Sigil (magic)

An excerpt from Sefer Raziel HaMalakh featuring various magical sigils (or סגולות, seguloth, in Hebrew).

A sigil (play /ˈsɪəl/; pl. sigilia or sigils; from Latin sigillum "seal") is a symbol created for a specific magical purpose. A sigil is usually made up of a complex combination of several specific symbols or geometric figures, each with a specific meaning or intent.

Contents

Name and origin

The term sigil derives from the Latin sigillum, meaning "seal", though it may also be related to the Hebrew סגולה (segulah meaning "word, action, or item of spiritual effect"). A sigil may have an abstract, pictorial or semi-abstract form. The current use of the term is derived from Renaissance magic, which was in turn inspired by the magical traditions of antiquity.

In medieval ceremonial magic, the term sigil was commonly used to refer to occult signs which represented various angels and demons which the magician might summon. The magical training books called grimoires often listed pages of such sigils. A particularly well-known list is in the Lesser Key of Solomon, in which the sigils of the 72 princes of the hierarchy of hell are given for the magician's use. Such sigils were considered to be the equivalent of the true name of the spirit and thus granted the magician a measure of control over the beings.

Sigils are commonly found in Jewish mysticism and Kabbalistic magic (being a special focus of Sefer Raziel HaMalakh and other medieval Jewish mystical sources), upon which much of Western magic is[citation needed] based.

The use of symbols for magical or cultic purposes has been widespread since at least the Neolithic era. Some examples from other cultures include the yantra from Hindu tantra, historical runic magic among the Germanic peoples, or the use of veves in Voudon.

Modern usage

Differences from traditional use

Unlike with traditional sigils, whose creators made use of traditional lore passed down from generations or from books, modern users often create sigils entirely themselves and devise individual means of "charging" them with metaphysical power.

Modern sigils may appear in any medium—physical, virtual, or mental. Visual symbols are the traditional, and presumably still most popular, form, but the use of aural and tactile symbols in magic is not unheard of.

Sigilization

A modern personal sigil

In modern uses, the concept was mostly popularized by Austin Osman Spare, who published a method by which the words of a statement of intent are reduced into an abstract design; the sigil is then charged with the will of the creator. Spare's technique, now known as sigilization, has become a core element of chaos magic. The inherently individualistic nature of chaos magic leads most chaos magicians to prepare and cast (or "charge") sigils in unique ways, as the process of sigilization has never been rigorously defined. The magician is expected to "fill in the blank spots" by himself or herself. Sigils are used for spells as well as for the creation of thoughtforms.

Hypersigils

A hypersigil is an extended work of art with magical meaning and willpower, created using adapted processes of sigilization. The term was popularized (if not coined) by Grant Morrison. His comic book series The Invisibles was intended as a hypersigil.[1]

See also

References

  1. ^ Morrison, Grant (2003). "POP MAGIC!". In Richard, Metzger. Book of Lies: The Disinformation Guide to Magick and the Occult. New York, NY: The Disinformation Company. ISBN 0-9713942-7-X. "The 'hypersigil' or 'supersigil' develops the sigil concept beyond the static image and incorporates elements such as characterization, drama, and plot. The hypersigil is a sigil extended through the fourth dimension. My own comic book series The Invisibles was a six-year long sigil in the form of an occult adventure story which consumed and recreated my life during the period of its composition and execution. The hypersigil is an immensely powerful and sometimes dangerous method for actually altering reality in accordance with intent. Results can be remarkable and shocking." 

External links


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Sigil — may refer to:*Sigil (magic), a type of symbol used in magic *Sigil (computer programming), a symbol that must be attached to a variable name in some programming languages. *A seal (device) or signet ring *Sigla, a symbol used to identify… …   Wikipedia

  • Sigil (magie) — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Sigil (homonymie). Un extrait de Sefer Raziel HaMalakh, comportant divers sigils magiques (ou סגולות, seguloth, en Hébreu). Un sigi …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Magic (paranormal) — For related ideas, see Magic (disambiguation). Magia redirects here. For other uses, see Magia (disambiguation). Magical redirects here. For the song, see Magical (song). Circe Offering the Cup to Ulysses by John William Waterhouse Magic …   Wikipedia

  • Sigil (computer programming) — In computer programming, a sigil (pronounced / sɪdʒ.ɪl/ or / sɪg.ɪl/; plural sigilia or sigils ) is a symbol attached to a variable name, showing the variable s datatype or scope. The term was first applied to Perl usage by Philip Gwyn in 1999 to …   Wikipedia

  • sigil — [sij′əl] n. [L sigillum, dim. of signum, a SIGN] 1. a seal; signet 2. an image or sign thought to have some mysterious power in magic or astrology …   English World dictionary

  • Magic square — In recreational mathematics, a magic square of order n is an arrangement of n2 numbers, usually distinct integers, in a square, such that the n numbers in all rows, all columns, and both diagonals sum to the same constant.[1] A normal magic… …   Wikipedia

  • Magic ring — A magic ring is a ring, usually a finger ring, that has magical properties. It appears frequently in fantasy and fairy tales. Magic rings are found in the folklore of every country where rings are worn,[1] and they endow the wearer with a variety …   Wikipedia

  • sigil — noun Etymology: Middle English sigulle, from Latin sigillum more at seal Date: 15th century 1. seal, signet 2. a sign, word, or device held to have occult power in astrology or magic …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • sigil — ˈsijə̇l noun ( s) Etymology: Latin sigillum more at seal 1. : seal, signet 2. : a sign, word, or device o …   Useful english dictionary

  • Chaos magic — The chaosphere is a popular symbol of chaos magic. Many variants exist. For more, see Symbol of Chaos. Chaos magic is a school of the modern magical tradition which emphasizes the pragmatic use of belief systems and the creation of new and… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.