Progression Sigils (Part 1)

A progression sigil is a magical technique wherein several sigils may be used to represent sequential or complex aspects of an intent. I have worked with progression spells in various forms for many years, but this sigil technique was actually given to me as a gift from a Satanist in the 1980's, and was immediately adapted to my own use.

The basic technique as given to me follows a sequence. Five sigils are drawn in the usual way. They are laid out in the ritual space in preparation for charging, using directional symbolism as suits the magician. The first sigil represents the magician him/herself, and the second represents the situation which is relevant to the magic being performed. These two sigils fill the top two positions of the Satanic pentagram, as in Figure 1. The other three sigils represent the progressions which the magician wishes to see manifest in relation to the situation. These are laid out in their appropriate positions, and given the Satanic charge.

A variation of this works with simultaneous aspects of the intent, still using the 'self' for the starting point but using elemental representations to coincide with the Princes of Hell in the charging. These are Leviathan, coiled serpent of the deep for Water; Satan or Satani for Fire; Lucifer, the Lightbringer, for Air; and Belial for Earth. Notice that in both cases, the charge is to be performed moving clockwise (Deosil) around the pentagram rather than Widdershins. This is because creative energy works in a clockwise direction in the Northern hemisphere, and the spell is likely to involve creating a result. In my own method which will be more fully explained in part 2 of this article, Widdershins sigils can be used for purposes which would normally be associated with waning Moon activities, such as removing something from your life.

For the sake of simplicity I will picture the associations with a 'point-up' pentagram in Figure 2. The uppermost point is to represent the magician, and the call will be his or her own magical name. One might notice that the order of the elements differs from the popular Wiccan associations. The names of each of the Princes of Hell will be called in turn, as the magician turns clockwise around the magical space and points the wand at each of the points of the pentagram. It is important that the associations of the Princes to the element are uppermost in the mind rather than the specifics of the sigil which has been drawn to represent each of the aspects. The same charging is used for both methods discussed so far, the only difference being a subtle one in that method one progresses a series of actions to manifest while method two focuses on elemental associations, i.e. the emotional issues in the Water sigil, actions to occur in Fire, intellectual aspects in Air and solid, material matters in Earth.

This charging can be incorporated into any ritual, but is most traditional in Satanic forms of ritual. Details of these I will leave to the individual, as there are differences between Satanic groups as to how they choose to perform these rituals. Any information on the Church of Satan or the Temple of Set will give examples to those who wish to follow the rituals of these groups.

My own variation of this method takes the entire process into a written form, to be treated much like any other sigil. Rather than placing sigils in geographical locations in the ritual space, they are represented on parchment as a combined sigil as in Figure 3.

This method uses similar representations for aspects relating to the intent, but because I am not a Satanist I have completely left out the Princes of Hell as well as the elemental associations and applied this to my own progression methods. These include using position 1 to represent the main focus of the intent, and following the progressions or variable aspects around the circle of the pentagram accordingly. In some cases, the central intent may well fill the centre of the pentagram itself with yet another combined sigil, possibly made up of the design of the other 5 designs. The pentagram itself is drawn on a circle cut from parchment paper, so that the points reach to the edge of the paper. The diameter of a Campbell's soup tin I find is ideal size for this circle of parchment.

In part 2 of this article in Chaos International No. 25, I will focus my own method and ways to charge this form of sigil which are quite different from the traditional Satanic method which is represented here.