WHAT IS A HYPERSIGIL?
Google tells us that a “HyperSigil is a dynamic miniature model of the magician’s universe, a hologram, microcosm or “voodoo doll” which can be manipulated in real time to produce changes in the macrocosmic environment of “real” life”.
A Hypersigil can for example be placed in art, an event or music. It’s almost sympathetic Magick. In the Invisibles, Grant Morrison would construct fictional events that he wished to have echo in his own life. You can hear him talk about this and about Magick and Sigils in general here:
I felt this was a great idea, as did many others; I knew this was something that I was going to incorporate into my work. The following is a break down of the Hypersigil elements that I placed into my comic THEM. You can get it HERE and obviously the following paragraphs contain spoilers.
It’s also quite candid, open and honest but as people ask me about this a lot, I feel that the question probably deserves a better answer than I usually give – which is usually a form of avoiding the question. I am aware that it will come across as massively self-indulgent as times, but it is what it is – I hope it has value to some.
I am also aware that by telling you what the comic means to me, it then becomes the definitive meaning of the comic. To that I say: this is just one level of what I tried to place in the comic. I am just talking here about the Magickal elements, there are other elements and the same scenes mean different things to me and I hope to the reader.
Also, I could be misremembering things and perhaps I meant something else at the time, or maybe I am deliberately leaving somethings out even now. Who can really tell?
From the Darkness comes the idea. This darkness for me represents the idea space, the place where all the ideas come from. It’s imagination and It is empty space until an idea arrives. It is the original chaos or potentiality from where everything else comes. This seemed the perfect place to inject my magickal idea. So, from the very opening panel there is magick at work. The seed is the Magick.
In this case the idea, or the Magick I was planting into the comic is all about personal change, discovery and ultimately over-coming my limitations of thought, word and deed. I was tremendously sick of who I was at the time – I was getting nowhere personally, spiritually, or professionally. I was shutting down on all levels. I was allowing other people to define my world and more than anything was listening to other people’s ideas about life, the universe and everything after rather than know my own mind and trust my own instincts or beliefs. I had no control over my life because I had given it all away.
This wasn’t the first time I had been in that space, it’s a continuing theme and still a battle, but spoiler – this Hypersigil did work in lots of ways and my life did massively change, but only after it completely broke down and fell apart. But more of that later.
After the seed begins it’s journey, the comic goes on to show the main character running away from “THEM” who as yet are unknown to the reader. The main character, Roman, is the Magical substitute for me (although isn’t me, he is very much his own character, but definitely is an echo). The THEM of the story are all the voices that have held me (and I guess all of us) back. The voices of parents, teachers, friends and random internet people who has said mean stuff to us that we have held onto tightly as truth and now drag around with us. The voices constantly tell us and reaffirm that we are wrong or stupid or whatever it is that we think about ourselves.
At this point in my life, it really did feel like these voices had become sentient and almost solid – Like a hoard of Negativity Zombies following me around telling me how shit I am. I couldn’t escape the voices.
The sun scorched landscape is the depressed mind that has been beaten down by over-thinking, lack of the good brain chemicals and lack of interest. It is barren, full of drought and far too hot to be comfortable. But even with the great heat, Roman is wearing a coat and scarf – a form of protection and self-identity.
So next I skip to the end of the story where success has been attained and the Magick has worked. Roman is on stage with the crowd going crazy for him. The voices have changed from cursing to cheering him.
This is the presentation to the world of me as the Magician after the transformation has occurred. With Magick, I have a sense that you have to retreat form the world and then return to the world transformed.
When I write a story I try to keep it as open as possible so that the characters can start to tell their own story rather than follow a timeline that has been mapped out for them. The problem in the case of a Hypersigil is that there is a chance that the characters will fail in their goals. This was something I would rather avoid as it may have an echo in my own life, so at the outset of the comic I confirmed that the Magick would be successful. Roman’s journey would now be how he got there rather than let’s see where he is going.
The Next bit of the story is mostly about setting up the main character – his struggles, his aims, his feelings, his world view etc. He’s an artist that feels that he hasn’t gotten the recognition or reward he deserves for the work he has done. I didn’t even try to disguise any of that.
The other Magick element that is added at this point is the Book that Roman is giving in the Art supply shop. It’s a blank book with his name and today’s date on it.
This is the Magicians Book, the book that once you write in it, it will come true. Like the Death Note book but not limited to killing people. The book represents the WIll, or the dedication of the Magician. If you write something into it, you have to make it happen – it can’t not happen. It is to be filled with your own mind, not the voices of others.
Roman will have to be given this book twice and even then it isn’t until the very end that he knows what it is.
Page 15 is pretty much how I was feeling about the world at the time. I think there is a huge section of Occultists that will feel similar to this too. It related to Leary’s “Find the Others” but in a failed way – the ennui you get from not finding the others.
What follows is a page where Roman is painting. The Reader see this from the point-of-view of the canvas and the paint looks black – however when I drew this page I put Sigils, ideas, images, god forms – you name it and then hid them with the black paint. This page is simple in layout and execution, but I really like it.
The first section ends with Roman having completely given up. He hears about the success of others and feels he will never get where he wants to be. He feels that he has lost, that his moment has passed and that the Universe doesn’t love or support him. He feels he is being treated unfairly.
As he walks away he is hit by a car and at the exact same time the seed from the opening becomes a flower. The magical idea that I implanted into the story has now become it’s own thing, it has gained sentience and will now have it’s own say and effect in what happens as we move forward.