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In 2012, over 50 readers helped me test a sigil I’d made. It was amazing, tapping into this community to verify my results. So many of you helped — thank you!
That helped me move forward with confidence in my book, my writing, and my own practice. Participating and feeling the results helped many of you build confidence in your own work, too. But the test wasn’t scientifically rigorous, and as a result it hasn’t given us as much confidence as it could.
This post is about fixing that. I’m repeating the test, this time as a double-blind placebo-controlled version — the gold standard for scientific research. It’ll help me become more confident in this work, and participating will help you be confident that the sensations you’re feeling really are from energy, not from placebo or suggestion.
This post has three sections. First I’ll explain exactly what we’re testing. Then I’ll discuss today’s version, and why it’s better than the 2012 version. Then I’ll show you exactly what to do to participate. Or skip to the participation now.
Update: Results are here.
The Technique — What’s a Sigil?
A sigil is a symbol with ethereal software bound to it. (Ethereal software is the general term for the forces that healers and mages channel. Other systems refer to these forces as Egregores, The Universe, or other names.)
These bound symbols aren’t the same as symbols you see in everyday life. Company logos and family crests don’t usually have forces bound to them. But there are some examples you might know: The symbols used in Reiki, symbols from magickal systems like Golden Dawn and Enochian, along with sigils commonly used in Chaos Magick. Those symbols have power precisely because they are bound, because they cause ethereal software to connect to a person who focuses on them.
The symbol can be basically anything. I just made some lines in Paint. The lines had nothing to do with anything, they were just random squiggles. They were not specially designed in any way.
To bind my ethereal software to my sigil, I contacted another force (another ethereal software) that seems to handle this. I asked it to, “Associate this symbol I’m looking at with this ethereal software I’m connecting you to,” and it said OK. And I thought to myself, “It can’t possibly be that easy. The universe can’t possibly work like this.” That’s why I tested it.
To use a sigil, a person focuses on the symbol, and the ethereal software connects to them. How does that work? Before the 2012 test, I would have said that the person already has a connection to the ethereal software, and the sigil reminds them of that force, activating the connection. But the whole point of the 2012 test was that no one had used the ethereal software before, and it still connected to them.
Even today, I find this whole phenomenon odd. But when our expectations disagree with the results we observe, we trust our observations. That’s really the only rule of science.
That’s why I want to do a better test today.
Why Do Double-Blind Testing
In 2012, I gave readers a sigil, told them what a success would look like, and asked them to try it. The results were great: Most experienced practitioners successfully felt the connection, and some even used it for manifesting.
But… Everyone experienced what they expected to experience. How could I know it was the result of energy and ethereal software, and not placebo and suggestion?
The truth is, I can’t. The testing wasn’t rigorous.
For those of you wondering why I spend so much time on scientific testing, this is the exact reason: A good test lets me be confident of the results. A bad test leaves doubt. Scientific testing is about moving from unconfident belief to confident knowledge.
I knew all this in 2012, but flinched away from that idea. Proper testing has a brutal honesty, it can tell me I’m wrong. That’s the whole point. But that’s also scary, so I punted with a good-but-imperfect test. (That’s also why this post is a few days late.)
Here’s what I’m doing this time:
There are 2 sigils. One bound to my ethereal software, the other (the placebo) not bound. You won’t know which is which. You’ll randomly select one, try it, report what happens. I have over 1,000 readers, so we should get a bunch of data on both sigils, and we can see if they give the same results (meaning the sensations are placebo) or different results (meaning the binding actually does something). I’m excited to find out.
As I write this post (and the twitter and facebook announcements), I don’t know which sigil will be bound. I’ve created the images, but I won’t bind them until this post is entirely finished and ready to post. This ensures I don’t subtly, unconsciously suggest to you which one is bound — I can’t, because I don’t know. That’s what “double-blind” means, that neither of us knows which one is real. After this post is fully written and ready to go up, I’ll randomly pick a sigil (by flipping a coin) and bind it. (By the time you read this, one of the sigils will be bound.)
(For readers who have used my book’s ethereal software and wanted confirmation that they were getting actual results, not just placebo, this is a great time to test that. Try both sigils, see what you notice, then come back when I reveal the results.)
I’m going to leave all comments in Pending state for 4 weeks, until August 14. That way no one will be influenced by anyone else’s results.
How You Can Participate
Step 1: Focus on the sigil: You’ll find links to the two sigils at the bottom of this post. Flip a coin to pick one randomly. Click the link, focus on the sigil. Look at the whole image, then focus on each symbol. Do this for about half a minute.
Step 2: Request an obvious connection: Continue focusing on the sigil and think the message, “Give me an obvious connection.” It’s OK if you rephrase it, but keep the words / concepts “obvious connection” and specify it goes to you. If English isn’t your primary language, use whatever language is easiest for you — the ethereal software responds to concepts, not the words themselves. Focus on the sigil and repeat this command for another half-minute, or until you notice the connection.
Feeling the connection: The connection should feel like an intense energy: Tingling, possibly pressure or heat. It’s tuned to be obvious to most people, so those more sensitive to energy may find it too intense, but don’t worry, it’ll stop as soon as you ask it to. (And please accept my apologies, along with my gratitude for helping with this project.)
Step 3: Turn off the connection: To turn off the connection, think the message, “Turn off the obvious connection.” This should stop the sensations immediately.
If you want to try manifesting with this ethereal software, just ask it for what you want. “Cause me to [whatever goal].” It also has commands for shielding, awakening your ethereal muscles, and more. See my book-in-progress for some ideas.
Step 4: Disconnect: When you’re done, tell the ethereal software to disconnect by thinking the message, “Disconnect from me.” In total, testing one sigil like this should take 1-2 minutes.
Step 5: Test the other sigil tomorrow: At this point, you’ve tested one of the two sigils. Maybe you felt something, maybe you didn’t. Either way, wait. Don’t go on to the other sigil yet — give the ethereal software time to disconnect. If it’s still connected, you could receive energy from it even if you’re looking at the placebo sigil. So wait. Do the other sigil tomorrow.
Similarly, please do this test as your first act of magick / energy work of the day. If you’ve already been working with other forces (such as my book’s ethereal software, channeling healing energy, doing ritual magick, etc), it’s possible you’re still connected to those forces, and they could influence the results.
After testing a sigil, please fill out the form below and post it as a comment. I’ll leave all comments in “Pending” status until August 14, so they don’t display for other readers and influence their expectations.
Thank you so much for helping me test sigils!
Here are the links. After clicking the link, you can click the sigil to make it full-screen. (Remember, flip a coin to pick the sigil, and only do one per day):
(It doesn’t matter which sigil goes with heads, but it’s important to decide that before flipping the coin. If we flip the coin, get heads, and then decide which sigil goes with heads, we haven’t actually randomized. That’s why I labeled them.)
Here’s the results form, paste it into the comment field below:
Sigil used: Heads / Tails
Did you notice a connection just from focusing on the sigil?
What did you feel when you asked for an obvious connection? (Description, 1-2 sentences)
How strong was the obvious connection? (0-10, 0 = no sensation, 4 = gentle breeze, 7 = light touch, 10 = firm touch)
What’s your experience with energy / magick / healing / etc?
Did you participate in the 2012 testing?
Other notes / comments:
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