Creating Sigils - The Psybermancer

Basic Sigil Magic - Phillip Cooper 2001

Creating Sigils
The Psybermancer

The secrets of real magick lie in understanding your subconscious mind. This incredible part of you is limitless, totally creative, and all-knowing. Never underestimate its capabilities, or the fact that you are able to control and direct it as you will. All miracles and so-called paranormal happenings are due to the workings of the subconscious mind. It is also responsible for many feats that cannot be explained by science. When given an instruction, it will always carry this out, no matter what the facts appear to be. How? The answer is connection.

Subconscious Universal Energy/, Universal Intelligence and Universal Mind

Your subconscious mind has access to the abundant power that exists everywhere in creation. It can, at any time, draw on this power and direct it toward some objective. There are no restrictions on the availability of power or on its use.

Universal intelligence (God) is totally cooperative and allknowing. Your subconscious mind is in direct contact with this at all times. Every help will be given and all questions answered if you ask, for God is there to help. It is so very important that you examine your beliefs about divinity and then remove all concepts that are not valid or true. Wrong beliefs produce wrong results every time. If your God appears to hate you, it is because you believe this to be true, even though it is not! Remember that no god seeks to restrict or deprive you, or to make you pay for your supposed sins. These ideas are the legacy of the Dark Ages, when narrow-minded religions were the norm. The unthinking bigots and blind fools who fostered these idiotic schemes for their own purposes are still with us today. Do not listen to them. Instead, think about this carefully and come to your own conclusions. Open up to the reality of God and to the fact that this intelligence seeks only to help you have whatever you wish. God contact transforms lives by giving freedom—not by seeking to control and direct you. By abandoning self-restrictive ideas about universal intelligence, you automatically open up channels to power that will astound you.

By virtue of connection, you have access to power and knowledge. There are, however, many other levels and dimensions within the subconscious mind. If you consider the fact that everyone has a subconscious mind, it naturally follows that we are all connected to power and creative intelligence. We are also connected to each other. Many extraordinary phenomena can be explained by this linkage. For instance, nothing is forgotten. Nothing is ever forgotten by your subconscious, it retains everything. You cannot really forget something. The problem is simply one of not being able to recall something from memory. The idea of total retention is confirmed by hypnosis, under which a person can regress back to childhood and vividly experience some long-forgotten event as though it were real. Memory has many branches. One of these carries the total impressions of everyone who happens to be related by blood. In other words, you have inherited the memories of all those who went before.

Perhaps the most important link is the one you have with everyone else—not only those who are alive, here and now, but also those who are no longer incarnate. This does not mean that you are still in contact. Aunt Hilda will not come back from beyond the grave. All that is implied is that you are able to contact (and experience) the past impressions of someone else. To believe that these impressions are yours is sheer folly. Think about this carefully. Do you really wish to subscribe to the highly dubious concept of reincarnation, or the even sillier dogma of karma, or can you now see how these recollections are actually occurring through the linkages made by your subconscious mind? There cannot be any such thing as enforced Earth life, in which we serve out some sentence, paying for past mistakes of which we are not even aware. The whole concept is absurd and in direct opposition to common sense and truth.

The linkage between yourself and everyone else is called universal mind. Forget about superstitious claptrap concerning this. The universal mind is, quite simply, a perfectly natural linkage on subconscious levels. It gives you free access to many wonders, experiences, and memories. It also gives you the total cooperation of every living being in creation, because subconscious minds cannot, by themselves, say no. Here is the great oneness—the universal brother- and sisterhood of humanity. Those who learn to rise above normal human failings and contact the universal mind, will inevitably gain the complete cooperation of all others. The key, once again, lies in your beliefs.


The key to the subconscious, especially from a magical point of view, lies in the use of symbols. Any valid symbol acts as a doorway between you and this powerful part of your mind. It is the key that unlocks the door to power and knowledge if used correctly. Let us now explore symbols or, to be more precise, sigils, and see where it leads us.

This basic method was developed by the artist and magician Austin Osman Spare during the early part of the 20th century. In my opinion, Spare was a greater contributor to the

world of magick than his contemporary and mentor, Aleister Crowley.1 Spare was a visionary artist of considerable talent, notable for many other things outside magick. He received a national award for mathematics and was the youngest person ever to exhibit at the National Gallery.1 1 2 Spare knew both Aleister Crowley and Gerald Gardner, but himself shunned ceremonial styles (both the high magical style of Crowley and the coven rites of Gardner's Wicca).3 Instead, he developed a paradigm based on very simple principles. He bequeathed to us a refinement of sigilization—a process of true primal magick for realizing desires. This was just one element of the highly individualistic philosophy that Spare called "Zos Kia Cultus."4 Sigilization, although derived from within a ceremonial paradigm, can be performed without complex ritual regalia and exacting periods of preparation. Sigils can be applied equally well to changing anything from the weather to some internal situation (for example, to come to terms with your anger or to spark inspiration for a specific project). There are two approaches to be considered: graphic sigils and mantric sigils.

Basic Concepts

Sigils are images that unconsciously represent your desire. The aim of sigilization is to create an image (usually a symbol of some type) that represents your magical intention. The image is made in such a way that your conscious mind will not make an immediate connection between it and the object of your desire.

Sigils work by exploiting a fundamental difference in the way the conscious and subconscious minds operate. They operate at a point halfway between the conscious and subconscious levels. A sigil is composed of letters (the language of the conscious mind) formed into a pattern (the symbol-speak of the subconscious mind). In this way a sigil allows the conscious desire to enter the subconscious mind, where it can tap into the powerhouse of magick. Sigils hover between the two realms, opening a channel between the rational, logical mind of mundane reality and the symbolic, magical realm of the subconscious. When a sigil has thus been cast, it is then forgotten. Forgetting what you just did can often be the hardest part of the process. Magick works when the subconscious is left alone to do its job. The sigil floats away from conscious awareness and into the depths of the subconscious. As long as you do not dwell on the intention whenever it pops up into normal consciousness— a problem termed "lust of result" —it should not matter too much. In other words, you need to forget what you want in order for the subconscious to get to work on your desire.

Creating Graphic Sigils

Write out your intention in capitals. The simplest and most commonly used paradigm to create a sigil is the classic method described by Spare.5 Alternatively, you can try this slightly easier method, which uses the same principles. First, decide what you want. Depending on your own magical belief system, your views on karma and so forth, you may want to spend some time considering carefully how to word your sigil spell. Before proceeding it is important to get a clear, well-thought-out intention into your mind—one with which you feel both emotionally and intellectually happy.

Figure 4. Constructing sigils.

Figure 5. A decorated sigil.

Having established what you want, write down this desire in capital letters as one simple statement. For instance: I DESIRE A NEW PARTNER.6 Then use the first letter of each word, removing any letters that are repeated. Thus, the example given becomes: I D A N P.

Experiment with the letter forms that remain, overlaying one on top of another until you arrive at the sigil. This will be a shape with which you are aesthetically happy, one that contains within itself all the first letters from your original statement of desire, as in the example shown in figure 4 (page 44). It is permissible to consider M as a reversed W or, seen from the side, as an E. Therefore, these three letters do not have to appear in the sigil three separate times.

It does not matter what the sigil looks like as long as it is not too complex. All you need is a simple symbol on which to focus your attention. You must be able to visualize it (hold it firmly in the imagination throughout the ritual) and it must look right, according to your intuition. Decorating sigils can help by making them look even more magical (see figure 5, page 45). Stylizing the sigil with magical embroideries and decoration may seem romantic and whimsical, but this can enhance its effect tremendously In figure 6, I have taken this idea even further by giving the sigil a Gothic style that can help to facilitate the arousal of subconscious activity and primordial impulses to liberate the magical power within (see below). The refined sigil will appear to the subconscious as more magi-cat because it differs from our smoothed-up plastic everyday niceties and pseudo-aesthetics.

As a final thought, you may wish to place a border around the sigil, in the form of a triangle, circle, square, or something similar. This is entirely up to you.

When you are satisfied with your sigil, draw it on a piece of paper. You will need to transform it from a mere doodle into a magically potent image. To do this, you will need to charge the sigil using some form of magical gnosis and sleight-of-mind procedure. Charging methods are fully discussed in chapters 5 and 15.

Figure 6. Gothic "rough-hewn" style.

Creating Mantric Sigils

Write out your intention. You can spell it phonetically or scramble it into a meaningless phrase or a word that is pleasant to your ear. This can then be chanted throughout the ritual. You may add some vowels to make vocalization easier.

Spinning Mantra

The spinning mantra places the emphasis on the second and fourth syllables of each line. The rhythm, speed, and excitement of this kind of mantra have a direct effect on the thought process. You will have to practice the mantra for a period of time before it can be used ritually. If you do not want to use the spinning mantra, simply chant the mantra so that it sounds euphonic as well as, somehow, magical.

Create a sentence of desire: I DESIRE A NEW PARTNER.

Spell the sentence phonetically: IDEZIAR A NU PARTNA.

Delete all repeated letters: I DEZAR NU PT.

Scramble and rearrange the letters to form a mantric spell: ZEID RAN TUP.

Next you must charge your sigil. You may already have a preferred way of doing this, but for those with less experience, I will explain in chapter 5 one method that can be used by those who prefer an excitatory ritualistic approach.

1 Aleister Crowley, "The Great Beast 666," who initiated a new aeon of spirituality in 1904, supposedlythrough communication with a discarnate entity, Aiwaz. Thelemic magick is largely the legacy of Mr. Crowley.

2 Austin Osman Spare, From the Inferno to Zos: The Writings and Images of Austin Osman Spare, vol 1. (Seattle, WA: Holmes, 1993); Vera Wainwright, Poems and Masks (London: Mandrake, 1991).

3 Gerald B. Gardner, founder of what came to be known as the Gardnerian Tradition of Witchcraft, is best remembered as the individual chiefly responsible for the Witchcraft revival in the modern West.

4 Kenneth Grant, Images and Oracles of Austin Osman Spare (London: Frederick Muller, 1975), p. 7.

5 Spare, From the Inferno to Zos: The Writings and Images of Austin Osman Spare, p. 50.

6 It is generally unwise to cast spells for the attraction of specific partners. It is better to conjure for suitable partners in general, for yourself or others. Your subconscious usually has a far more subtle appreciation of who really is suitable.