Drew Wiberg

A Dialectic of Sigils

Drew Wiberg
A Dialectic of Sigils

So, dialectics...

Wait, don't go!

There is magic too, I promise.

Let's back up. It has been a crazy week from a magical perspective. For a few weeks leading up to this one I have been having behind-the-eye visions (you know, those black on black images that you can see and not see at the same time?) of fire and weapons. This led up to a dream of being in a house, not my own, that suddenly caught fire. I worked to put the fire out and then set about assessing the structural integrity of the home I was in. It turned out to be not great. I didn't think much of any of this, except that I had a sense that the visions weren't the normal random images, they felt, 'placed'.

The morning after my dream, a close friend of the last thirty years sent me a text, out of the blue, that said 'Saint Barbara' is the saint of fire and architecture.

W... t.. f...

This started a whole thing, where I dug into what little is on the internet surrounding St Barbara, finding that she was corresponded with a TON of stuff in my life, for instance, I used to be an engineer, a boiler operator, and am now a librarian at an architecture firm. There were other levels of connection too, like her syncreticity with Shango, an orisha I (likely very inappropriately) associated with in my twenties when just learning about voodoo, Santeria, and the like...

Then I found out that St. Barbara, rather than being this far flung remote spirit, has a presence as a relic in a Ukrainian church less than an hour and a half from me.


Bringing me back to the idea of dialectic, through an alchemical lens. Turning again to Algis Uzdavinys essay 'Telestic Transformation and Philosophical Rebirth in Aaron Cheak's Alchemical Traditions, he speaks of the activity:

"dialectic, like geometry, is a pursuit belonging to the Osiris realm: dialectic concerns divided multiplicity, but finally, through the certainty it establishes... the sincere devotee's... soul is filled with light by God." And goes on to say "Dialectic may be regarded as a well-ordered rite of thought... ritualized according to the intelligible patterns and rules of logic." 

Let's put this into some context, the simplest definition of dialectics is a discourse between two or more entities holding different points of view about a subject but wishing to establish the truth through reasoned arguments.

Uzdavinys describes the end of a dialectic with the divine as a 'journey [on] the solar barque of Ra, the unity of the intelligible circuit... [The journey] of the living philosopher who is looking for archetypes by which sensible things can be measured."

This week I have had, or have contemplated, two dialectical journeys. One, I believe, with St. Barbara. Our points of view are vastly different. She is a non-human spirit intelligence and I am a human intelligence. She begins the dialectic with archetypal images from her realm of influence and I responded with investigation and finally, prayer (which became full-body sensational experiences, another point in her favor). I also imagined that what I know of Sigiling resembles very much the dialectical journey, particularly the part about the seeking of archetypes. Through sigiling, I am, in effect, drafting a visual argument with the universe, attempting to find the truth of how probability effects me and to what extent it can be optimized. 

A further explanation relevant to this process follows:

"According to Iamblichus, the intellectual interpretation of... symbols... leaves behind the impressions of the images, thus rising to intellectual truth... moving from images to their intelligible archetypes... images may be manifested on different levels of reality, being revealed in one particular ontological domain while remaining hidden in another."

The spirit world speaks in the language of archetypes and the human world speaks in symbols, these are two different things, and, at once, the same thing (a very alchemical perspective). The letter 'Q' is a symbol that represents a sound humans make but it is not an archetype. A tower being struck by lightning is an archetypal representation, just look at any tarot deck, it is also the symbol of St. Barbara.

The way in which the alchemical path leads to 'an intellectual unity' is through this process. This very much makes sigiling an act at the core of alchemy. We create symbols that we embed in our unconscious and send out as waveforms into the higher realm that the spirits reside in. The spirits see them and relate them to their archetypal language, our unconscious reads them and they become symbols for our desire. Sigils move the needle in our direction from both sides and are, in fact, objects that represent our dialectic with the divine, with the uncaring universe, Osiris, St Barbara, or Nyarlothep... it is our way of "Becoming like God... the ultimate end of the love of wisdom..." the end goal of alchemy, the philosopher's stone, which, incidentally, has historically been described as a bolt of lightning on a dark night, another symbol of St. Barbara.

And so the wheel of fate turns.