Tag Archives: sigils

Failure to Bind

More than a year ago I wrote a somewhat theoretical post about applied feminist ethics in witchcraft.  It was, of course, not all that theoretical.  Someone that I had, until that point, considered a friend had stalked anohter friend of mine home from a party and violated zir personal space in a few ways.  The creeped-on friend, however, did not want a scene made, which prevented me from summarily barring the creeper from my social circle.  What I could and did do, however, was attempt to bind the creeper from further infringing on my friend’s boundaries.

I drew a sigil, called upon my familiar spirits and the spirits of Saturn and Venus, and arranged for the person in question to drink a series of toasts that had been poured over the sigil.  A couple other people from the social circle were there as well, which was not strictly ethical, but seemed … necessary and appropriate, and it was what my Genius and Daemon had led me to do.

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My binding worked, in one sense.  To the best of my knowledge, the creeper in question never infringed upon my friend again.  In another sense, it failed utterly.  Zie went on, instead, to assault someone else.  In full view of one of the others who had been present at the binding toast, actually, which is … interesting.

Divination indicated that I should not, at that point, escalate: that all would be taken care of behind the curtain.  And by divination, I mean my tarot cards and the VERY LOUD YELLING of the very many spirits who at that point were hanging about my temple.

Doubt lingers, of course, to this very day.  What could and should I have done differently?  I was constrained in mundane action in both the initial instance and the subsequent by the wishes of the victims.  How could I stand by and NOT smite zir into the dark depths of the earth–except that it was made very clear to me that further attempts at intervention would only go awry?

I’m not even certain why I’m telling this story except, in a new life in a new Temple, it’s past time to burn the original sigil, but I wanted archival evidence of the results.And in the hopes that someone reading this has productive thoughts on how such a situation could be handled better in the future.  Because neo-Pagan sexual mores often make a highly effective smokescreen for mainstream rape culture, and there will be a next time.

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Continuing Experiments with Sigils

Just fired my first sigil in months.  Damn that did feel good.

Which gets me thinking…

I’ve been hanging out on tumblr a lot, lately, and the chaos magick tag is occasionally overwhelmed by people posting sigils to be empowered by those who view them.

On the one hand, that’s brilliant.  Taken cumulatively, with as many people would see such a thing, even their mere passing notice would raise more energy than most of us can do on our own.  I mean, I like to think I’m a badass, but come on: even if only you, my readers, see that shit: y’all are badasses, too, and (between the wordpress and the tumblr) there are over a hundred of you.  That’s some serious magical power.

On the other hand, however, it poses an ethical concern.  How do I know that I can stand behind every objective that someone else might throw out there?  I don’t know who you’re cursing. I don’t know what politician you’re backing.  Witches and magicians, contrary to our own protests, are, as a group, no better than anyone else: we have our retrofuck misogynists and racists and homophobes,  we have our predators and rapists and murderers and demagogues.  And, love you though I do, my dear readers, I also know (as you do, being exceptionally clever as well as badasses) that we don’t actually agree on everything.  So how can I ask you to, never knowing the statement of intent, back everything I might choose to post.

And, from another angle entirely, what are the risks?  Douchebags and trolls abound.  How bad could your shit get fucked if someone decided they didn’t like the look of your sigil and decided to deep-six it?  Or follow the power back and put the hurt on you?  Sure the odds are low.  I’ve been doing this shit since I was sixteen years old, and I’ve been magically attacked by exactly one person that I know of and been haunted maybe a handful of times.  The next time the sun enters Scorpio, I will celebrate my thirty-fourth birthday.  But people do, occasionally, find me personally obnoxious, and I have burnt a few bridges in my day.

So I’m not posting the sigil this time.  But I’d love to hear people’s thoughts on the matter: logistical and ethical, both.

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28 March, 2014 · 5:50 pm

Project Null: Satyr’s First Servitor

projectnullI have been planning to experiment in servitor creation since I first set out to study Chaos Magick.  Unfortunately, none of my major sources treat the subject in any real detail.  So I went that vast repository of knowledge, madness, and wisdom which I we all know and love: the Internet.  My hope was that a variety of perspectives would allow me to identify the core techniques by triangulation, and from there come up with my rite.

Here are the sources I found most useful:

* Servitor Creation at Atreus World of Wierdness

* Pope Michae’s Basic Servitor Creation

* Servitor Creation at Spiralnation

CAVE CANEMFile:Pompeii - Cave Canem (4786638740).jpg

Between native talent and practice bordering on paranoid, protective magic has always been one of the things I am best at.  Thus, it was always my intention for my first servitor to be a household guardian.  Because I’m an asshat, I ignored all suggestions to start simple.  I chose the form of a dog in order to tap into the “guard dog” egregore, and in order to use a foo-dog shaped teapot, which I happened to have, as a vessel.  I named him for one of the great guards of myth, in order to tap into that stream as well.  Hereafter I will refer to him as Cave Canem[1], or CC for short.

I wrote and sigilized ten lines of “code”, and chose its master sigil from a number of glyphs which I had produced through automatic drawing last semester.  I wrote a incantation containing the servitor’s name, the instructions I had sigilized, and the terms of the contract between us.  I then drew a stele-image of CC bearing his nIMG_5635ame and all his sigils.

I placed that penciled image and the vessel on an improvised altar in the middle of my temple.  I banished and purified everything.  I got out my Abramelin oil and the brush I use for sigils.  I raised the power, declaimed the incantation, inked the sigils on the drawing, and painted the vessel with the master sigil.  Then I called down an amount of power that easily put this in the top ten most powerful rites I have ever performed, possibly the top five.  I anointed the vessel with the Oil of Abramelin, and the dog awoke.

His presence was immediate, almost tactile.  He responded warmly to my attention.  The next several times I drove, CC sat in the back seat behind me with his nose on the back of my head.  When I drove to Kansas City for Spring Break, he made much of the drive with me, though he grew … thin across Illinois.  Even in Kansas City, though, he appeared instantly when I spoke his name.

I would consider this an unqualified success, except that I haven’t actually seen much of him since I got back from Spring Break.  But I came back from Spring Break ill enough that I probably shouldn’t have driven.  I missed (another) two days of class, and ultimately ended Break even further behind than I started.  So I haven’t really had time for more than a bare minimum maintenance of my spiritual obligations; I hadn’t seen much of any of my Friends Upstairs, actually, for that reason, until last Wednesday when I received instructions on how best to rearrange my altar.  So one is uncertain if he didn’t “last” or if one’s head is merely stuffed up one’s own ass.

Still, I’m pleased enough with the outcome of this attempt that I’m planning a second, more ambitious servitor project: an army of flying monkeys.


1 – Classical Latin:  “Kah-way ka-nem”, trans:  “Beware the Dog”.

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Weekly Sigils Shoals

IMG_5601Since coming back to Indiana for the Spring semester, I have fired a shoal of sigils every week.  The idea is that doing practical, results-oriented magic on a regular basis will, a) improve my mad magic skilz in a practice-makes-perfect sort of way; b) force me to be more creative with my sigil-making and sigil-launching techniques lest boredom undo my Will; c) proivide me with raw data for deterring IMG_5602which desires and which techniques go well together; and, finally, d) result in improved efficacy of any technique I might employ, as the universe becomes accustomed to bending to my will.

So far, the project has been going well.  My “target” is a shoal of three to six sigils every IMG_5608Sunday morning, as part of my regular offering schedule.  So far I have not actually made that target: half my launches have been Sunday afternoon or evening, the other half on Monday nights.  Still: that’s progress.

The first week’s sigils were all aimed at personal outcomes: memory and discipline.  The second were social: still trying to engineer myself a new lover here in Indiana.  (High standards, highly specific notions of consent, a complicated life story, and an overabundance of undesirable near-misses make that more difficult than it might otherwise be.).  The third were aimed at memory and discipline again: being where and when I say I’ll be, and getting my assignments done on time.  The first two sets were done in what has become my most frequently employed method: drawing the sigils on a notecard and chanting “It is my will” at them until they get fuzzy.  The third week was done using a freshly-consecrated mirror as a launching platform.  That seemed to work very well, actually.

2013-02-10_11-19-41_167This week’s Work, however, had a different target which required an entirely different approach.  My parents are embroiled in an inheritance dispute.  Frankly, I should have intervened months ago, but it’s an adequately messy situation that, without any real brilliant inspiration as to how to intervene, I was more 2013-02-10_12-12-30_384than a little afraid of collateral damage.  Having been struck by a bit of that much-needed inspiration, though, what you see to the right are sigils drawn with planetary Kamea and empowered at the appropriate planetary hours this past Sunday.  Basically, I dropped Saturn and Jupiter on the matter, by the logic that the two celestial god-kings were the best way to bring a legal dispute to a close.

Results, so far, have been mixed.  My social and discipline sigils have been slow to manifest.  Perhaps my chaos sigilization technique needs work.  Perhaps it’s my launch technique.  Or maybe I just need a bigger lever to fight my own nature.  This Sunday’s planetary sigils, however, have already manifested: the situation has shifted from the lawyer saying “they should sign the paperwork soon” to the bank saying “the check is in the mail”.

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After-Action Report for Enchantments of Fall 2012

When I came back to school in the fall of last year, I enchanted heavily for a few things.  Some of those I doubled down on over the course of the semester.  I mostly used sigils, though there were also a few planetary rituals, and a few projects that started over the course of the semester.

Sigils for Sex, Drugs, and Rock & Roll

These results were mixed. 

One sigil was specifically aimed at getting people to give me weed for free, and that worked splendidly: I was given some smoke to bring back to the temple with me from KC, and when that ran out I was able to make it through the rest of the semester on the generosity of friends when I visited their homes and on shake and roaches provided to me by my neighbors.  Hell, I’ve still got some of that left.  That sigil is DEFINITELY getting recharged.

Another sigil was targeted at convincing people to give me booze.  This, too, worked like a champ: people brought booze to my house and abandoned it, they bought me drinks at bars (even when they didn’t know me), and I was even able to get a couple commissions for my homebrew operation.  The effects even continued over winter break, with two different people handing me large quantities of honey to ferment.  Another sigil for the permanent collection.l

Finally, and this may be part of the problem, I had several sigils aimed at getting laid.  I took several different tactics: my sexual needs are met, people feel comfortable approaching me for sex, I have generous and intelligent lovers … all to no avail.  The only people to grace my sheets last semester were my partners Aradia and Sannafrid.  Unfortunately, they were each only there for a week at a time (not the same week; my life isn’t quite that awesome) out of the eighteen week semester.  I was getting a little desperate by the end, and as things stand I have no new prospects for this coming semester.  (Anyone reading this blog is, of course, welcome to volunteer.)

Sigils for Health and Happiness

Again, results were mixed.  I specifically enchanted that I be “sound of body and mind”.  Perhaps that wasn’t clear enough.  I also enchanted for the solidification of old friendships and the establishment of new.

Physically, I was healthy for most of the semester.  I was laid up with a fever for a couple days, once, but it wasn’t that bad.  What really fucked with me, though, was the bouts of insomnia.

Mentally, things were much worse.  Maybe it was the Chaos Magic.  Maybe it was the absence of friends on campus.  Maybe it was Saturn in Scorpio, combined with the psychic backlash of Aradia’s Saturn Return.  Whatever.  I spent the majority of the semester depressed, neurotic, and struggling with paranoia.

I didn’t make many new friends this semester, but I did make one or two, and I was able to really solidify some existing acquaintances.  These are good things.

Sigils for Wealth and Prosperity

These enchantments were utter failure, at least in the short term.  I tapped every resource I had and called in every favor owed me, and I still had to beg for money from friends and family to make it back to KC for winter break.  The school actually threatened to not let me come back next semester unless I paid them part of what I owed them before the start of this semester.

Now, that’s all been worked out.  In fact, I may actually end this semester ahead rather than behind.  But it took a lot of enchantment—some of it by friends of mine—and more than a little hard work in the material world to get there.  And I’m still waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Sigil for Academic Excellence

I haven’t been invited to Phi Beta Kappa yet, but I did earn an honors GPA this last semester, despite being on the verge of mental collapse.  3.69 for the semester is nothing to sneeze at, particularly given that I was doing two dead languages at the same time.

Shielding Talismans

These, made toward the end of the semester, were a resounding success.  Coming back to classes this semester, in fact, it’s been a little bit of  a shock to me to realize that I actually need them at school more than I needed them in the mall.  Apparently, at least right now, I find the psychic miasma of adolescent angst and the occasional authority-abusing professor to be more toxic than the capitalist nihilist malaise of the indoor mall environment.

Conclusion

So, overall mixed results for manifesting my will last semester.  I got most of what I needed, but not everything I wanted.  Two sigils, though, proved so effective that I’m going to turn them into semi-permanent talismans, which is a definite win.

This semester, I have set myself a challenge of launching a shoal of sigils every Sunday.  For myself.  For my friends.  For politics.  For the world.  For whatever.  Three to five sigils every seven days.

Let’s see how this goes.

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Disorder and a Detour Through Nostalgiaville

projectnullSomething about this experiment in Chaos Magick has gotten me thinking about the old days.  Hence the Timeline overhaul and all the post about my teenage years.  I’ll warn you now: there may be more of that coming, though on different subjects.

Aside from continuing my daily banishing, most of my work this week has consisted of the shielding experiments which sent me down memory lane, which I’ll talk about in detail tomorrow.

Friday night, I began another round of mask-making.  In accordance with the season, I was making another Death mask, which I hoped to sell for enough to reup my absinthe supply in time for Samhain.  Sadly, the clay wasn’t quite the right consistency, and shattered as it dried.  Hopefully I will have time to try again sometime this week.

I also fired a shoal of sigils Friday night.  I’m not gonna lie: this was some seriously low-brow shit.  The sort of thing that people get into fights about whether or not it’s beneath a magician’s dignity to do, and which, if approached from the wrong angle, could even be an ethical problem.  Yeah, that’s right: I’m using magic to help me get laid.  Go ahead, judge me.  That’s fair.

Divining before hand, it was almost an unqualified green light.  But … two IMG_5571potential problems came up. In the “coming in” position of the reading was XIII Death, last seen in my monthly reading in the 7th House; a more cautious person might have taken that as a sign not to cast.  Then, 7S “Futility” and I the Magus sat together in the “final outcome” position.  It seems likely that this indicates that, despite my best efforts, success in this arena will constitute a distraction from my school work.

Speaking of distractions from my school work: although the last week has been light enough for me to write this barrage of posts, things are going to get busy again after midterm.  The timeline I established for Project Null was predicated on last semester’s workload.  This semester’s load is much greater, and while I will strive to keep to that original schedule … well, school always has to come first.

Ironically, as I do an increasing amount of magical work every day, my meditation has fallen off completely.  Sadly, time spent staring at people’s auras in the cafeteria or out and about don’t count.

I have been able to remember my dreams upon waking only a few mornings, which is probably largely attributable to the sleeping teas I’ve been relying on for the last two weeks.  The fact that my dream recall has improved since I ran out of valerian tends to confirm this theory.  Most oddly, the night after charging the “get laid” sigil shoal, what do I dream about?  Why, the zombie apocalypse, of course, featuring a number of students from my school that I have never once spoken to.

I live a charmed life, mostly, but a strange one.

My plan for the coming week is to launch another shoal or two of sigils, finish reading Strategic Sorcery, and get back into Liber Null.  I’m also contemplating how to consciously interface my sigil magic with my Web of Influence for improved accuracy and timing.  So far, I’ve begun by tacking my fired sigils up with the maps that have become the visual representation of that web.  I will also continue brainstorming for what, precisely, I want the servitor I’m going to create as a part of this project to do; the general thought right now is bolster my house wards and serve as a guardian/attack dog.

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Failed Enchantment: No Scholarship for Satyr Magos

I don’t often enchant for concrete outcomes.  The fact is that I have most of what I want and need.  My web of influence (and social privilege) and mundane efforts keep things flowing pretty well.  Most of my enchantments are aimed at bolstering that web: my planetary talismans, my safe-travel spells, and my circles of protection.  Every once in a while, though, I do need something specific badly enough that I enchant for it: generally it works; this time it didn’t.

At the end of July I was invited to apply for a “scholarship” (actually a service-based work-study) program offered by my school.  I cut things pretty close last year, and part of the problem was that I couldn’t get all my work-study hours, which the program would guarantee me.  In addition to about a thousand extra dollars to live on each semester, it also offered a stipend for summer work.  I wanted it badly.

As one is supposed to, I did a Tarot spread about the application.  On the one hand the message was clear: yes, I should apply.  On the other hand, the actual outcome was more ambiguous.

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I put in the work on both ends. I was given two weeks from the time I received the invitation to the due date. I busted ass on application, itself, and turned it in on time.   It was a damn good application essay, if I do say so myself.

Aradia and I charged a sigil and fired it off with a seven-day candle.  I then sent that sigil to a few, select, close friends so that they could help charge it, too.

2012-07-29_22-43-09_677

Then I waited.  I was supposed to hear back about my application by the 6th of August.  No word came.  I got caught up in the process of packing, and basically let it go.

I got to Sunrise on the 14th of August.  Still no word had come.  So I walked up to the office and asked.  The email had been sent, they told me.  But, no: I had not been selected for the program.  The application and the spell had failed.

There are a lot of variables here.  Perhaps my application was invalidated for some technical reason I can’t know.  Perhaps the sigils I designed were flawed in some way.  Aradia and I raised energy for the sigils by laughter; perhaps that was not the way to go.  Perhaps passing them off for a boost was a bad idea.  Perhaps they somehow conflicted with other enchantments I have in place to assure my financial solvency.  Perhaps my mistake was as simple as failing to encode a time frame: perhaps I will be selected for the program next year, on the basis of the same application.

A brief consultation with the Tarot—“Why did my spell to receive the scholarship fail?”—produced what you see below….

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…. which basically comes across as pure static.  Obviously, one could interpret this as “you didn’t put the work in”, but …. to the best of my ability to determine, I did.  And the optimist in me wants to try to spit in as, “because something better is in the pipeline.” 

Thoughts or suggestions would be very welcome.

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Reining In and Cutting Loose: My Unruly Mind vs. Project Null

Project Null officially kicked off a week ago today.  This is the first of what I hope to be weakly updates on my progress through the project.  This week has been more theory than practice, but both aspects have been solid.

Despite classes, my reading has been progressing swiftly.  I have finished Carroll’s Liber Null and Psychonaut.  I have re-read the Simon Necronomicon.  I have read most of Frater U.D.’s Practical Sigil Magic, and the first half of Stephen Mace’s Stealing the Fire from Heaven.  The last two are particularly exciting, because between U.D. and Mace, I have what I feel is an adequate grasp of A.O. Spare’s sigil methods.  I’m waiting on Amazon to get around to shipping Jason Miller’s Sorcerer’s Secrets, and I’m really looking forward to reading that, too, though I don’t yet know if it’s “Chaos” enough to qualify for this project.

Mind Control

Outside of my constant struggle to recall and master my dreams, I have never encountered the Psychic Censor in quite the way Peter Carroll describes it.  Perhaps I struggled against the very perception of the supernatural when I was younger—I did, after all, begin practicing magic at the age of sixteen—but I cannot now recall.

For me, much of my struggle is against what I have often described as my “unruly mind”.  Owing to my overwhelming (and largely irrational) fear of medicine in general and psychiatry in particular, I have never been diagnosed with anything.  But when people complain of their struggles with ADD/ADHD … well, the Rotten Card above is a familiar experience to me.  Outside of my magical practice, I rarely work on only one thing at a time: music or television plays in the background while I study or do housework; rather than see either task to completion before moving on to the other, I will often do laundry and another cyclical chore, such as the dishes, in tandem to create a natural flow of breaks.

Beyond that, I often struggle against the vestigial remains of the protestant work ethic which was instilled in me as a child: the idea that one must, at all times, be productive, and that even in moments of leisure (earned only by suffering) one must still be doing something.  Working on my art does not rouse this nagging voice; even smoking weed and watching television—the most useless and slothful activity in which I engage—does not bring the restless, almost painful feeling that comes from inactivity.  But meditation?  Simply sitting in the quiet of my own presence and listening to my breathing?  That drives my inner Puritan into a mad frenzy.

Since beginning the meditative practice called for in Liber MMM approximately ten days ago, I have rarely managed to perform my meditations two days in a row.  When I have, it was over the weekend.  Around half of each meditation session—which has averaged five minutes, went as far as six once, and as little as three—is spent thinking about journaling or blogging about the experience.  During the first several sessions, my mind was awash with a riot of images.  Counting my breathing has helped with that, but not eradicated it completely.  Regardless of the position I sit in—and I have tried several—my body almost always grows restless, and on two occasions this actually manifested as physical pain.

On the plus side, there have been several days where I was able to carve out small blocks of time to sit and trance, without a timer, in the sun around campus.  Those sessions were actually more fruitful, in some ways, than my planned meditation sessions.

One interesting thing that’s come up while I’ve been doing these meditations is the relization that my aura is loosing its differentiation again: without doing chakra-specific meditations, I’ve dropped down from the “usual” seven to four: a crown above my head which somehow includes my third eye, a point at my heart, one at my loins, and one below my feet.  Also of interest is that, though it’s better now than it was a week ago, my crown feels tightly congested.  (And that was before hayfever season kicked in to high gear three days ago.)

Magic

I have not actually launched any sigils, yet, though I have done a bit of work recharging sigils I have previously fired.  There’s not actually anything new that I want right now.

What I have been doing is daily banishing.  I’ve actually only fucked that up twice, and was on one of those occasions able to go home, do my banishing and card-of-the-day, and put things right.  I’ve been keeping it simple with a banishing pentagram and the Qabalistic Cross, but that seems to be doing me a fair bit of good.

Thursday night, for the full moon, I busted out with the full Pentagram Rite for the Stele of Jeu.  It was fucking incredible, and deserves a post ahttps://i2.wp.com/25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m6tl5sNn7A1qe9nxqo1_500.jpgll its own.

More interesting than any of that, though, are my experiments with creating my own Alphabet of Desire.  Which also deserves a post of its own, but will have to wait until I’ve made it a little further along that road.  For now, suffice to say that I’ve had some interesting and positive results with producing personal sigils by automatic drawing, but because of the nature of some of the work, I am uncertain of what about half of the characters mean.

Dreaming

Sigmund Freud, founder of psychoanalysis, smok...

I have been doing better at recording my dreams on waking than I have done with my daily meditations, but there have still been a number of days where, for one reason or another, I didn’t write down my dreams.  In one instance, it was because the nightmares were so terrible that I was afraid attempting to record them would draw me back down into them.  In at least one other, it was just that I’m a fucking idiot first thing in the morning, and have no idea what’s going on (why, yes, that was one of they days I didn’t do my morning banishing).

So far, though, nothing interesting or significant to report in the dream arena.

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Continuing Experiments: Sigils, Talismans, and the Stele of Jeu

While I haven’t had much time to write clever blog posts since finals week started gearing up (then ended, with all the unanticipated post-semester and graduation-related madness), I have managed to make time to actually do the magic.  I have performed the Stele of Jeu twice, fired off a shoal of sexy sigils, and made two new talismans based on what I learned of talisman-making from the Jupiter Election.

the Stele of Jeu

The Stele of Jeu the Hieroglyphist  is becoming an increasingly integral part of my practice.  Interestingly, though, the more often I perform it the more subtle the effects seem to be.  I performed the rite at the last Dark Moon, on the Day and Hour of the Sun, and as a part of my Beltane celebrations in the woods behind my school.

In the first case—as seems to often happen—I was struck by the sense that something was watching me as I performed my rite.  That sensation faded, though, as I performed the ritual.  By half way through, actually, it had faded to the point where I decided to try out something I’d read somewhere and repeated the central portion of the ritual until I got the feeling of rising power:

Holy Headless One, deliver him, NN, from the daimon which restrains him, / ῥουρβριαω μαρι ὠδαμ βααβναβαωθ ασς ἀδωναι ἀφνιαω ἰθωληθ ἀβρασαξ ἀηωωυ / mighty Headless One, deliver him, NN, from the daimon which restrains him. / μαβαρραιω ἰοηλ κοθα ἀθορηβαλω ἀβραωθ / deliver him, NN ἀωθ ἀβραωθ βασυμ ἰσακ σαβαωθ ιαω

That definitely had an effect, though I would be hard pressed to actually describe what it was.  I sat in the salt circle and meditated for a while, basking in the magical afterglow.

I performed the ritual again at Beltane, under the nearly-full moon.  My outdoor festivities with Sannafrid were actually a couple days late, on account of the rain on the 1st and 2nd.  Being in the woods, I skipped the salt circle—salting the earth is not my idea of a good time.  On the one hand, the effects were much less profound than I had hoped/feared/anticipated; on the other hand, they were very interesting.  The woods suddenly felt more alive.  Sannafrid and I could sense spirits everywhere—not like I had conjured them, but more as if I had suddenly tuned in to the layer of reality where they already lived.

I think they were just the spirits of the wood, and while they may or may not have been aware of our presence, I honestly don’t think they could have cared less.  It was a very powerful experience, if just a little surreal.  I think that’s an important lesson for all magicians, but for witches and nature-worshipers in particular: to keep in mind that most of the spirit world, like most of the natural world, doesn’t care one way or the other about humans.  We’re doing our thing; they’re doing theirs.

a Sigil Shoal for More and Better Sex

The way I count the Moons, the third day of the Dark Moon is also the first day of the waxing phase.  After performing the stele of Jeu, once the hour had passed from Sun to Venus, I fired off a shoal of sigils for more and better sex.  The effects of this shoal were even more awesome—and, importantly, longer lasting—than the first one.  The shoal included five sigils (the specific phrasing of which is apparently in the stack of notes that didn’t make it back to Kansas City with me), all aimed at improving my sex life.  The majority of the sigils were aimed helping my body keep up with my libido—and, more importantly, with Sannafrid’s.

The results were fucking spectacular.  (Yeah, I went there.  How could I resist?)  At risk of crossing into the realm of Way Too Much Information: not only was I able to manage 2-3 times in a day (a little difficult at 31 on a mediocre diet), I was able to keep that up almost every day for a ten day stretch of the two-and-a-half weeks between when I fired the sigils and when they faded about a week ago.

So … waxing Moon, day of the Sun, hour of Venus is damn good astrological timing for sex magic.  I would have thought the Full Moon, day and hour of Venus would have been as good … but it was also the 3rd day of the Full, so technically a waning Moon, which may have had an impact.  Further confounding factors here include the sigils themselves, the way they were phrased, single versus shoal, and the fact that I was still tingling from the Stele of Jeu.

a Talisman of Venus

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Anticipating Venus’ recent retrograde movement, I made a talisman of Venus based on the Jupiter Talisman I made at the recent election.  I used Christopher Warnock’s Venus image on one side (I really need to buy his Picatrix translation and star producing my own images based on the descriptions); the Agrippan characters of Venus, my Glyph of the Moon, and a pair of sigils (empowering myself with the Favor of Kings) on the other.  I performed the rite at the Day and Hour of Venus, using a slightly altered version of the Orphic Hymn to Venus—I added a line at the end asking to be endowed with the Favor of Kings—burning incense of my own making, and anointing the talisman with Abramelin oil—and using the various Venusian symbols I keep on my altar rather than a formal Triangle of Art.  For a more general Venusian boost, I also took a bit of my Venusian incense and started an infusion like I do for my essential oil production.  I left both projects on my altar to marinade essentially until I packed everything up for the trip.

My understanding is that, so close to the retrograde, even the otherwise auspicious arrangement of planetary forces on that Day and Hour of Venus with a waxing Moon was less than ideal.  Still, I felt that it would be a good idea to shore up Venusian in my sphere given the complexity of my love life at the moment (that’s a post in and of itself, and one which is particularly delicate since all parties involved read the blog.  I’m glad that I did: the talisman and the infusion-in-the-making are both radiating good, clean, Venusian power.

Safe-Travel Talismans

My final magical project in the Sunrise Temple, before leaving for the summer, was to produce safe-travel talismans for Sannafrid and myself.  She is spending the month in China as part of an ethnography program through our school—a sort of “victory lap”, as they call it here.  I was going to be making a drive across three states with a number of the things most dear to me in my back seat.

Using essentially the same methodology as I did for my Jupiter and Venus talismans, I made a pair of Mercury talismans for Sannafrid and myself.  The most interesting differences between the rites was that these were made at the day and hour of Mercury, outside in the woods during our Beltane celebrations, and that I used a lock of her hair mixed in with the Mercury blend between the two sheets of cardstock and had her write her own Names to create the link to her, where I used my Glyph of the Moon for my own talisman.

The results were again spectacular.  If I do say so, myself, I’m getting pretty good at making paper talismans.  I’m looking forward to teaching myself some metal-etching skills so that I can use similar techniques in more permanent mediums.

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Early Lessons of My First Forays Into Sigil Magic

I’ve been experimenting with sigils.

This is partly because Gordon recently wrote the clearest treatise on the subject I’ve ever seen.  There’s also the whole thing where, until I started digging into the Western Ceremonial Tradition, I didn’t really understand how Chaos Magick was distinct from it.  It’s also just an inevitable manifestation of my escalating magical practice, and forays into practical magic.

I haven’t been doing as good a job of keeping notes as I should have, but it’s also only been about ten days since I launched my first shoal.  I’ve been firing them off in accordance with the appropriate planetary days and hours using either appropriately-colored chime candles to help fuel them, or votive candles marked with the planetary glyphs.  I’ve also been experimenting with quick-and-easy circle constructions to help power and focus the sigils.

Here, in no particular order, are some of my first impressions.  Fellow n00bs may find them interesting; more experienced sigil-users may be amused.

1) Holy shit, drawing sigils is FUN.

2) While I’ve generally thought of sigils as quick-and-dirty magic, I think I need to refine my technique.  Quick-and-dirty just isn’t as psychologically satisfying, particularly when I need something more complex (conceptually) than some candle-based healing magic.  Firing them off should be just as much fun as drawing them in the first place.

3) Timing is key: Do not fire off “The Registrar Gives Me What I Need” while simultaneously expecting that registrar to sit on a piece of paperwork for a week.  Even if you don’t need it processed with any alacrity, you may find yourself inconvenienced when your change-of-advisor form gets processed overnight and your old advisor can no longer provide you with the password for class registration.

Besides that temporary inconvenience, however, that sigil seems to have worked out well: my appointment to discuss my transfer with the registrar has been rescheduled (at her behest) for after the Jupiter election.

4) Specifying duration is key: The “I Have Fantastic Sex” sigil was AWESOME … the night I fired it.  It’s been back to business as usual (which, lest my lovers who read this blog take this statement amiss, is still pretty awesome) ever since.

5) Coming up with “Sigils to Fire for Saturday” is not the way to go.  I need to work on my “100 Bad Ideas” list first, sort out the good ideas, and then sort them into planetary correspondences.

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