Besides perhaps conspiracy theorists, who come to all the wrong conclusions, most people (including many witches and magicians) are unaware of the latent use of sigils in mass political movements and warfare. It is not impossible that some of the people who designed recognizable political symbols over the past hundred years have been occultists, but even if they weren’t, it is not unreasonable to recognize that such symbols often act as sigils regardless.
Many of us are likely familiar with the story of how Churchill’s famous “V for Victory” hand gesture may have a had an occult origin. Allegedly, Allied occultists (perhaps even Aleister Crowley) felt the Typhonian V symbol to be an effective counter to the forces represented by the swastika, which resembled the ritual sign known as the Mourning of Isis. This is an unconfirmed tale, naturally, but may well be true, even if only on the level of the collective unconscious.
Born from roughly the same time period, the Kotwica (Polish for “anchor,” due to its shape), has a long and storied history. Not only was it used by those resisting the Nazis, but it also played a role amongst groups opposing the communist regime that followed. I personally believe that this is one of those symbols that acts as a latent sigil, and has been charged and cast millions of times in the cause of fighting tyranny and oppression.
The origins of the symbol resemble those of most sigils, to a degree. As one can probably see, it’s a combination of the Latin characters “P” and “W.” This is an abbreviation of the Polish phrase “Pomścimy Wawer,” which means “Avenge Wawer,” and refers to the Wawer Massacre, where atrocities were committed against Polish civilians by the Nazis. A later association for the initials was “Polska Walcząca,” which means simply, “Fighting Poland.” It seems that the symbol has many different connotations. The majority, though, are centered around combating tyranny.
Perhaps the most interesting part of this story is the symbol’s initial dissemination. It was coined by Polish Boy Scouts who worked to sabotage Nazi efforts, and was summarily tagged everywhere. If you wander Warsaw today, you’ll find examples of it from that time period still relatively intact on walls and buildings.
It is still used relatively frequently in a memorial sense, an thus, it is ubiquitous. Stories of early and later efforts to spread resistance via the symbol call to mind the 21st-century use of the LS linking sigil. Though some chaotes might find this disappointing, I would argue that the Kotwica is far more powerful than LS, mostly because of the sheer drive, emotion, and utter raw need behind it, both in its nascent forms and throughout the years.
In today’s world, I believe it is still useful, and likely just as effective as ever. The creators of this symbol may not have been occultists, but it is, in my mind, utterly a sigil against the rank forces of evil that infest this world.
Here is a small part of the personnal project I’ve been remaking these last weeks. A brother and his sister, going by their own on a life-changing adventure in the mountains to chase an unreal creature. Then, meet Antoine and his tyrannic sister Sophie!
We are fighting for a world without this top-down bullshit, where people aren’t forced to sell their labor to powerful property owners or starve. We believe in a socialist system of economic democracy, where people come together and self-manage their workplaces and the larger economic goals. We presently have the capacity to free people from a bulk of the menial jobs capitalism forces on us – through automation and the active rejection of jobs that don’t provide for a tangible need in society, we could expand leisure time for all people, each person, by leaps and bounds. This is not just about cutting down inequality; this is just as much about human freedom and liberation. These values are two sides of the same coin.
Now that Trump is president, we must abandon the neoliberal Democratic Party and move leftward towards ideas and solutions that can actually transform society away from all the aforementioned injustice. We must bring those disillusioned with the political and economic system into our fold – provide answers, organize, build a movement.
Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did, and it never will. Find out just what people will submit to, and you have found out the exact amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them; and these will continue till they have resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they suppress.