To say, “I love working with sigils.” is probably an understatement. I am obsessed with them. My office is covered in candles with different sigils scribbled on them, ready for when I need them. Of the witchy things I currently do and use, other than tarot, working with sigils is what I do the most in my practice, and I frequently encourage others to use them as well; especially, if you’re not entirely out of the broom closet just yet.
There are many systems of sigil crafting. All different, some are more similar to each other than the others, all valid. I will be talking about two different types of sigil-making systems; The Austin Spare system and one of my own forms of intuitive sigil making (let me know if this is already a named practice as I could not find this specific type of sigil making named anywhere). I typically use multiple systems for sigil making, depending on how the sigil aligns with me, but today we’ll just be going over these two different systems.
First thing’s first, though, what is a sigil?
According to Merriam-Webster, a sigil is “a seal; a sign, word, or device held to have occult power in astrology or magic.” I feel like this is a pretty broad definition of a sigil, and I love this definition all the more for it because as the world grows and evolves, we should all be encouraged to get creative, rethink and push the boundaries of our practices and the ways in which we do things!
I love the idea that sigils can live in plain sight. You can be the only one who knows of their meaning or purpose. You can frame your sigils and place them on your desk, in your office, you can write them on a piece of paper, carve them on candles, tattoo them on your body, stir them into your coffee or tea, or use them anywhere you can subtly (or not so subtly) scribble them down. They’re your sigils, do what feels right to you with them, and don’t be afraid to get creative with how and where you use them!
Austin Spare sigil system
Write out a desire in all capital letters (word, phrase, sentence)
- Discard the repeated letters, so each singular letter is represented. You can push this even further by discarding letters that can be found within other letters. For example, the letter “C” + “U” can be found in the letter “O.” Try pushing this idea even further by interpreting a stylized “D” + “V” into the “O” as well. (I usually don’t take this into account until after I have started working on the sigil.
Combine all of the letters into a sigil. Either into separate sigils based on the words then combine all the word sigils into one larger sigil for the complete phrase, or incorporate the entire phrase into one sigil without creating separate sigils first.
Once you have the framework of your sigil, you can start refining the sigil into something more in alignment with your artistic style.
Once you create your sigil, destroy any evidence that it even existed and forget about it. Have the sigil and its purpose completely leave your mind. The sigil is supposed only to be known to your subconscious. The act of destroying the sigil charges its power and activates it.
The Austin Spare system asks us not to focus too much on the creation of sigils. Believing that the sigils must live in our subconscious in order to create the success behind the magic. As such, from my research, you are to forget the sigil as quickly as possible. Doing this is supposed to make the strength of the sigil that much more successful. There are also many different ways to charge a sigil; Frater U∴D∴ Talks of “lightning charging for people in a hurry” focuses on charging symbols through sex magic and the climax of orgasm rather than taking time to empty your mind through meditation.
Intuitive Sigil Making
My preferred method of sigil making is what I like to call, Intuitive Sigil Making.
It begins with the practitioner meditating on the phrase or word you are looking to manifest with a pencil or pen and a notepad (or your handy-dandy Ipad)
During the meditation, focus on your paper and begin a session of mark-making. (I believe this way of intuitive sigil making connects with you subconsciously because you are not focusing on the letters of your manifestation, but how your body (hand, wrist, arm, etc.) moves on its own when it contemplates the subject. Revealing visual clues that trigger both your consciousness and subconscious.)
Once you feel you are connecting with a specific symbol (I usually know I am connecting with a mark due to repeatedly drawing the same image over and over), cool down from your meditation and begin fleshing out the symbol. Cleaning it up a bit so it is clear to you what it is.
Once you have your final sigil, you can charge it if you feel the need. There are three different ways I charge my sigils:
Burning the pieces of paper used during the meditation
Carving the sigil on a candle and letting the candle burn down
Tracing the sigil in the air with your finger, grabbing the imagined sigil, and tossing it away from you.
As you can gather, my work with sigils and my overall practice, in general, incorporates mindfulness. Thus, the latter half of the Austin Spare system is quite contradictory to how I create sigils. However, I have frequently used the first part of his method and then combined it with the latter half of my method. I thought it essential to include this way of sigil making to highlight the differences between the two practices and that neither system of sigil magic is wrong. It is up to you and how you practice to decide on what you want to incorporate into your practice.
Intuitive Sigil Tip:
Finding it difficult to create a sigil from “nothing”? Begin your sigil-making process by collaging different correspondences that encompass your desire. Then either trace the general shapes or whatever stands out to you! For example, the Stellarly Studio Sigil is my personal sigil. I wanted something to represent me that would also represent the Universe and space and my attachment to it. The Stellarly Sigil is a combination of the alchemical symbols for Earth, Air, Fire, and Water. The sigil itself represents the Earth, me, the material. And what I do with the sigil represents everything else. The Universe, the stars, the vastness of what I wish to accomplish in this life.
Do you have your own method of sigil making, or do you use one of the various other methods out in the world to create your sigils? If you are looking for more sigil knowledge, look for my upcoming write-up on sigils for COVENTRY. If you are looking to work with sigils but are not interested in creating your own or are looking to incorporate them into a daily oracle practice, you can also purchase the Per Aspera Ad Astra Sigil Deck I created for COVENTRY as well!
Source: Practical Sigil Magic by Frater U∴D∴