Memes as Sigilized Magick
Memes are important, and their influence can be seen in our daily life. Memes are also a form of sigilized magick, let’s
A meme is an element of a culture or system of behavior that may be considered to be passed from one individual by non-genetic means, especially imitation.
First, I should explain some definitions to you. Without which, you may not have the “Eureka!” moment later. The word comes from the French word même meaning “same.” Magick is the Science and Art of causing Change to occur in conformity with Will.
Memes are so much more than just remixes and pictures with words onto it. It’s more than a viral video. Memes are more than the sum of its parts, and there are a lot of parts. Memes are a force for cultural change. It is effectively a “group working” in the form of sigilized magick. I know we think of sigils as little designs based off a phrase, but I feel the same principles of semiotics that allow for a sigil to work also allow for a meme to work.
For instance, let’s take a look at recent meme called “We Are Number One.” It is a song from a hit kids TV show called “Lazy Town.” Here is the original:
Memetic artists, took this video and changed it from “We Are Number One but…” and changed aspects of the video, as you do in a meme. However, in this particular instance they also decided to raise money on gofundme for Stefan Karl, who plays Robbie Rotten in the show. As of this writing they have raised $115,000 to support his cancer treatment.
Another example would be the famous “Rick Roll” meme which shows a video of Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up.” Eventually it became a cultural phenomenon and we even got Rick Rolled at the Macy’s Day Parade.
Memes can be a force for tangible change, but most instances are simply cultural changes. You might think: “How does posting pictures of a frog on a unicycle promote cultural change?”
Pretend the aforementioned “Dat Boi” meme with the frog on the unicycle didn’t exist. Where would we be? It probably wouldn’t change much of anything. There would be another meme to take its place. It is often unimportant to regard the meme’s content.
What is important is that people create memes. When you make a meme, you are making art. It doesn’t matter how much effort you are putting into it. It is a little bit of yourself being pushed out into the cultural sphere. Then, someone will likely see your meme, be influenced and make their own meme.
So you have this idea that you created. Someone else copies it. You have your intent, and they have their intent. However, since it’s all the same meme I would argue the intents are intertwined, and that’s my argument for memes being group sigilized magick. Imagine a vast spiderweb of sigils, all acting together but independent. It is like the synaptic network in a brain of a virtual magician with no name.
What does any of this actually change? It doesn’t matter. Whether your intent was “I want to be funny” or “I want to show the hypocrisy of people” (a la Kermit Sipping Tea) it’s still intent. I’ve argued that anti-art and art are the same thing, so I would also argue that a “lack of intent” would also be a form of intent. So all those Discordian memes and Dadaist tomfoolery you see on the internet, that does have an intent.
Memes are art. They cause Social change. So magick. Much intent. Wow.
Except “forced memes.” Those are bad.
I didn’t want this article to be full of links, so if there’s any memes you aren’t familiar with you can search for them at: knowyourmeme.com