Sigils are used not just by witches and magickal practitioners but by everyone! Yes even the mundane and in truth you've been seeing and using them your whole life without realising it. Sort of. In the past Sigils have typically been given a bad representative, associations with demonic and none benevolent beings, or bad/dark magickal practitioners. I know when I first saw them / heard of them I strayed away and indeed for the longest time believing they're not a good thing. Oh how wrong I was. Sigils are not just bad, not just used in Alchemy, Dark Occult practices or in Malpractices by other Magick wielders! They are used literally for everything, even in the mundane world unrecognised.. In this blog I hope to clarify what they are, how to use them and in fact how easy it is to write your own!
The world Sigil comes from the word 'seal' - Think of 'wax seals' and how they were (and sometimes still are) used for sealing envelopes and often stamped with the family crest, official logo, professional title, royal emblem etc.. This sealed closure traditionally was used to not only show who the letter/goods were from but also of its/their importance and indeed that the envelope/package had not been opened by an intervening source nor had the contents been seen or tampered with and this seal was very much the security for the contents of the package. Thus in that respect it's like the power of said seal preventing people from sneaking a look as the wax seal show if someone broke in, literally! There for by adding this wax seal it signs our intentions and desired goals to keep the contents private and away from prying eyes. And ensures our receiver gets the contents in tact, as sent.
Signs and Symbols - Think of logos - the word logo comes from the Greek word logos meaning to create or the word of God (eg "let there be light"), brands, traffic symbols, even alphabets and numbers! Whenever you think of these your brain no doubt floods with associated imagery to a known 'thing'. Think of McDonald's - You can associate the sign, logo, what their brand / product is. Now think of a love heart - The shape, what it means to every school girl doodling about her crush right through to the congratulations on your wedding card. Now think of universal road signs like stop, no entry, go, danger... Think of the Zodiac signs, Monarchy Royal Stamp, The President's.. All those physical signs/symbols are associated with mental imagery and comes with a familiar attachment. - This is why one of the key goals for people employed to create logos is to create memorable simple imagery that sticks with us. But that's for another day.
Sometimes these Signs, Symbols and/or Sigils can come to us in our dreams - I will do a blog on this as part of my BoS / Grimoire Book Prompts Blog Series.
On the whole Sigils are often an image drawn, burned, painted, sketched, printed by what ever means of a visual creation. But some also theorise that sound can be a Sigil could be sound as sound has associations and feelings and empowerment. We are able to recall memories, feelings, physical associations, movies, parties, people, theme tunes.. This music could be electronic music, mantra, singing bowl, voice recording. I know YouTuber Kelly-Ann Maddox touches on this in her about Sigils video. She also suggests how Sigils have associations and in this way we could use scent also by use of perfume, incense, oils etc to create our own personal scent for workings - I know I like to mix my own oils and incense when I'm doing workings. I go find out their correspondences or what herbs/oils work best for my intention (same with candle colours, stones etc..) so in theory they too can be Sigils? Sorry I've detoured - but there's some food for thought!
That said putting Signs and Symbols etc aside Sigils are often created for a one time use, I'll explain how to create later. Though some are designed to be used over and over again and I'm know there's some ready for you to cookie cut and use for yourself - these can be found in books, the internet etc. Though this can come with a stigma. On one hand is the commonly used Sigil more powerful because of all the energies of all the people who have used it? Or is the energy from that Sigil spent from being over used again and again? Is a brand new Sigil more powerful because it's new (created by you hopefully) or is it weaker because it's never been used?
What can I use Sigils for?
As said Sigils can be used for Demonic practices and associations but also for Angelic correspondences too. Also as mentioned Sigils can be used in Alchemy and the Alchemy Table and Sigils can be commonly known/used or personal and designed specifically for you as a one off use or reused; I shall explain..
Sigils can be used as words, to sum up a meanings, as an alphabet all on its own such as hieroglyphics. It could be used in prayer, ritual, spells.. and various other workings. Sigils can be used by themselves as empowerment, as logos and/or brands and/or symbols, As a signature (your mark associated with just you), to seal.
How do I write my own Sigils? How do I use Sigils?
There are a number of different kinds of Sigils and Sigil creations, perhaps the most common two being 1. Sigilisation/Sigilization - The Austin Osman Spare method. 2. To Witches Sigils.
Let's briefly look at the Witches Sigils first, since this is not the method I use but one worth mentioning, I guess. The Witches Sigils is made up of a chart. Decide on a word that sums up your desire, for me and this example I used the word "Protection". Starting at the first letter follow the sequence of letters along drawing straight or curved lines to the next letter. - Some say you should draw a circle at the first letter and a cross at the last letter but I have seen it most commonly done without. As said this is not my prefered way of creating Sigils. Perhaps you might want to draw/print out this chart and stick it in your Books (Book of Shadows, Grimoire etc etc..) then use tracing paper over the top to draw your Sigils..
- In all honesty I'm not practiced or even well studied in this area. So a lot of the study for this you'd need to do yourself. Though the following information may help you and is the most common way of creating Sigils.
The Austin Osman Spare - Sigilisation/Sigilisation method is the more commonly used when creating Sigils.
Austin Osman Spare was born and died in London, England 1886 - 1956. He was an English Artist and Occultist. Today he is known for many things as he was greatly influenced by Symbolism and Art Nouveau and is recognised for his art which usually included a great deal of lines, mosters and sexual imagery. There are also a few Tarot decks featuring his working. And of course he is also known for creation method of Sigils which as mentioned is known as Sigilisation/Sigilization.
Austin Osman Spare - "It is not important whether a Sigil is the 'correct' one or not, but it IS crucial that it has been created by the magician and is therefore meaningful to him/her. Because s/he has constructed it for personal use, the Sigil easily becomes a catalyst of his/her magical desire, and sometimes it will even awaken this desire in the first place." - Book of Pleasures.
Austin Osman Spares method was simply to create a 'fusion and stylisation of letters to formulate a desire in a sentence'.
There are a 5 key points to this method.
1. The Intention
Note. Decide if this Sigil is going to be for 'mechanical' and thus created for one time use or if the Sigil is going to be for 'repetitive' magickal use for multiple use possibly used throughout your practice. If it's the later you may wish to write down your recipe of the Sigil and its meaning.
Step 1. The statement of intent is to be written in present or past tense, even if it is a want, desire, wish, future coming. Creating that you want something will only increase a want for that thing and not the thing itself. Creating that you have said thing will cause manifestation to occur properly - I touched on this in my 'how to make a manifestation box' blog.
So don't write "I WILL BE POPULAR BY THIS TIME NEXT YEAR." simply write "I AM POPULAR AND I CONTINUE TO BE SO." - Another don't write "I WISH TO HAVE LOTS OF MONEY" but instead "I AM WEALTHY AND MY MONEY CONTINUES TO GROW" - Another don't write "I WANT TO PASS MY EXAMS" simply write "I HAVE PASSED MY EXAMS, I DID AND CONTINUE TO DO REMARKABLY WELL".
2. The Creation
Step 2. Once you have your 'Power Sentiment/Statement' of intent simply write it out in all capital letters. I ABSOLUTELY LOVE MY CAULDRON FAMILY AND THEY ARE BLESSED - This is then where hairs are split. Some say remove all vowels (A, E, I, O and U) others leave them in. I personally remove them as this is the way I originally learnt and what I feel works best for me. This is your choice..
Step 3. Once the above is done simply cross out any letter that repeats itself leaving the original letter. Write out the remaining letters. Now here's the fun (and in my opinion addicting) part. First let's take the English Alphabet. Each letter you're left with you use to draw a Sigil. These letters can be drawn any size and any way up and are to form more of a weird picture. Now keep in mind some letters you don't need to be re-draw. For example if you have a "T" you already drew the "I" and an "L". Using a "B" which can also be a "D", "P", "I", "C". Drawing an "M" also covers you for "N", "V" and "W" I shall show you...
I ABSOLUTELY LOVE MY CAULDRON FAMILY AND THEY ARE BLESSED
I ABS OL UT ELY L OV E MY C AULDR ON F AM ILY AND TH EY AR E BL ESS ED
BSLTLY LV MY CLDRN FMLY ND THY R BLSSD
BSLTLY LV MY CLDRN FMLY ND THY R BLSSD
LY LV M Y C LDRN F MLY ND TH Y R BLSSD
BSLTY V M CDRN F
BSLTY V M CDRN F
Step 4. Some people like to encase their Sigil in a circle - being that it contained, protected and gives power, plus it focuses the energy on what's inside excluding anything outside the circle.
Private video by me Imogen aka missimoinsane
Here's what we created...
Another way to do this is to match the English remaining letters from your sentence with the equivalent of another alphabet such as Elder Futhark Runes, Elvish, Witches Alphabet but to name a few which is when your creativity kicks in, it's how we have the super pretty Sigils which don't resemble English at all and that is very much the point of Sigils as you'll see in the next steps.
3. The Forgotten
Step 5. If you opted to write this somewhere as a future reuse Sigil then that's fine. But this point is where you put the Sigil away and let it manifest. Perhaps even in your manifestation box!! Maybe create a manifestation box just for your Sigils!! Put it somewhere where you won't see it, won't think of it, but when you do see it it will add to the growth of it's power. Allow it to do it's thing for however longer desired time. Some people skip this step entirely, others allow a day, a day and a night, a week, one lunar cycle.. The the idea is basically 'out of sight and out of mind your subconscious takes over causing things to grow. Plus by creating this you put your intentions out there to the universe anyway!!
4. The Charge
Step 6. Now congratulations you've drawn a Sigil. You may or maynot have hidden it away for a length of time. But this is an important step as you need to 'Activate' it.. So here's a few ways we can do this..
- Meditation: You can meditate on the created Sigil.
- Getting to know: Sleep with it, keep it on your person, look at it, give it life.
- Sex: You can think of the Sigil or not during sex but most importantly during climax.
- Masturbation: You can think of the Sigil or not but most importantly during climax.
- Heightened Emotions: Like climax high state of emotions such as:
During grieving a loss, great sorrow.
Dring great happiness.
During fear / scared (watch a horror movie or those screamers on YouTube).
During hysterical Laughter.
During heightened anxiety.
- Asphyxiation: (please practice responsibly) Hang upside down; Do not strangle yourself or anyone - this especially goes against the "and harm none" at the point of Asphyxiation look at the Sigil. <-- I don't recommend No. 6 but I'm putting it out there as there's people that do!
- Exhaustion: Go for a run, do some exercise, the part of the brain that kicks in as we strive to stay awake use that to focus on the Sigil.
5. The Destruction
- Burn (fire)
- Flush away (water)
- Send it out to sea (water)
- Bury it in the woods (earth) or at the beach (water/earth) - away from your home if that's what your working requires.
- Bury it in a planter (earth) or in your garden (earth) - at home if that's what your working required.
- If you drew it in pencil you can simply erase the image or if you drew it on a white board.
- You can shred the paper into pieces and put it in the bin.
An alternative for entire destruction, those that wish to reuse, may wish to do so in a productive way.. Some simply write it and/or the recipe in their Books (Book of Shadows, Grimoire, Spell Book, Witches Journal etc etc..) and some like to make a bigger use of it like drawing it and having it framed on a wall (especially good for protection), carve it into wood and have it as a statue in your home, write it on paper and roll it up and put it inside a witches ball and gift to a friend, have it tattooed (please tattoo responsibly) - make it such a permanent thing in your homes that it becomes part of the furniture so you don't see it any more; you know like that new figurine for your collection you keep smiling and looking at then after a few weeks you don't even really notice it any more as you're now occupied with your new wall hanging..