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Basic Sigil Ritual

The BSR is a structure for supporting the correct approach to engineering a synchronicity, something that is notoriously difcult to achieve without direct, personal experience of successful magick. The BSR can be considered a set of training wheels; at rst indispensable for even the most rudimentary movements, but with experience, can be dropped altogether as condence and understanding grow. The BSR is to be performed no more than 3 times in a week, no less than once. The BSR consists of 6 points, as follows:

1. Consider SOI
The SOI is a Statement of Intent that sums up the desired outcome of the working e.g. I will successfully bid for a grant from the Arts Council. There are two common mistakes with the SOI that can lead to magical failure, confusion or doubt: Mistake #1 - SOI is too general. The SOI is so open to interpretation that a successful result is impossible to detect e.g. I will see a man wearing trousers. Mistake #2 - SOI is too specic. The SOI is so closed to interpretation that a successful result is impossible to manifest e.g. I will see a Serbian/Spanish 34 year old bald man wearing pink foil trousers with green polka dots at 2.31pm on Tuesday the 24th March 2011. It is prudent to be as specic as possible, but without limiting the possible means of manifestation for the desired outcome. Formulate the SOI based on what you actually want, and what the available means of manifestation are; a good rule of thumb is to be specic in the want, but general in the means. Consider what it is that you really desire; in the example SOI given above regarding the Arts Council grant, I might ask myself why I want the grant in the rst place. For money? If so, I have unnecessarily limited the available means of manifestation by specifying a grant from the Arts Council; money could arrive in many ways, and from some unexpected sources. Should I care where it comes from, just so long as I receive the money? If it is just money that I want, then I need to replace one specicity - successfully bidding for the grant - with another: I will receive [insert amount here]. However, it may be the case that receiving the grant not only provides a specic desirable amount of money, but also a certain amount of opportunities or kudos not otherwise available. Judge each case carefully and be sure of your intent!

2. Banish
After the magician has formulated the SOI, it is time to establish the optimum environment, both outer and inner, for working magick. This means performing a banishing ritual to clear the space and head of unwanted inuences, spirits, thoughts, distractions or emotional states. There are a good selection of tried and tested banishing rituals freely available online, including but not limited to the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram and the Star Ruby. However, banishing can be very simple, and a commonly used method amongst Chaos magicians is to Banish with Laughter, a method involving nothing more than forcing yourself to laugh for a few minutes (with practice the laughter becomes genuine). This is to counter: Mistake #3 - Proceeding from a bad basis. A bad basis is the usual state of consciousness for most humans: grasping, resisting and asleep. To experience things as they are - the key to successful magick - requires that the magical act is without any form of moving away from the immediate experience i.e. the fact of your intent. Without a great deal of training and success, any attempt at magick without the tried and tested support structure of ritual is doomed to failure as our habitual tendency to be attached - in this case to the desired outcome - is set against our habitual tendency to aversion - in this case any thought of the desired outcome, not to mention every other desire swamping our minds as a result of habit, conditioning, circumstance, emotional state, neuroses, etc. A good banishing clears the mind, neutralizes the space, and sets the optimum basis for a successful magical act. Let it be known: magick on the y is the last resort of the lazy and naive, or the magician that has failed to explore and understand his nature well in advance of his or her current circumstance.

3. SOI
The magician now proclaims, out loud, the Statement of Intent. If step 1 has been properly performed, this should ensure: Mistake #4 - Lack of Will. not an issue. Just as desiring a result during the act guarantees failure, so too does resisting it (which is but another species of desire); and although resistance usually takes the more colourful forms of anxiety, fear or hate, it can be subtle also, manifesting as boredom or an active disinterest, which is easily confused with detachment.

If you dont actually want something to occur magically, then it will be damn difcult to ensure you experience the magical act just as it is. Be sure of your Will!

4. Gnosis
With the SOI proclaimed, it is now time to enter an altered state of consciousness to overcome the natural tendency to move away from our immediate experience, in this case the magical act. An altered state of consciousness as part of a sigil working is often known as gnosis (obviously based on but grossly misrepresenting the gnosis of the Gnostics), and can take many forms, the two classic states being: -Sexual arousal and orgasm. Easy, accessible, lazy and fun. -Deep meditative states. Requires a few months worth of training for the dedicated student, but is actually more convenient than the sexual method, although not quite as fun. Of course, breathing techniques, physical exhaustion and drugs can all be used too. Gnosis as part of the BSR is the principal means to overcome: Mistake #5 - Lust of Result. At the peak of the altered state, it should be physiologically impossible to obsess over the outcome of the ritual, thereby ensuring a direct experience of things as they are at that moment i.e. the magical act, more specically the sigil in this particular exercise. Consult Advanced Magick for Beginners for an in-depth discussion of why lusting after result is a Bad Thing. A common error when it comes to this part of the BSR is: Mistake #6 - Shallow gnosis. The altered state of consciousness isnt altered enough, and obsession over results is pretty much unimpeded during the state. It is often laziness or fear that holds back the beginner with gnosis; if using meditation, and provided you have trained enough to access an altered state, then meditate for 30 minutes before using the sigil; if using breath work, then breathe for 30 minutes; if physical exhaustion, ensure you literally are completely exhausted i.e. you dont have the energy left to obsess; if sex, ensure a period of abstinence before hand, and restraint during the act to build to a better climax.

However, once you have got into the swing of things, it is prudent to avoid: Mistake #7 - Gnostic burnout. Too many altered states of consciousness in a short period of time can lead to both mental and physical exhaustion, which not only impacts on the quality of your magical work but has ramications for your life in general. As such, the BSR is not to be performed more than 3 times per week. (Not only will this counter any tendency towards gnostic burnout, but it will also help with: Mistake #8 - Beginners desperation. The beginner may be so desirous for magick to work that he or she indulges that particular lust for result by performing as many acts of magick that can be squeezed into a week, encouraging an exponential growth in results to lust after with each successive act, multiplying the depth and frequency of instances of confusion, disappointment and tearyeyed hope, and concentrating the aspirants capacity for self-doubt (I just dont believe magick will work for me....<sigh>). Take it easy, take it slow, take one act of magick at a time and focus on doing it right.) With the peak of the gnosis, it is now time for the...

5. Sigil
The sole purpose of the sigil is to provide a direct experience of the intent without encouraging the inherent tendency to grasp after or obsess over the desired outcome. The sigil should represent an exact SOI as described under 1. above, but in order to avoid... Mistake #9 - Suggestive image. ...the sigil should be abstract and in no way reect or indicate the nature of the desire. A suggestive image is counter to the purpose and function of the sigil in the rst place, and will surely invoke mistake #5, Lust of result (see above). The traditional approach to constructing a sigil is to take your SOI: e.g. I WILL BE PROMOTED TO EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR remove repeated letters: e.g. I WL BE PROMTD XCUV remove vowels: e.g. WLBPRMTDXCV and then construct - using your imagination (there are no set rules) - either an image or a mantra from the remaining letters:

e.g. an image (you can see that this image contains all of the above letters):

or a mantra (insert vowels as necessary): WoLuB PRaMeT DeXCoV (you can always simplify. Perhaps: Wob Pret Dev.) (Experience has shown that you can omit the removing of letters rigmarole and simply decide that any given image or symbol represents your desire (and this includes number sequences or even random phrases plucked from a book). If you do so, again ensure the image or phrase is non-suggestive. Experiment has demonstrated that any given symbol, sigil, mantra or image can be used more than once to represent different SOIs by deciding what the sigil in question represents with each use, and its even possible for someone else to decide what a sigil means without the magicians knowledge and it will still prove efcacious. However, in the beginning I strongly advise that you begin by following the traditional route, constructing the sigil in the traditional method and using it only once. With familiarity and experience comes room to experiment and test the boundaries, but not before.) With the peak of gnosis, the sigil can be either visualised or stared at in the case of an image, or repeated internally or chanted out loud in the case of a mantra. Should the magician be visualising the sigil, it is best to keep the image simple or its likely... Mistake #10 - Overly complex image. ...will render a clear visualisation difcult, and the working desperate, doubtful and confused. This being said, we should not indulge... Mistake #11 - Obsession over clear visualisation. ...providing we manage a few seconds worth of seeing the structure of the sigil, regardless of whether it wont stay still or retain its colour or dimensions. With practice the capacity for visualisation will improve. If it really is impossible to see the sigil visualised for even a few seconds, then taking up a daily visualisation practice is advised. Simply observing the sigil on a piece of paper is always an option too. With the peak of the gnosis reached and the sigil launched, the BSR is wrapped up with the nal step...

6. Banish
...the function of which is to clear the working itself. The nal banishing is a support in keeping the act pure, or its corollary: a preventative measure in deling the act with obsession over the result, being the likely outcome with the end of gnosis and the resumption of everyday bad basis (see Mistake #3 above). Banishing with Laughter is a good method to end with, especially if the ritual was humorous. Step 6 should be good enough to deal with... Mistake #12 - Fear of recalling the sigil. the immediate circumstances, but it is very common after the ritual to nd yourself desperately attempting to suppress the slightest memory of the act or sigil. This is doomed to failure: any command to forget something must contain the very thing you are trying to forget. Furthermore, resistance is a sure re way of promoting that which is resisted through engagement; better to simply allow any memory of the act or sigil or intent, should it arise, to simply be as it is, neither engaging with or attempting to suppress the thought. (This is where meditative ability comes into its own.) It does not matter if you recall the sigil or act momentarily; but the rite is ruined should you lose yourself in obsession over the outcome. The nal consideration is something the act of banishing can be of use in mitigating should there be no other option in proceeding with the working: Mistake #13 - Too close to the event. It is wise to perform any act of magick well in advance of any event we wish to inuence; the closer to the event in question, the more likely we will be in considering the outcome of the magical act during the act itself, the interim between the act and the event, and the event as it unfolds. This is a common mistake easily remedied with a little planning, but when circumstances dictate a punt on an outcome to an impending event, a good, strong banishing followed up with a degree of mindfulness of the sort discussed under mistake #12 is your best shot.

Summary of the BSR

1). Consider SOI. 2). Banish. 3). SOI. 4). Gnosis. 5). Sigil. 6). Banish. To be performed no less than once, but no more than three times in a week, one sigil at a time.

Summary of possible mistakes

Mistake #1 - SOI is too general. Mistake #2 - SOI is too specic. Mistake #3 - Proceeding from a bad basis. Mistake #4 - Lack of Will. Mistake #5 - Lust of Result. Mistake #6 - Shallow gnosis. Mistake #7 - Gnostic burnout. Mistake #8 - Beginners desperation. Mistake #9 - Suggestive image. Mistake #10 - Overly complex image. Mistake #11 - Obsession over clear visualisation. Mistake #12 - Fear of recalling the sigil. Mistake #13 - Too close to the event.