Podcast: Play in new window | Download (82.6MB)
Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Email | RSS | More
Robert Podgurski, author of The Sacred Alignments & Dark Side of Sigils – a truly excellent book, is our guest in podcast episode 143.
Robert Podgurski has been researching and working with the Enochian system, the techniques of Austin Osman Spare, and other forms of magickal practice for over 30 years and has published a number of essays on magick and the occult, as well as his own poetry. He’s also conducted lectures and workshops throughout the United States.
The Sacred Alignments & Dark Side of Sigils represents a groundbreaking study in modern magick and the exploration of consciousness. In this book, Robert Podgurski describes the discovery of the Grid Sigil and its uses as he initially intuited them. This particular sigilic tool bridges the gap between Enochian Magick and Austin Spare’s unique system of sigilization. However, the Grid Sigil is not so much the primary focus of this book as is the elaboration upon the methodology and underpinning elements developed in support of this discovery that should prove to be of key interest to practitioners and researchers of western esotericism. And it is ultimately the goal of the author to provide other aspirants with his unique perspective on this complex framework as a means to promote and inspire innovations in new-aeonic magick. Furthermore, unlike many new age and modern metaphysical works prevalent today The Sacred Alignments & Dark Side of Sigils is bolstered by over 25 years of well documented research into Hermeticism, Enochian Magick, Eastern theories of Yantra and Tantra, as well as Geomagnetism, Sigils, etc. The scholarly dimension of this book should appeal to serious students of Renaissance occultism as well as to modern Thelemic magicians.
Robert’s book, The Sacred Alignments & Dark Side of Sigils, introduces the reader to the Grid Sigil – an original and innovative magical tool that is designed not only to focus and empower internalized workings but also to play an active part in external applications such as dowsing and elemental workings. The “Sacred Alignments” of the title explores the pathways that exist between the Grid Sigil and other forms of magick: principally Enochian but also those of Crowley, Spare, Bertiaux, and others. In addition to providing a practical exposition of Sigil Magick, “The Sacred Alignments” offers a scholarly exploration of its diverse roots and inspirations, from the thought of Robert Grosetteste and medieval Western concepts of the Divine Signature, to Eastern antecedents such as Tantric Philosophies of Yantra and Mandala. The work is illustrated with black and white and color plates and also serves as a celebration of magick as an artful endeavor.
“… I do believe that one of the objectives of this book, as would be the case for any text of magick, is to bring all or at least some of the reader’s previous notions of magick to task and to hopefully initiate a process of introspection and re-evaluation thereof. Hopefully the reader will bring the precepts of this book along with their own perceptions under scrutiny. So I have developed this study not just as a modern how-to manual, but as a critical and historical study of the earth’s grid, i.e. the geomagnetic web, sigils and evocation and mantra as they all relate to my recent discovery of the Grid Sigil… Ultimately, the use of the Grid Sigil is aimed at affording a higher sense of the interaction between the weave of celestial and terrestrial energies as they exist and the aspirant’s place within this great tapestry. The sigils of the Grid are the building blocks of the language of the matrix itself.” – Robert Pogdurski, excerpt from the Preface, p.13-14, The Sacred Alignments & Dark Side of Sigils
Robert’s book is perhaps the most original and innovative magickal text that I’ve encountered in some time. It’s clear that he spent decades working on the material and has delivered something truly worthy of your attention. The depth of his work, both philosophically and practically is impressive, as is the physical presentation. I highly recommend his work.
intro music by HipGnosis and Paul Avgerinos
outro music – “Afterlife” by Mountain Mirrors
Fascinating discussion as usual, mucho brain food. I think when discussing the origin of languages, it’s effects on consciousness and it’s adaptability, we cant forget that spoken language is limited by the movement of mouth, tongue, lips and throat. This is something that is key and in true hermetic fashion it links the body of man and the universe, there IS meaning in the current LIMITS of the human anatomy. Curiously enough, it is something that is almost completely looked over by the renaissance europeans, but plays a huge role in the magic of the Hebrews via Abulafia and the Sefer Yetzirah, as well as the brothers in Arabia and Persia.
I agree wholeheartedly with your observation. And it is interesting that those groups that did recognize the unutterability of certain vibrations are ostensibly from the east. These strains of mysticism possess and exhibit that awareness of the limitations of the somatic, as opposed to a purely western metaphysical (with the emphasis on ‘physical’) approach to the cant or chant. The internal meditative process with regards to the ‘in-chanting’ process insofar as the west is concerned was not addressed in a very direct fashion until Crowley’s Book IV. And I do realize that this is a somewhat reductive observation. Of course there have been others in the interim who have considered the bridge between the two realms, however there had not been a very systematic practical treatment thereof until the 19th century.
“And it is interesting that those groups that did recognize the unutterability of certain vibrations are ostensibly from the east. ” Yes! And I often wonder, is it because these words of power are so sacred they can rip one’s reality to shreds? I HIGHLY doubt the rabbis and sufis of antiquity were that dense. So could it be because they recognized the human body in it’s current form simply does not have the capability to pronounce the necessary VOWELS, ie. in our current somatic state we do not have the ability to ‘fill in the blanks’ vocally (or mentally)?
Hence, these un-pronounceable words are reserved for the World to Come (as a future evolutionary state) – Does the power of a Sigil, Enochian, or Sefer Yetzira’s permutations lie inherently in the actual letters or does it lie in the evolutionary pathways that are opened in the ritual of making them pronounceable, permutating the vowels and accents, trying different KEYS. It also makes one wonder what type of peril we as a species are facing where our language is being reduced to online acronyms.
Without a doubt it is an evolutionary process. The nadis over time collectively in a magical genetic process mutate via the rates of vibration intentionally and unintentionally activating. The process must by necessity be in flux otherwise the magickal process would be a static and closed field, thereby an anathema to aspirants as a whole. It brings to mind Blake’s There is no natural religion where he posits “God becomes as we are so that we may be as he is.” It is a wonderful statement as it emplies the ineffable all the way down to the basal planes of existence are bound in a mutual and reciprocal relationship.
As you mentioned “vowels and keys” I have to believe that there may be more than 72 permutations to the Shem Hamphorash, which is implying that there is some wiggle room outside of the set Hebrew characters. With experimentation and intuition a new combination may yet be discovered. And it’s funny that you mention online acronyms because I was just thinking the other day about the limitations of boolean logic and the manner in which internet searches are narrowed. The imposed logic becomes a cyber-mind “forg’d manacle” to quote Blake again. The internet for all it’s virtues on some levels runs counter to serendipitous chance, the sort one experiences by going into a library and picking a book off the shelf without looking at the title, etc.. It’s something I still do because it opens up pathways that often I never would have considered. So it is not just our language that is under threat but the underlying logic that is generated by that language which is at stake. Therefore in certain respects the world wide web has a somewhat nefarious and sinister aspect to it left unchecked.
YES! In plain terms the Internet has a limiting effect on human consciousness despite it’s ‘role’ in ‘connecting’ humanity, it is anti-evolutionary. I too have been developing new techniques of circumnavigating boolean logic, that are intrinsically tied or at least related to sigils, the tarot and enochian but can be used by anyone with little to no training in the western traditions. Fascinating discussion and topic! Best of wishes!
I think it’s a great book and also useful for chaos magicians.