Sigils in Chaos Magick

In chaos magic, following Spare, sigils are most commonly created by writing out the intention, then condensing the letters of the statement down to form a sort of monogram. The chaos magician then uses the gnostic state to “launch” or “charge” the sigil – essentially bypassing the conscious mind to implant the desire in the unconscious. To quote Ray Sherwin:

The magician acknowledges a desire, he lists the appropriate symbols and arranges them into an easily visualised glyph. Using any of the gnostic techniques he reifies the sigil and then, by force of will, hurls it into his subconscious from where the sigil can begin to work unencumbered by desire.

After charging the sigil, it is considered necessary to repress all memory of it: in the words of Spare, there should be “a deliberate striving to forget it”.

In modern chaos magic, when a complex of thoughts, desires and intentions gains such a level of sophistication that it appears to operate autonomously from the magician’s consciousness, as if it were an independent being, then such a complex is referred to as a servitor.

When such a being becomes large enough that it exists independently of any one individual, as a form of “group mind”, then it is referred to as an egregore.

Later chaos magicians have expanded on the basic sigilization technique. Grant Morrison coined the term hypersigil to refer to an extended work of art with magical meaning and willpower, created using adapted processes of sigilization. His comic book series The Invisibles was intended as such a hypersigil.

Morrison has also argued that modern corporate logos like “the McDonald’s Golden Arches, the Nike swoosh and the Virgin autograph” are a form of viral sigil: Corporate sigils are super-breeders. They attack unbranded imaginative space. They invade Red Square, they infest the cranky streets of Tibet, they etch themselves into hairstyles. They breed across clothing, turning people into advertising hoardings… The logo or brand, like any sigil, is a condensation, a compressed, symbolic summoning up of the world of desire which the corporation intends to represent… Walt Disney died long ago but his sigil, that familiar, cartoonish signature, persists, carrying its own vast weight of meanings, associations, nostalgia and significance.[6] A shoal of sigils Gordon White developed the technique of shoaling, which involves launching a group of sigils for a set of related aims. For example, instead of sigilizing for “money”, sigilizing for a pay rise, new business clients, a promotion, influential new contacts, budget reallocation for your department, etc., all of which help “shift the probability” towards the overall aim.

White also developed the technique of the robofish, which consists of including a sigil for something that the chaos magician knows will definitely happen, to “lead” the rest of the shoal.