Gordon over at Rune Soup recently made an interesting entry regarding sigils, their methodology and the usefulness of forgetting and destroying them; it brought up some new thoughts with me and reaffirmed some old ones.
He touches on an idea for sigils that I’ve used for quite a while and support. I’ve called them non-attentive sigils. The premise is still based on the Spare model of a sigil having two “halves” the symbol and the meaning, and when a symbol and a meaning fall in love and meet in the unconscious fun things happen. Instead of forcibly repressing the sigil, brute forcing it into the unconscious, I sometimes sneak it in by not paying attention to it. I have Crayola Window Writers (which are a very handy magickal tool) they’re colourful markers that write on glass and wash off easily. My bedroom mirror is often home to a few sigils. My mirror is behind my computer so I see the sigils out of the corner of my eye when I’m working, when I brush my hair, do my makeup, check my outfit, or just catch my reflection as I move around. I don’t pay attention to them though; they are simply there, and by constantly being there they slip into my unconscious. Once they are in the mind they function in the same way the forcibly repressed sigils do. Over on Rune Soup this is explained as “low attention processing” as it is used in advertising -which I won’t rehash here, so migrate there if interested- and it was nice to see that this process is something that is observed and used even though it was for none magickal purposes.
I like the repression theory, have had great successes, and I actually enjoy the death posture (the shavasana with your eyes, ears, nose, and mouth blocked version, not tiptoe) but I find they definitely have different applications. With the forcible repression methodology you have strict and quick control over the sigil. Get called for a job interview tomorrow? You don’t have time to hope the sigil will low-attention itself in time, so control the process. Or atavistic magick, you don’t want to use a low attention model there, while I don’t speak from experience I doubt shifting into your reptile brain in public is the best way to impress your date. (Unless that is their thing, and I wouldn’t judge.) It’s better to control the how and when of that atavistic activation, rather than leaving it to a more gradual process. On the other hand effects that need to be sustained I find work great with the non-attentive sigils. If you have a rough relationship with a coworker, a sigil to smooth that over would work well in this way, or for an intense healing purpose, or potentially for some forms of psychological reprogramming. Anything that isn’t a one off “I want cake” potentially works well as a non-attentive sigil, obviously there are exceptions, but that is where the fun of experimenting comes into play.
The new thoughts were encouraged from his open-ended conclusion, and aren’t as expansive.
“On a final note; consider the implications of low attention processing if you surround yourself with imagery and colours you don’t like -be they photos of yourself that you can’t stand, images from previous troubled relationships, even medication you no longer need.” (Rune Soup)
Reading that line had me curiously looking about my room picking out some of the big things in my mind and pondered what symbol-logical information I’m feeding into my brain without realizing it. I think it is interesting to consider that space-as-sigil, that in the repression model, even my surroundings influence my reality. Definitely a “Duh” moment. Psychologically I get space reflecting and influencing moods, but perhaps there is a more subtle effect. For the first time I really grokked the idea that magickians should be clean and organized. A room constantly a mess and in chaos feeds that pattern into the mind, perpetrating it as the normal state, not the control I associate with being a magickian. A room organized, everything in the right place, on the other hand is just like an altar, or universe, and perhaps a mind more conducive to magick. This gives me another model to consider how my life picked up and got organized as I cleaned out my metaphorical and literal closets over the summer and got rid of old stuff that was no longer of use to me, though that process also left the survivors of my culling disorganized about my space. For the last six years my closet door was decorated with trophies from a sport I no longer have interest in (and had given up six years prior), and contained remnants from that time and even earlier. As I cleared them out, things in my life fell into order and some lingering stumbling blocks disappears. I don’t want to confuse cause and effect, as I already have other causes to draw on, but find it is an interesting view to consider and maybe bring into a conscious working.
Perhaps this weekend I should schedule some fall cleaning. Pluto helped me clear out a lot of crude, now I just need to organize what remains.