Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Traditional and Kamea Sigils


No, it's not Monday. But this post is about magick anyway.

Twice in the last couple of days, I have been asked about using traditional spirit sigils versus deriving kamea sigils. For my elemental, planetary, and zodiacal work posts I have been using the kamea method, which (to my knowledge) was first published by Agrippa. At the same time, traditional sigils also exist for many of the same spirits that I am calling upon in those operations.

To be clear, the kamea sigils do not replace traditional sigils, or necessarily work better, or anything like that. Both the traditional sigil and the kamea sigil can be used to connect with the spirit, just like calling a person who has multiple telephone numbers. The advantage of the kamea system is that it is general enough to apply to any spirit, whether a traditional sigil is available or not.

There are even variations within the kamea method that can produce different sigils for the same spirit. In the Saturn installment of the planetary work, I include two possible sigils for Cassiel, as there is some disagreement regarding the traditional spelling. I have no trouble getting results with the version I use, but I expect that the other version likewise works for the magicians who employ it.

As another example, for the zodiacal work series, you can take a look at the Magical Calendar over on Esoteric Archives, you can find sigils for the same angels of the signs whose names I am mapping onto the kameas. Those sigils will work too, so you can go ahead and use them if you like them better. And this is true of just about any sigil, from just about any grimoire, that is attributed to the spirit with which you want to work.


Going further, kamea sigils can also vary by language. I normally transliterate to Hebrew, which is Agrippa's method, but magicians also report success with kamea sigils derived from English. Sometimes that can be a better way to go than trying to puzzle out the Hebrew spelling of an English name. In order to employ that method, you number the English letters thus:


The pattern is just like that used with Hebrew, but following the order of the English alphabet. The same reduction rules apply as well when mapping an English name. So here's the kamea sigil for Gabriel, the angel of the Moon, from my planetary series.


That's using the Hebrew. But here's how it would look using English. You have G (7), A (1), B (2), R (90 -> 9), I (9), E (5), and L (30). That sigil would look like this:


It looks quite different, but it still will connect with the same angel. Basically, the name is the word corresponding to the angel, and the sigil is the shape. Or, more to the point, one shape out of several possibilities. For Gabriel I prefer to use the Hebrew because the English spelling is already a transliteration, but that may very well just be a personal preference.

The one limitation on this is that I am of the opinion that you should not mix languages within the same figure. So if you are using the Hebrew sigil for the angel and want to encode a target's English name onto the kamea as well, transliterate the name to Hebrew and render it that way. Otherwise, use the English spelling for the angel with the English name.

I don't see any reason why this method wouldn't hold for other languages besides English and Hebrew as well, but I have yet to test that out in order to make sure. There's certainly nothing special about English, and despite all the folklore I'm not sure that there's anything about Hebrew either, aside from its association with traditional Jewish Kabbalah from which the magical Hermetic Qabalah is derived.

So the deal is this. Go ahead and use whichever type of sigil you want, traditional or kamea. Using one or the other will not change anything besides what you write out for the sigil itself, and the ritual procedure remains the same in all cases. And if you try one and it doesn't seem like it's working for you, try another. It's possible that different sigils could resonate better with different people, and that could very easily affect how well your operation works.

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