Sigil Shoaling (Gordon White)

Sigil Shoaling (Gordon White)

Shoaling is the deployment of multiple, interrelated sigils in the one activation session. It is the scattergun rather than the cannon.

If you adopt the Moorean conceit that thoughts have some form of functional existence then it becomes possible to map some behaviour models over them… specifically the clustering behaviour known as shoaling.

Unlike simply picking a magical outcome and enchanting for it, a sigil shoal embeds the necessary adaptability into the overall enchantment.

The extraordinary complexity of shoaling behaviour emerges from just a couple of rules:

  • Each member maintains a minimum distance from other objects in its environment, including other members.
  • Each member matches the velocity of its neighbour.
  • Each member moves toward the perceived centre of the mass.

Shoals form from the bottom up rather than the top down. This isn’t the ‘shouty’ approach of medievalists and Victorian factory owners where you yell about what you want to happen because in your little space you’re God. (It always reminds me of the midpoint in an 80s sitcom where the father has banned one of the kids from doing something: “my house, my rules.” Then one of the kids is offered drugs at a party and turns them down of her own volition. Then there’s a dénouement in a kitchen with Tony Danza.)

Instead are a couple of simple rules that create complex behaviour in fish, birds and even cab drivers. Three rules, all determined by a relationship to one neighbour at a time.

So what about creating a sigil for something that has already happened?

Enter the robofish. This really is the key to the whole technique:

  • Create a shoal of sigils based on a breakdown of your overall goal.
  • Include something that has already happened or you already have.
  • Activate them all at the same time.

The success rate so far has been orders of magnitude greater. There is something about enchanting for a goal that already exists that ‘pulls’ the rest of them along. It also allows you to dictate the speed, direction and veracity of the shoal depending on what you select for your robofish. Check it out. Directed sigil magic is possible!

One final possible implication for the robofish:

‘Lust of result’ seems less about keeping the objective out of your conscious mind, as Spare thought, because we now know that moving back and forth between conscious and unconscious happens as part of normal cognition. It seems to me to be more about continuously shifting the time frame further out… you encode the want rather than the have.

An effective counter to this is to -for want of more modern words- send your unconscious a ‘request’ for something that already exists… the robofish. How can their be lust after the result has been achieved? Built into the middle of your enchantment is a method for neutralising its own result lust.