# Spirits in 2D art #

Sigils are graphic symbols that identify and represent spiritual beings. Often, but not always, they are generated from the names of spirits using mechanical methods, so that each letter in the name gives rise to a particular part of the symbol. They are usually simple, two-dimensional abstract designs, and may be either black and white or colored. The sigil is the design itself, not the surface or thing upon which it is drawn, painted or inscribed. In magic, a sigil is employed to summon and control the spirit it represents during rituals, or to infuse the presence or influence of the spirit into a specific power object.

The word "sigil" is from the Latin sigillum, meaning a little seal or signet. From ancient times until a few centuries ago, identity and authority were verified in largely illiterate cultures by means of personal, family or state seals that took the forms of small cylinders, blocks, stamps or rings. These were impressed into clay, and later into wax, to leave a distinct symbol by which the legitimacy of the bearer or the object impressed with the seal were confirmed. It seems to me probable that the use of sigils to identify spirits has its origins in this familiar and widespread practice.

In magic, the name of a spirit embodies the identity and power of the spirit. By knowing and controlling the name, the magician is able to control the spirit. This is the basis of the god-magic of ancient Egypt. The sigil is a graphic form of the name. The name is manipulated upon the living breath by means of chants, mantras, invocations, imprecations, execrations, prayers, hymns and similar vocal forms used in magic. The sigil is manipulated within the imagination by means of meditation, concentration, and creative visualization.

More commonly, sigils are associated in the average person's mind with the lower spirits and demons. No medieval grimoire, such as the Goetia, would be complete without its set of demonic sigils. Perhaps this is because the lower spirits, who were often summoned for mundane purposes such as causing injury to others or finding treasure, are more rebellious and require instruments of control and punishment. By inflicting injury upon the demon's inscribed sigil, the magician was able to cause discomfort or pain to the spirit it represented. This was done in such ways as piercing the sigil with a knife or pin, compressing it beneath a weight, placing it inside a Bible, standing upon it, burying it, hanging it over rising incense smoke, binding it with cord, striking it with the flat of a sword blade, or subjecting it to the heat from open flame. Often the mere threat to destroy the sigil caused the demon to comply. Do you want sigils for you? Contact us.


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