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 An email-friend, one of a few who were working through the then unpublished ‘By Names and Images‘ sent me photos of his recently created magical tools in the RR et AC tradition.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.