An intro to an abandoned project that I got bored with. Liked this bit of writing though, so sticking it here for prosperity.
Magic works, the lot, tarot cards, spells, funny hats, all of it.
It probably doesn't work in the way you think. But it does.
If you don't think abstract symbols have power then you're missing the irony of you reading this sentence.
Since the cultural imprinting that we call 'school' our brain is not only loaded with symbols and their explicit meaning – like the alphabet, the squiggle 'A' correlate to a definite sound. But were also taught the inferred meaning of many others. Colours are a great example of this, even a very small child will recognise red as 'danger' or 'anger' this seems instinctual as an adult in the west, but if we had grown up in China we would instinctively 'know' that red is the colour of good luck or joy.
This is an example of our brains main advantage, we can process meaning on many different levels at the same time. We seem to recognise stimuli and process it in all its syntax of context at the same damn time while our consciousness picks the most relevant to the narrative we need to survive.
In this analogy I find it handy to think of skills as sub-routines of that take up varying levels of your CPU. These sub-routines have conscious or unconscious triggers. Ritual magic, where the user gets dressed up and chants and all that, is just keying certain effects and mental sub-routines to contrived, outside stimuli. When Daisy, a character in TV show Spaced, writes she wears a pair of think rimmed lense-less glasses, an activity tied to a piece of costume or theatre. When I'm trying to beat writers block I paint my face completely – which has the added bonus of making leaving the house more of a hassle. These are inherently symbolic acts that trigger 'real'* consequences.
Symbols can be buttons in our brain that WE get to programme.
Now our whole lives are guided by the decisions we make, the big ones are obvious, which jobs we apply for, who you marry that sort of thing. But were also riding a wave of tiny and seemingly inconsequential decisions. Each tiny 'Cornflakes or toast' 'bus or walk', nail varnish colour, and TV channel flick are the butterfly flapping causing a tornado that blow us closer to the only goals encoded right into our unconscious, the lizard brain basics, food, air, and fucking.
Sigil's are an attempt to add goals to the subconscious that are little more sophisticated, so every little thing we do makes us take a step towards a premeditated result.
Also anyone who has ever got stoned and met someone who is colour blind has realised that reality is based purely on perception. I personally think that sigils, when imprinted on the subconscious can colour our reality.
It's a fact of our human mind gubbins that we only ever pay attention to evidence that supports our beliefs, so it stands to reason if we can change these beliefs at a subconscious level the way we perceive the world will be fundamentally changed.
If it helps try not to think of magic (or 'magik' as the less playful of the chaos magicians of the nineties would have you describe it) as other worldly, just think of it as hacking – using symbols to find short cuts for the wet meat computer we keep in our bone skull.
*yes, quotes. Shut up.