The Scarlet Letter
Volume V, Number 2 | December 1998
A Mess of Sigils
By Bruce Kroeze

For pure will, unassuaged of purpose, delivered from the lust of result, is in every way perfect. —AL I.44

The use of sigilized statements of desire is perhaps the simplest, quickest and most effective technique in the modern magician’s armory. The Circle is RedHowever, this method has a glaring flaw. How is the mage to get around the lust of result that goes hand-in-hand with the creation of the sigil? This paper gives a method I have found useful for circumventing this inconvenient limit.

The creation of a sigil is a simple and interesting exercise. At its most basic, the worker writes down a statement of desire, phrased as a positive. If there is any doubt about the proper way to phrase your desire, consultation of any of the huge pile of new-age dreck written about “affirmations” will shortly remedy any confusion. Do not buy these books, just read them at a bookstore as the idea is—necessarily—very simple.

Once a satisfactory statement has been selected, the magician reduces it to a form where he no longer consciously recognizes its meaning. This is quite entertaining, and endless variations of this reduction process can be invented to amuse the creative sigil-mage. Note the light-hearted tone of the process here. The avoidance of result-lust begins with laughter. Work with the sigil until you find an aesthetic symmetry and simplicity that you feel comfortable with.

Once the sigil is complete and ready for activation, copy it to a piece of paper and put it away for a while. I put mine in a little “sigil-pot”, where I store all “passive” sigils. If you create ten or so sigils at one time, or over a short period, then wait a couple weeks, you should find that you have no sure conscious idea which sigil is which. This helps get rid of desire because it is quite difficult to simultaneously lust for the fulfillment of ten desires.

Put your sigil pot somewhere where you will see it occasionally. Then forget about sigils entirely for a couple weeks. Then, one day when it occurs to you “out of the blue,” a sure sign that you are ready to activate, randomly pick a sigil. It is normal for the remembering process to begin right away but it is easy to deal with this problem. Simply tell yourself, “Oh, it doesn’t matter.” This normally stops the process in the bud; if it does not, put the sigil down and wait a while longer.

Activating a sigil is done by achieving some state of gnosis while concentrating on the sigil’s image, words and/or sounds. I suggest that the magician vary the techniques used to accomplish the charge, as some will be found to work much better than others. Even when a favorite technique has been found, it is still valuable to vary the approach now and again, as the “best” technique may change over time.

After the sigil is charged, it should be destroyed. This should be a physical and mental destruction. Burning a piece of paper is easy, but deliberately losing a memory less so. I have found the practice of simply saying to myself “I don’t need to remember that right now” to be extremely effective. More aggressive efforts at forgetting usually fail for me, but a few repetitions of “I don’t need...” usually cause the sigil to be gone in short order.

It is difficult to reconcile this need to forget with another obligation of a magician, which is to document her work. I compromise by quickly writing the time and circumstances of the activation (but not any image of the sigil), then doing something mentally distracting such as playing a computer game.

After you have activated the final sigil, wait a couple days for full memory loss. Then, you are finally free to look back over your records & check for results. You will certainly find some obvious and powerful activations working in your life. Of course, a journal is vital for the final step in the sigilizing process. It acts as your last line of defense against Lust of Result by enabling you to get through the temptation to re-interpret your recent experiences.

So the Wise Man acteth without lust of result; achieveth and boasteth not; he willeth not to proclaim his greatness.
Tao Te King, Crowley translation, 77:4.

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