There are occasions when a spell needs to be cast on short order and it may be appropriate or plausible to raise energy to launch it. Quick defensive measures, emergency sigils, or healing spells are just a few of the situations I have encountered where it is difficult to raise the energy or maintain the focus to perform magic. Because I am first and foremost a chaos magician, I considered what lines of thinking I could adopt to approach the problem, and came up with some methods to prime or “pre-cast” spells or sigils.
The basic theory that I developed came out of my work with candle magic. It occurred to me that the physical light and heat produced while a candle burned could be used to charge magical sigils, and that larger candles had more “potential” or energy in them to launch more portent or complex spells. Carving protection or cleansing sigils on pillar candles and letting them burn out yielded excellent results, especially in a few cases where a space had a lot of negative or destructive energy that needed to be cleared or transmuted. (The specifics of those particular spells are beyond my scope here, but basically I designed them as magical filters that absorbed negative energy and broke it down into something more constructive. I cleared some nasty icks from homes and even hotel rooms using this approach.)
Initially I would charge and consecrate the candles themselves after engraving them with the sigils, but I discovered that they still successfully launched the spells just on the action of the candles burning alone. The candles themselves had an inherent potential magical energy, and the trick was to make that energy available to be released more quickly. Since I was working on an energetic model, I decided to develop a tool to collect this potential energy, like a battery, and enable it to be released in a sudden burst that could launch a sigil.
Candle Holder Launcher
For my first experiment, I acquired a candle holder to serve as the battery/launcher. I decided upon tea light candles as a good standard unit, so I wanted something that held tea lights. I was going to program it with a sigil, so I needed something with a flat base large enough to engrave. And I thought it would be nice to have a chamber of sorts to have the option of including a crystal to augment or flavor the spell if I desired. So I picked up a candle holder that was designed to accommodate tea lights or votives, and had a space in the middle for tapers as well.
A tea light candle would be burned in the candle holder, as as it burned, its potential energy would charge the launcher, which would collect and store this energy until it was released. The energy would be released by placing a sigil drawn on a slip of paper in the top of the launcher and lighting it aflame. The fire would act as the means of transferring the stored energy into the sigil.
The crystal could be added to augment the spell. For a quick healing spell, a piece of citrine or sunstone could be added, for example.
Unfortunately I have lost the design for the sigil I used to program the launcher, but it wasn’t that difficult. It included a sigil to draw and store the energy from the candle, a sigil to filter the energy through any crystal placed in the holder, and a sigil to release the energy when a sigil was burned in the holder, all combined into one meta-sigil. (If I find the original or create more, I will gladly update this post.)
Burning the first candle primed and activated the launcher, and the second candle gave it its first charge. I build four of these and keep them charged, so that if I need to launch a quick spell I can draw up a fast sigil and burn it in the launcher. I’ve had a surprising amount of success with these devices.
Fast Break Tabs
The Candle Holder launcher worked very well, but also assumed that I had the time to draw up a sigil and the ability to light it on fire, which I did not always have. There were certain spells that I wanted to be able to launch on the fly, and they tended to be the same kind of spells: healing or protection. I came up with an idea to develop sigils for those spells and inscribe them upon several objects that were easily breakable by hand, such as popsicle sticks, small clay tablets, or wooden pogs. These could then be consecrated en masse in a larger, more energetic ritual, potentially a group ritual. The consecrated or “loaded” objects would release or activate the spell when broken.
I initially intended to use two sigils, one on the from for the desired effect, and one on the back to specify release when the vessel is broken, but in practice I have only used the one sigil for the desired effect. In the pictured example, a pog was inscribed with a sigil “to promote rapid healing” and consecrated in a short ritual with the spoken instructions “May this spell be charged and sealed withing this disc of wood, to be released upon the one who breaks it.”
I am still experimenting with these, but results have been promising, especially as healing spells (since its notoriously difficult to raise the energy to perform a healing spell when you’re already sick). And kind of “buff” type spell is ideal for this method of pre-casting and release, and since they are designed to effect the one who breaks them, can even be shared.