• How Sigils Are Like Firearms

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    If you leave them around loaded then the unexpected can happen.

    Like what happened to me last night and this morning.

    We had a lovely, warm evening here in London. And because these things are exceedingly rare, I had agreed to meet my partner at a restaurant after work. Somewhere where you can actually sit outside.

    After an insanely good run of tubes I arrived first and took one of the tables out the front.

    Now, at the moment I am experimenting with firing a minimum number of sigils per week and always a few at a time.

    I’m naming it “shoaling” after the advantages fish derive from group behaviour and there will be a post about it imminently. However it’s not essential to this story.

    Of course, a multi-sigil regime puts you in a situation where you have to actually come up with multiple outcomes to sigilise. (I make little notes on my phone throughout the day.)

    So I order the wine, open up my workbook and get started on one that has occurred to me during the commute. I write it out, cross off the vowels, cross off the double ups… Then commence drawing up the sigil.

    Sigils are interesting. For those of you that do or have done enough of them you get good at noticing two things:

    • You know when they’re finished.
    • You know if they’re “good”.

    I almost wanted to say “aesthetically pleasing” in place of “good” but it doesn’t quite cover it. There is something beyond that. Like you can sense it having the weight of gold rather than fool’s gold… Something beyond the visual but not much beyond it.

    Anyway, so I draw the thing up and put a big circle around it to demarcate it from all the other scribbles on the page. And it was good.

    Good enough for me to look at it and think “huh, that’s a good one.” (I find judging sigils on visual qualities help separate me from the desire I am sigilising.)

    I looked at it for just a moment longer.

    Then my partner arrived so I put the book away, did my part to drink the two bottles of wine we ended up buying and staggered home through the park.

    The morning after

    Okay, so regardless of who’s fault it was, or who drank what, the iPhone -which is also our alarm- wasn’t plugged in last night. So I overslept. And then had a bleary-eyed commute from hell to get into work half an hour later than planned. (But still 8:30am. Dedicated professional, you see.)

    My intention was to call a client in Malaysia at 8am. Having missed that I was half an hour off my whole day plan. So, a little flustered, I just started dialling contacts pretty much at random. (I’m trying to line up some corporate sponsors for a few upcoming events but it’s a boring story. Back to the sigil.)

    My luck continues to smell of homeless ass. Is everyone in the world in one big meeting that I haven’t been invited to?

    Anyway, so eventually I to get through to a very senior global marketing VP (who never answers his phone) and he goes a bit quiet. They were just talking about me because, whilst they aren’t interested in the event, they want to talk about a large pan-Euro media partnership at the back end of the year.

    So… At this stage you can probably guess what I was sigilising the night before?

    The conclusion: practice makes imperfect

    Whilst you tend to rack up a fantastic amount of coincidences as you tread the magical Path, this is the first time that I am aware of (it’s always so difficult to keep track of these things when you’re sigilising) when I have had a sigil go off on its own.

    Tentative speculation based on a tiny amount of evidence:

    • I am getting ‘better’ at ‘charging sigils’ (whatever any of those words mean).
    • Something about shoaling means my brain is learning to anticipate the next step after writing/crossing out/drawing… In a very Pavlovian way.
    • Something else about shoaling is having an impact I can’t see yet.
    • The sigil was charged by a boisterous meal in which money matters were joyously discussed.
    • Something else I am doing (ie energy work on the tube) is impacting my normal sigil procedure.

    Only further experimentation will tell which answers are definitively wrong (because you won’t ever get a right answer in magic so stop trying).

    But like any good black brother I’m trying very hard to care. I gots me my awesome result.

    As Peter J Carroll says: “Magic works in practice but not in theory.”

    Hail chaos, indeed.


    London-based occultist and pseudo-pseudohistorian. Messes about with sigils. Travels a lot but is otherwise extremely lazy.


    9 Responses to How Sigils Are Like Firearms

    1. Vivienne Grainger
      June 23, 2010 at 10:40 pm

      One wonders also if the consumption of the lovely, lovely child of Dionysus had something to do with it? An altered state is always helpful, and the subsequent discussion of things monetary while there may indeed have actualized the sigil.

      And of course, there’s your own hard work, skill, and the intelligence that is obvious in your blog entries. You gave the sigil a lot to work with.

    2. June 23, 2010 at 11:01 pm

      Awwww… Shucks. That’s lovely.

      But seriously, if wine powered my magic then I would be the most powerful wizard who ever lived.

      We’d be at Sauron levels by now. I’d be a giant burning eye on top of a 200 storey wine glass.

    3. June 23, 2010 at 11:07 pm

      At first, I was going to comment on the excellent blog post…then I read the Sauron comment, and decided that it’s the best thing I’ve read all day. ***Salute!***

    4. 1141
      June 24, 2010 at 12:35 am

      That Sauron comment totally just brightened my unusually shitty day. Thanks, Gordon :)

    5. petoskystone
      June 24, 2010 at 2:27 pm

      love the carroll quote! the visual of sauron on top of a wine glass is :).

    6. Deb
      June 25, 2010 at 7:03 pm

      I think we need to start a wine laden piece of spellwork of some kind and compare notes. Purely for science, of course.
      Deb´s last blog post ..Panic, Meditation, and the Dilettante

    7. June 25, 2010 at 10:01 pm

      Purely for science and deliciousness. Agreed.

      PS – The PAWmail address you use for comments keeps bouncing back my declarations of love/calls for attention. Just saying…

    8. Deb
      June 30, 2010 at 8:02 pm

      Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr! I’ve been wondering why I keep missing everything. Blast! How do we get past gmail’s tricksiness? Is there an address I can use to get google to acknowledge it’s not spam?
      Deb´s last blog post ..Etiquette Lesson- Im addicted to you- Dont you know that youre toxic

    9. June 30, 2010 at 8:08 pm

      I’m not sure. That’s way beyond my limited skills. Is Jow a nerd? My nerd is in Ireland right now.

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