A Beginner’s Guide to Sigil Craft

“Magick has many aspects, but primarily it acts as a dramatized system of psychology”

- “Pope Bob”, Robert Anton Wilson

Part 4, Essays for the Discordian Occultist: the sigil.

Here’s one way of making a sigil. It’s partly cribbed from a talk given by Grant Morrison at the Disinformation conference[1] with slight personal additional details provided by my own experiences. Sigils are a low-magick technique which will not fail to get you exactly what you need. It can become a high-magick technique but for the moment we’ll just stick to the basics[2].

One important thing to note is that sigils always appear to work. The distinction being; if I kicked in a window, I’d feel I knew who’d done it. If I cast a sigil which asked for that window to be broken and then discovered a few days later it was now broken, no one can prove a causal relationship between the sigil and the broken window. However I might get the impression that my sigil was involved in the process somewhere.

Secondly, the following is a (in my opinion better) version of other ideas that have been kicking round recently such as, The Secret, Cosmic Ordering, and, to a lesser extent, “positive thinking”[3]. It’s also similar to “preying,” if you think your God lives within you[4].

All these above techniques have common elements. All of them are pretty much in agreement regarding the first part of the process, set your intent. The most effective Discordian occultists spend more time on step one than they ever do on step four.

Step one: Decide upon your will.

– All your workings should be done with pieces of paper and a pen.

This is the hardest part. You need to imagine what it is you want as clearly as possible. Then refine it until you’ve got a vision of what it is you ‘really’ want. Then refine it again after you’ve imagined the earth shifting upon its axis in order to grant this wish over the next few years. Check you’re good with the consequences and then, refine it again. I can’t emphasise this enough. See the further reading section for more details.

Once you’re happy write it out as a single sentence:

EG: I AM A HEALTHY FOURTEEN AND A HALF STONE, ENERGETIC PERSON.

Notice a few things about the above. When I cast this I wanted to be 14 and a half stone. There are many ways this could have happened, some of them include ill health. Hence the words healthy and energetic.

Think of those old fairy stories where someone makes a wish and there are tragic consequences. King Midas wanted everything he touched to turn to gold. He ends up regretting his wish. The difference between your sigil becoming a blessing or a curse is in its detail. Give it lots of thought. Write and re-write the sentence. Check the further reading section for more information.

Also notice, it’s not “I WANT TO BE” or “I AM THIS AND NOT THAT”. Negatives in sigils are just negative! If you write “I WANT TO BE A MILLIONAIRE” look forward to a life of wanting to be a millionaire. Remember what we learned in part one where you began lucid dreaming. What would happen to you if you dived into the dream world with negatives in your mind?

If you truly have followed this series from part one, as opposed to most who will have  just casually landed on it and curiously read to this point, why not try to lucid dream your intended future first and try it out a bit? If, for example, having lots of sexual partners gets messy in that world ditch it and come up with a better wish. It needs to feel like a world you are comfortable in. Once that’s the case, state it as if you are already there, in that positive future.

As an exercise imagine you’re in that future calling back into the past when you wrote out this sigil. Try describing and declaring what it’s like in as much detail as possible. Now listen out for your “imaginary” future self shouting “I’m the owner of a brand new convertible and I love it” or whatever. Now, write it down!

Finally a note of caution here. Remember we spoke about ‘true will’ in the last piece? Well, if your dreams and visions involve others do not enchant realities which compromise their true will.

So, for example, don’t put “I am married to Dave who works in accounts”. Ask for a less uncompromising: “I’m married to a bloke like Dave who works in accounts”. This doesn’t rule Dave out of the equation, after all who is more like Dave than Dave? However if he thinks you’re a repulsive creature who he’d rather vomit over than have sex with, you’ve given the poor guy a get out and you can still get what you need. Far better to enchant someone, like him who likes you of their own free will.

It’s not unlikely you’ll encounter minor problems with all this but remember what you learned in part three and fear not: you will live and learn!

There’s nothing to stop you doing another sigil in the future.

Step Two: Remove the vowels and repeated letters.

The first step was by far the most important part. These next bits are 1% of sigil craft and the bit you’ve just done was the remaining 99%. However, this 1% which I’m about to explain is the more “magick” bit. It’ll make you feel more like ‘an occultist’ and there’s enormous value in that.

This means you should check you’re comfortable with what you’ve just done as part of this second step. You need to feel good on both a subconscious and intuitive level about the sentence you’re turning into a weird looking symbol. If you’re not it’ll come out in the process later on once the sigil is cast. For now, I’ll assume you are and crack on.

Firstly, sigils are crafted and re-drafted by a process of elimination. Like a sculpture you’re going to chip and chisel that sentence down until it looks like a sort of magical wingding. Begin this by removing the vowels and repeated letters, leaving yourself with a string of consonants, like so:

MHLTYFRNDSGCP

An example of my weight loss sigil in its early stages

 

Step three: Combine the letters into one big pattern and begin reducing it into a simpler image.

This bit is where most people get in a tizz. Remember the most difficult part of the process was over once you’d finished step one. There are no rules as to how you go about combining the letters but I find it best to jumble them all into one big squiggle. The main picture is an example of the one we’re looking at. Ultimately it was successful and I used a revised version to hit my target weight of 13.5 a year later. This is down from my initial 18.5 stone.

Keep re-drawing it and omitting details as you go along. The point of this process is to lose sight of what it is the sigil means. Keep drawing until the exact point of your work is irrelevant to you. Get really bored of the process and lose sight of why it is you’re bothering with such superstitious nonsense. Make it look more and more “magickal” to you. Hit a point where it starts to become a labour of love which is totally detached from your initial intent.

The finished product must look perfect and beautiful. It represents the total of your efforts. This is now a sigil, yet to be cast. It represents a thought which you are about to plant into the collective dreamworld so it can start to descend into the world of objective reality and your future.

Not quite but almost the finished product

Treasure it a bit. Don’t cast it straight away. Be pleased with it.

Step Four: Cast it.

People are divided upon how exactly you should do this. You’re looking for an intense transcendental experience where you can focus on this image and force it through your mind into the magical dream world while you are fully conscious. Pain, meditation, orgasm, psychedelic-transcendental drugs or all of the above combined are popular methods. Whichever you’re best at. Combine the intense experience with a good solid look at the sigil. Then close your eyes and think of it. Project it into your minds eye and out into the cosmos. Then destroy the paper it is drawn on and forget all about it.

One simple way, which I use, is with a candle. Have the sigil drawn on a piece of paper. Burn it and then let the flame burn (but not harm) your fingertips. At that precise moment close your eyes and picture it in your mind. There we are, it’s cast. The pain should have done enough to distract you and send it neatly into the world of ideas…

There are numerous other methods[5] but the most important part is, as I said, step 1.

Once you’ve cast your sigil you must then aid its descent into the real world. If you asked for a new job, get applying for them. If you wanted to lose weight like I did, stop eating those chocolate cakes.

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Nick Margerrison.

FURTHER READING:

Any fairy tale where a wish is granted. Any story featuring a Djinn in a bottle who grants wishes. The story of King Midas.

FOOTNOTES:

[1] Very easy to find illicit copies online, or why not purchase it from the Disinfo store? Disinfo Towers could do with another French Maid to help out around here…

[2] This series’s three previous essays provide a bit of background to what you’re about to do. The next essay in this series will deal with theory. Most guides to occultism and magick love theory but, in the main, we’ve held off on it in these essays.There’s plenty of time to get nicely bogged down in all that in part 5 which is an extensive and obligatory ramble ’round the hill tops of Discordian occult theology. Don’t worry we can hold our own on that score.

[3] Austin Osman Spare is often cited as the originator of the modern sigil but the technique does appear to go back all the way to our ancient ancestors who would draw their prey on cave walls before going out on the hunt.

[4] Again, practice first, theory second. I’ll come to all that in part 5. For the moment though it is vital that you do not “prey” to ANY non-corporeal entities as part of your early occult dabbling. You run the risk of literally becoming their “prey”.

[5] We’ll get nicely bogged down in the theology of all this in part 5. I’ll be really frank here, however you want to cast it is always up to you. I’ve always used the candle and fire method and it’s never seemed to fail. Some people also like to display them but I believe this is not very Discordian. All my sigils are destroyed as part of the process.

That said, this essay really is a first step guide to a much bigger debate, as you’re likely to learn from the comments section below.

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  • unclaimed smegma

    Nice work. Small correction – “Pray” vs. “prey”. I know you meant the pun but getting the spelling right makes it look more intentional. I like the informal tone of these. Keep up the good work!

    As a side note, I’m still looking for my 50 cent coin….

  • SoruhFrake

    I must say great job on these series so far! Great way of presenting the entire subject in a very clear fashion without any unnecessary information for a beginner. I agree with Practice taking a priority over too much theory considering these topics :) Time for people to make their own theories ^^

    • Matt Staggs

      Nick’s a treasure, for sure.

      • emperorreagan

        Certainly adds back in the occult element I was missing a bit on the site.

        • SoruhFrake

          Completely Agree!

          • Matt Staggs

            I’m trying to bring that stuff back as much as possible. It’s a healthy part of the fertilizer that grows disinfo’s strangest blooms.

  • http://twitter.com/TedHeistman Ted Heistman

    So how would one make the most hyper of hyper sigils?

    • SoruhFrake

      A hyper sigil would be trying to write a story, where the entire story is basically a sigil ;) Grant Morrison’s “The Invisibles” is an example of an hpyer sigil :)

    • Dubious Monk

      http://www.adventuresinofficeimaging.blogspot.com/2012/11/destroy-your-printer-web-comic-issue-5.html < this an attempt at a hypersigil I am doing for work, playing off Grants work/ideas.

    • http://www.facebook.com/rthoneunomia.celine Threedinium

      For me the ‘hyper’ is proportional to the complexity of the information wrapped within. The most hyper of sigils I could conceive of would be a creation containing as much human experiential data necessary for as fully realised manifestation as possible (images words sensation etc) – compounded (or perhaps the right word is synchronised) with alien experiential data. To wrap everything one can conceive of and more into a unified symbol of intent.

      • http://twitter.com/TedHeistman Ted Heistman

        That’s interesting. I am wondering about people like R.Crumb, finally getting to bang all these women he used to draw. But then I started to think of Arnold Schwarzeneggar, playing Conan and then “conquering” California. But then I was thinking about the Terminator getting shot and beat up and destroyed too, and wonder about his downfall.
        Then there is That Australian Guy, what’s his name, getting crucified in the press after being killed and ortured on film. makes you think. Grant Morrison talks about bad things happening to him from his hyper sigils.

        • http://www.facebook.com/rthoneunomia.celine Threedinium

          All I can really say to that is at the end of that particular rainbow of self discovery, all I can find is the leprechaun of true will and a big gold pot of crazy bitch.

          • http://twitter.com/TedHeistman Ted Heistman

            Ha Yeah, I can relate!

    • http://twitter.com/uberscientist Christopher Toledo

      I think when your like walking down the street with your puppy dog and you realize that your in a huge hyper sigil, I don’t know how to make that though. Probably like Einstein said “You cannot solve a problem from the same consciousness that created it. You must learn to see the world anew.”

  • http://twitter.com/TedHeistman Ted Heistman

    So anyway, this is cool, because I was just reading about sigils again in this book “Everything you ever wanted to know about Magick (but were afraid to ask)” and at the same time I am reading “I am a strange loop” by Douglas Hofstadter. It makes one really think about the mechanism of this as relates to quantum physics and the workings of human consciousness.

    • 1plakat

      best post ive read from you.

      • http://twitter.com/TedHeistman Ted Heistman

        Thanks, its a subject of deep interst for me.

    • http://disqus.com/ gadfly

      Never mind the physics, all of that is a distraction and only gives a vague awareness. All of this is very primitive, think voodoo.

  • Thad McKraken

    When I started practicing sigil magick about 6 years ago, which was something I was compelled to do by a spirit awakening, I intuitively decided the traditional sigil making technique was unnecessary. People like Grant stressed that the sigil should look magickal. Remote viewers used combinations of random numbers. I used a combination of the two. Pick an intent, maybe write it down, and then make a piece of art that represents it or if you’re not an artist, choose something you like by someone else. I just decided to throw a number with the image as well, usually 3 digits (again, something that’s been shown to work in remote viewing). Never used the write down a sentence and remove the vowels protocol, and since my sigils work quite swimmingly, I concluded it was roughly unnecessary. The looking magical part is probably more important. Make or choose some cool art. The more complicated image you can envision in your minds eye, the more magickal you’re becoming.

    Also, I completely skipped the part where you’re supposed to forget what the sigil was all about and they still seemed to work. I did roughly the exact opposite. Don’t just project the sigil once and forget the intent, accept the intent and project it repeatedly with a vengeance until you feel like it worked.

    How to project? It’s simple and even people like Grant and Alan Moore are fairly mum about it because we’re so sexually repressed as a culture. First, create and altered headspace. The easiest way to do this is with weed (now legal in 2 states). Weed intensifies the orgasmic experience greatly in most people which is why it’s ideal. Next step. Have sex or masturbate. Typically the protocol is to try and project the sigil into the ether at the height of orgasm. I’ve found that this is difficult because you almost black out in that state. The afterglow and lead up to the orgasm is more effective but try your best.

    Why is this important? Well, you’re trying to communicate with your Holy Guardian Angel which exists outside of the human time stream. By combining sex and marijuana, you’re projecting your normal consciousness outside of said time stream which is where your higher self exists. It’s been shown to me that they actually see people doing this as little beacons of light below them from up on high.

    Why does this work? Ultimately you’re playing with the idea that you are consciousness, not matter, which is why sigil design protocol is fairly malleable. What’s important is working on developing your third eye musculature. The more complicated and bizarre imagery you can actually manage to hold in your minds eye, the more you’re doing this. I’ve had lucid dreams where I’m basically being trained on how to turn myself into an entire 4th dimensional environment rather than a mere person. Try using sounds, smells, etc as well. You can use a song or riff as a sigil. Hear it in your head. I’ve also found that psychedelic music in conjunction with weed can create a similar heightened visionary state which aids in sigil projection. If you really hate weed, there are other methods of invoking these headspaces, but that’s the easiest. Booze won’t do shit. LSD? Works even better than weed.

    Also, design a banishing ritual. This is important. I threw myself into this without doing so, and quickly realized I needed one. Again, it can be fairly simple. Take a part or line from a song you like, hum it over and over in your head when you feel the presence of invading, unwanted negative energy. You can design a visual component as well if you must.

    I could clearly go on forever, but that’s all I have time for today. As crazy as all of this sounds, ultimately all I’m saying is that by fucking while high and focusing this energy, you can increase your telepathic abilities. Until someone really studies this and proves that theory wrong, it’s a fairly obvious and uncomplicated assertion.

    • http://disqus.com/ gadfly

      A lot of people who dwelled in this enviroment ended up as heroin junkies or alcoholics, others lost their sanity.

    • http://disqus.com/ gadfly

      Depressants such as alcohol are detructive. Marijuana is fine for ritual use if the creator is thanked and an offering is made to a tree. An alternative method is to binge on amphetamines without sleep for increased psychic ability but this method is obviously dangerous and brings about its share of chaos. Wormwood tea is a great choice before sleep for lucid dreaming, watch it brew and leave an offering of tobacco for the creator.

  • Damabupuk

    A cautionary tale:(?) While working at a campground a few years back, I decided that I wanted rain for the weekend, since that meant a quiet weekend at work. I created the sigil, charged it and sent it out there.

    At 3:30 Saturday morning, I was roused from my bed and had to work through the morning pulling trailers off the flood plain next to our river, as the rain had flooded the river 2 feet over its banks. Learned my lesson.

  • muladhara

    TOPY [AIN23] article that does a good job of this: http://www.ain23.com/topy.net/23_sigils.html

  • Dubious Monk

    This saves me a lot of time, it is very effective and because the screen is a light, when you close your eyes the sigil is “physically” visible http://17hex.net/sigil/ also, you did not mention shoaling which I think is an important technique for the modern practitioner of sigils. > http://runesoup.com/2012/03/ultimate-sigil-magic-guide/ < Best guide on sigils on the net IMO, Gordon ROCKS!

  • 1plakat

    Forgetting all about them is difficult, so I draw many. Computer graphics have taken sigils to another level in my opinions. Computers in general seem quite magickal to me. But all the warnings are needless and I find it just adds to shock value for people who never seen this information before. Just cast it, sometimes I cast just to see if I really want it, you can always banish it before it comes. The key is to see if magick is working, after a couple of bumps you will get it right. Will a certain synchronicity, maybe a certain striking color and make car parked on your street or to get a call from someone, see if that happens with out obsessing over it and thats magick, the more it happens the more confident you become that it will happen again. Most corporate logos are created as sigils, viral and so are the zodiac glyphs. To get what you want, you will need to see reality as fluid and able to change in ways beyond of what immediate logic can grasp, truly see life as a dream, limitless. The desire comes from inside anyway, the urge to draw the sigil is just a warning to the ego that things are about to change. Its the occulted right brain hemisphere that conducts everything, you the fool are only in it for the ride. Most of the world is in your head, reality is whats in front of you, decide what you want in front of you and notice how the better part of YOU operates.

    • http://twitter.com/TedHeistman Ted Heistman

      Yeah, the ego is a serious obstacle to change.

      • 1plakat

        as long as the ego knows its just watching, things start making more sense.

        • http://twitter.com/TedHeistman Ted Heistman

          My higher self has been bleeding through more a lot lately

          • http://www.facebook.com/rthoneunomia.celine Threedinium

            Don’t you mean our higher self?

            Or is that really letting the cat out of the bag.

          • http://twitter.com/TedHeistman Ted Heistman

            Well technically, yeah. Language is hard.Saying “ours” sounds weird though, like I am trying to get people to join a cult and surrender to the Borg!

          • http://twitter.com/TedHeistman Ted Heistman

            People have a lot of layers though.

          • Monkey See Monkey Do

            The cat is simultaneously in the bag and out of the bag, until someone looks in it. ;)

            I’ve always thought that there’s probably a few levels of existence until we reach our collective higher self, but its hard to say..

      • http://disqus.com/ gadfly

        A healthy ego is okay

    • http://disqus.com/ gadfly

      I tend to agree with you about computers. The power of technology I feel is underestimated as whole by many.

  • :)

    Look!

  • http://www.zoboprepublic.wordpress.com/ zobop republic

    The Robert Anton Wilson quote got me reading! Sold! :)

  • http://disqus.com/ gadfly

    The first book I ever read that touched on the unseen aspects of reality as non-fiction. I was a teenager wondering through an old book store and this book is what I left the store with. The next morning over a pot of coffee and many cigarettes I read it through. This is the book that did it for me:

    Witness To Witchcraft by Harry B. Wright

    I urge everyone to read it. Your local library may have a copy. This is not an occult text but an account of one man’s witness to natural phenomena.

  • http://disqus.com/ gadfly

    I am done now hijacking the page. Be safe everyone and remember to live with grace. In the end you will never win.

  • windupwristwatch

    does it have to be destroyed?

  • _-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_

    itt: people hypnotizing themselves and giving creating a false sense of self importance. sigilize for world peace or a billion dollars and see how well your “magick” works.

    • angelcarnivore

      Magic is about changing probability of in one’s favor. A business person who uses magic to increase the probability of their product becoming a #1 seller (ie: good advertising and packaging) will be more likely to become a billionaire than a person who doesn’t. An agent for world peace is best to use magic in order to increase the probability of rising to a position that would facilitate the world moving toward peace. (A politician, a public speaker, a religious figure, or even just a regular everyday joe who teaches their kid to be a little kinder… they all could potentially use magic to help facilitate world peace. Get enough people moving together, shoaling, to this goal, and there you go.)

      Nothing is impossible, except controlling other person’s perception of reality.

  • Adamas Macalz

    I used to do sigil magic… results were hit and miss… then I began practicing evocation… and that’s when sigil magic ended for me.

    • Dada Peláez

      Can you cast a sigil by getting it tattooed?

  • Dada Peláez

    Can you cast a sigil by getting it tattooed?

  • Pingback: Nine Candles()

  • nikkinoonaa

    Hey I’d like to disclose some information with someone in search of finding an opinion before I cast my first sigil. I have a bees wax candle and I know what it is I am seeking to achieve just simply want to do this correctly and without affecting anyone else’s free/true will… anyone there?

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