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Make your own talismans and sigils

For many years I have been making talismans (and Sigils) on the computer. This is mostly because I am messy and cannot get paint to do the things I really want to do.
Traditionally however magicians were told to “make their own” and I reasoned that I had actually made my own talismans on the computer and had just printed them out. My belief was that it was not so much the physical body of the talisman which was important, as the entity which you ensoul it with.
Recently though I have been experimenting with making sigils using a half computer half me approach. I make the template for the talisman on the computer and print it out in light gray. I then colour it in with ink and ink pens.
The final result does not look as good but something weird happens when I charge it. The talisman appears to be better tuned to me than the others. While the others still worked, they were not as focused, and tended not to be attached to my personal universe.
There is something that happens when you sit down and draw or paint the symbols onto the surface of the paper. You are interacting physically with the symbols.
This factor was well known to the Hebrew biblical scribes who, before the printing press, had to copy the bible by hand. There was a magical interaction between the copiest and the work they were writing.
The first-century scribe Ishmael told his student: “My son, be careful in your work for it is the work of Heaven, lest you err either in leaving out or in adding one iota, and thereby cause the destruction of the whole world.”
This is not a call to be a pedant, but the awareness that when you create a magical document you are “creating a universe” where your intention is the main theme.
The rules for the creation of a cabbalistic document were similar to those of the magicians using the Key of Solomon system. A scribe was to purify himself before beginning his day of writing, and especially before writing the name of God. A shallow washbasin discovered was found next to the remains of the tables at Qumran where the scribes would have an extra scrub before writing the name of God. Sometimes prayers were said before writing each sentence.
It is worthwhile mentioning that the Key of Solomon also had invocations to be said over the inks, paper and pens that were used to create seals, sigils and talismans.
When I think about it, Madaline Montalbon’s system of angel magic was based around this principle. She would have you write your intention down and then use your magical inks to write the intention in a magical script such as Passing the Rivers or the Theban script. With Montalbon, the invocations and ritual were limited, but the magical act of writing these letters in ritual space was surprisingly pressured and difficult. Even with the highest amount of concentration, it was possible to make mistakes and the process had to be started again from scratch.
I know this process could be applied to your tools and I am still outsourcing those, but I tend to make more talismans and sigils than I do tools.
Anyway for what it is worth if you have not tried using pen and ink to create your sigils and talismans I suggest you try it.  If you are like me and are messy, create your talisman in light grey on your computer, and then print it out on your virgin pieces of paper.  Then draw the symbols in ink, much like you did when you were colouring in books as a kid.  This will make the sigil or talisman unique and your own.  If you want to beef up the process by saying a few prayers to the being you are calling first, then by all means try it, but at least wash your hands before you start.

5 thoughts on “Make your own talismans and sigils

  1. A friend of mine once said that if the scholars of old had access to arts&crafts shops then we’d more readily see a funnier side to them all. Fundamentally I agree with the process and what is using a computer but learning through mimicry.

    I wonder, and I have no basis for posing this question, do you think that some people may become over focused on the “colouring in” as it where? I remember getting utterly frustrated when in art classes my brushes and pens refused to comply and stay inside the lines…funny how I gave out to my tools both as though they were real and responsible. Anyway, I ask because online you can see so many people demanding that one colour be used over another and colours to my mind aren’t that doctrinal in behaviour.

    I actually have plans to work on some Talismanic and Sigil work over the next few months experimenting with paint and I was loathe to consider how I’d work with any script but inks work, I suppose indian inks would be the thing? Hmm

  2. I think that is the point. By colouring in you are spending a lot of time paying the symbols a lot of attention.
    The symbols are more important than the colour. The colour is used as method of delivering the symbol. If you spend too much time worrying about the colour you can end up losing sight of the symbol.

  3. The difference in printing vs colouring something concerns the Operative Craft or work of the Artisan. Originally much of the work of an Artisan required initiation and membership in a Guild. Because these various Crafts are literally the foundations of civilization (in the case of Masonry and Architecture in particular… but also pottery, metallurgy, agriculture, etc. This is why their inventors were often labeled G_ds), these Crafts were considered secrets and oft times of a magickal nature. The Path of the Chameleon is based upon mixing colours … the “Path of mixed colours”… the relationship between art, nature, and mystical endeavor is very important. I think computer use is handy but not always the best way to do something mystically. There is a learning by doing that cries for a more hands-on approach. I find some of the almost crayon drawings used in Voudou far more inspiring and powerful than most of the fancier images generated on a computer. I think using a computer generated template is a great way to go… Like the black and white Tarot cards that one has to colour themselves. IF the participant has already worked with such things as mixing colours they are more likely to do productive work with computer graphics. If not, they first need to use paint until the processes are made clear. Art is a magickal act which closely mimics the act of Creation, but one needs to make it their own by placing their hands upon it as well as their minds. I am actually pro the original paradigm where the papers had to be checked out, hand-copied, and coloured. Illuminated mss are a mystical tool, and have a long history in RC traditions.

  4. I’ve been utilizing computers for creating talismans for a number of years now, and by that I don’t mean printing images off the internet or from book scans to be charged as talismans. I believe that the consciousness of the creator can be attached to the design and implementation of a talisman even if the medium is a digital one. However, my experience has also shown me that mass production of talismans for those not involved in their design or manufacturing generally doesn’t produce very good effects.

    With the paper technique you’ve mentioned(one I employ also), of printing lightly and then painting/inking over the top, you have to use thicker paper generally or you’ll sometimes ruin the talisman when applying paints or inks. One thing I’ve been experimenting with with great success over the last year is using a wood laser engraver from designs I’ve made. The great thing about this method is that it only cuts the image, and then I still have to spend hours painting it as precisely and carefully as I like to, in addition to the great amount of time I spend designing and arranging elements of the talisman exactly as I want them.

    Great post.

  5. I’ve been utilizing computers for creating talismans for a number of years now, and by that I don’t mean printing images off the internet or from book scans to be charged as talismans. I believe that the consciousness of the creator can be attached to the design and implementation of a talisman even if the medium is a digital one. However, my experience has also shown me that mass production of talismans for those not involved in their design or manufacturing generally doesn’t produce very good effects.

    With the paper technique you’ve mentioned(one I employ also), of printing lightly and then painting/inking over the top, you have to use thicker paper generally or you’ll sometimes ruin the talisman when applying paints or inks. One thing I’ve been experimenting with with great success over the last year is using a wood laser engraver from designs I’ve made. The great thing about this method is that it only cuts the image, and then I still have to spend hours painting it as precisely and carefully as I like to, in addition to the great amount of time I spend designing and arranging elements of the talisman exactly as I want them.

    Great post.

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