One way of understanding how sigils work, is based on the premise that repressed memories can be created. And that repressed memories exert force and power over ones life. If one was hurt as a child and repressed it, they may either get into situations where they or their own children are hurt the same way again and again or they may hurt other children in the same way. This is unwanted repression. But what if repression is intentional?
The plot of the movie Inception perfectly illustrates this. The protagonists seek to plant a concept into the dreams of the target in order to change the theme and direction of his life. One simple concept, something he will never forget and will shape the rest of his life, will be behind all his future decisions, will lead him to certain success in that direction. It will be inescapable and rather than leading him to failure, it should lead him to success.
Of course, that’s just a fantasy film. Is this possible? Can repressed memories be planted? Well I would argue that yes, they can. And the Satanic Panic of 80s and 90s and the multiple personality exaggerations of the same period showed that psychologists can find memories in a person that were not real, that did not exist. Firstly, before finding the false memories, I suggest that they had to be planted. How could the psychologists unwittingly do this? By asking leading questions perhaps? questions that in combination could not lead to any other answer? This could be a real life inception, not unlike the tortured confessions of heretics and so called witches of the dark ages.
Well now I have argued its possible to plant repressed ideas into our heads, where sigils come in? Sigils are a tool for repressing what you want rather than what you don’t want. Austin Osman Spare was interested in Freud and the new psychology of the time on repression. He had the idea of repressing things on purpose in order to manifest them into your life. These repressions seemed to have massive control over a person and if turned to ones own devices? How magical! Make your demons work for you. He coined the phrase “Then verily sleep is better than prayer.” an inversion of a Muslim proverb ”Al-salâtu khayru min an-naûm”. Prayer is better than sleep.
I say that the main use of a sigil is to implant the wish into your unconscious and make it a driving force in your life that shapes and defines your future rather than asking for something from a divine being consciously in spoken word with bowed head. Instead the prayer is sent to the gods through the otherworld where they reside, and we can join them in the dream planes.
The sigil is made, through simple affirmative language, encoded in symbol, either by using a magical alphabet like runes, ogham, theban, or by reducing the letters of ones own language to symbol. It is made, and focused on deeply, concentrated, and then one tries to forget it. Forget what it means. But have it around where one sees it now and then. Of course, you don’t forget right away. And the skill of forgetting it is one that takes time. I recently picked up a ogham sigil I made for a little girl at her first birthday, and I could not remember what it was for without really looking at it for a few minutes. I hadn’t really forgotten on purpose, I just had convinced myself it would work and didn’t think about it anymore. Like when you send a letter off for a pre-sale book and it doesn’t really enter your mind until the due date is coming shortly.
And then, the symbol is repressed. It or symbols for it should appear in your deepest dreams. And your life should take shape after it.