Anton Channing Liber Minor 2
|Pagan Teenage Voice |
(Magazine of Minor Arcana)
|Quest Magazine: |
|University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire|
|Pagan Dawn |
Theory 2 - The History of Austin Osman Spare style Sigils in Magic
The Grandfather of modern (or should that be post-modern?) Chaos Magic, Austin Osman Spare used to work with Crowley in the OTO but left and formed his own magical system known as Zos Kia Cultus. Spare was totally disillusioned with all the "fannying about" with magical equipment and meaningless rituals that traditional magical systems had become riddled with. Spare decided to simplify his magic to the simple drawing of a magical sigil and the charging of this design by reaching a state of gnosis.
Spares sigils were created simply by combining letters taken from the statement of intent written in your native tongue. No magical alphabets or languages needed to be employed (although they could be). No astrological influence needed to be noted, nor any ritual performed, no circle opened, no spirits nor gods raised, nor phase of the moon referenced. Typically these style sigils are used by simply drawing them, magically charging them in an altered state of consciousness (ASC or Gnosis), and destroying it. Gnosis can be reached by any of these methods (among others too numerous to mention), deep meditation, ecstatic dancing, shamanic drumming, intense visualisation (possibly enhanced by a pathworking), astral travel, orgasm, drugs, pain, fear or anger. However drugs are both dangerous, unpredictable and illegal, so it is not recommended that you try them. Nor would it be wise to try sexual practises that are illegal or that you are under the age of consent for. Since I am a chaos magician it would be unseemly for me to moralise on this issue, so practise these things if you wish but be aware that they are not the path I recommend. It is also not recommended that you try and use a method you are not familiar with or not very good at. Shamanic drumming is useless if you are not very good at drumming and meditation takes months to get to a standard anywhere near good enough.
This style of Sigils was made popular in post-modern Chaos Magick by Pete Carroll in the Liber MMM. Chaos magick doesn't have a complete claim over the method though, and TOPY (the Temple Ov Psychic Youth) also adopted them as its favoured magical system.
Practicks 2 - Getting Sigils to work, for you!
Now you have learned a brief history of Sigil Magick, you will probably be wanting to try them out. Below is a series of easy to follow instructions for doing just that...
Step one. Writing a statement of intent. It is best to start with a simple spell, one where you don't care whether it works or not. Something like "It is my will that I will answer the door on Friday at 11.30am to take a parcel for my neighbour at number 47, from a 5ft man with bright orange hair" would be ideal, especially if you don't know your neighbour very well. For an example for you to follow we will use the following statement of intent...
IT IS MY WILL THAT THE POSTMAN WILL BRING ME A PARCEL TOMMOROW AND WILL RING THE BELL AT EXACTLY HALF PAST TEN
Step two. Delete all repeated letters. Prepare a list of the letters which appear in your statement of intent, such that each letter appears only once. Our example gets reduced to...
Step three. Combine the letters in an artistic way to form a sigil. Use your full design/artistic talents to draw a suitably occult and pleasing design based on the letters in your list. Forget the letters and begin to abstract the sigil until you have one you are happy with. Our example may look something like this...
Step four. Arrange the letters into a mantra. Use the same list of letters to form a pleasing mystical mantra for chanting during the spell. Our example could be reduced into...
TIMS LAW NEPH BROG CD VYXF
PHENAX SMITORG FY DAV
FENAX FIY TORGAV
Step five. Reach gnosis through visualisation and chanting. Sit comfortably and reasonably still. Slow your breathing. Close your eyes. Bring the image of your sigil into your mind. Chant the mantra and repeat it over and over. Keep the image of the sigil in your mind while you are doing this. Keep this up for as long as you can. Five minutes will do, fifteen minutes is better, an hour is excellent. When finished destroy the image of the sigil by burning, ripping up, dissolving (if you drew it on something water soluble), eating (if you made it out of something edible) or putting it in recycling. It is good to laugh at this point, as a way to banish unused psychic energy you may have raised and also to stop yourself from taking it all too seriously.
Try to forget about the sigil and what you wished for but keep a record of what sigils you've cast so you can keep track of your success. The more sigils you do, the more likely any one will work. Try and learn for yourself.
Notes  Historical Note: This disclaimer was a bit of a 'sell-out' on my part, but I was simply being cautious and aware that my target audience was mostly made up of teenagers under eighteen and as young as twelve.