symbol of link between

If we’re being particular, magical symbolism is highly individualized for each practitioner. Understanding the personal link between an object and the concept(s) that object represents is an introspective process that takes time. Being able to leverage that symbolic meaning to effect powerful changes is an even more complex process and could perhaps be considered an art in its own right - the art of understanding your connections to reality as you perceive it, and then consciously using those connections to make changes to the perceived reality.
Despite this subjective, personal relationship with meaning, there are some widely agreed upon symbols that have taken root in the magic community and are a useful tool as you work towards establishing a better understanding of magic for yourself. Symbolic meaning is shaped by physical reality, culture, personal ideology, and other such forces, so it’s not terribly surprising that some common things (colors, elements, glyphs, natural objects) have taken on a relatively cohesive symbolic meaning that has clear links with more well-documented phenomena and mythologies. Color associations, for example, are heavily structured off of color psychology. Color associations have heavily influenced the Westernized interpretation of the chakra system as well as many uses for crystals. Some associations are more obscure, often taking root as folk traditions or healing methods.
Certainly, many of these associations have persisted due to their effectiveness for practitioners at large. However, it’s crucial to recognize these well-known associations for what they are - generalizations across many cultures, some of which were adopted or appropriated irresponsibly. I don’t say this to necessarily discredit popularized associations, but rather to remind you that these associations should be seen as merely a starting point and that much of this information has been passed through Western lenses of interpretation. With that caveat, I present some common associations for colors, elements, herbs, and crystals/minerals.

Colors

  • Black - protection, control, absorption of ambient energy
  • Blue - soothing, relaxation, clarification
  • Brown - grounding, stability, abundance, connection with nature & the home
  • Green - physical concerns like money, school, careers, and general success
  • Purple - power, especially mental or psychic in nature
  • Red - power, especially of a physical nature
  • White - new beginnings, stimulation of creativity
  • Yellow - joy, passion, romance

Elements

  • Earth - grounding and stabilizing. provides strength, security, and energy. can be slow/unwilling to adapt to change.
  • Air - causes things to spread, facilitates transmission of intentions and information. can be difficult to pin down, overly honest.
  • Water - governs emotion, intuition, soothes and heals. can be reactionary or particularly susceptible to illusion.
  • Fire - transformation, vitality, independence, power. can be difficult to control, unpredictable and has potential to cause injury.

Herbs

  • Lavender - cleansing, protection, purification, soothing
  • Basil - luck, money, protection
  • Thyme - strength, courage, protection
  • Bay - wishes, purification, strength
  • Sage - protection, purification, grounding
  • Cinnamon - success, confidence, healing, protection
  • Mugwort - astral travel, psychic ability
  • Peppermint - prosperity, protection, consecrating, sleep
  • Rosemary - memory, purification, protection (especially from nightmares)
  • Rose - love, pleasure, beauty
  • Chamomile - success, purification, soothing

Crystals

  • Quartz (and variants) - (clear) amplifies and can be used to support other energies; (amethyst) psychic healing, soothing; (citrine) creativity and success; (rose quartz) love, nurturing, healing
  • Fluorite - clear focus, easier to communicate information
  • Black Tourmaline - grounding, protection, absorption of negativity
  • Labradorite - boosts magical work
  • Lapis Lazuli - calms, makes communication easier
  • Carnelian - stimulates activity and creativity, living in the moment
  • Pyrite - assists in manifestation and accomplishing tasks
Literature Essays and Analysis

Hi everyone!! The lovely @surfers-club​ dropped me an ask on literature so these are my tips on doing well in lit :)

1. Study your text.

This is really important. In order to analyse your text well and in detail, you first need to familiarise yourself with it! Read your text before your classes begin, take note of key incidences in the book, and if you have the time, read up on analysis you can find online (Sparknotes, Cliffnotes, LitCharts) and go over some possible themes you may be studying. However, don’t rely solely on these resources for analysis. I’m studying Lord of the Flies by William Golding and Death of A Salesman by Arthur Miller. LitCharts is one of the resources I use when I’m reviewing my Lord of the Flies notes (also my teacher recommended it) and it covers a lot of themes, including Religion and Spirituality - even though it isn’t in my syllabus. Pick out the imformation that actually matters once your classes start and your teacher goes over the syllabus.

2. Annotate, annotate, annotate.

Everyone has a different way of doing this. My friends like to assign a particular highlighter colour to a character, or use tabs to mark out important quotations. I prefer to stick to using a pen/pencil and a single highlighter to annotate my work because I tend to lack discipline in keeping up a colour coding system. It’s all up to you, but make sure that you annotate your text with the relevant analysis, particularly in class, when the teacher is going through the different quotes and themes. It becomes a lot easier to make notes later on when you annotate your text because you have all the analysis in one book, and the links between different quotes are easy to pick out.

3. Mindmaps.

This isn’t 100% necessary, because everybody’s notetaking style differs, but I find that mindmaps are extremely convenient to use. I make mindmaps of characters and themes - usually focusing on the main characters in the text. For my Lord of the Flies revision, I worked on Piggy, Ralph, Jack, Simon and Roger for my character mindmaps and the themes of Law and Order, Civilisation and Descent into Savagery. Firstly, I take note of the significance of the character (what theme they are closely linked to, relevant symbols, important incidents) and then I pick out important quotations from the entire text. For theme mindmaps, I lookout for linked characters, symbols and incidents, then I pick out the relevant quotes and analysis. This really helped me organise which quotes to remember for the exam, which is particularly useful for close-book exams. It also helped me clearly see the links between characters, symbols and themes, so I definitely recommend trying it out :)

4. Share resources!

In literature, there is no one correct answer. It really helps to have a literature study group where you and your friends can share your different analysis with one another and help each other out. 

5. Review your work regularly.

It is truly shocking how easily we can forget the work we’ve done. At least once a week, go over all your analysis for the text and review it. It helps keep up your understanding of the text as well as keep your memory fresh.

6. Practice essay writing.

I use mindmaps as a way to go over all my relevant notes at a glance, but try to translate your point-form notes into essays for practice. I did so for the analysis on the stockings in Death of A Salesman and it’s significance and it helped me get a feel for the whole process of essay writing: the planning, memorisation of quotes and phrasing of analysis.

Hopefully these tips help you’ll in literature! I’m in no way a stellar student for literature, but I have improved quite significantly recently so I wanted to share my methods with you guys!

Strive on! 

This set of pistols was owned by the Marquis de Lafayette, who gave them to George Washington. Washington carried them through the Revolutionary War. For a time they were also carried by Andrew Jackson, before ending back up in the hands of the Lafayette family. In 2002 they were auctioned by Christies and sold for $1,986,000.

Lot Description

THE LAFAYETTE-WASHINGTON PAIR OF STEEL-MOUNTED “SADDLE” PISTOLS 

Marked by Jacob Walster (w. 1761-c.1790), Saarbruck, France (now Germany), circa 1775-1776

Each with octagonal to round barrel of “Damascus” steel embellished with silver and gold wire inlay, the steel locks with chamfered edges and engraved borders, the tails engraved with a panoply of arms, all mounted on European walnut stocks with relief carved detailing holding wooden rammers with bell-shaped horn finials and iron cleaning tips, the first barrel markedWALSTER, the second marked A SAARBRVCK, both housed in an American Black Walnut case, 1830-1847; together with four accompanying manuscripts comprising an envelope addressed to Geo. W. Lafayette; a presentation document signed by J.L. Martin addressed to Geo. W. Lafayette, the verso inscribed by G.W. Lafayette (figs. 8,9); Madame Hennocque’s copy of M. Edmond de Lafayette’s 1890 will (figs. 10,11); a copy of the exhibition catalogue, “Les Etats-Unis & La France au XVIII Siecle” (Paris: Hotel Jean Charpentier, 1929)
17¾in. long (5)

Provenance

The Marquis de Lafayette (1757-1834)
George Washington (1732-1799), by gift
William Robinson (1782-1857), by inheritance
Andrew Jackson (1767-1845), by gift
George Washington Lafayette (1779-1849), by bequest
Edmond Lafayette (1818-1890), son
Antonin de Beaumont (d. 1910), nephew
Marie de Beaumont (Mme. Edmond Hennocque), daughter
Charles Marchal, 1958, by sale
Charles Dresser, a French private collector
Couturier Nicolay Paris (Auctioneers), Collection de Monsieur X: Tres Important Ensemble D'Armes a Feu et D'Armes Blanches du XIVe au XIXe Siecle, 19 October 1983, lot 124


Pre-Lot Text

Presented by the Marquis de Lafayette to George Washington during the American Revolution, these pistols stand as a supreme testament to the enduring friendship between America’s most revered historical figures and their struggle for American Independence. After just a quarter century following Washington’s death, the pistols were recognized as important icons of the New Republic and in 1824 were given to Andrew Jackson in support of his quest for the presidency. Not only did the pistols pay homage to the battlefield successes of America’s first and seventh presidents, but they also provided a symbolic link between military prowess and political leadership. With the return of the pistols to the Lafayette family in the mid-nineteenth century, the pair came to symbolize Franco-American ties and the mutual quest for liberty. Today, the pistols stand as one of the most important pair extant and the story of their illustrious ownership speaks to the ideals and aspirations of America’s founders.

GEORGE WASHINGTON AND THE MARQUIS DE LAFAYETTE

The life-long friendship between George Washington and Lafayette began in August 1777 at a dinner party in Philadelphia.1 Just two months earlier, Lafayette had arrived in South Carolina, a twenty-year old French aristocrat intent on fighting for the American cause. He later recalled,

The moment I heard of America, I lov’d her. The Moment I knew she was fighting for freedom I burnt with a desire of bleeding for her–and the moment I schall be able of serving her in any time or any part of the world, will be among the happiest in my life.

The Ford Government

“Ad Astra Per Aspera”

From @cirilee ‘s 500 Fords AU

A friend and I have come up with how the inner workings of the Fordciety would function! It starts with an inner circle- the Council of Fords- that have the biggest influence over the AlphaFord.

The council includes: GeekFord, NerdFord, Sci-Fi Badss Ford, Paranoia Ford and AdventureFord.

GeekFord: well, a geek! He is the Ford that embodies what Ford is typically passionate about- DD&MD anyone? He appears in the Elf costume that appears in the DD&MD episode. He is also the one who is extremely interested in the paranormal.

NerdFord: Focuses on math and the hard sciences, is relied on for experiments and solving equations. All the other Fords on the council see his value, and none question him. He gives the facts- no opinions. The other Fords like him for that.

Sci-Fi Badass: This Ford rose to power on the other side of the portal, and was essential for survival. He started to emerge as Ford discovered the spacecraft under the town. He comes up with battle strategies and ides against Bill.

Paranoia: Paranoia Ford surfaced after the discovery of Bill’s betrayal. We see him in action when he holds a crossbow to Stanley. He is partly crazy, but has saved Ford from a lot of scrapes with his caution. The rest of the council sees his value, but takes what he says with a grain of salt. He is no longer as active as he used to be, since Ford returned to Earth.

AdventureFord: He wears an indiana jones hat (because you know Ford would) but otherwise appears in his outfit as he was falling into the portal. He is the Ford that aches for discovery, and the one we see in Ford’s earlier years in Gravity Falls, and even a little bit into Bill’s time with him. However, he tends to charge into situations and be reckless. This makes Paranoia Ford uncomfortable.

THEN COMES ALONG THE SECOND BRANCH! They tend to be close to at least one member of the council, and hold a relatively fair sway in the government. (under the cut, because this is long already)

Keep reading

speculations

The quote that Namjoon said in the beginning of the short film comes from the book “Demian” by Herman Hesse. This is basically the summary of the plot by WIkipedia:

Emil Sinclair is a young boy raised in a middle class home, amidst what is described as a Scheinwelt, a play on words that means “world of light” as well as “world of illusion”. Emil’s entire existence can be summarized as a struggle between two worlds: the show world of illusion (related to the Hindu concept of maya) and the real world, the world of spiritual truth. In the course of the novel, accompanied and prompted by his mysterious classmate ‘Max Demian’, he detaches from and revolts against the superficial ideals of the world of appearances and eventually awakens into a realization of self

Because of that, it’s possible that Jungkook imagined everything, that the other members are actually all dead, and he’s only at this moment of realization now.

After that, we see Jungkook sleeping on a white bed, with what looks like his INU era clothes.

Also, there’s a sudden, short cut of a piano burning. We’ve seen that piano in Danger and I Need U MV’s, and now it’s suddenly burning?

Well, the burning of pianos is a tradition used by Air Forces to say goodbye to fallen comrades that originated from World War II. 

This may also be relevant, but in the same cut as the burning piano, there’s also a picture of J. Cole on the door. He has a song called “Born Sinner”, and BTS had a song with a similar title, “Born Singer”.

Then the next eerie cut scene is the breaking of glass/mirror. The symbolism of the breaking of glass and mirror can be two different things, but it’s important to note them both.

The breaking of glass can symbolize a promise being broken, or a love being broken. The ceremony is used at the end of many weddings to symbolize how a marriage or a person’s trust can be very fragile. Other than that, it can also be interpreted that someone close to you is at breaking point.

Furthermore, it can also mean that someone from the past is calling for your attention, or summoning you. Whether it be a past lover, family member, or a very close friend.

Moving on to the symbolism of the breaking of mirrors. This is a little more dark. Broken mirrors have been considered as severe bad luck for a very long time, so those who are superstitious tend to avoid them a lot.

Additionally, since, the mirror reflects whoever is in front of it, it can mean that a person isn’t able to see their true self. 

What’s most important, though, in my opinion, is that a mirror can symbolize the link between two worlds. Two worlds? That can be seen as many different things, such as “Alice in Wonderland” or two worlds as in life and death. Therefore, a broken mirror can mean the inability to pass through between the two worlds. 

First of all, the symbolism with the two worlds already has a connection with what’s mentioned about the book “Demian”. But inability to pass through between the two worlds? That just sounds like a spirit of a person who passed away that can’t rest in peace just yet. A haunting spirit. 

Then we see this:

But that’s Yoongi???? Um hello???

So this may be connected to how Jungkook punched Yoongi in the Run MV.

And then the bed is dragged away, a big painting comes into view, and the room changes. Thunder rumbled, and rain suddenly started to fall.

There are pictures hanging from various places in the room. I do not know what they are of, but I can see that from the corner, I can see a picture of Yoongi in Run MV, again.

So maybe the other pictures are also of the other members? That remains dubious for now.

And coming back to the thunder and rain; those two things usually represents negativity or gloominess. For instance, the rain:

Rain symbolizes growth and nurture of the green, oppression of the spirits, the will to persist, the cycles of the natural that we are succeeding in disrupting, hope for the future, sadness for the past, a shower for the other living things around us, a perfume, a killer. 

And then there’s the big painting that Jungkook then approaches. Many people sees the person in the painting as Taehyung, but I honestly see him as Yoongi instead.

Or, it may be Jungkook himself. 

Also, I think it can only be either one of them because this is largely inspired by “Demian”. Yoongi may be Max Demian while Jungkook may be Emil Sinclair. That explains their close relationship in the previous MV’s. 

Anyway, when Jungkook looks at the painting, the burning piano suddenly appears in his eyes. Subsequently, the painting started to burn as well. (Note the symbolism of the piano above.)

Can this be a symbolism of how Yoongi may have died?

And then you see the painting slowly melting away…and Jungkook bawling and crying out “Hyung!”.

The painting is also crying. It’s doing a lot of things, actually. Burning (Yoongi), water gushing out of it (Jimin), and the blood spattered on it is most likely the representation of Taehyung killing his father. 

There are also crows seen.  A crow can symbolize a lot of things, but usually it’s death, magic, mystery, change, manipulation…

As for the end, I think Jungkook resembled the Angel of Death with those wings.

These are just the symbolisms that I’ve thought of after watching the video, so it’s not a firm theory. There are still many holes in what I see because there are still other videos to be released. Hence, we gotta wait to see more. :) 

(Note: With the wings in the video and the feathers, in both here and the Young Forever MV, it kind of reminds me of Tsubasa Chronicles. Just the general concept, but I’m not sure about the actual storyline of Tsubasa Chronicles lmao.)

The Mysterious Stang!

One of the working tools that tends to differentiate Traditional practitioners of witchcraft from those pesky Gardnerians (note: the author of this brief commentary is an Alexandrian, and does not actually consider you a pest, Gards) is the Stang. Robert Cochrane describes it to William Gray as such:

“The Staff or Stang The Horse: It is the supreme implement. It represents the Middle Pillar of Yggdrasil. The Ash at one end, the Rowan at the other. Its roots are Malkuth, or the Gateway, that is physical experience, and its top is the highest mystical experience. It should be forked and bound at the base with iron. The Gateway because it is phallic and represents Hermes the Guide, and divides into these aspects as it rises. The Moon, because it is the path to the mysteries. The Foundation of wisdom and spiritual experience. It is love because it represents the union of male and female, therefore attraction and counter-attraction, and it is beauty, the child of Wisdom (Horn Child) It is Death, the transformation. The next atribute at the Horns is the GODDESS or primal movement. In other words it is a combination of masculine and feminine up to the position of death, [then]* it becomes the single path of enlightenment.”
(Letter to William Gray #13. From: The Robert Cochrane Letters, edited by Michael Howard and Evan John Jones. P. 142.)

Meanwhile Evan John Jones explains in The Witches’ Stang, originally printed in The Cauldron and reproduced in The Roebuck and the Thicket, its significance in his own words:

“In a coven the role of the stang should always have an ash shaft with a pair of iron horns and the foot of it should be shod with iron. The easiest way to obtain a stang is to beg, borrow, buy or steal a good old-fashioned pitchfork. This is the one thing that in the past could be left around a barn or farmyard without exciting any comment or suspicion of Craft membership. Always mounted at the nothern compass point of the circle’s edge, it represents the Old Horned God / King of the forest glade. The returning of the Old Year King reincarnated back into the body of the Young Horned God / Child born of the Goddess in her aspect as Diana of the Greenwoods and sired by the Old Horned God himself. When placed at the edge of the gateway to that circle, the stang becomes the symbolic guardian of the gateway to that circle, the link between the realm of the Goddess and the Old God, and that of the working ring.”
(From: The Roebuck in the Thicket, P. 61.)

Incidentally, I have absolutely no doubt that the Stang is used in Tubal-Cain circles due to its proximity to the pitchfork as an item. It is double your pleasure, and double your fun, after all. However, one of the horrible things I enjoy doing is discovering where magical instruments were used in Grimoires, and pointing them out to ruin the Fun of All Witches. Incidentally, I found myself consulting the Black Dragon (Le Veritable Dragon Noir), a French grimoire translated by Michael Cecchetelli and published by Scarlet Imprint in Crossed Keys (alongside The Enchiridion of Pope Leo III) and caught a glimpse of something interesting.

Now regardless of why the Traditional Witches use the Stang – particularly those bearing kinship to Cochrane’s line of thinking – I happen to be of the opinion that most magical weapons predate both our reason for using them, and our use of them. So this pleased me greatly:

“Always take holy water and a blessed branch into the circle with you, so that the demon can do you no harm, although to ensure you are obeyed in everything without trickery or deception, arm yourself with the mysterious stang, which you obtain in the following manner: first buy, without haggling, a knife whose blade is of pure steel, and on the day you deem the most suitable, find yourself in te woods before sunrise. At the moment when the sun pierces the horizon, cut  rod of wild hazel of some three feet or so to serve as the handle, then go to an iron-worker who will make for you a small, erect fork with the two tines from the blade of your knife: do not trust this task to anyone who will not perform the work in front of you, or else do it yourself. When you speak with the demon, hold this book in the left hand, and your stand in the right; this should be a horizontal position, the tines turned toward the spirit. A table can serve as the depository for all the aforesaid objects, but they must always be within hand’s reach. Throughout the duration of the operation, keep a paschal candle alight, or burn spirit of brandy in a lamp intended solely for that purpose: consequently, you will find your powers increased ten-fold, putting, in the event of any disobedience from the spirit, the tines of the stang into the flame, but never make gratuitous use of this means.”
(Crossed Keys, P. 6 – 7. Italix mine.)

Later, in the event a spirit departs without first hearing the License to Depart, one performs the following operation:

“If the demon were to disappear without your consent, that is to say without having read the license to depart, put your mysterious stang into the flame, or otherwise reiterate the conjuration, and soon as he reappears reproach him harshly for his disobedience, then continue with your work. […]”
(Ibid, P. 8.)

Now, I shall return to comparing spells to win at gambling. Because I also do that, sometimes.

Jack.

Mbaba-Mwanna-Waresa

The next few posts are going to look at beer goddesses. There are an abundance of beer deities to write about so why not start with one of my favourites: Mbaba-Mwanna-Waresa

Mbaba-Mwanna-Waresa was the Zulu goddess of fertility, the rainbow, agriculture, harvest, rain and beer. She not only taught her people to sew and reap but also taught them the art of brewing. Zulus believe She made the first beer for Her people and for that She is one of the most revered goddesses of the Zulu people.

Not only did She introduce Her people to beer She also lived in a round hut made of rainbow arches in the clouds! Whenever the thunder roared in the skies the Zulu people knew this was Mbaba-Mwanna-Waresa playing her thunder drums and that She, as a rain goddesses, would soon pour much needed rain from Her home in the clouds. She was also the Goddess of rainbows and has been known to create rainbows to signal it is time to start drinking.

Rainbows are also a representation of the link between heaven and earth, a symbol of the link between Gods and man. The story goes that Mbaba Mwana Waresa could not find a suitable husband in the heavens, so She searched all of the land in South Africa to find a mortal husband, defying all of the other gods. She came across a young cattle herder named Thandiwe in a small village. He sang of his love of the land and his voice captured Her heart. Mbaba-Mwanna-Waresa knew that mortals could be fickle and unpredictable. She wanted to test his love for Her so She traded places with a young mortal girl names Nomalanga while She disguised herself as an ugly hag. She did not fool Thandiwe. He recognised Her immediately and proved himself to Her. They married and to this day, if you believe in Zulu mythology, live happily ever after in Her hut made of rainbow arches in the clouds. 

“The octagonal shape has a particular significance. In Islamic architecture, this shape is a symbol of ascent to heaven by the Prophet and by man. The octagonal structure is a step in the mathematical series going from a square (symbolizing fixity of the earthly manifestation) to a circle (symbolizing the perfection of heaven). Traditional baptismal fonts are also of this shape. However, in the tombs erected for saints, the lower part is square with an octagonal drum inserted as a transition between the cube and the dome, to symbolize the saint as the link between man and God. The octagonal structure of Jerusalem’s Dome of the Rock became the model for domed sanctuaries and saints’ tombs from Morocco to China.”

Raza Rumi: “Delhi by Heart: Impressions of a Pakistani Traveller.”

Stand by You

Characters: Dean Winchester x Reader

Based on Stand by You by Rachel Platten

You stood in the kitchen of the bunker preparing breakfast. Pancakes. The boys always liked it when you cooked pancakes. Of course Dean would drown his in syrup, while Sam preferred bananas and powdered sugar on top of his. You had been with the boys for a little over a year; you guys had become a little hunting trio, even though you mostly helped with research. It was a Saturday morning, and strangely enough you had no cases. The boys were sitting in the library, looking for any sign of the Darkness or Cas. Of course, they weren’t finding anything. So, you had decided to make breakfast in an attempt to cheer them up. Truth be told, you could use a little cheering up too.

You plugged in your phone and pulled up your most recent playlist, pretty much the only one that didn’t consist of classic rock. You hummed a bit as the first couple of songs played, not really paying attention as you were mixing the batter. Then, your newest obsession came on. You had only listened to it 85 times since yesterday, but it didn’t matter. Stand By You by Rachel Platten made you think of the boys. Specifically, Dean. You had been harboring a slight crush on the older Winchester for, well, since you’d known him. Truth be told, you were head over heels in love with him. You hadn’t said anything, though. He was so stressed with finding Amara and worried about putting you and Sammy in the line of fire that you kept it to yourself. The two of you were close, though. Very close. You flirted with each other constantly. So much so that Sam was always encouraging you two to admit your feelings to each other. You cuddled on the couch together, you snuggled when the motel rooms were too cold, and you made each other laugh at stupid jokes. You fit perfectly in the curve of his body as your legs lay across his early in the morning as you enjoyed your coffee. Everything indicated you two were a couple, except for the fact that you… well… weren’t.

You put the thought out of your mind as the lyrics began to flow through the room. You turned the volume up and began to sing along, completely forgetting that the boys were right around the corner.

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Austin Spare’s Stele of Revealing

Sigil Magick is defined as a magickal system that makes use of occult characters, diagrams, condensed verbal intentions, geometric symbols, mystical alphabets, angular signatures of spirits and other kinds of symbolic or hieroglyphic representations. The word sigil comes from the Latin word sigilum, which means “seal.” Of additional significance is the Hebrew word SGULH or sagulah, which means “some kind of word or action” that has a specific spiritual or magickal impact. The use of sigils in magick has its roots in antiquity, possibly from Hebrew sources, since sigils often accompanied magickal squares, which were used extensively in the Jewish tradition of ceremonial magick. 

Most often, sigils, or specialized characters, were incorporated into grimoires and had a traditional use, requiring the wielder to copy them exactly as depicted, even though they had to have been invented by someone at some point in history. These kinds of sigils were carefully crafted using very specific techniques (and not derived from either imagination or revelation), but the methodology used for their creation is typically missing from those same works. (A good example that shows how these sigils were developed can be found in Donald Tyson’s version of “Three Books of Occult Philosophy” originally written by Agrippa - particularly Appendix V on Magick Squares (Llewellyn 1997).)

Some believe that magickal sigils or characters have a power and potency all to themselves, others believe that a sigil has to be activated, at the very least, by the imagination and will of a trained and competent magician. Some grimoires are notorious for the sigils and characters that they contain, lending weight to the superstition that sigils have an independent volition quite separate from whoever invented or wields them. Most often, sigils are reputed to be the specialized symbolic names of angels, demons or various spirits, and the sigil is used to summon and evoke them. This makes a sigil similar in some ways to the “Veve” as found in Haitian Vodoun. Still, sigils used as the symbolic name of a spirit assumes that the sigil is a more pure and direct representation of that spirit’s true nature, and of course, whoever knows the “true” name or nature of a spirit has direct power over it. 

When I perform an invocation or an evocation, I will employ a sigil crafted from the name of the target spirit. That sigil can be derived from a number of sources, but I generally use the Rose diagram from the Golden Dawn Rose Cross, which has the Hebrew letters drawn on the three concentric circles of petals, representing the triple division of those same letters (3 mother letters, 7 double letters and 12 single letters). One could also derive a spirit sigil from one of the appropriate magickal planetary squares, depending on the spirit’s hierarchical association, since there are different squares for each of the seven planets. There is also the Aiq Bkr magickal square that can be used to craft a sigil from a spirit’s name.

Essentially, a sigil is a visual magickal sign of some sort, whether it’s taken from some traditional body of magickal lore (grimoire or tradition), or created by the magician to represent the name of a spirit or to encapsulate a specific intention or desire. Manufacturing sigils became the hallmark of the famous British witch and sorcerer, Austin Osman Spare, who proposed a system of creating sigils by condensing and extracting the forms of the letters from a phrase that stated the magician’s intent. Spare called this methodology “sigilization,” and it was later adopted by Chaos magicians and others who use it as an independent system of magick. Sigilization is employed for casting spells, organizing and deploying an “alphabet of desire” for the same, or building up thought forms. However, it is probably one of the most direct and useful methods for creating a magickal link that I ever seen or experienced.

First, let me define what a magickal link is, and why it’s important in certain kinds of ritual magick. A link is employed whenever a magician seeks to make something happen in the material world. It is usually tangible in some manner and it should model or symbolize the magician’s intention. A link is a symbolic quality that establishes a connection between the magician, his desire, the magickal power raised and the intended target, whatever that happens to be. 

In archaic forms of magick, the link was usually something that was directly “linked” or attached at some point to the target, such as hair, finger nail parings, blood, jewelry or clothing, if the target was to be a person. If the target was more general, then the link consisted of herbs, power objects (stones, crystals, odd shaped pieces of wood), bird or animal parts (or even human parts), bits of metal (magnets, nails) or other curious odds and ends collected while on the hunt for internal occult connections. A table of correspondences would also help the magician sort out and select analogous items consisting of colors, incense, herbs, gem stones, precious and semi-precious metals - the list is nearly endless. 

These various objects would be put together in an artistic manner to symbolize the intent, such as piercing an apple with rusty nails, piercing dried organs or herbs with thorns, or creating a poppet or miniature human shape out of wax or some tuber, adorning it with bits of hair, finger nails or cloth, and then baptizing and naming it for the intended target. The objects would be blessed, charged, assembled, and the final product would be used in a spell to make something happen. The completed link object could be put in a metal container or a bottle, a leather or cloth pouch, and either kept, buried or burned. In some cases words could be printed on the object, or perhaps even a scrap of cloth or paper could be used to contain drawings and words or names. In antiquity, curses were drawn and written out on lead sheets, folded and dropped into a well or stuck between the stones of the victim’s home. 

Organic or inorganic links are called “gross links” because they are made from organic or inorganic materials, where the actual physical form and structure determines its use and intended purpose. Writing something down on a parchment, paper, cloth or a thin sheet of metal is a very different kind of link. A drawing or writing represents a transitional kind of magickal object, becoming more of what I call a symbolic link, since it uses symbolic forms to depict and establish the link. 

A symbolic link is more versatile than a gross link, which is normally used just once. A symbolic link often caries no trace of any previous spell on it, so it can be reused for other purposes. A link that could be fashioned to be used multiple times would require that the original intent was the same. For instance, you could fashion a symbolic link for acquiring money, use it for yourself, and then at another time, use it for a friend. So long as there were no identifying factors or names, a general symbolic link can serve multiple purposes.

In the energy model or theory of magick, a link is used to imprint the raised energy before it’s exteriorized to fulfill the magician’s intention. The raised energy can be highly qualified, or not, but it still has to be imprinted with the magician’s desire. In the system of magick that I use, a sigil is employed to facilitate the instrumentation of a link. The act of imprinting the energy is where the magician wills the link, in the form of a sigil, and the raised energy into a unified field. (This technique will be discussed in more detail later in another section.) 

Crafting a sigil to be used as a link doesn’t usually trigger it’s inherent effect or cause the desire to become manifest by itself. This is because one needs to charge or consecrate the sigil after fashioning it, and then apply it as a link within a magickal working where the energy is raised. Others may perform sigil magick as an independent magickal mechanism, so in that situation it’s possible that the act of crafting it might actually trigger the spell. 

Since it is my habit to always craft a sigil just prior to performing a working (and I have never, to my knowledge, crafted one without it being used in a working), it would be difficult for me to judge whether the act of crafting the sigil prematurely triggered a working. I just know that in order for a ritual working to be successful, a link must be fashioned and used to imprint the energy. The two magickal operations performed sequentially are being blended together, but it’s possible to fulfill a working with just the internalized application of the link. Now that I have explained how I use sigilization in my magickal workings, I should probably describe how to actually craft a sigil. 

The general rule for crafting a sigil is to start out by writing a phrase that encapsulates the intention of the rite. It should be written in upper case, then the phrase is reduced to a simple pictographic diagram through a process of reduction and simplification, where the curves, lines, and intersected forms of those actual letters are reduced to a unique set and reassembled into a kind of logo. 

Let’s go through the steps that one would typically follow to produce a sigil, keeping in mind that there are a lot of variations and methods used in this technique. How I do it may not be exactly the same as how others do it, but each practitioner will ultimately find a technique that works for them. 

1. Write out a phrase of your intent; make it as simple and specific as possible. You can also eliminate words like “I” or “desire” or “will” from the phrase since that would be redundant. Just state what you intend or seek to make happen. 

To make things easier, you will want to print this phrase out in all capital letters, but actually, I prefer to add the nuance of having larger and smaller letters in the mix. Using all caps actually helps to reduce the number of linear forms in the sample of extracted letters. 

The act of succinctly stating one’s intention also helps to simplify and refine the intention of a work. It’s better to reduce the intention down to one thing. If you are seeking to make more than one thing happen, then you should employ more than one phrase and then build multiple sigils from them. (It might also be necessary to perform separate workings for each sigil link as well.)

2.  Looking over the phrase, from left to right, eliminate all redundant letters - or letters that occur more than once. Now the phrase should just have all of the unique letters in the order that they first occur.

3. Next, eliminate letters that are variations of each other, for instance, “M” and “W” are analogous to each other. Break out of the letters the various analogous structures, like the cross bar in the “E”, “R”, “F”, “A”, “H” or “G”, the curve in the “B”, ‘C”, “D”, “G”, “J”, “P”, “R”, “S” or “U”, and the vertical, horizontal and diagonal lines that are found in the remaining letters. All of the these forms are reduced down to a single form, or dual forms facing left or right. The “O” can become a small circle or it can be fused with the rest of the curves, being a left and right curve joined together. What you have now are just single incidences of multiple structures (essential forms) arrayed in a line, like letters.

4. Assemble the line of essential structural forms together again to create a condensed linear form, which should look something like a pictographic representation or logo of the original phrase. This last step may require several attempts to find a final structure that “looks” elegant and interesting to the eye. You can fashion a single sigil form, or multiple sigils. Using multiple iterations to build a sigil makes for a less cluttered final sigil structure. If you are going to use a name in your sigil, then I would recommend making that a separate sigil form from the actual intention. 

The point of this exercise is to produce a final structure that is simplistic, looks something like a pictograph of the intention, and the letters used in the original phrase can still be perceived in the final shape, although this last condition is not as important as creating a memorable pictograph. 

I usually have to make four or five passes using this process before I am able to condense the form down to something that is esthetically pleasing and interesting to look at. Austin Spare was something of a graphic genius when it came to this kind representation (he could probably do it automatically and in one pass), but you don’t have to measure your results by that very high standard. 

While working out the sigil, I will use a pencil on a scrap of paper, but the final form will be rendered on parchment with a special water-proof ink. It could also be painted on a piece of board, cloth, etched on metal, or even drawn on the floor or wall of your temple. However it is finally done, it will become an important magickal instrument, so the act itself should be executed as if it were a magickal rite, with the intention of the sigil and its associated desire strongly fixated in the mind of the magician. 

Once the sigil is crafted, it will need to be consecrated if it’s to be used in a magickal working. This step is not followed by many who use sigilization magick, but this is how I do it, and it keeps the sigil from being too active until its intended use. I will consecrate the sigil with just a spot of lustral water (carefully applied with a wand) and then fumigated over an incense burner just before performing the working. For the sigil of a spirit, I would use consecrated wine, leaving a small stain on the corner as a sign that the sigil parchment has been activated. 

Although I don’t actually work sigil magick without also performing a working of some kind, the basic idea behind it is to fill the mind with an emotional charge associated with the desire or intention so that no other thoughts or feelings are possible. This is a type of powerful obsession, often accompanied with a deep focused trance. This mind state is gradually built up through the process of crafting the sigil and then it’s elevated once the sigil is committed to its final form, executed in ink on parchment, or in whatever media is elected. The magician holds the sigil before his sight, focusing on the image of the design (not the words that were used to build it), while the emotional sentiments associated with the spell are worked to a climax. Then the sigil is either destroyed or set aside and promptly forgotten, allowing the image of the sigil to work in one’s unconscious mind. The magician can generate an intensely focused climax in a number of different ways, such as an orgasmic release through sex magick, masturbation, or even assuming Spare’s Death Posture. Yet often just intensely focusing the mind for a period of time and then quickly releasing it, is sufficient to obtain a good result.  

I should probably mention two other methods that are used to create a sigil device. These are the methods of fashioning a mantra or using condensed pictures. The mantra technique is similar to the word based sigil, except the reduced set of letters and vowels are arranged to spell out a magickal word or formula. It will most likely (though not always) be a nonsense word, but it will symbolize a specific intent. It will function as a barbarous magickal word of power, which can be used in a chant or as a mantra. A sigil derived from a picture or symbolic images (such as the symbols for the elements, planets, astrological signs, alchemical symbols, or even international traffic signs) uses the same methodology as stated in steps 3 and 4 for building a word sigil, where the forms are broken apart, condensed and reassembled. 

That’s briefly how to formulate and use sigils as links in the discipline of ritual magick. This is based completely on how I do it, so of course, there will be a lot of possible variations. I doubt that two magicians who use this technique do it exactly in the same manner, but I believe that I have revealed the basic steps that most would follow. A more thorough resource on the art of sigil magick is to be found in the book “Practical Sigil Magic” by Frater U.D. (Llewellyn, 1990), which I heartily recommend.

© Frater Barrabbas

The secret behind EXO teaser pictures ^o^

SM loves secret meaning with its Artists, we can see that with Tohoshinki albums as The Secret Code, Tone (link), Time …

EXO is from the beginning a group with a lot of symbols. Its history, its member’s names, realease dates, logos, the link between M and K, supernatural powers …
The latest teaser pics seemed too strange to be only art pics.

So study them !

  • First, the most simple, the 4 photos without mirror all dressed in white on black background :

Xiumin / Baekhyun / Lay / Chanyeol

The EXO showcase is announced for April 15. It’s the day of a lunar eclipse. So, they represent by their position, the lunar cycle:

New moon / 1st Quarter / Full moon / Last Quarter

That’s easy. But it is not just that.

  • Let’s see the 8 other pics : one mirror, specific body position and clothing color. Plus contrasts : color / black & white, blur / net.

All these symbols are related to ’Bagua’ from Chinese Feng shui.

Indeed, the Trigrams are symbolized by member’s arms (stretched / folded) and (stand / sit) position. Thus, there are 8 matches with the 8 elements of Feng Shui (and its meaning) and many contrasts or associations between EXO members.

Kai / Luhan - Earth / Sky
Sehun / Kris - Wind / Mountain
Tao / DO - Thunder / Lake
Suho / Chen - Water / Fire

It may have mistakes, sorry for that, it’s just my opinion. There are also some similarities with MAMA era’s superpowers…
Currently, rumors are about ‘The Phantom of the Opera’ concept, I think is rather Ying / Yang concept…
Interesting, isn’t it ? That’s a lot of clues about new EXO concept.

  • But, there are still questions:

Why is Xiumin, Baekhyun, Lay and Chanyeol which have been choosen for the luanar phase ?
What is the meaning of the new maze-shaped logo ?
And what will be their new supernatural powers ?

I can’t wait to find out more ! It’s so exciting !!!! >o<

  • By the way, according to Chinese King Wen, father and mother of the world would be Heaven (Qian-gua) and Earth (Kun-gua), gave birth to other Feng Shui elements that make up our world. By extrapolation, Luhan and Kai are the real parents of EXO ^ ^
What Does Bill Want With: Dipper Pines?

Aha, Dipper’s “name” is pretty much a combination of both symbols that are associated with him. So, let’s look into BOTH of these! A sequel to my previous symbolism theory: http://awkward-and-fluffy.tumblr.com/post/115565640627/bill-cipher-and-shamans

And I’ll be elaborating on Dipper’s section from this: http://awkward-and-fluffy.tumblr.com/post/115439379602/potential-vessels-for-bill-cipher-and-more

We’ll see what else Bill could want with Dipper, as well as others on the wheel (in future posts).

Pacifica’s symbol is mostly covered in the previous post, too. It was pretty simple, but I have plans for a future post on her family and the town’s mysterious history.

Mabel is next on my list, though her symbolic roots are going to need more research just to be certain I’m on the right track with her. I definitely want to write about Mabel, because her possible purpose for the show intrigues me! (These two shall receive equal love in my theory posts, worry not <3)

Alright, what’s behind the more evident symbols of Dipper? I covered potential animal symbolism that Dipper may have, and a little on his birthmark. However, it’s time to go deeper and this time around I’ll only talk about pine trees and the Big Dipper - as well as what these symbols may have connection toward in Gravity Falls. Why does Bill have a seemingly favored focus on Dipper too?


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