Sigils from the Rose

The RR et AC Rose Cross (Wiki Commons)

This is very Golden Dawn. Sorry, but  I don’t have time to explain – look it up if you’re interested. Ta 🙂

I am reminded today of an email I got a few years back. An email-friend, one of a few who were working through the then unpublished ‘By Names and Images‘ sent me photos of his recently created magical tools in the RR et AC tradition. I’d already expressed my discomfort at him moving too fast into magical practice – after all the Golden Dawn was never a magical tradition; only the RR et AC was. Anyway, he went ahead and created and consecrated the tools and sent me pics, all in nice detail and all.

I quickly recognised two errors in his sigils and had a fair guess why. I checked and yes, rather than forming the sigils himself from the Rose (of the Rose Cross), he had simply copied them from a book. And the book was wrong. Now, I know any number of books (from authors I admire) and web-pages reproduce Rose sigils for folk to simply copy, but it is not how I was taught and it is not as effective. The magician simply has to form the sigils for herself from her own Rose Cross, not rely on a second hand reproduction from a third party, which may be wrong. This is simply lazy and I am surprised modern Imperators and Praemonstrators still do this. The act of forming our own sigils is also a very required and potent form of magic.

Sigil formation begins by activating and visualising the Rose itself. This is not that hard in terms of form, though the colours and flashing colours take a while. Once, however the magician has internalised the Mother-Double-Single formation of the petals (first indicated in the Zelator grade) and knows the keys to the order of the letters, it is easy to generate even when we are having a bad visualisation day. And of course the magician will have created and consecrated their own Rose Cross before needing to generate their first sigil, eh? They would not have purchased one from the internet, would they? 🙂

The internal visualisation of the Rose sets the ground for the outer production of the sigil. We begin with the inner always. At the same time however, we have the outer Rose Cross with us. Some folk simply stare outwardly at their Rose Cross and form the sigil inwardly by superimposing the tracing over the outer vision. I guess that’s fine, but having a fully formed Rose on the inner is the best in my opinion.

So, from the visualised Rose we then form the sigil inwardly visualising, tracing letter to letter. I was trained to form the sigil in this manner three times on the inner (in the correct colour) and then on the fourth time, trace the sigil physically on the material basis of the magical action to be performed. Naturally and practically the material formation of the sigil is not normally done in one easy stroke. But the use of the three inward and one outward tracing is very potent for a number of reasons, as any GD person would know.

RR et AC magic is built around principles and formulae. The magician is supposed to learn these and then create the individual instance of the formula themselves. This mirrors the act of creation, whereby the One becomes the Many, but the Many are the One. So, I really do not see the point in showing earnest young magicians the sigils they need to copy out. For the various forms of Grimorie magic, yes – the sigils are traditional forms with their own magic. The RR et AC though draws its sigils from the Rose via the individual consciousness of the individual magician at each instance. It is the same with other formula based magic such as the hexagrams and pentagrams. The magician internalises the symbol and the rules and produces the individual ritual when needed. There is no need for reproductions of each and every planetary and zodiacal permutation. And again, this is not simply discouraging laziness, it is following a careful formula whereby the magician uses her consciousness in co-creation.

Thanks 🙂



  1. alexsumner · November 23, 2012

    Good point well made. 🙂

  2. nfarrell007 · November 23, 2012

    To be fair though there are several different drawings of the rose cross around with some of the letters flipped. But i agree that the creation of a sigil is not just copying. But then again most people think that GD magic is gotten out of a book or a manuscript anyway. Once it is lived, the literalness of this approach turns out to be rubbish.

  3. Samuel · November 25, 2012

    Peregrin you once again bring up some very good points. Primarily, that if something is published, we as magicians should use our critical thinking (not to mention our skill sets) to double check the material in question. I know that I have been guilty of just following something that has been published (especially Sigils and Kameaoth), assuming (you know what they say about “assuming”) they were correct. Nearly every time I have come back only to discover there was an error in the published material (not a “blind”, just an error – one oft repeated in published works).

    The only way that I started to address these errors was to actually trace out the Sigillum (either from the Kameaoth or the Rose Cross) to see if I came up with something different.

    Since we are trained (or supposed to be trained) in a particular Tradition, then we should not just blindly follow someone else and actually DO the work ourselves. Those before us in the Tradition were not infallible (Westcott, Mathers, Felkin, Farr, Yeats, and others) made errors. They were human after all. We make errors too for the same reasons.

    I wholeheartedly agree with you, that by actually doing the work yourself, whether that is making your Weapons or whatever, this actually connects you better to the material and the Tradition itself. Of course, we first must understand the material and Tradition so that we can utilize it, but that is what training is for. Drawing out the Rose Cross so that you can trace sigils on it helps greatly to better understand the nature of the arrangement, the connection to the specific entity that will be invoked from the tracing of the sigil, and the connection to the GD/RR et AC Tradition itself. The same should be applied to the Planetary Kameaoth and the sigils derived from those.

    In LVX,

  4. Keith Maguire · November 25, 2012

    I really appreciated this post. I’ve been seriously focused on Malkuth lately and this post reminds me that we have to really keep in mind the virtue of Malkuth in what we do, magical or mundane. Thanks for the post.

  5. dirkt · November 25, 2012

    Magic is an art form. Art is an act of creation. So by simply doing cut & paste jobs, one defies the whole purpose of that art. Same for crafting the magical weapons. Where’s the art in simply buying them?

    “By names & images, are all powers awaken and re-awaken”

  6. Phergoph · November 27, 2012

    What was the book so we might know to avoid it’s illustrations?

  7. MvdV · November 27, 2012

    Ritual is the repetition of special actions to internalise external changes/externalize internal changes. Cut and paste can’t do that!

  8. Peregrin · November 27, 2012

    Thanks folks for the comment and thoughts. 🙂 @ Phergoph – well, the idea is not to use ANY printed sigils formed by a third party. If it’s already done for us, we should do it ourselves. In the correct manner. So we should naturally be avoiding illustrations of Rose Sigils from ALL books, whether they are correct or not. In this case, it was King and Skinner’s “Techniques of High Magic” (pdf copy from the net, so not sure which edition). The same of course goes for ALL internet sites or blogs that show Rose Sigils. This means the authors are not really encouraging the correct magical approach. THANKS 🙂

  9. Anonymous · November 27, 2012

    What type of inner work is associated with the sigils of the Qameoth in the GD?

  10. Samuel · November 28, 2012

    We also that authors of magical material are all too human. They make errors in their work. This is compounded by editors that have no magical training or training with say Hebrew (I do not know how many times I have stumbled across errors when it comes to Hebrew simply because some Hebrew letters are so similar – Kaph and Beth for example).

    Other times authors rely on previously published materials, without double checking to see the accuracy of the previous material. They simply “assume” that the material is correct because it is published.

    This latter tendency has become rather rampant on the Internet. Just because it is out there on the Internet or in some book or another does not take the responsibility from the practicing magician to KNOW for themselves that the material or sigil is absolutely correct by actually drawing the sigil itself.

    I agree with Peregrin’s last statement in his comment above. It SHOULD be incumbent upon magical authors and those using the material to do the work for themselves. DO NOT merely rely upon someone else’s scholarship (or lack thereof).

    The saying, “Give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime.” applies to magical work as well. Merely spoon feeding a person the material does them no service at all. It certainly does not help the would-be magician to develop critical thinking or even critical skills that should be applied in the pursuit of magic.

    In LVX,

  11. Peregrin · November 28, 2012

    Hi Samuel,

    yes you make great points. I remember an old copy of Regardie’s ‘Golden Dawn’ (I think it was) with a few sigils wrong. On examination it seems as if, in the old printing days, the plate with the image was simply laid out wrongly so the sigil was a mirror image. The printer of course would have no idea of the right way. 🙂


  12. Andrew · December 30, 2012

    Elegant. I like the notion of visualizing the rose cross, then making it in materials of the physical plane; then visualizing the sigil on successive layers of the planes, then drawing the sigil.

    It serves a four-fold bottom line that way: the practitioner makes the tools and gets experience with the materials and symbolism; the practitioner deepens his understanding of the planes of being; the particulars of the Art are manifested in the world; and the deep tissue of the egregore is strengthened and empowered.

  13. Peregrin · December 31, 2012

    Hi Andrew,

    once again you say it all elegantly and with much grace. Thanks 🙂

  14. Pingback: Sigils from the Rose « WiccanWeb
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