Theory : The Twelve Sigils

Before the beginning everywhere was the same. There was no movement, no difference, so handy concepts like time and space had no meaning. Some cosmologists have referred to this pre-Big Bang state as the undifferentiated cosmic soup. Religious and philosophical traditions have given it names too, like Nirvana, Tiamat, Ain Soph and so on. Suffice to say it is an abstruse concept which we can only speculate about. Then ( which is, I admit, a word that has little meaning in this context), then a tiny point of difference arose, something in the midst of nothing. This One thing was at this point, Everything, and being very small got rapidly overcrowded. Something had to give and ker-pow there was the universe, complete with time and space, rushing off in all directions to get away from the tiny whatever-it-was that had woken it up, to fill the sickeningly empty void of time/space thus created.

Look at it diagramatically. Before the beginning -

Fig. 1


then, something -

Fig. 2


and more or less simultaneously -

Fig. 3


(Our universe is three-dimensioned. Time, rather than being an extra dimension, is an integral part of the measurement of space.)

One gives rise to Three. This astoundingly important concept is familiar to all astrologers as the cardinal, fixed and mutable signs; to all humans as me, other(s), and the relationship between; and to our tale thus far as:-

Unity (Fig. 1), One (Fig.2), and Consequence (Fig. 3).

Call the Three C, F, M. They are all present at every point of our now expanding universe, and their possible interactions are six-fold, i.e. CFM, CMF, FCM, FMC, MCF, MFC. Or in diagrammatic form, thus -


These six are closely related to the six functions of consciousness as represented by the six traditional ruling planets - the Sun and Moon, collectively known as the Lights, are the positive and negative sides of the same principle. Every horoscope contains all six and every thing in the universe exhibits them all in some combination or another.

This can be represented in pictorial form by placing six points on a circle and joining up all six unicursorily such that the final letter of one becomes the starting letter of the next. For example, the arrangement given in the grid above produces the following shape:-


Some of them are variable in orientation:-

Sigil 3      Sigil 3 mirrored

but their structure remains intact, while the outward appearance may change.

Interestingly for astrologers, it turns out that there are no more and no less than twelve of these pictograms, or Sigils, when all orientations and reflections are taken into account.

Further, by swapping pairs of points one Sigil may transform into another:-

Interactions 1 Sigil 1  Swap CFM 
and MFC
to give:-
Interactions2 Sigil 2

So far the derivation of the sigils has been examined from the point of view of modern cosmological theories about the origin of the universe. In fact, the work that led to the diagram (Fig. 3) above was prompted by the astrological references in the Sepher Yetzirah, one of the classic texts of Cabbalistic philosophy which probably dates from the first century A.D.


© The Astrological Society