[excerpt from the authors upcoming book Pop Culture Magick, coming out September 2004 from Immanion Books]
One of the most fascinating aspects about pop culture magick is the adaptability it grants you. Case in point, recently I'd been reading Disinfo's Book of Lies, particularly the essays on Austin Osman Spare. The ideal state to be in to charge a sigil is one where the mind is blank, vacuous, and thus open to the influences of the sigil (Drury 123). I began to think about that and how pop culture could be applied to charging and firing sigils.
Now we know that a sigil is a statement of desire compressed into a symbol. When you're in a state of gnosis, focused inwardly, you imprint the sigil within your unconscious and then promptly forget about it. You can do this through a variety of ways, be it through sexual excitement, physical exhaustion, or some grand ritual or meditation technique that brings you to a heightened state of zero and thus to a state of openness for the sigil. Or you can do what I do. Play a video game.
Any video game system will do, but not necessarily any video game will do. You want to play a video game that doesn't require much, if any thought, basically one that comes automatically to you. Since we want to arrive at a state of emptiness any game that has you thinking won't really allow for the banishment of various thought forms and the like. But what kind of game do you choose?
I don't recommend RPG's or strategy games. I personally recommend a fighting game of some kind or another. My current favorite is Dynasty Warriors 4. Fighting games are ideal for sigil charging and firing for the simple fact that they require little thought and they tend to get your adrenaline pumping if you really get into the game. I suppose a sports game would also work. As long as it's a game that gets a rise out of you and provokes a state of no-mind then the sigil charging and firing will succeed.
The reason it will succeed is because you are ideally immersing yourself so much that you forget about everything else, focusing only on the reality the game presents you. And it easy at that point to devoid yourself of any thought if the game is one you can play on auto-pilot, with no thought, just good eye-hand coordination. Now you're ready to imprint the sigil upon yourself.
The character you play becomes the sigil. As an example lately I've been playing the character Xiahou Dun from DW 4. One of his costumes has a purple cape. As I'm playing the game I focus on the purple cape and then visualize the sigil in the cape. Because I'm in a no mind state I'm also imprinting the sigil into my mind while I play the game. And the methods through which that occurs are several.
First eye-hand coordination is a factor. The eyes stay on the character and the fingers press buttons. The buttons are imprinting devices for you. Every time you press a button, your character performs an action and you charge your sigil, visualized on the character. The buttons act as programming tools. You're programming your sigil into the realized manifestation of your desire. Each push of a button is another charge to the sigil, adding more energy, slowly building up to that desired release.
The other factor is adrenaline. Presuming you're really into the game you might note that your adrenaline increases. Direct that energy to good purpose and charge your sigil for all it's worth through the adrenaline. Visualize the adrenaline flowing into the conduit of the character, into the sigil itself, causing it to glow more and more. Allow your mind to empty further, letting your eyes blur even the outline of the character so that all you perceive is the sigil. And when the time is right let the sigil go. Fire it off, finish your game, set down the controller and do something else. The magick will manifest at the right time.
There are several other reasons I've chosen video games as a magickal method of doing sigil work. First you need a television, and to my mind a television is a natural energy/attention conduit. It draws your attention to it and when you play a video game, you actually actively interact with the television via the video game. The monitor serves as a scrying mirror, a nice focus for your sigil charge and fire. And in one sense the television is also an altar to the energy you direct toward and through it. The video game controller is your ritual instrument that directs that energy and the character you play can be your godform if that's your thing. Focus, charge, fire, and manifest the desired reality, all through the electronic mesmerizing medium of video game esctacy.
And speaking of godforms, the video game characters make viable pop culture god forms to draw on as an extra source of energy for the sigil. And in my case Dynasty Warriors 4, has the distinct advantage of drawing on China's favorite historical fiction Romance of the Three Kingdoms, so right there you have the attention and belief, the energy and will of countless people who have enjoyed the characters and given them life in both the reading they do and the games they play with those same characters. And as we all know what makes a truly effective god form is a steady source of energy and belief, which in turn can be accessed by any who choose to believe.
Another way of charging your sigil via video games is through the internet. A lot of video games for the computer have online components where you can play against other people. Also both the XBOX and the PS2 have internet capabilities. You could actually design your sigil and in your game either place it on the character your playing or have that character mark the sigil in the game. I know several games allow the player to mark a spot with a symbol. Why not use a sigil and let other players charge & fire that sigil when they notice it or even attack your character.
In this case, with online games, you spread the sigil's influence and imprint it on the minds of other players, increasing it's effectiveness so that it relies not merely on your unconscious, but also their unconscious to manifest the desired reality. The people playing against you don't need to know what the sigil means for it to work. And best of all you're using the medium of the internet to spread the sigil. You could play a variety of online games with the sigil and increase its exposure and therefore increase its manifestation potential.
Another aspect of online games that I've noticed is that sometimes people form their own clan. A group of magickians who wanted to use this technique for charging sigils could form a clan and use a sigil as their clan emblem, changing the emblem to a new sigil as needed, with the goal being, again to charge and fire the sigil playing the video game. Often people who form clans for online games have websites, so make an archive of sigils that people can look at if they happen to visit the website and you'll have another way of imprinting the sigils. You can even work out rituals to be done in the online game via the use of character sigils or through what ever else you design.
As an example of that I like to play Starcraft online. You can create maps and set up resources…so create a sigil map or make sigils out of the resources. When you defeat the map, use that as your way of firing the sigil. Distribute the map so other people can play it and again the sigil will be fired off, maximizing the manifestation of your desire. By the same extension when playing a map you can design your base as a sigil and either let the other person destroy it and thus fire the sigil or charge the sigil of your base by winning the game and repeatedly playing until someone destroys the sigil successfully.
So the next time you decide to charge a sigil, try playing a video game, and you will likely find that gnosis induced is just as mind altering, and reality changing as any other magickal approach one takes to charging a sigil. At the least you'll get to enjoy a good game.
Works Cited: Drury, Neville. "Austin Osman Spare: Divine Draughtman.", Book of lies: Disinformation's guide to magick and the occult. Ed. Richard Metzger. New York: Disinformation Company, Ltd., 2003: 119-126.
Author Bio: Taylor Ellwood is currently pursuing his PH.D in Literacy, Rhetoric, and Social Practice at Kent State University. He is the author of 'Pop Culture Magick' (available September 2004) and co-author of Creating Magickal Entities. Taylor is currently writing his third book 'Space/Time Magick' as well as more articles. Check out Taylor's webpage at http://taylorellwood.chaosmagic.com or his livejournal at http://www.livejournal.com/users/teriel. Taylor can also be contacted at email@example.com.