Every witch is familiar with intention-based magickal workings; Know Thy Will, focus intention through a process or on an object, direct the focused energy, then expect manifestation. For simple example, my Will is “I will be healthy and fit”. I then focus my intention of health onto an apple, directing that intention by eating an apple several times/day. Finally, I expect my body to manifest itself as healthy and fit (yes, sometimes magick is really that simple).
I prefer intention-based magick when performing Elemental workings. But when Chaos is my ritual’s force majeure, nonintention seems to be most effective. After all, as powerful as consciousness is, it is exactly what can screw up a spell. Self-sabotage is often subconscious and quickly and cleanly effective. Working with Chaos through nonintent ritual, eliminates the consciousness variable by allowing the unmanifest to randomly express exactly what you didn’t know you had Willed in an act of pure epigenius. Wild Chaos. Wise Discord.
Nonintention-based magickal workings vary slightly from the intention-based sort: Know Thy Will, erase intentions from the conscious mind through an automatick perfection task, imprint task’s perfected symbol of forgotten intention onto the unconscious, live your life and forget about all of it.
Austin Osman Spare’s sigil magick is a beautiful system of nonintent. Even the simplest sigil spell is extremely effective. An outline for creating a basic sigil is: I write out my Will in capitol letters; “I WILL BE COVETED”. Then I begin the process of erasing my intention by crossing out any letter that appears twice, leaving me with; “IWBCOVTD”. I write the remaining letters directly on top of one another, noticing what new shapes are being made. Sketching and resketching my way into artistic trance where I am essentially performing automatick drawing, I define a new story from the previously overlapped shapes. My goal is perfection of the sigil, not artistic merit (necessarily). The task is perfect when I am done. I then imprint the new sigil deeply into the unconscious through orgasm, entheogen or physical exhaustion. Finally, I forget about forgetting about it and live my life.
The challenge and opportunity in this style of Chaos Magick lies in the honest erasing of intent. If I am thinking about “being coveted”, or thinking about “forgetting the desire to be coveted” while drawing, I am performing an intention-based working rather than a nonintent working. Success in sigil magick in this case, would be defined by becoming completely unable to recall one’s original intent. The honest erasing is the key.
Recently, a fellow Chaote partnered with me on an advanced sigil working that assures I have no idea what I’m working towards. Hail, Discord! Here is how we, together, achieved a powerful symbol of Forgotten Intention:
ADVANCED SIGIL WORKING: “PARTNER ICONOGRAPHY”
1. Know Thy Will and from it, locate your intent. I can honestly not remember what my intent was upon start of this sigil working. Well done.
2. Convey that intention to your magickal partner. In this case, Chaote and professional magickal artist, Nemo, was my partner. In an email I suggested my now forgotten intention to Nemo, blurring the original intent already. The process of forgetting began with the first communication.
3. Your magickal partner now creates the sigil through automatick drawing. Nemo, in this case tells me that he held space for my original intent, and then concentrated so deeply that he tranced out, surrendering all my/his intention to the spirit which wished to be drawn. Again, we stepped even further away from my original intent.
On this, Nemo adds, “My own form of “forgetting” is done by trance … akin to making the outline of a form with intention and then filling in the details by intuition/deep-mind/trance/universal-will…”, and “The key to making this kind of painting is to focus on your intent so deeply, you forget it at the moment of manifestation …”
4. You receive the finished artwork, then imprint the entirely new symbol of forgotten intent onto the unconscious. In this case, Nemo created a vibrant piece of art in the center of which is my glowing image. We’ve coined this artistic sigil style Iconography. I imprinted my Icon into the unconscious by dancing about it, around it, in front of it until I was flat with exhaustion. I then meditated on it’s visual for 3 days more.
5. Finally, appreciate the artwork and live your life. All of this is a forgetting technique. I appreciated Nemo’s art as a magnificent masterpiece and displayed it on my hearth. Friends commented on it, it brightened my Beltane eventing. By trusting a magickal partner with my intention, allowing him to transform intention into an original piece of art, and relating to the artwork as nothing more than beautiful artwork, I have honestly forgotten my original intent. And don’t you know, without me knowing, this new symbol presents it’s self to me throughout my daily life in different forms – I see a cactus in a Hollywood garden, I dream of candy cane octopi, I enjoy the sight of the art on my mantle.
Together, Nemo and I have created a path for random genius to emerge. In a form of it’s own unexpected choosing. Without the chance for my conscious mind to interfere. I am working with the unmanifest here. My Will is done without me even knowing it.
So mote it be.
Originally published in Issue #56 and #57 of Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose, Transcendent Journeys eZine, Rending the Veil Online Magazine Yule