“Sigil magick is the business, it gets the job done,” said my voodoo mentor Earl Marlowe. “I learned my sigils from the Sorcerer of Southwark, in the bricks and ruins of the southbank in the ’70s, haunted graffiti and wish papers by the side o’ the River Thames.”

Earl insisted that most people stick to the rules – even magicians – and use old-time symbols from books on sorcery.

“That’s by-rote, parrot magick,” he said. “But you want real power, I advise you to tap into the subconscious mind and find your own symbols and glyphs, draw ’em from the ‘deep house’ [unconscious]. Use ’em standalone, or stick ’em in your amulets and talismans, and I guarantee you’ll get the job done.”

Sigils are ideograms. They encapsulate a concept or structure and offer the magician the potential for manipulating his or her reality. In a sense you tell a story pictorially with your talismans, but you get to write or sculpt the outcome.

Earl continued:

“To make a sigil that will work, one that will alter reality, you need to go into a possession trance, and channel the image from other-reality… from the numinous itself.”

Although he often “played to the crowd”, Earl was by no means a traditionalist in his magick. He was cutting edge and pragmatic. So by possession trance, Earl did not mean that you call upon spurious “supernatural” entities like spirits and demons, or the Devil or God (which, let’s face it, are created by the human mentation system); rather he meant that you identify and channel sub-personalities within your psyche and let them come to the fore. The idea being to bring the “emotional brain” to the table, and to charge your talismans with it.

Earl certainly did work with the Devil. But the Devil for him was a concept that represented the archaic “beast in man”, the pre-language aspect of ourselves. Earl firmly believed that we are all animals despite our “fancy” talk. And thus, the Lord of Darkness (or “shadow man”) was a far more workable concept to harness and utilize in his magick.

In a sense, Earl created his own demoniac entities and channeled their power back into himself to get the job done. To him, that was the essence of results magick. Anything else was squeamish, “namby pamby” sorcery and wouldn’t work. And this applied to the creation of sigils too, which were a major part of his magick.

Like Earl said:

“Most powerful sigils are the ones that raise the Devil himself from hell. You want the Devil lookin’ up to earth and saying ‘what the fuck goin’ on up there? I better go take a look…’ and he help you out.”

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