Liber Azag: Book of Sigils, part 5
So far we have described mainly a psychology model of Magick with just a slight tap into the spirit model with our description of servitors, but still more from a perspective of our unconsciousness. We also described one energy model method, charging sigils with Akasha. But for the book of sigil magick to be truly complete, we have to explain different models, too. There are actually many reasons why to do that. First of all not everyone is psychology based, we are unique individuals with different tastes and beliefs. Secondly we don't want to be stuck to one paradigm forever, sometimes we just need to spice things up to keep it going. Third reason is that different models have different sets of qualities, some models are better for something and worse for something else, being able to shift the paradigm equals to being able to adapt to the needs of any given situation. And I know I am now diving a little bit deeper to the Chaos Magick, but still with Sigil Magick point of view in mind.
First new paradigm we are going to talk about is the energy model. In this model everything is consisted of an energy and manipulating this energy is what Magick is about. This universal energy is usually split into outer (external) and inner (of the body) and has many different names across different cultures. It is prana in India, Chi in China, Ki in Japan, animal magnetism, fluidum or vital energy for mesmerists, od or orgone for various different folks and psi for parapsychologists. In this chapter I want to describe the differences between this model and other models, how to use the universal energy source and how to bottle the energy for later use.
Before we start doing anything with energy, we should learn to feel it first. For that reason we will introduce a set of exercises to feel the energy within our body and to shift it around a little bit. First exercise is a simple meditation technique. You should sit in a comfortable position in a nice and calm surroundings. First of all think about your hands getting warmer and heavier, say in your mind or out loud: "My hands are very hot and very heavy". Feel your hands getting hot and heavy. Once you achieve this feeling, you then continue with your whole arms (you can also split it to forearms, elbow and rest, it depends only on you). Then shoulders, then feet, ankles, whole legs. Then chest, stomach, back. And finally neck and head. Once you are finished it is also good to invoke the feeling of coldness to your forehead so you won't feel like overheating. Once this relaxation is done, focus on your body. Concentrate on all feeling in your whole body for at least 5 minutes. Just concentrate and enjoy those little swirls of energy. This exercise is great from both the energetic and psychological point of view. In energy model this exercise removes energy blockages and let the energy flow freely in your whole body and in psychology model this helps from stress and also in long-term this strengthens your immunity.
In the next exercise we will learn how to shift energy in our body and how to feel this shift. For this to work, we must be relaxed first, so this exercise is best done right after the aforementioned relaxation technique. So, while we are still relaxed and our hands are preferably rested on our lap with some space between them, we now concentrate our whole mind on the right index finger for about 15 seconds. Next we will switch our concentration to the left index finger for another 15 seconds. Keep switching the concentration, soon you will notice there is a distinct feeling between these two fingers as you are switching the attention between them. On energetic level the flow of energy is associated with your will and the energy flows as you see fit. On physical level you slightly change the blood flow and few other things. Now, by doing this exercise on regular basis you improve your ability to control and distribute energy in your body. As you train you also want to prolong the time between switching the focus. The reason is there is a practical application of this exercise. Focusing on the wound will help it to regenerate a slightly faster and focusing on the place that hurts will help to reduce the pain. It can look counter-productive as focusing on pain make it feel worse, but if you keep at it, it really will diminish. The pain itself also is a very interesting thing. It has the double function. First function is to warn us that a body is taking a damage and we should withdraw from the damaging factor. Second function is to bring our attention to the damaged area to activate and boost the regeneration process. So without pain our wound wouldn't heal as fast, it would heal, but at a bit slower pace.
Before we learn to draw-in the external energy, we should learn how to avoid energy blockages because else we could exhaust our energetic "plumbing" and get sick. In simple terms to avoid energy blockages we have to get our bodies free of a waste. The easiest way is to do so together with a material waste. In other words if you are going pee-pee or poo-poo, focus on all negative energy in your whole body, mind, spirit and soul. Visualize as this all negativity attached to you leaves with your waste. Same goes to blowing your nose, too, simply let all negativity to go with it. As a nice side effect you will be much healthier, your time needed to get out of the sickness will be reduced and you will have much more quality sleep. Another way is to stick your hands in a running water and let it attract all your negativity to itself, a tap water is a good enough for this exercise as well. And of course, bathing and showering can be used the same way, just in case of a bath, make sure no one touches the water after you are finished bathing and letting the water drawing in your negativity, always better dispose of the water right after the bath.
Now it's time to learn how to gain energy from the external source. We have already described working with Akasha before, so now let's talk about a more modern method. We will use a chaosphere for means of gaining energy. To do so we need a chaosphere either printed or drawn on a piece of paper. Sit on a chair in a comfortable position and relax your whole body. Chaosphere can be either placed on the table or attached to the wall at your eyes' level. Gaze at the chaosphere and concentrate all your will on it. If any side thoughts appear, simply dismiss them and re-focus on the symbol. Do so for about 20 minutes. Then reach with your hands, placing your palms about 2 inches above the chaosphere. Visualize how the energy is soaking from the chaosphere and entering your body through your arms, feel this process happening. You can also synchronize this process with your breath, for each inhale you draw the energy in and for each exhale you store it in your body, either in your third eye (between your eyebrows) or in the place called hara, about 2 inches below your belly button.
Speaking of hara, there is another useful exercise to remove blockages, strengthen the flow of energy and improve your health. During each inhale expand your stomach instead of your chest and visualize it like you are breathing directly into your hara, feel breathing into your hara. During each exhale let it all go back out. This exercise is a bit harder in the beginning, to make it easier, use your finger to push against hara while breathing to help pinpoint the location and learn this method correctly. Once you learn this method correctly, you can also use it to draw in external energy Simply inhale into hara and while exhaling, when the breath reaches solar plexus, swallow and feel how the energy goes back down into hara, then finish the exhale This method comes from Chi Kung, where there is a belief that the air we breathe contains the energy and via this process you can separate it from the air and store it.
Once we have learned some basic methods to store energy, we should learn how to use it to charge our sigils. In case of visual sigils it is really simple. All you have to do is to place your hands above your sigil and imagine the energy radiating from your palms and into the sigil while staring at the very same sigil as in focal meditation. Keep doing so for 20 minutes or till you stop feeling the energy radiating from your palms. For a sigil mudra it is a good practice to visualize the energy leaving your body through the hand doing the gesture, being "converted" or programmed with our intention in the process. Same process works for asanas too, but you will most probably want the energy to leave through the top of your head instead. Some people also like to use the third eye chakra for that purpose. When you are using sigil mantras you want to lead the energy from hara to the throat, where it gets programmed with your intention and leaves your body together with the sound, aside that everything is exactly as in the previous description of mantra chanting, your mind should be one syllable ahead your tongue.
It's time to speak a little bit more about the energy model. You could notice that as opposed to the psychology model there is no mention of the psychic censor. The thing is that there is always some filtering mechanism, just now it isn't called the psychic censor. Energy model is, as the name suggests, dependant on the energy work, in how much energy you can gather, program and control, anything in this process being too limited means the result will fail. People usually say that these paradigms are separate and we shouldn't compare them, their differences are the main reason for their distinction. But because I want to teach you about the meta model, too, I think it's good to pinpoint the similarities right in the beginning of our journey.
When we are still within the energy paradigm, it is also good to mention another useful practice: conscious eating. This basically means that any income of food or liquids should be fully conscious and not a mindless task you just do while watching TV. The reason is that the food brings in energy, same goes to water. While eating or drinking we can focus on correct use of the energy. We can focus on storing it, sending it right to the circulation, or we can also concentrate on using the energy from that specific meal to use for a very specific task. This task can be something you normally don't like to do, like washing dishes, housework in general, exercising, or it can be e.g. a sigil charging. To work with energy this way you can e.g. use a simple prayer before eating/drinking or you can touch each bite with the bit of your tongue while concentrating on your desired goal. Same way it works with water, just remember it usually works better when the water is cold. Another method you can use with water is to place your hands on the water container and concentrate on your goal while visualizing the energy being emitted from your palms right to the water.
We should speak about the information model now. In this paradigm we work with symbols and their meanings. It is believed that literally everything is consisted of symbols and by manipulating the definition of these symbols we can manipulate the reality. Generally speaking in this paradigm all we have to do is to make a sigil and correctly associate it with its new meaning. Information model partially works with unconsciousness like the psychology model but doesn't consider the energy at all because in this model energy itself is just another set of symbols, another packet of information. There is of course yet another filtering mechanism that makes the association of symbol and its definition hard, but in this case it is quite easy to figure it out. If you observe your mind, you will notice how it works, you have one general thought train that usually gets swayed away in a direction of random thoughts, fantasies, day-dreaming, memory recall, etc. Sometimes you have to do multiple work at the same time and then your thinking patterns change chaotically. This means that in the case of using the information paradigm we need a clean and strong communication channel. In other words we need to get rid of the noise in the channel (side thoughts) and keep using just one main channel (no chaotic thinking patterns).
To reduce the noise we can use a simple zazen meditation practice. Relax your whole body and then start counting your exhales from 1 to 20. There shouldn't be any thinking in the process, only counting. If a side thought appears, simply reset the counting and start all over, if you reach 20 then reset the counting and start all over. Remember that there is no rush, if a side thought appears, it's not failure, there is no reason you should be angry about yourself, just keep counting and resetting the count as needed and the problem will eventually sort itself out, there is no rush in this. After all, if you reach 20 you would reset the counting anyway.
We have described how to get rid of the noise in communication, now we should speak about using just one channel. To practice this choose a simple thought or a field of thoughts, set timer to 10 minutes and during that time think just within this thought pattern. If a side tracking thought appears simply re-focus on the original pattern. For this method it is also a good idea to have some sort of prayer beads so you can use it to count a number of "failures" by moving your fingers on the beads. A string with knots is a good enough tool for this exercise.
I know these exercises can get frustrating from time to time, especially during periods where there is no apparent progress. Just remember there is no rush and even while it seems that you are not moving anywhere, believe me that even then these exercises have some effect, from both occult and mundane perspective. Occult based these exercises will improve your ability to work within the information, energy and spirit models. Mundane wise, you will be much more focused, productive, task oriented and resistant to stress.
Once you have done the basics, it is time to learn about how to associate the symbol with its meaning, how to create this connection between the two. First thing we need for the practice is a symbol for the association. Let's say we create a sigil for happiness. Place the sigil on your mirror or somewhere you will always see it. A mirror in the bathroom is quite usual place as we use it every day for brushing our teeth, shaving, etc. Each time you see the sigil, invoke a feeling of happiness within yourself, what is happiness and how does it feel like? Do this every day for some time and soon it will become automatic, soon each time you see the sigil you will feel happy without any explanation, then you will know you associated the symbol with its definition correctly. If you are done with one emotioin, start with another, it can be fear, anger, lust, love, continue as long as you wish. Btw, if you didn't have any luck with AoD before, this is a good way how to charge it.
Once you get experienced in associating emotions to sigils, you can move to desires. Create your desire statement, sigilize it and just like before, place it on the mirror or somewhere you will see it every day. Each time you see it, invoke the feeling that you've already got what you desire for so much, that you already got what was the purpose of the sigil. Notice that so far in the information paradigm we have spoken only about visual sigils. It is a very good beginning for information model, as it is something we just draw and then focus on it. Once you've got enough efficient with visual sigils, you can go for other types, same rules apply for visual sigils as for sigil mantras, mudras and asanas.