Horribly Right


Many years ago, when I was working in the television industry, I remember a time when I was feeling frustrated, frazzled, and almost at the end of my rope. This was about the same time that I came across Grant Morrison’s sigil magic article, “Pop Magic”. I started to try out sigils and got good results from some test ones.

As I was driving to work one day, feeling overwhelmed even before the day began, I decided to cast a sigil for “Patience”. My drive to work was very routine, and it lulled me into a good hypnogogic state. I had worked out a system for casting sigils during my commute. Once I was driving and relaxed, I’d craft and visualize the sigil and then would cast it into black hole portal  in the imaginal while stopped at a red light.  (Note: I do not advise sigiling while driving, and do not sigil like this anymore.)

I did the sigil for “Patience” while stopped at the red light just before driving on to the studio lot, and felt assured that yoga-like peace and calm would soon be mine.

Like rolling in rose petals.


It didn’t work out that way. The rest of the work day seemed a little sticky, like gears getting gummed up and moving slower than usual. It wasn’t until I hit every single red light on my way to work the next day that I realized something went horribly wrong. Only it wasn’t horribly wrong, it was horribly right!

I asked for “Patience”, and got plenty of opportunity to express ‘patience’. Events like waiting at every red light, being put on hold long periods of time, getting into the slow line at the grocery store only to have the cashier have to change the receipt paper when it’s your turn and then needing to find someone else to help her.

That night, I threw everything that I could at trying to get that damn sigil back, and stop it from activating. One drawback to constructing it only in the imaginal is there’s no paper to rip up or burn when you’re done with it. The “Patience” fuckery slowed down after that, but years later when encountering delays in starting a family, getting promotions, or other big life things I wondered if it was somehow still in play.

Words and language matter. Being precise matters. I didn’t want “Patience”. I wanted Serenity, Calm and Smooth days, and for the obstacles in my life causing the frustration to go away. A Road Opener would have a much better choice coupled with actually doing yoga or mediation. My fingertips singed, I learned my lesson.


I’ve been thinking a lot about precise language and wording lately. In Intention Groups, it sometimes takes longer to craft the Intention Statement than it does to do the Intention itself. It takes time to narrow down and define exactly the desired result into one brief statement while simultaneously protecting from unintentional or undesirable results.

Typically while intending for cures for serious illness, the intention statement never mentions the illness. Instead the intention is that the person “enjoys good health” or “is in robust good health”. In order for that to happen the illness must be cured or otherwise go away. Overshooting the target in this case often ensures that you’ll hit the target square on. It’s similar to throwing a really good punch. You aim beyond your target and land exactly where you need to be.

The results can sometimes miraculous recoveries, but often these serious diagnoses are subsequently downgraded in severity (or simply overturned) after the intention. Leaving the door open in the intention statement for not just a cure, but for other options is really good magic.

Crafting intention statements and sigil statements are similar processes. The rigor applied to nailing the statement is worth the time to ensure the best result. Clearly defined goal statements that also leave room for better options to come your way is an art worth perfecting.

Once you get the hang of it, you can see it everywhere.


I was reminded of the importance of Language and Wording yesterday. It was announced that Bernie Sanders had stopped his campaign for President, and I saw the lovely Molly Crabapple post this on Twitter. https://twitter.com/mollycrabapple/status/1247948173680635905?s=20

Screen Shot 2020-04-09 at 2.10.36 PM

Only it looked like this on my timeline:

Screen Shot 2020-04-09 at 2.09.51 PM

You see the issue?

I understand the sentiment behind the “Not Me, Us” motto from the Sanders campaign. It’s a rallying cry for a People’s Movement and a strong indication that Bernie Sanders is not a cult of personality, but rather stands for the People.

However, putting “Not Me” in the slogan always made me cringe. It’s the “Not Me” that’s reinforced in people’s minds and pops up on their timelines. The “Not Me” that gets plastered all over the place. The “Not Me” that gets repeated and inextricably connected to Bernie Sanders who is running in an election where he wants you to pick him! The “Us” barely registers. The only message that matters, the only intention behind the motto really needs to be “Pick Me!”.

Having “Not Me” anywhere near a candidate in an election is poor magic. Make no mistake, advertising is magic. The campaign’s motto went horribly right.

There is a power in words and in the repetition of words. The space between what you mean and what you say matters. It matters to be precise, and to make sure that space between meaning and wording is paper thin.

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