Learn the fundamentals of astrological magic, starting with sigils!
The word sigils is perhaps most commonly used in modern parlance to refer to that infamous technique of Chaos magic. Yet long before Austin Osman Spare re-invented the term, sigils – medallions cast in magically potent materials at astrologically auspicious times – were the preserve of astrologer-magicians and physicians.
These occult objects were thought to contain, cohere and radiate the volatile influences of passing stars as a fixed amulet, talisman or charm-bag. Sigils were utilised for purposes as wide ranging as attracting the eye of a new lover, promotions at work, or even simply ridding your kitchen of domestic pests.
In this class, historian, poet, and diviner Dr Alexander Cummins will guide us through the history, philosophy, and sorcery of astrological magical objects, with particular focus on the exciting and tumultuous times of the 17th century. We will explore the occult philosophy of marked objects in terms of glyphs, ideograms, semeiotics, and representation, as well as examining how and when they are made and activated, what they are made from, and for what purposes they were made in the first place.
So if you are interested in learning the differences between an amulet and a talisman, where to keep your magic items to best consecrate and empower them, or why many Renaissance magicians thought creating astral talismans was like making jam, please join us in what promises to be a fascinating start to our Fundamentals of Astrological Magic series.
Dr. Alexander Cummins is an historian of early modern magic, astrology, and culture. His first book, The Starry Rubric: Seventeenth-century English Astrology and Magic was published by Hadean Press in 2012. He has also written on the cultural history of Apocalypse, occult botany and magical herbalism in the grimoires, the material history of amulets, planetary sorcery, necromancy, and various forms of folk magic.
He curates a storehouse of early modern occult texts scanned from archives at grimoiresontape.tumblr.com.