THE BOOK OF RESULTS
by RAY SHERWIN
TABLE OF CONTENTS FOREWORD CHAPTER ONE THE BOOK OF RESULTS CHAPTER TWO CHAPTER THREE AN EXAMPLE RITUAL CHAPTER FOUR ACTION SIGILS THE DRUIDS KNOT OR THE CRIME BEFORE TIME BY THESSALONIUS LOYOLA FOREWORD This interesting contribution to the practise and theory of sigils certainly deserves a fourth publication. In it you will find some ingenious refinements of the practices and principles developed by the great English Mage Austin Osman Spare. This book is basically a practical extension kit to the now classic sigil technique which also helpfully resumes the original in plain language. With a refreshing severity Sherwin reminds us that demons are very real personal blindspots which the aspiring magician can and should overcome with a daily regime of willed magical and material activity. On the non-reductionist side of the coin he shows how the basic sleight of mind techniques of sigilisation can be expanded into full rituals complete with banishing techniques, mantras and dervish whirling, to create longer and more powerful rites. Sherwin discusses the theory of sigils and presents the basic mechanism, uncovered by Spare, explaining the entire range of seemingly bizarre analogical procedures of the old spell books at a stroke. This insight is a landmark in the history of magical thought. One can always tell the difference between those magicians who have understood it and those who have not. The Caltrop of Chaos banishing ritual is a useful addition to the chaoists magical repertoire despite its reference to the now contentious big-bang theory. Similarly,
the apparent singularity of Self in Sherwins model may well raise a chaoist eyebrow or two and provoke more debate and research on this topic. The group ritual for a collective abstract sigil attracts my attention as it seems to transcend the limitation to a single operator of the classical sigil technique. It will doubtless form the basis for some challenging experiments amongst groups of many persuasions. This is, above all, a book of accessible, practical technique. Buy it, study it, and use it. The ratio of practising magicians to collectors of magical books is probably 1:100. Hopefully this book will help to rectify the situation. Pete Carroll. CHAPTER ONE Since the Book of Results was first issued in 1978 sigilisation has become a popular, if somewhat underrated, approach to certain types of sorcery. Within my personal attitude towards magick sigilisation figures very largely but hardly at all in isolation since its success relies heavily on other aspects of the art magical. It is perhaps best, at the outset of this short book, to assume an overview in order to appreciate the relative importance of sigils (from my point of view) before examining their construction and use in detail. I have always been suspicious of the guru system and of magical hierarchies. To avoid entering into a lengthy argumentation on this point suffice it to say that in my experience magical orders which have a tendency towards this type of heresy, for whatever given reasons, always militate against the individual in favour of the order, especially when conflict arises but also, insidiously, as a matter of course. Since magick is an individualist pursuit the individual must always be of paramount importance and anyone who denies this is looking for profit or power or does not know any better. It is always wise to listen to what other people have to say but decisions must be made and action taken according to comfort, pleasure and effectiveness after individual experimentation has taken place. Keeping oneself at the centre of ones magical activity, rather than following the peculiarities which someone else has found to be useful, also helps to keep one wary of picking up dogmas accidentally and treating them as personal truths. This is the only way to realise that beliefs are not permanent concepts but changeable commodities which can be managed by the magician (and others) and manipulated to his benefit. When asked What do you believe?, the magician, speaking from the central stillness of himself, should be able to reply, in all honesty, I believe nothing. With such a blank slate at his disposal the magician can then adopt and discard beliefs as he sees fit. I worked many of the techniques useful for attaining this condition into my translation of The Golden Verses of Pythagoras which was included in The Theatre of Magic. The basis of the scheme is autopsy or strict and systematic self-enquiry.
There are two basic types of magical technique, one which gets you into your head and the other which gets you out of it. In some cases, whirling for example, either effect can be achieved according to the magicians intention. Drumming, drug-induced trance and some forms of mantra are gnostic techniques which also come into this category. Those techniques which inhibit the body, asana, sensory deprivation and so on, are best suited for looking inwards while those which tend to excite the body are most useful for projecting dynamically outwards. The mystic might have a great deal to say about the evident duality of this. I have nothing further to add except that the individual should experiment with as many techniques as he can find or invent in order to immediately discard those which are obviously not suitable, for whatever reason. He can then concentrate his attention on the mastery of the remaining techniques. Daily excercises in technique need not be performed in magical mood and there is something to be said for treating such excercises as one might treat callisthenics or the more practical forms of body yoga. Once a technique has been mastered it can then be used confidently during ritual magick as such. The magician who attempts to use unperfected technique during ritual work does so at his peril. At best his ritual will be ineffective. Less optimistically, he may leave the temple feeling more foolish than when he entered, a positive regression, in his development best avoided. I would recommend anyone who is just starting to use methods of this sort to set up a daily regime, a programme combining strictness and pleasure. A detailed written record helps to keep perspective and is an invaluable aid in helping to bridge the gap between performance and capacity, that is, between present ability and personal expectation. In other disciplines, yoga for example, one practices every day and with each practice the body responds by becoming more flexible. Ones mind, however, is more subtle than ones body. The only reasons for not being able to adopt a yoga posture are inherant physical inability or the stiffness of joint which can, with practice, be relaxed. But there are all kinds of reasons for not achieving good results in other areas of ones life and it is the conquest of these which is called Magick. There are no new methods in magick, merely rearrangements and refinements of old ones. The self-integration process of driving out neuroses through meditation and abreaction is the same method in essence as would be used to drive the self on to greater things. The word evolution has been new-aged to death in this context but it remains the best word that we have. Man is a lazy creature of habit. Laziness may indeed have been one of the major reasons for his evolution so far, encouraging him, as it must have done, to find easier ways for survival than the conditions in which he found himself allowed. Habit, even in complex activities, reduces the amount of concentration required for the execution of a task. The simple expedient of the grasping thumb would have necessitated a great deal of concentration at the time when such a facility began to develop, as would the development of three- dimensional vision and the beginnings of coherent thought and language. In ancient times it would have been the individuals most capable of using these new developments who would have been looked upon as magicians - the ones who could
run quickly, produce tools with greater precision or bring together their observation and skill to produce ideographs - yet they would be quickly emulated by those whose faculties were only slightly less developed. The ones who were not physically and mentally capable did not survive. On the grand scale activities like grasping with the thumb and seeing three-dimensionally became habitual. We certainly do not need to think about them and in the latter case it is supremely difficult to reverse the process and see everything on a flat plane. Habit reduces the degree of concentration necessary for the performance of any task and in so doing releases the faculty of concentration for application in other areas and it is this, now almost unused faculty, unused because it is no longer called upon for the maintenance of the organism, which provides the key to the scheme of magick which I have found most useful. Here we have a reservoir of potential concentration which is not being used. Because he is a lazy creature of habit man prefers comfort to adventure, stasis to motion in both the physical and mental sense. Only the greatest minds break out of this stasis to produce something new, vital and essential. For the vast majority, who can only see their own capabilities during rare moments of unusual lucidity, life goes on as normal, the supreme being rejected in favour of the habitual. Traditionally the magician forced himself to do those things which his personality decreed would wait until tomorrow. This method failed because it relied on the imposition of new habits, albeit self-imposed rather than arbitrary ones, without stating its aims. It has been said that there is a censorship mechanism which prevents us from performing to capacity. Whether this mechanism is seen as a function of the Holy Guardian Angel, as a natural and necessary mental barrier or, as some have seen it, as the work of demons or aliens