On Sigils and the Manifestation of Will.
What is a sigil? Well, lets put it like this.
You know how sometimes, it’s a lot easier to do something when you aren't thinking about it very hard, how obsession builds up and gets in the way of action? There’s a goal in mind but you’re working so hard on it and have been going so long there that you keep on slipping up and kicking yourself in the mouth?
Well a sigil is a way of putting that aside, letting you forget all that nervous energy. You make up a drawing or object and put all that energy into it. You go and you work on however you like until it takes on a little life of its own and represents that goal to you, storing away that energy like a battery. Then just let it go, you don't have to think about it anymore. Because you turned that goal into something real. It’s still something you’re trying to achieve but you’ve done something new to deal with it and clear your head. You’ve got your sigil to get that worry out of your mind. Its sort of a form of sublimation.
Of course there are other modes of thought that see the sigil itself as the primary way of achieving that goal. It’s a form of magic. You charge the sigil as a manifestation of your will use it to bend the universe. Kind of like an astral crow-bar. Use it to break open the lock on enlightenment, or carnal paradise. It’s a little bit harder to swallow than just thinking of it as a psychological tool I know. But you have to admit that the way you perceive your universe effects how you interact with your universe. It can be claimed that truly your perceptions are the beginning and end of your universe.
So very plainly if you can change how you perceive your universe you can more easily change that universe, and in changing your universe you change mine and the next guy's as well, chain reactions all down then line. It’s also not such an easy thing to change how you perceive, you have to be open to it and you have to see the cracks. So believing in something preposterous intentionally might help highlight where you're putting your belief without thinking about it.
There might also be relevance to thinking of sigils as a primal form of language that have power over reality. I mean, look did you ever notice that the drawings in the Goetia (fig. A) look a lot like Voodoun Veve (fig. B)? And that Paul Klee's work has a really similar line quality (fig. C) and so do Austin Spare's sigil drawings (fig. D). Hell if you didn't have any esoteric background you might think they were all by the same person, and I would forgive you. They're all trying to claim some kind of guttural access to the divine and all landed in the same family of image. Sure there’s probably some historical influence going on, but isn’t it more fun to think that magic is real and if you talk to the universe in the right way it responds?
It’s also notable that no-one who claims them as an effective tool thinks you can just sit back and use sigils for instant gratification of will, you have to work toward your goal somehow, you have to take on achievable sights, you have to submit yourself to the will of the world and let it find you to be wanting. You can't just hide in a cave draw on the wall and become god emperor, as much as I would like to.