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Saturday, 20 October 2012

Make your own talismans and sigils

For many years I have been making talismans (and Sigils) on the computer. This is mostly because I am messy and cannot get paint to do the things I really want to do.
Traditionally however magicians were told to “make their own” and I reasoned that I had actually made my own talismans on the computer and had just printed them out. My belief was that it was not so much the physical body of the talisman which was important, as the entity which you ensoul it with.
Recently though I have been experimenting with making sigils using a half computer half me approach. I make the template for the talisman on the computer and print it out in light gray. I then colour it in with ink and ink pens.
The final result does not look as good but something weird happens when I charge it. The talisman appears to be better tuned to me than the others. While the others still worked, they were not as focused, and tended not to be attached to my personal universe.
There is something that happens when you sit down and draw or paint the symbols onto the surface of the paper. You are interacting physically with the symbols.
This factor was well known to the Hebrew biblical scribes who, before the printing press, had to copy the bible by hand. There was a magical interaction between the copiest and the work they were writing.
The first-century scribe Ishmael told his student: "My son, be careful in your work for it is the work of Heaven, lest you err either in leaving out or in adding one iota, and thereby cause the destruction of the whole world.”
This is not a call to be a pedant, but the awareness that when you create a magical document you are “creating a universe” where your intention is the main theme.
The rules for the creation of a cabbalistic document were similar to those of the magicians using the Key of Solomon system. A scribe was to purify himself before beginning his day of writing, and especially before writing the name of God. A shallow washbasin discovered was found next to the remains of the tables at Qumran where the scribes would have an extra scrub before writing the name of God. Sometimes prayers were said before writing each sentence.
It is worthwhile mentioning that the Key of Solomon also had invocations to be said over the inks, paper and pens that were used to create seals, sigils and talismans.
When I think about it, Madaline Montalbon's system of angel magic was based around this principle. She would have you write your intention down and then use your magical inks to write the intention in a magical script such as Passing the Rivers or the Theban script. With Montalbon, the invocations and ritual were limited, but the magical act of writing these letters in ritual space was surprisingly pressured and difficult. Even with the highest amount of concentration, it was possible to make mistakes and the process had to be started again from scratch.
I know this process could be applied to your tools and I am still outsourcing those, but I tend to make more talismans and sigils than I do tools.
Anyway for what it is worth if you have not tried using pen and ink to create your sigils and talismans I suggest you try it.  If you are like me and are messy, create your talisman in light grey on your computer, and then print it out on your virgin pieces of paper.  Then draw the symbols in ink, much like you did when you were colouring in books as a kid.  This will make the sigil or talisman unique and your own.  If you want to beef up the process by saying a few prayers to the being you are calling first, then by all means try it, but at least wash your hands before you start.