between the Will and the wish, but we are so disgusted by these distinctions. It is enough that we transcend both desire and Will, so it is unnecessary to dissect and measure this matter.
The motto and function of a sigil is circumvention. It does not fulfill desires but simply circumvents their impediment. The extent to which they will materialize will depend on many factors. The chief one among these seems to be our own inventiveness. However, this has nothing to do with the learned or acquired transfer of knowledge. This inventiveness is based on the freedom to use completely new things and avoid repeatedly using even those most successful elements that have previously proved their complete triumph. Repetition, as it turns out, is a detriment. It is the worst spice that can turn an entire charming evening with a pastor’s lovely daughter out into a lonely and spooky walk and regret.
While working with a sigil, two essential and completely different things must equally lead to perfection; the first is to construct a sigil, the second is charging a sigil. For the most part, much is already known about construction; we will just slightly touch upon this point. First and foremost, it is necessary to define the desired outcome. It should be as short as possible, and it has to be a positive thought expressed in words. Suppose we want to have a lucid dream. “I want a lucid dream” is a very favorable connotation, but a factor of realization is not there yet – it is still so far away, and the wish itself somehow reminds of failure and obstacle. It is, therefore, necessary to refine it a little more concisely. “I am conscious in a dream” or “I have lucid dreams” carries more force, intention, and precision. One must then remove all the repetitive letters and form a new word – IHAVELUCDRMS.
The next and crucial step is to create an ideogram out of the remaining letters that should in no way resemble the wish. Then through the application of decorative embellishment or even clever reduction, the character of the sigil will begin to evolve and take on a life of its own. This can be done in steps over time using different or even random methods. We can have a reflection of that element in the mirror, transform that element and, step by step, move away from the original shape. Keep on doing like this until it takes on an authentic character, so far away from its first relative. Imagine that the first form of wish was the grandfather of what would eventually become his grandson, he may have basic contours, but he must have his own peculiarity. Only he who knows them both can discover the trait that connects them genetically, but to someone else, it may seem that they are by no means related. That is precisely what we need here – the trait that the Ego cannot connect to; we do not need connections or similarities at all, we do not need a clue that the Ego so desperately wants to follow and control, we do not need logic. We need coordinated chaos.
Once the sigil takes its final form, one must willfully disregard and forget the original intent and never relate it to the image again. One may then label the sigil with a vague description. For example: “this is a sigil for an astral projection.” Any notes that reveal the stages of the evolution of the sigil or give any hints as to its constitution must be destroyed because as long as there is any trace, the Ego shall retaliate. One must restrain the ferocious insistence of the Ego from insinuating itself to the best of one’s ability. Make no mistake – it will try. After a while, we want to have a look at that drawing, never to be able to see where each letter is, which sentence it was made of, and how we came to that form in the first place. It must be left for some time to exist on its own without intervention from or corruption by the attention, preferably until it is almost easy to overlook. Once these steps are complete, the most important stage remains.
When a child is born, what lies ahead are great trials of growth. The successful efforts toward upbringing into maturity contribute to the greatness of the parents as much as it benefits their child. Even though parents rearing children is certainly nothing new or novel, each instance is unique in that it is a completely personal and chaotic improvisation, requiring no small amount of bravery to achieve the end-goal of a whole new life. The wish that compelled the creation of the sigil is no different. Throughout the process, we are judges, helpers, tutors, prosecutors, and executioners at every stage. Everything that happens is solely our responsibility based upon our ability to understand the laws and forces of the Universe. A failure in this is a failure in our understanding of life, which simply reveals how far we have come. It is important precisely because the process is a representation in miniature of the creation of the Universe in a nutshell.
The first thing to do with a sigil once it has been constructed is to do nothing. It is work exactly which causes the turbulence of our censor of reality and self-regulatory abolition of enthusiasm – neurosis. Every time we say a wish and the state we want to be in – immediately after that, in less than a moment, an opposite tendency appears – even when we do not feel it, even when we think it is not there at all – it is this opinion that is the overturning verdict that sets free the main culprit for all our failures – the Ego. Therefore, our strategy is to do precisely the opposite and prevent this mechanism from starting at all. We will do everything by doing nothing – absolutely nothing. The sigil should only be drawn once and unaccompanied by any reminders other than the aforementioned vague title. The longer the sigil lies hidden in obscurity, the more likely it is to manifest the desired outcome. Experience reveals just how much the quality of one’s attention can counter one’s patience for this process. The fact is that we need not be so hasty. Only once we have disassociated our hopes from the sigil will it be ready for the next stage.
Charging a sigil is a perfect opportunity to showcase our creativity without needless comparisons or even much discussion about it, except, perhaps, to push the Aspirant pedagogically to the point where he becomes confident in his own abilities to breathe life into an empty and dead thing. This is the formula of the Neophyte in his higher form and a tangible indicator of the Aspirant’s magick – the goal being to gently initiate the play of his own light with that of divinity.
What makes life is movement, and that law may be the easiest one to have by your side, but the movement is such an abstract phenomenon inasmuch abstract and intuitive the path of making this machine will be. Let us take that forgotten sigil out of darkness; if it has not been in the dark that long, it does not matter. So let us create that darkness, let us pretend it is in a cobweb, let us get it out of our notebook, but let us not look at it with longing, just put it next to you, like spice waiting for its main course. Your attention is on the food; the spice is just there to jump in at the right moment. This is perhaps the most significant moment in the Neophyte’s magical career up to that point, and he would do well to build his entire art upon this very mechanism.
The Neophyte should replicate the sigil on a piece of paper, then fold it a couple of times like a little love letter. He should acquire a decent glass bottle with a firm cap or have one custom made just for this purpose. Now, let him put his letter in that bottle and close it well – then, he should take powerful glue and tighten the cap additionally, sealing it well. The bottle should then be taken to a bridge crossing the nearest great river, preferably over the deepest waters, and after contemplating it one last time, it should be thrown in. Let him now imagine all the years and centuries that will pass, keeping his mind on that tiny letter and his wish that will surpass his own life by far, and even the life of the entire society and civilization of his. Let him realize the fact that Æons will pass before it may even see the light of day; maybe it will happen when there is not any humanity at all. Let him enjoy that feeling of antiquity, let him pay attention to that piece of paper, and think that it is already the same as it will be for hundreds, thousands of years, maybe more. That sigil will witness so many events unchanged; it will remain unchanged, that place inside the bottle will remain exactly the same surviving everything around changing, in that darkness of the river, for centuries and centuries to come. The Aspirant’s opinion on all this has a very special note. After he has thrown the bottle, let him go home and forget all about that. Next time he goes to another city, let him do the same, creating a network of antiquities all over the planet. Let him even, just for this occasion, go on a cruise on the Mediterranean and, at the furthest point from the shore, let him throw his magic bottle with a sigil, thinking again of its magical destiny. Most likely, they will all stay at the bottom for Æons. Let him think now about those Æons, and about the time when, for some reason, that bottle will appear on the surface. Maybe the oceans will get a completely different shape at that time, millions of years may have passed. That sigil is already there, millions of years away, completely intact and exactly the same. Alive and steady. Yes, alive and steady indeed.
Also, he should go deep into the woods and carve a sigil on a lonely tree. He should carve it in various places in the surrounding city. Every week, he should go to a village or town he has never been to and discreetly and perfidiously draw a sigil with a durable marker on the front door of the local health center. Then, he should carve it on the gate of a cemetery, or plant it on some work of art. He can carve it into something as significant as the Eiffel Tower. Let him think how many people will have seen it and wondered about the meaning, how many stories will have been told about it, how many thousands of people will have stopped and thought about your sigil in a completely wrong way, in a completely different mood, with completely different thoughts in their heads – an endless number of different circumstances and destinies all staring at the same sigil. Their attention infuses strength, not when they are looking at it, but when he is thinking about them looking at sigil. He is the one who brings that sigil in connection with them. He is a medium in this endeavor – a sigil, and people are pointless without him. His thought is the only condition to start this mechanism, a completely passive thought that he is the only one in this Universe that knows what this is really about.
He should draw a tiny sigil on an elevator ground floor button. Many people will show their intention to start that elevator, wondering about that sigil at the same time. It will thus pick up equally their will and their nature and their wish for movement; each of them goes to the desired floor for so many different reasons; some leave after a secret meeting, some go to work where they will find out they have been fired, some will leave the house for the last time in their lives and never return, some will go on to commit a robbery or some other misdeed. Let the Neophyte think about all these reasons and equally about the astonishment of the people who look into that sigil when they press the button for the ground floor.
Let him draw or engrave a sigil on an airplane window; many people will start their journeys eagerly by looking out the window and enjoying clouds, seeing strange contours of a sigil that will so cunningly steal all those wonderful moments and the thrill of traveling.
Let him draw a sigil on the paper leaving it in places of great traffic accidents, murders, robberies. Let him draw a sigil in an ASCII form and send it to people via e-mail, to those he has never seen, let him use e-mail lists which people use to send various advertisements, and let him draw his sigil at the beginning of the e-mail. Let him think about many thousands of people seeing his wish in the form of a sigil, many of whom will wonder and ask what it is. A lot of different destinies and different people will be moved by that sigil; even if they set aside a single moment for it, many destinies will be reversed entirely because of that one moment.
Let him spread all the mathematical chances of these reversals and movements with his mind. They will induce puberty to that sigil; they will infuse life and strength into it. Let the Aspirant think of the sigil every time he has an orgasm. Every time he is cut or injured, let him think of the sigil. Every time he sees a traumatic event, a wonderful moment, let him think of the sigil. Let him find another Aspirant who also uses this method and let them swap their sigils, each of them thinking of the sigil of another in the moment of his orgasm, pain, joy, laughter, while, at the same time, not having the slightest idea about where his energy is flowing to. Let him think about how many emotional storms and moments other Aspirant devoted to his sigil, in the same way he did with someone else’s. This is a great method, which completely deprives the conscious Ego of the possibility to interfere. Let him draw a sigil, completely unremarkable, on the menu page of a nice restaurant. How many people will focus their hunger on the outlines of the sigil, wondering what it might mean, and the sigil will steal that moment of hunger which is both so powerful and animal, so concrete and strong in its nature – at least for a moment. Have the Aspirant draw a sigil with his finger on a foggy window, then open it, watching the sigil disappear, going into the darkness of non-existence, capturing the moment ultimately slowly before it has really perished, being with the sigil before it completely disappears, as if it has never even existed. Let him hold to that moment; let him dance in his rivers of thought.
He can do so many marvelous things, as many as his mind could conceive as the most sublime representation. With the help of an atlas, let him find distant places in completely fantastic parts of the planet. Let him find towns and villages on islands in the Pacific, or the northern isles of Scotland, on Iceland, or in the wilds of the Amazon, or maybe the asphalt jungle of New York. Let him choose one such place and let him invent the name and surname of an utterly imaginary person. Then he should write an address on an envelope containing the card with the sigil for that person, taking good care to indicate the city or place that really exists, with the correct zip code, street, and number, and choose the return option. After a few weeks, he will get the letter back because no one will open it, but let him think about how that sigil really traveled to the post office of that place, how it really was in areas he would never visit in his life. Let him then take his sigil out of that letter that has returned and then send it to another address, to a completely different part of the world. Let the sigil travel across the entire globe, traveling to landscapes that the Aspirant can only think of and admire. Let him write a small sigil on the envelope, let the postmen of Siberia, Mexico, Niger, and the Tierra del Fuego see it, let the letter with the sigil stay and visit Tanzania, Suriname, or Sri Lanka. Let the Aspirant’s thought occasionally turn to the sigil, wondering where it is and expecting it back to his home. How different and diverse world and landscape will that sigil see from what the Aspirant could even imagine? His wish will thus be more alive than he will ever be able to, traveling across the Universe like a world traveler, picking up various destinies whenever one looks at the sigil, wondering what that drawing is. How many different thoughts will it distract and interrupt with its meaningless appearance? Let the Aspirant think about it, let him know that this is no fantasy, let him be sure that his “drawn child” is cruising the planet, on a plane, on a train, conveying his wish thousands and thousands of kilometers away, cruising the planet Earth while he is waiting for it to come back home and send it further into the world, always in the same way, triggering the same mechanism and astonishment of people.
There is one such phenomenal way to use a sigil along with hyperventilation. Many of us did this as children – we inhale and exhale at the fastest possible rate while in a squatting position, the amplitude of inhalation and exhalation must be significant, we breathe with full lungs as fast as we can. Let us take 60 deep and quick breaths, then inhale as much as we can, hold our breath and get up. As we are holding our breath, at one point, we will lose consciousness for a few seconds, during which the body becomes intoxicated and goes into ecstasy. It is necessary to do this with the help of others in order to hold us and prevent serious injuries that we could certainly inflict on ourselves once we have fallen down. A sigil here plays such a perfect role while being held in our hands as we lose consciousness. A sigil must be the last thing we see before we have lost consciousness and the first thing we think about when we come round a few seconds later. This will launch it into the deepest unconsciousness and place it deeply – down in the utterly deep realms of our mind.
There is another remarkable way in which the sigil is stored in the realm of unconsciousness. We need to spin around our axis, with arms raised and outstretched at shoulder height. Such a turn should be performed for a few minutes, and then at one point abruptly stop and lie on the floor on your back with your legs and arms outstretched, keeping your eyes closed. The feeling of terrible dizziness will affect our being, and a specific feeling of pressure in the plexus will appear. With this feeling of dizziness, we must keep the sigil firmly in mind, and as that feeling of dizziness and pressure passes, we will allow the sigil to disappear in that same direction. It is a very special feeling created after vertigo passes completely, making our mind empty, and the whole being bathed in a specific feeling of emptiness – let that emptiness suck out and draw out the sigil completely. After all has passed, we are going to get up and pretend nothing happened. In this method, it is necessary to ensure that you do not get injured falling when dizziness occurs.
The Aspirant should use equally all this. The only limit here is the inventiveness of his mind. Over time, he can build his own alphabet or, even more, his own language to activate the mechanism of sigils and his own wishes. This is undoubtedly a special segment in the life of a magician that will get its full effect on the astral plane and in cooperation with the skill of lucid dreaming. In this place, a sigil will find its natural habitat, and the actions of the Neophyte will suddenly gain the efficiency and an epithet of a fairy tale, for which there will certainly be an opportunity to talk about later in the chapter on lucid dreaming.
It is crucial to know that you must never think about the sigil but remember it. You must never use either imagination or visualization, but reminiscence. Whenever we use a sigil in any way, such doing must not be in focus or concentration. What we mean by this is actually a faint recollection of its ancient appearance in our lives, as if we nostalgically remember the birth of our child or the ultimate joy experienced during one birthday from our distant childhood. This contains all the secrets of the success of this art.