The Photoshop of Desire

This trick is a method for constructing a sigil using a slight -- and techie-modern -- alternative to using Austin Osman Spare’s Alphabet of Desire.

Spare’s method of constructing sigils seemed to be born out of his preference for the power of visual imagery -- to hide the Statement of Will in a visual. The modification here is to use a computer graphics program, such as Photoshop, to do the manipulation of the Statement of Will to turn it into something else. One of the advantages to this method is it works very well with more verbose Statement of Wills.

To do it: in Photoshop, begin by using a background, which can be a picture file of something related (or not, as you will) to your working, a pattern, or no background at all. Then, with the text tool of Photoshop, write out your statement of will. Then, use Photoshop to manipulate it in such a way that it becomes illegible.

After you’ve incorporated and obscured your Statement of Will into the graphic, print it out, and charge the image in one of the usual ways.

Because Photoshop has so many different options for tweaking text into something unrecognizable and to inventively hide or obscure words into a graphic, you can get very imaginative. Here are three examples to show a couple of ideas of how sigils were created using this method.

Example 1: Here, a rather hard-to-read font was used in small point size. Then, it was flipped it to the reverse -- a Leonardo da Vinci-inspired trick. The faint reddish unrecognizable text was then super-imposed over a picture of the poet Yeats.

Example 2: The text tool was used to put small text in a vertical pattern and the image was then blurred and distorted.

Example 3: The words "It is my will" are visible and become the background graphic. The Statement of Will is written out in the text tool in a small font (with a wide word spacing and leading). As the Statement of Will text is in white, the words become mostly invisible.

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