How to Create and Use Sigils.
A sigil is an intention that is condensed into a single glyph. They are a wonderfully useful magic form. They are coded with your unique purpose and can be deciphered only by you, allowing your intention to remain a secret as the universe works to align and deliver your desire. This gives them incredible power.
Once you have designed a sigil, you can activate and use them in a variety of ways.
I have drawn sigils into the bottom crust of a pie before baking, carved them into firewood, carved them into candles before burning them, painted them on rocks and buried them or setting them out for decoration, drawn them in the steam on my mirror after a shower, stuck them on the back of jewelry, and used them in so many other ways. There is no limit to the possibilities when it comes to using sigils.
But before you can do any of that, you need to know how to create them.
There is no single, definitive method for designing a sigil. The method outlined here is one of the more traditional and common versions. Feel free to experiment to find what works best for you. As long as you create a single symbol from your intention—and that symbol feels powerful to you—it will work.
Step 1. Write Your Intention
All magic begins with the purpose. Your intention is the most important piece of any magical working. Sigils a great way to practice writing your intention.
Start by asking yourself these questions:
- What are you trying to accomplish?
- What is the reason you want to make this sigil?
- What do you really want?
- How will it change your life and who will it effect?
- Is there another method you haven't tried yet?
Once you feel like there is good focus to your desires and you understand them better, write down your intention. The more clear, direct and precise you are the better.
Your purpose is most powerful when presented as an affirmation. This means written as if you already have your desire and using positive words.
- “I love myself,” instead of, “I will love myself.”
- “I am healthy,” instead of, “I am not ill.”
- “I always have enough money,” instead of, “I am becoming wealthy.”
It must be specific and precise. If, for example, you are searching for your dream job. “I have my dream job,” is not specific enough. When will you be? Where do you work? What is the position?
It's tempting to leave it broad and letting the universe figure it out for you, but it's not very useful or powerful.
It's also important to not give the universe too many options. If you need to earn enough money to pay your rent you may want you intention to be, "I win the lottery, OR I get a promotion, OR I find $1000 on the side of the road." This isn't effective either.
Choose one. Give it parameters. Try, “By the end of this month I am a cat snuggler at the Humane Society.”
On a side not, I recently learned another technique for affirming statements. For some, it can be challenging to say and believe certain phrases that aren’t yet true. If you find this to be true for you, try saying your purpose in the form of “wouldn’t it be nice if…” and then whatever it is you are trying to draw to you.
- “Wouldn’t it be nice if I were a cat snuggler.”
- “Wouldn’t it be nice if my body was healthy.”
- “Wouldn’t it be nice if I loved myself more.”
Once you have your specific, present-tense, positive, and concise sentence, write it down. I usually like to use all capital letters but this is personal preference.
I will walk you through these steps using one specific example: "I offer support and encouragement to new witches." By the way, this is the intention I set for this blog.
Step 2. Remove Any Vowels and Repeats
Looking at the intention you have written down, erase or cross out all of the vowels and any letters that repeat, leaving only one of each consonant from the original sentence.
For the purpose of sigils, it might be best to cross of the “wouldn’t it be nice if” part as well, if you have yours phrased this way. But you can certainly test out what works for you.
For the example above, "I offer support and encouragement to new witches," becomes, F R S P T N D C G M W H.
These letters become the base symbols of the sigil.
Step 3. Simplify the Letters (Optional)
You can break down the letters into simpler shapes (lines and curves) or leave them as they are. You're choice!
Step 4. Arrange the Shapes
Play around with these shapes to try to fit them into a single glyph. It’ll take some rearranging and several attempts to get it from the weird looking blob into a power symbol, but just keep trying until it looks like something you like.
If it looks right, then it’s right!
Some sources suggest that the sigil must be created within a circle. This helps to keep the shapes contained and organized but let your creativity guide you. Symbolism can add power to the sigil. Triangles, squares, hearts etc. all have meaning that can contribute to the sigil.
Once, the symbols are arranged in a way you find pleasing, you can stylize it, add symmetry, and generally tweak it.
Additionally, you don't necessarily need to draw on paper with pencil. If you prefer to use a digital art program or something like paint, it's just as effective and often neater. This also makes keeping a sigil notebook much simpler. See below for more about creating a sigil notebook.
Here's an example of how I offer support and encouragement to new witches might end up. Can you find all the letters?
I might alter it a bit for design purposes but mostly I like the way it turned out. And remember, if you feel that it has power then it does.
Does this feel a little overwhelming? I've designed a worksheet to guide you through the process. You can access it by clicking the button below.
Step 5. Activate the Sigil
In some cases it may be enough to simply draw the sigil to activate it, but there are some instances where they need a bit more. Try to think of ways for the sigil to change form in some way when activating. Here are a few ideas.
Fire is probably the most common way to activate a sigil. Draw the sigil on a piece of paper and burn it to ash.
You can dispose of the ashes in whatever way you prefer or save them for future magical use. Mix them with herbs associated with the purpose of the sigil, sprinkle them over a burning candle so they land in the melted wax, add the ashes to paint and paint with them, or anything else you can think of.
CRYSTALS AND STONE
You can activate sigils using crystals and stones. One method is to draw the sigil on a piece of paper and keep a stone on top of the sigil or to draw the sigil directly onto the stone or crystal with permanent marker. If the stone won’t be damaged by heat and flame, you can wrap the paper around the crystal then set that on fire.
You can use herbs in a similar way as with the crystals and stones. Draw the sigil on a piece of paper and make an envelope. Add the herbs to the envelope and burn it.
River rocks are the smooth, dark rocks you can often find in river beds. Draw a sigil on these in metallic permanent markers and keep them outside. They make nice landscape features and are activated by the sun, moon and storms.
ICE AND WATER
Freeze water, then carve the sigil into one of the surfaces. Allow it to melt. This is a gentler form of activation for calming or love sigils.
You could even dissolve a piece of paper with the sigil drawn on it first in the water before freezing it for a double activation. Or, after dissolving the paper in the water use the water for some other spell work.
Candle magic is a great way to incorporate sigil magic. Simply carve the sigil into the side of a candle and allow the candle to burn down. Choose a candle in a color associated with your intention.
Draw the sigil on a piece of paper and bury it in your garden or a potted plant. It will decompose slowly so this is a good method for slow activation, for something that you want to draw to you slowly.
Use visualization to see, hear, smell, taste, touch the way you perceive the world where the sigil already is working. More importantly, how do you feel, what sensation and emotions emerge when your senses detect how it’s working and the benefits is brings it to life?
Related: Introduction to Meditation
There are so many different ways to activate a sigil. Definitely let your creativity loose and try new things!
Many of the methods for activating sigils require you to destroy them. This is why is can be nice to keep a record of the ones you’ve drawn. That way anytime in the future, if you want to reuse a sigil for the same purpose you can just go back and look it up, you don’t need to design a new one which can be a long process.
Copy each sigil you create and the original sentence of intent into a notebook. It could be it’s own book or just included in your Book of Shadows. You can always modify them for slight changes in magical purpose.
This is up to you though, some people believe that designing the sigil is part of the process and by destroying it, it’s like an offering. You release something in order to gain something.
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