The Etz Chiim Sigilization Technique
Directing talismanic forces
up and down the Kabbalistic Tree of Life
I discovered this type of technique for creating sigils while working on a kabbalistic talisman in 2009. Later on as I had tested it, I started to apply it in other designs as well as you'll see below in the example of the planetary seal for Saturn.
The basic idea was to generate sigils that follow the repetitive pattern of a circle - rather than a single line format. Moreover, the talisman I had been working on was very much related to the Tree of Life (Etz Chiim); therefore it seemed counterintuitive to use a non-kabbalistic method to come up with the sigil. - Here is the result and a brief description on how to apply it yourself.
The method of Etz Chiim sigilization is an alternative way to the traditional approach of generating sigils from magical Kameas or the Golden Dawn Rose Cross. The main difference is that this method uses the 22 paths of the Etz Chiim, the kabbalistic Tree of Life, to create the sigils of a name. This is of advantage if the work carried out is of kabbalistic nature, as in this case the continuous application of the Etz Chiim reinforces the subjective synthesis in the magus. In addition, this method of sigilization works with the repetition of the sigils in accordance with the numerical value of the planet or sephiroth in question. The rhythmic repetition of the sigil brings a dynamic component that is often missing in the static, simple image of a sigil.
Now, before we put the method into practice we need to answer the question how often the sigil should be repeated on a circle. The tree of life could be projected on a square, pentagram, hexagon, etc. All of these basic forms could be used to repeat the sigil a specific number of times. To simplify matters I am suggestion to use a 10fold Tree of Life projected on a circle. This will allow us to maintain the basic template for all sort of sigils as the 10fold repetition can be read as an emphasis of the 10fold nature of the Tree of Life.
1) Template: 10-fold Etz Chiim in a Circle
a circular tree of life design from a
10-fold etz chiim structure
2) Quick Guide
Before we walk through the process step by step in more detail let me share a general overview on what we are trying to achieve here:
- Translate the word from you which you want to create the sigil into Hebrew
- Identify all paths in the chosen Etz Chiim that represent the letters in your Hebrew word
- Join the paths to a continuos linear pattern. Make sure that...
- the direction of drawing each line is towards Kether when you try to spiritualize matter
- the direction of drawing each line is towards Malkuth when you try to materialize spirit
- you start at the path of the first letter and end at the path of the last letter
- you mark the starting point of the sigil with a small circle and the end point with an arrow
- double letters are marked as thin parallel lines of the length of the respective path
Now, let me explain this process by use of an example. Let’s take the word AMETH, hebrew for truth and create its Etz Chiim sigil: The first step is to identify the three letters that make the word AMETH on the shape of the 10-fold Tree of Life. Therefore let’s take a look at the letters on the standard Tree of Life first:
With the help of this indication of letters by path, let’s identify the right paths on a single shape of the 10-fold Etz Chiim:
The second step is to create the actual sigil from the paths indicated.
Now we have identified the basic sigil for the word AMETH. The final step is to apply this sigil to all 10 Trees of Life combined on the basic shape. This will give us the rhythmic repetition and dynamic mentioned in the beginning.
This is the 10fold sigil of the word AMETH on the Etz Chiim. We could now create additional sigils following the same method to enrich the layout. E.g. the sigils of the name of the magician conducting the ritual or the intelligence and demon of the planet or sephira in question.
Below I am sharing an example of a fully finished talisman using this approach of sigilization.
In my personal works I am using a slightly evolved approach to the one above. Rather than using the 10-fold Etz Chiim in a circle as a basic shape for all sigils, I have chosen to adjust this shape according to the planetary or sephirotic force I am working with. E.g. the sun/ Tiphareth can be read as 5 or 6 depending on where one starts counting. I would chose 6, i.e. counting from above if the nature of the ritual is ascending. On the other hand I would chose 5 as the basic pattern of the Etz Chiim repetition in case the nature of the work is drawing forces down, i.e. descending.
So in case your ritual work is trying to transcend a certain matter, you should start counting from the top as this is the direction you are working towards. If you are, however, trying to attract sublime forces and help them materialize in your world (i.e. Malkuth) then you should start counting at the bottom of the tree.
This approach allows me to use the following table and thus further distinct the nature of the work in the final form of the sigil:
According to this table I would chose an 8-fold Tree of Life for an ascending ritual on the nature of Saturn. The only thing necessary in addition to the explanation given above is therefore the basic shape of an 8-fold Etz Chiim in a circle. Here we go.
8-fold Etz Chiim in a Circle
Luckily these structures are relatively easy to create with the help of Keynote or Powerpoint. Should you want to continue exploring this sigilization technique, you can find my original powerpoint file I have used for this approach for free download here. It’s never worth re-inventing the wheel when there is still so much to explore...