Table of Contents
What is a Sigil?
The term sigil is derived from the Latin word sigillum which means seal or signet.
A sigil is a symbol or design you create that works with your unconscious self to help bring your goals and dreams into reality. Sigil magic enables you to focus and become clear about your intentions.
The sigil itself does not contain magical abilities but operates as the mode of transportation into your unconscious, which is why you should always create your own sigils! Using sigils designed by someone else removes the connection and doesn’t allow the sigil to be placed into your unconscious mind.
Sigils and their many functions and powers were explained by sixteenth-century German polymath and physician Henry Cornelius Agrippa, in a book detailing different facets of Occult Philosophy.
Described as ‘the magical encyclopaedia of the Renaissance’, this work brought together Greek and Roman occultism drawn from classical sources with medieval Jewish Kabballah, aiming to provide technical explanations and procedures for practical magic.
Occult Philosophy explained in detail how magic could be employed practically, laying bare the secrets of the natural world including stones, herbs, trees and metals, the celestial and mathematical world encompassing the influence of planets, stars and numbers, and the intellectual world of pagan gods, spirits, angels, devils.Science Museum Group Journal (Issue 11 – A History of Amulets in Ten Objects)
How Do Sigils Work?
When learning how sigils work, it’s essential to understand you’re trying to go around your conscious mind and connect with your unconscious self.
The conscious mind will put up barriers, skepticism, or place restrictions on your intentions, making it challenging to materialize your desires. However, if you can directly connect to your subconscious, your spiritual power isn’t limited!
No words are needed, and an intention-based symbol can communicate directly to your unconscious self! Sigils work by placing an idea into your subconscious, and by doing so, will begin to work towards your intention while you go about your daily life. This visualization will prompt your subconscious self to start looking for ways it can help manifest your desire or goal!
Once you’ve completed your sigil work, place it out of your mind and don’t dwell on it. You want your sigil to leave your conscious mind and simmer in your unconscious mind.
How To Make a Sigil: Types and Techniques
When creating a sigil, feel free to incorporate colors, personal symbols, or letters of your choice. Don’t allow these types and techniques to limit you! Remember, there’s no wrong way to create a sigil! Create what feels natural to you and let your intuition influence you!
How I make Magic Sigils
The creation of word sigils originated with English artist Austin Osman Spare (1886-1956) and his development of Zos Kia Cultus. His ideas later became the basis of chaos magic.
In the early 1900s, Aleister Crowley invited Spare to join his Thelemite magical order. Spare was a member for only a short time because he despised the strict structure and ceremonial magick Crowley practiced. In Spare’s book “The Book of Pleasure,“ he described Crowley and his followers as –
These Magicians, whose insincerity is their safety, are but the unemployed dandies of the Brothels. Magic is but one’s natural ability to attract without asking; ceremony what is unaffected, its doctrine the negation of theirs.Austin Osman Spare
Spare was very interested in medieval grimoires, including The Lesser Key of Solomon. However, instead of using sigils to summon spirits, he wanted to create and apply sigils for personal practices. He tried to avoid the complex Enochian magic Aleister Crowley used and instead simplify the process.
Sex was an integral part of Spare’s practices, and his goal with sigil creation was to communicate with the sexual energy of his unconscious self. He published his ideas for word sigils which he called sigilization, in his book “The Book of Pleasure.” Unfortunately, he died in 1956, long before his sigil ideas became popular during the early 1990s.
How To Make a Word Sigil
To create your own word sigil, start with your intention (Spare referred to this as your statement of desire), remove any repeating letters, and use the remaining letters to design a sigil.
If you struggle to write down your intention, you can try using Spare’s suggestion to start with “I wish.” However, in more modern magic, many believe it’s essential to write in the present tense as if your intention has already come to fruition. (Example – I feel beautiful in my own skin – see photo below).
The choice, of course, is entirely up to you! Remember to use positive words and avoid negative comments like don’t, won’t, or not. Use robust and powerful words you’d like your sigil to represent.
If you have too many letters remaining and find it challenging to combine them into a sigil design that resonates with you, try removing vowels to simplify the process. Feel free to add a few creative touches or place a circle around your final image to contain its energy.
A common frustration with sigil creation is the aesthetic. Don’t let the artistic beauty hold you back, instead let your intuition guide you!
Another technique Spare created is the pictorial sigil which is fitting since he was an artist. He believed using images to convey an intention instead of words could make it easier for the sigil to connect with the subconscious.
Here are a few examples –
- Paintbrush if you’d like to improve your painting abilities
- Flame if working with the element fire
- Heart for love
- A wave, drop of water, or snowflake if working with the element water
- Dollar sign for prosperity
- Shield or antlers for protection
- A mountain if working with the element earth
- An eye to improve your intuition or divination abilities
- Star to represent all four elements and self
- The Moon
This can be one of the most creative and sigil-making techniques. Make sure you’re in a relaxed and creative mindset while creating a pictorial sigil. Have fun with it! I created an example below around the keyphrase I am always changing and growing to give you an example.
Just because pictures are incorporated into this sigil, this does not mean you can’t also combine letters or symbols into your sigil as well! Feel free to include any designs that add meaning to your spiritual practice, like Celtic Ogham Alphabet symbols or Elder Futhark Rune symbols.
Let’s begin with the history of the most popular magic square – the Lo Shu grid. Chinese emperor Yu noticed grid markings on the back of a tortoise shell and believed the 3×3 design was a perfect magical square. The Lo Shu grid was often used in a variety of ways: as a symbol of harmony, in astrology, divination, talismans, and in Taoist magic.
A magic square containing numbers is considered magical when the numbers total the same amount when added horizontally, vertically, AND diagonally. You can see in the Lo Shu Grid example below that every direction totals 15.
The Romans also used magic squares, but they contained letters instead of numbers. They typically had five letters and were used for amulets and placed on walls. The most well-known is the Sator square, a super palindrome because it can be read left to right, right to the left, and up and down. As you can see in the example below, the Sator square contains five words in Latin – Sator, Arepo, Tenet, Opera, and Rotas.
Magic squares became very popular during the Middle Ages and started appearing in the work and literature from various subjects including mathematics, astrology, occultism, alchemy, and other scholars.
Alchemists often created sigils to correspond and reflect a planet’s energy and knowledge. These could later be used in rituals to represent or summon the planet’s power.
You can use magic squares to create your own unique sigils. Begin with your intention. For this example, we’ll use – My success is inevitable. (This is from one of my favorite music manifestation songs by Geminelle). Then shorten it to a specific keyword or phrase. We’ll use success as an example.
Combine the chart below with the Lo Shu Grid to create a unique sigil.
By using success in conjunction with the chart below we get the numbers 1 3 3 3 5 1 1. Then remove any consecutive numbers and we’ll end up with – 1 3 5 1. Keep reading below to see how we’ll use this with the Lo Shu Grid.
Insert a circle into the first and last number in the Lo Shu Grid (for this example of 1 3 5 1, the circle will start and end in number 1). Then draw a line connecting each number in consecutive order to create your unique sigil.
Once your sigil is complete, you can embellish it, add lines or dots, rotate it into whatever position you like, or leave it as is! Mine looks like a martini glass, huh? LOL!
Another technique incorporates your chosen keyword or phrase. We’ll continue with the intention above – My success is inevitable. This time I’ll use the full phrase as an example. Simply draw or trace a circle and write the alphabet within the circle. (Example below)
Insert a circle by the first and last letter within your circle. Then draw a line connecting each letter to create your unique sigil. You can simplify “My success is inevitable” into M Y S U C E I V T A B L – I included the vowels this time to show you another variation.
Automatic Writing Sigils
This technique allows you to relax, meditate, and focus on your intention or desire. Loosen your grip on your pencil or pen and let it move on your paper. The final result will look scribbled and unclear. Using your intuition pull out what images or shapes you see in the shape before you. Use this to create a sigil.
How to Charge or Activate A Sigil
There are many ways to charge or activate a sigil, but you’ll need to figure out which one works best for you. After you finished creating your sigil you want to detach from it emotionally and spiritually. Put it someplace out of mind. This can be as long as you feel necessary, a few days, a week, or maybe a moon cycle. Once you’ve fully detached from your sigil, it’s time to charge it.
You can charge your sigil in a variety of ways the most popular are through emotional, sexual, or spiritual energy, but it’s important you find a way that works best for you. It’s critical that you feel comfortable! There’s no wrong way to do it!
The most crucial step in sigil activating is that you embed the image of the sigil into your subconscious mind.
Here are a few ideas –
- Music that is rhythmic, relaxing, or emotional to you can help to put you into a trance-like state. Drums, rattles, chanting, or singing bowls can also be useful
- During meditation. Relax and bring the image of your sigil to your mind. Repeat your keyword or phrase as you focus and meditate on your sigil
- Anoint it with Moon Water
- You can look at your sigil or think about it during an orgasm (either with a partner or by yourself)
- Charge it during an extremely emotional time and you’re experiencing intense feelings (this can be sadness, fear, happiness, etc.)
- Movement rituals like dancing, drumming, or clapping
- Place with corresponding crystals of your choice for as long as you feel is needed
How To Destroy Sigils
There can be some debate about destroying sigils and if it’s required or not. When trying to decide for yourself, consider your sigil intention. Remember sigil magic is about creating and releasing it into your subconscious mind. When you destroy a sigil it allows the intention or desire to be released so it can fulfill its purpose. Then you can move on about your life and allow the sigil to do its thing.
However, sometimes frequently seeing a sigil can act as a reminder to your unconscious self and will repeatedly give energy to your intention or desire. You can also choose a semi-permanent sigil that will be slowly released over time. See below for some creative ways to use permanent or semi-permanent sigils.
If you decided to destroy your sigil, make a ritual out of it. Spend some time with it before you send it out into the universe and your unconscious. You may want to record your sigil and corresponding intentions into your grimoire, Wiccan Book of Shadows, or spiritual journal for reference later. Here are a few ways to destroy and release a sigil –
- Burn your sigil that’s written on paper, a bay leaf, or carved into a candle (burning is the most common technique and can also be used while also simultaneously activating your sigil)
- Tear it up
- Release into a stream, river, or water of choice
- Bury them
- Release it into the wind
- Erase it if the sigil is written in pencil
- Blow on it
Now your work is complete! It’s important to release your sigil and not let it preoccupy your thoughts. You want your sigil to leave your conscious mind and simmer in your unconscious mind.
Creative Ways to Use a Sigil
If you intend to make a permanent or semi-permanent sigil here are twenty creative ways to use it!
- Place behind your phone case
- Use in Kitchen Witchery –
- Burn into wooden spoons
- stir into tea or soup
- spread icing onto a cake
- carve into the bottom of pie crust
- Write inside or on the bottom of your shoes
- Stitch into your clothing or other fabrics (pillowcases, quilts, blankets, fiber artist projects, etc)
- Carve into wood or firewood
- Place on your skin (as a tattoo, with makeup, or something that can be washed off like eyeliner or mascara)
- Write on a bay leaf if you intend to burn it
- Place onto rocks
- Put around your home for protection
- Carry it with you
- Bury them outdoors
- Bring them to your place of employment
- Carve into candles
- Place into your Wiccan Book of Shadows, grimoire, or spiritual journal
- Use ash from incense or smoke cleansing to write your sigil wherever you like
- Draw onto a foggy windowpane or on your mirror after you shower
- Make into a key ring
- Place into a book or on a bookmark
- Keep in your purse or wallet
- Place behind jewelry or a watch so it’s always with you
- Carve it into an ice cube and place it out in the sun to melt (great when working with ice or water in your spiritual practice)
- Home remodel or design projects
- Freshly poured concrete or DIY concrete pavers
- Beneath flooring or carpet
- Use it when painting a wall in your home or behind wallpaper
- In clay pots in your garden space (you can add some flair to it by turning it upside down and placing a solar light inside)
- Place it on your altar
I hope you found this post about how to make sigils helpful, lots of love to you, and remember as always…