Yule Sigil

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Note: This is an updated version of our very popular post about Yule traditions, “Traditions and Symbols of Yule”. We have spared the original title. Photos and information herein have been updated for educational purposes. Happy Yule and enjoy your holiday!

Yule Sigil

Dec 22, 2011 Yule is a traditional holiday holding roots in various northern European traditions, particularly that of the pre-Christian Germanic peoples. When the days grew colder and the nights grew longer, people of ancient times would light candles and gather round fires to lure back the sun. Early History of the Yule family. This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Yule research. Another 153 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1374, 1391, 1503, 1676, 1870 and 1608 are included under the topic Early Yule History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible. Sigil is a multi-platform EPUB ebook Editor. Sigil-1.4.3 Critical Bug Fix Release Bug Fixes Since Sigil-1.4.0: critical bug fix for OPF metadata attributes that use named entities.

Yule is a traditional holiday holding roots in various northern European traditions, particularly that of the pre-Christian Germanic peoples. When the days grew colder and the nights grew longer, people of ancient times would light candles and gather round fires to lure back the sun. They would bring out their stores of food and enjoy feasting and festivities. Dances were danced and songs were sung and all would delight in decorating their homes. Such were the Yule traditions of those times—traditions similar to what we call Christmas (Yule eventually underwent Christianised reformulation).

Evergreens for Yule: Symbols of Renewal

Evergreens were cut and brought indoors to symbolize life, rebirth and renewal. They were thought to have power over death because their green never faded, and they were used to defeat winter demons and hold back death and destruction. Because of their strength and tenacity, they were also believed to encourage the Sun’s return.

Yule Symbol of Hope: Holly

Holly, which represents the masculine element, was often used to decorate doors, windows and fireplaces. Because of its prickliness it was thought to capture or ward off evil spirits before they could enter a home and cause harm. The holly leaves, symbolic of the Holly King, represent hope, while the red berries represent potency.

Yule Traditions: Mistletoe

Mistletoe, which represents the female element, also holds much importance as it was used by Druid priests in special ceremonies during the Winter Solstice. They believed that its green leaves represented the fertility of the Mother Goddess, and its white berries, the seed of the Forest God or Oak King. Druids would harvest the mistletoe from sacred oak trees with golden scythes and maidens would gather underneath the trees to catch the falling branches, preventing them from falling to the ground; for if this happened, it was believed that all sacred energy in the plant would pour back into the earth. The branches and sprigs were then divided and distributed to be hung over doorways as protection against thunder, lightning and other evils. Mistletoe was also worn as an amulet for fertility, or hung above the headboard.

Yule Tree: An Important Pagan Symbol

The Yule Tree was also another important symbol in pagan tradition. Originally, it represented the Tree of Life or the World Tree among early pagans. In ancient times it was decorated with gifts people wanted to receive from the gods. It was adorned with natural ornaments such as pinecones, berries and other fruit, as well as symbols sacred to the gods and goddess. In some holiday traditions, garlands of popcorn and berries were strung around the tree so that visiting birds could feed off the tree as well.

To Honour and Protect: The Yule Log

The custom of burning the Yule Log began with the ancient Scandinavians who burned a huge log, felled from and Ash tree, to honour their god Thor. In the Celtic tradition, a continual hearth fire was kept to prevent spirits from entering the home. In order for the fire to keep burning, a large Oak tree was felled and brought into the home where the tree was placed trunk first into the hearth, with the last remnants set aside to burn with next year’s fire. It was also believed that the longer the Yule log burned, the faster the sun would come to warm the earth.

Other Yule Traditions and Symbols

Yule Sigil

Candles were another way to have an eternal flame within the home. They symbolized the light and warmth of the sun and were used to chase away evils and lure back the returning sun/son.

Wreaths were also traditional in ancient times for they symbolized the wheel of the year and the completion of another cycle. They were made of evergreens and adorned with cones and berries and hung as decoration throughout the home. They were also given as gifts to symbolize the infinity of goodwill, friendship and joyfulness.

Bells were often rung during the Winter Solstice to drive away demons that surfaced during the dark time of the year. They were rung in the morning as everyone began to wake to chase away the dark days and herald in the warmer, brighter days following the solstice.

Elves first became associated with Yule because the ancients knew that the Spirits that created the Sun inhabited the land of Elves. By including elves in the Yule celebrations, the ancients believed they were assuring the elves assistance in the coercion of the Sun to return.

Gingerbread was considered to be a specialty bread during this time since ginger had not been available until the Crusaders brought it back in the 11th century. There were strict laws regarding specialty breads in that time, so gingerbread was only allowed to be produced during the holidays and thus, it became associated with winter and Yule.

Wassail derives from the Old English words waes hael, which means “be well”, “be hale” or “good health”. It is a strong drink, usually a mixture of ale, honey and spices or mulled apple cider. When pagans went into the forest to fell the great oak for the Yule log, they would anoint the tree with wassail and bedeck them with wassail-soaked cakes, thus the ritual of wassailing was born. At home, the wassail would be poured into a large bowl during feast time and the host, when greeting his or her guests, would lift a drink and wish them “waes hael”, to which they would reply “drinc hael”, which meant “drink and be well”.

Carolling was also a popular Yule tradition when young children honoured the Winter Solstice with song. They would go through the villages, singing door to door. The villagers, in return, would reward them with tokens and sweets and small gifts which symbolized the food and prosperity given by the Mother Goddess to all her Earthly children.

Nature Symbols of Yule: Holly, Oak, Mistletoe, Ivy, Evergreens, Laurel, Bayberry, Blessed Thistle, Frankincense, Pine, Sage, Yellow Cedar.

Food and Drink of Yule: Yule Log Cake, Gingerbread, Fruits, Berries, Nuts, Pork dishes, Turkey, Eggnog, Ginger Tea, Spiced Cider, Wassail

Colours of Yule: Red, Green, White, Silver, Gold
Red represents the waning Holly King. Green represents the waxing Oak King. White represents the purity and hope of new Light. Silver represents the Moon. Gold represents the Sun/Son.

Sigils for yule

Stones of Yule: Rubies, Bloodstones, Garnets, Emeralds, Diamonds

Activities of Yule: Carolling ~ Wassailing the Trees ~ Burning the Yule Log ~ Decorating the Yule Tree ~ Exchanging Gifts ~ Kissing under the Mistletoe

Deities of Yule:

Yule Sigil History

Goddesses: The Great Mother and Earth Goddess, Freyja, Gaia, Diana, Bona-Dea, Isis, Demeter

Gods: Mabon, The Sun God, The Star (Divine) Child, The Oak King, The Holly King, The Green Man, The Red Man, The Horned One, Odin, Lugh, Apollo, Ra

What Yule traditions and symbols still appear in your Holiday celebrations? Did you know the origin of some of these Yule traditions or did they surprise you? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below!

~ Originally written by Daniela Masaro. Updated/edited by Jacob Lopez Dec, 2020

Artwork by Anne Stokes

(Redirected from Sigil (magic))
Goetic seals from the Lesser Key of Solomon

A sigil (/ˈsɪəl/; pl. sigilla or sigils) is a type of symbol used in ritual magic. The term has usually referred to a type of pictorial signature of a Jinn or other entity. In modern usage, especially in the context of chaos magic, sigil refers to a symbolic representation of the practitioner's desired outcome.

History[edit]

72 seals from the Lesser Key of Solomon

The term sigil derives from the Latinsigillum, meaning 'seal'.[1]

In medieval ceremonial magic, the term sigil was commonly used to refer to occult signs which represented various angels and demons which the witch might summon.[1] The magical training books called grimoires often listed pages of such sigils. A particularly well-known list is in The Lesser Key of Solomon, in which the sigils of the 72 princes of the hierarchy of hell are given for the magician's use. Such sigils were considered to be the equivalent of the true name of the spirit and thus granted the magician a measure of control over the beings.[2]

An excerpt from Sefer Raziel HaMalakh featuring various magical sigils (or סגולות, segulot, in Hebrew).

A common method of creating the sigils of certain spirits was to use kameas (magic squares) — the names of the spirits were converted to numbers, which were then located on the magic square. The locations were then connected by lines, forming an abstract figure.[3]

The word sigil... has a long history in Western magic. The members of the Golden Dawn were perfectly familiar with it (″combining the letters, the colours, the attributions and their Synthesis, thou mayest build up a telesmatic Image of a Force. The Sigil shall then serve thee for the tracing of a Current which shall call into action a certain Elemental Force″) and it was used in the making of talismans. The sigil was like a signature or sign of an occult entity.[4]

The use of symbols for magical or cultic purposes has been widespread since at least the Neolithic era. Some examples from other cultures include the yantra from Hindutantra, historical runic magic among the Germanic peoples, or the use of veves in Voudon.

Austin Osman Spare[edit]

The artist and occultist Austin Osman Spare developed his own unique method of creating and using sigils, which has had a huge effect on modern occultism. Essentially, Spare turned the Medieval practice of using sigils to evoke entities on its head, arguing that such supernatural beings were simply complexes in the unconscious, and could be actively created through the process of sigilization.[5][4]

The big difference with Spare's method was that he dispensed with pre-existing esoterica and external beliefs, so the sigils were no longer for controlling traditional demons, angels and what-have-you, but instead for controlling forces in the unconscious psyche of the individual operator.[4]

Spare's technique became a cornerstone of chaos magic.[6] It also influenced the artist Brion Gysin, who experimented with combining Spare's sigil method with the traditional form of magic squares:

Calligraphic magick squares were one of the techniques most commonly applied by Gysin. He would reduce a name or an idea to a 'glyph' and then write across the paper from right to left, turn the paper and do the same again, and so on, turning the paper around and around to create a multi-dimensional grid... The same techniques and consciously driven functional intention also permeated his paintings. In a very real sense, everything he created was an act of sorcery.[7]

Chaos magic[edit]

A modern personal sigil.

In chaos magic, following Spare, sigils are most commonly created by writing out the intention, then condensing the letters of the statement down to form a sort of monogram. The chaos magician then uses the gnostic state to 'launch' or 'charge' the sigil – essentially bypassing the conscious mind to implant the desire in the unconscious.[8][6] To quote Ray Sherwin:

The magician acknowledges a desire, he lists the appropriate symbols and arranges them into an easily visualised glyph. Using any of the gnostic techniques he reifies the sigil and then, by force of will, hurls it into his subconscious from where the sigil can begin to work unencumbered by desire.[8]

After charging the sigil, it is considered necessary to repress all memory of it: in the words of Spare, there should be 'a deliberate striving to forget it'.[5]

In modern chaos magic, when a complex of thoughts, desires and intentions gains such a level of sophistication that it appears to operate autonomously from the magician's consciousness, as if it were an independent being, then such a complex is referred to as a servitor.[9][10] When such a being becomes large enough that it exists independently of any one individual, as a form of 'group mind', then it is referred to as an egregore.[11][12]

Later chaos magicians have expanded on the basic sigilization technique. Grant Morrison coined the term hypersigil to refer to an extended work of art with magical meaning and willpower, created using adapted processes of sigilization. His comic book series The Invisibles was intended as such a hypersigil.[6] Morrison has also argued that modern corporate logos like 'the McDonald's Golden Arches, the Nike swoosh and the Virgin autograph' are a form of viral sigil:

Corporate sigils are super-breeders. They attack unbranded imaginative space. They invade Red Square, they infest the cranky streets of Tibet, they etch themselves into hairstyles. They breed across clothing, turning people into advertising hoardings... The logo or brand, like any sigil, is a condensation, a compressed, symbolic summoning up of the world of desire which the corporation intends to represent... Walt Disney died long ago but his sigil, that familiar, cartoonish signature, persists, carrying its own vast weight of meanings, associations, nostalgia and significance.[6]

See also[edit]

Look up sigil in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Sigils.

References[edit]

Yule Sigil Song

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ abWeschcke, Carl Llewellyn & Slate, Joe H. The Llewellyn Complete Book of Psychic Empowerment
  2. ^Lemegeton Clavicula Salomonis: The Lesser Key of Solomon, Detailing the Ceremonial Art of Commanding Spirits Both Good and Evil; ed. Joseph H. Peterson; Weiser Books, Maine; 2001. p.xi-xvii
  3. ^Greer, John Michael (2003). The New Encyclopedia of The Occult. Llewellyn Worldwide. p. 438. ISBN1-56718-336-0.
  4. ^ abcBaker, Phil. Austin Osman Spare
  5. ^ abSpare, Austin Osman. The Book of Pleasure
  6. ^ abcdMorrison, Grant. Pop Magic!
  7. ^P-Orridge, Genesis. Magick Squares and Future Beats
  8. ^ abSherwin, Ray. The Book of Results
  9. ^Hine, Phil. Prime Chaos
  10. ^Marik. Servitors
  11. ^Rysen, Fenwick The Fluid Continuum
  12. ^Emerson, Gabriel. Egregore Definition Compilation

Yule Sigils

Sources[edit]

  • The Book of Pleasure. Austin Osman SpareISBN1-872189-58-X
  • Liber Null and Psychonaut. Peter CarrollISBN0-87728-639-6
  • Baker, Phil (2011). Austin Osman Spare: The Life and Legend of London's Lost Artist. Strange Attractor. ISBN9781907222016.
  • Emerson, Gabriel (1997). 'Egregore Definition Compilation'. Chaos Matrix. Retrieved June 7, 2018.
  • Hine, Phil (1998). Prime Chaos: Adventures in Chaos Magic. New Falcon Publications. ISBN9781609255299.
  • Marik (1998). 'Servitors: Part Two of Sigils, Servitors, and Godforms'. Chaos Matrix. Retrieved June 7, 2018.
  • Morrison, Grant (2003). 'Pop Magic!'. In Metzger, Richard (ed.). Book of Lies: The Disinformation Guide to Magick and the Occult. Red Wheel Weiser. ISBN9780971394278.
  • P-Orridge, Genesis (2003). 'Magick Squares and Future Beats'. In Metzger, Richard (ed.). Book of Lies: The Disinformation Guide to Magick and the Occult. Red Wheel Weiser. ISBN9780971394278.
  • Peterson, Joseph H. (ed.), The Lesser Key of Solomon: Lemegeton Clavicula Salomonis (York Beach, ME: Weiser Books, 2001). Considered 'the definitive version'
  • Rysen, Fenwick (1999). 'The Fluid Continuum --or-- What the f***'s an Egregore?'. Chaos Matrix. Retrieved June 7, 2018.
  • Sherwin, Ray (1992). The Book of Results. Revelations 23 Press. ISBN9781874171003.
  • Spare, Austin Osman (2013). The Book of Pleasure: The Psychology of Ecstasy. Lulu Press. ISBN9781105502996.
  • Weschcke, Carl Llewellyn; Slate, Joe H. (2011). The Llewellyn Complete Book of Psychic Empowerment: A Compendium of Tools & Techniques for Growth & Transformation. Llewellyn Worldwide. ISBN9780738729862.
  • White, Gordon (2012). 'Magic Secrets as Taught by Robot Fish'. Rune Soup. Retrieved June 7, 2018.
  • White, Gordon (2010). 'Shoaling: Making Sigil Magic more Awesome Since 2010'. Rune Soup. Retrieved June 7, 2018.
  • El, Moorpheus (2011). 'Secret of Secrets: Reality is Programmable'. Matrix-Five. Retrieved August 28, 2011.

Yule Sigil Festival

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