Thee Temple ov Psychick Youth

S I G I L S   I N   S O U N D

By Adept Telfer

A sigil, stated briefly, is a thought form or desire, encoded into a form that is not immediately recognisable to the consciousness. The process usually begins with a Statement of Intent: a brief sentence describing the purpose of the sigil. This statement is then reduced by various methods into a single form that bares little, if any resemblance to the original. This encoding allows the Magician focus his/her will directly on the intent, without conscious interference. Without the mind dwelling on the subject, scattering the magician's attention, and generally short circuiting the desired result. This essay is a brief look into the methods, and results of applying these methods within the medium of sound.

One of the simplest ways to make a sound sigil is to take your Statement of Intent, strike out the repeating letters, and use what you have left to construct a form of mantra. But the methods I will be going into here involve the manipulation of recorded audio on a computer. My main aim when creating these sounds is to end up with a single continuous, or rhythmical sound that can be looped. I have found short loops to be the best format; as they can be played for as long as needed, can be combined in many interesting ways, and save on drive space.

There are several methods I have been experimenting with, for constructing a sigil in sound, and I'll start with the simplest and probably my favourite: The Cut and Paste method. In this method you simply record yourself saying the Statement, then copy of several different sections of the sentence to your clipboard (the program I use has six different clipboards, which comes in very useful). Most wav file editors will allow the option of mixing the paste into the original file; you then just mix the sections you copied randomly, over the original, as often as you want until the original sentence is no longer recognisable. I usually finish by cutting the last half of the file and mixing it into the first half. Layering some effects over this sound, like Reverb, Echo, or my favourite, lowering the pitch, can create some quite interesting sounds. Often I'll end up with a deep and sinister sounding chant.

Another sigilization method I use, is to encode a word or statement in a sine wave. Some wav editors come with sine wave generators, and these can easily be used to create sigils. I simply assign a frequency to a letter, for example 100hz is A, 101hz is B, 118hz is S, and so on. You do not have to start a 100hz, but I prefer to work with the lower frequencies. You then simply spell out the sigil, either pasting each letter-sound after each other in a line, or as I prefer to, mixing them on top of each other to create a composite tone. This leaves you with another sound that can be looped as your sigil. Most often when I make these sigils they are one word sounds, so I will often combine them with a Cut and paste sigil.

I find the use I've put these sigils to varies from the way I have used visual ones. When using drawn sigils I would only look at it once at a significant moment in the working or visualise it in the air in front of me. With the sound sigils though, they seem to work better when played constantly in the background, forming part of the atmosphere of the working. Often the sound sigil I use does not represent the main focus of the working, but is complementary to it. As an example when performing a working to bring something into my life, I may use a drawn sigil for this desire, but the sound playing in the background, is a sigil for the pathway I want it to manifest through. These background sounds are quite useful, particularly as you can mix several together, creating a layer of intents, and because they often come out sounding rather 'sinister' they can create a good atmosphere.

Another application I find, is in more Illustrative workings, particularly for Scrying, and Pathworkings. Scrying traditionally uses a Black mirror, or dark liquid of some kind, as a matrix for the Magician to seek visions or to communicate with spirits, daemons, or Servitors of various descriptions, or Yourself. When experimenting with Scrying I sometimes find it hard to stay in the right frame of mind that allows the images to arise, without my mind chattering on and distracting me from the whole process. Creating a sigil representing the goal of the Scry, and looping it in the background gives me something to concentrate on, and focuses the working. As a side note I found that the trick is not to try and interpret what you see, while your seeing it.

The Pathworking, or guided Meditation is another area where I have a lot of fun with these sounds. I start with a spoken word text, and build a collection of sounds around it, accenting or supplementing the text. Until almost everything you hear has some intent encoded into it. In these pathworking some sounds are sigils in the traditional sense, in that they are something the Magician charges with his/her will, for a specific desire, but others are thoughts, or ideas that have been encoded to accent the text. The combination of these and spoken word works very well, creating a pathworking that is rich in atmosphere and power.

Adept Telfer can be reached through The Eternal Flame, an Australian Pylon of The Temple of Set.


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