What is a sigil and how is it used in alchemy? As used here, a sigil is a geometric drawing which resonates with the combined powers of several Hebrew letters. It is traditionally traced over the Rose Petal diagram in the order of the letters.
Recently, I have alchemically activated the energies of change and transformation. Hermetic alchemists understand the Hebrew letter Nun to correspond to these energies. Nun is Scorpio in astrology, and Scorpio is said to be ruled by the planet Mars, which is the Hebrew letter Peh.
With increased awareness of how these changes were activated within my consciousness, I asked the Tarot for more information on how I was being affected. Key 13 - Death represents Nun, while Key 16 - The Tower represents Peh. Divining for more information, I was show Key 1 - The Magician, which represents the Hebrew letter Bayt. Below is an example of how to use the geometry of the sigil constructed out of these three letters for alchemical analysis and synthesis.
The three keys are all aspects of self-consciousness, represented by The Magician (1):
Sum(16) = 1+2+3+...+15+16 = 136 reduces to 10 to 1
Sum(13) = 1+2+3+...+12+13 = 91 reduces to 10 to 1
The sigil manifests an angle of 43.5 degrees, as measured simply with a protractor. As is traditional in number symbolism, the decimal point may be ignored, resulting in 435.
435 = Sum(29) = 1+2+3+...+28+29
29 = HDK = "to break down"
29 = Magia (using Latin gematria values)
29 = 16 + 13
29 = 22 + 7
Taken as 16 + 13, we have the combination of the key-numbers of Tower and Death resulting in 29, which is a nice combination of key-numbers and gematria meanings when considering the severe breakdown shown in both keys. The Mars energy of the Tower is responsible for breaking down the barriers to the free flow of Light in any center of the Life Power's self-expression. This Mars energy then naturally finds rulership over Scorpio, since transformation requires breakdown in order to move us forward.
Scorpio corresponds to the alchemical stage of Putrefaction, when the lifeless body of the Matter decomposes, allowing new seeds to be planted in rich soil. The true Magia is nothing more than planting seeds and watching them grow. But we must learn to choose our seeds wisely. We have to learn to cast magic in our NeT, and not get tangled up in it. This involves intelligent adaptation of the desire force of Mars.
Taken as 22 + 7, we see the alchemical symbol of Salt, consisting of a circle and a line. The circle is measured 22 units with a diameter of 7. Salt is a preservative and slows the decay of rotting flesh. This represents the inertia of the old habit-patterns in our subconsciousness which resist change. These are exactly the things that need to be broken down before the self-consciousness can attain the Transparent Intelligence, wherein the light of superconsciousness finds an unobstructed center through which it may shine.
Now let's look at the Gematria of the three letters:
Peh + Nun + Bayt = 80 + 50 + 2 = 132
132 = BLQ = "to destroy"
132 can be read as 32 -> 1, in other words, when the 32 Paths achieve unity within self-consciousness. The result is the destruction of the false concept of Self.
Returning to 435, we see that 435 = 5 x 87. 5 is the number symbol for modification and change, while Mars is the 5th Sephirah on the Tree. Let's look at the other number, 87:
87 = 3 x 29
Again we see the breakdown represented by 29, but now combined with 3, symbolizing growth and expansion. What is growing and expanding is the regenerated self-consciousness, which is really the agency that breaks down the false concepts stored in memory. It achieves this through utilizing skill in concentration.
87 = 61 + 26 = ANI YHVH = "I Am YHVH"
The only thing which prevents the Life of the One Reality, symbolized by YHVH, which roughly means "THAT which was, and is, and will be", from manifesting itself in and through human self-consciousness is the error of mis-identifying the I AM with the personality. We can live the true Magia when we put ourselves in the position of the Hanged Man, who can truly say "I Am Yod Heh Vav Heh".
The reversal of 132 is 231. The unenlightened self-consciousness creates havoc and destruction by misuse of the desire force of Mars. Its reversal results in the perfection of the 231 Gates described in the Sepher Yetzirah. The 231 Gates are all possible combinations of the Hebrew letters:
Hence they go forth through two hundred and thirty-one gates, and this it comes about that the whole creation and all language proceed from one combination of letters.
-- Sepher Yetzirah, ch. 2
The number 231 is very interesting in Qabalah:
231 = Sum(21) = 1+2+3+...+20+21
21 = AHIH = Divine Name of Keter
21 = YHV = Divine Name used to seal the six directions of the Cube of Space
When self-consciousness realizes itself as the Hanged Man, then there are no more obstructions to the opening of all 231 Gates, because they have literally been blown open by the mastery of concentration. The result is that we find ourselves in the Center (21), affirming truly that "I shall become that which I shall become", which is the rough translation of the phrase "AHIH AShR AHIH" which God used to identify himself to Moses at the Burning Bush, c.f. Exodus 3.14 (digits of Pi).
Finally we combine the key-numbers of all three keys to summarize:
16 + 13 + 1 = 30
30 = IHIH = "it will be"
Jehovah's Kingdom comes. It will be achieved through Adam, human self-consciousness (1).
Fusion of these interpretations with the geometry of the sigil means that the whole alchemical process can be repeated by simply looking at the image. The reason this works is due to the operations of subconscious associative processes of memory programming. Readers are encouraged to experimentally verify the power of this technique, as well as try out their own sigil construction, analysis, and synthesis.