The Sigil Question
Feb 20, 2015
When working to evoke a spirit, sigils or seals of the spirit are very helpful. Spirits who have been open to being called on by more than one person have often provided various sigils as a form of calling card. These sigils and seals of these publicly accessible spirits can often be found in grimoires and magickal books of both white, and black magick - sigils, seals, or veves can be found for angels, demons and loa. When I work in evocation with one of these entities whose names are publicly known, I will usually make sure I have one of their sigils on hand, to help make a connection in the evocation. Once I have formed a strong connection with such an entity, after several more formal evocations, I rarely need to use the sigil for evocation, though I may use it in spellwork as an anchor for the magick.
However, there is clearly a major difference between working with a publicly known entity in evocation, and working with a bound familiar. Your bound familiar is there to work solely with you, as their keeper. Their name is not publicly known, and they are not to be called upon by anyone other than yourself.
The process of conjuration of demons or other spirits for binding as personal companions to be worked with by only one person is also very different from the practice of evocation in magick. They are two completely different processes.
If a magician has conjured an entity that they don’t intend to bind, it’s common to create a sigil with them for future contact, simple as that. In the case of an unbound entity, the sigil will function as a calling card. Working with unbound entities is a different path than working with ones that shall be bound.
When I conjure a demon that I will bind, I then go through the elaborate process of allowing them to select the perfect vessel to match their energy, and then creating their unique bindings which are custom and specific to their energy field. At no point in the process is there a need for a sigil in working with a demon that is conjured for binding.
With bound familiars, there is no need to use a sigil as their portal and calling card, as they have a much more powerful and personal channel for their energy to manifest in this realm, their bindings tied to their particular vessel. The binding and the vessel, in my work, create a much more powerful portal than a sigil does for an unbound entity, which is why working with bound familiars is so popular. It is so much easier, more direct, and the energy is stronger. With bound entities, the practitioner does not need to evoke them, they simply need to think of them and call their name, and they are there. It’s a powerful shortcut in magick.
Sigils are created for portals of communication with unbound entities in evocation.
Bindings are created for portals of communication with familiar spirits.
My process of communicating with my own familiars is very simple. For the clearest and most intense connection, when I am having a dedicated and focused session with my chosen familiar, I will hold their vessel, think of them and call their name. Holding and wearing their vessels is not even necessary, as long as you have their vessel somewhere in your possession, you can call them to you from anywhere you are - but if you want to have a dedicated session with them, holding their vessel will help amp it up a notch. Creating sigil for personal familiars are unnecessary, due to the fact that they have a much more powerful channel of communication and manifestation in our realm - their bindings. Sigils for communication with bound entities are redundant.
Sigils are not something a demon is born with, like a birthmark. They are often used by demons in magick, similar to the practice in chaos magick of creating your own sigil for various purposes. They can be used to direct energy, and so on. Powerful sigils can be earned as a demon of high status, as they move up the ranks, but this is quite rare. Most demons do not have a sigil until or unless they are working with humans and want to have a sigil as a structure for evocation, an energetic calling card.
The vast majority of sigils are created in collaboration between a human and a spirit. This is quite clearly demonstrated through the tradition where we see the origin of sigils in evocation. The use of sigils in magick didn’t come about until the beginnings of the grimoire tradition. Grimoires are fairly new in magickal practice, relatively speaking. Prior to this, spirits were more often worked with based on their image, idols, such as statues and paintings.
There seems to be some misinformation circulating that all demons have their own personal sigils. The accurate statement would be, all demons have the ability to create their own personal sigils in collaboration with a human. Creating a sigil with a demon is simple, and if it’s something you feel that is necessary, then simply connect with your demon and work with them on it.
Unlike some modern day demon conjurors, I don’t expect you to take my word as god on this matter, I will close this essay by providing you with some simple and clear objective proof, evidence that, with logical consideration, will back up my statements on this topic.
The people who argue that demons are born with an innate sigil, cannot explain why demons have various different sigils depending on the grimoire. For example below are the sigils of Agares and Bael from the Goetia of Dr. Rudd vs. the Lemegeton/Lesser Key of Solomon:
Goetia of Dr. Rudd
Lemegeton/Lesser Key of Solomon
Or take a look at a couple of the sigils of Ashtaroth:
Each of these sigils are equally valid and a magician can use either version to effectively evoke the demon in question.
These are just a couple of examples - the list of the same entities being represented by different sigils within different systems goes on and on. The Dukante system, for example, has its own set of sigils completely different from the sigils that its demons are represented by elsewhere in the grimoires.
The comparison of sigils can get interesting when one notes some strange similarities found between veves of the LOA and the demonic sigils of the Goetia. However it’s not my intention to write a scholarly essay on these differences and similarities, simply to point out the vast variance in sigils between various traditions, in order to prove that the human factor is highly involved in the creation of sigils for entities. If you look at all the sigils in a particular grimoire or system, such as the Goetia, or the Grimoirum Verum, or the Dukante hierarchy, you will see a style that is unique to the particular author and how this style translates to ALL of the sigils created within their system.
The variance in sigils shows that demons do not have unique sigils that can be accessed by a human, rather that they will work with a human in order to inspire a sigil that is based on their energy and can be used in evocation. The same demon has various sigils in various traditions and responds equally well to all of them. This simply proves the logic that a sigil is not something that a demon is born with, but something that is created in partnership with a human.
The human element points to the fact that in all cases, the sigil for the entity is at the very least influenced by the human involved in transcribing it, and at best, a co-creation between demon and human. It’s for this particular reason that I do not get involved in creating sigils for the clients of my bound familiars. A sigil created with a bound familiar is a very personal thing, the energy in it should belong solely to the demon, and their keeper, with no mediator or go-between. If I were to transcribe and co-create sigils for my demons, not only would they be redundant, they would also be a merger of my own particular energy with that of your familiar. Out of respect for the demon and their keeper (a topic I will address more in depth in a separate essay), I refuse to do this. If a keeper wants a sigil, they should work it out themselves, however, in working with a bound familiar, sigils are entirely unnecessary, that is the whole point of working with familiars with bindings versus working with unbound entities in evocation. The only time a sigil is required for a bound familiar is when the object that the familiar is bound to is the sigil itself (a practice that can be found in the Book of the Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage, and something I write about in my essay that will be published through EA Koetting later this year).
References for your perusal:
Adelphia D. Blood
Adelphia D. Blood, -site founder