Sigil magic: How to make a Magical Sigil
Working magic is about getting to know what makes you tick and turning your life into an adventure with limitless possibilities. We give you a step-by-step guide to making a sigil – a form of magic that brings you your heart’s desire. All you need is a pencil and paper… so what are you waiting for?
Here at Mookychick we find it useful (and entertaining) to believe that magic (spells, not stage magicians) can be thought of as an unexplained science. You don’t have to belong to any one religion to work magic. All kinds of Christians and Wiccans and atheists believe in science. All kinds of Christians and Wiccans and Atheists work magic.
This week we’re going to show you how to make and charge a magical sigil, because the universe is as full of possibilities as you are. How are you going to let that potential out? Work nights in a convenience store, plugging away at your garage band / unpublished novel in the hopes your creativity will get recognised one day? Fine. Excellent, in fact. Hard work is where it’s at. But why not tap into all the forces of the universe while you’re at it? As well as hoiking those promotional band posters all round town, do yourself a favour and secretly draw a charged magical sigil on each one. Let the magic come to you for a change! After all, the worst that could happen is your sigil doesn’t bring you quite what you expected. Well, that’s the universe for ya…
So what exactly is a sigil? In a nutshell, one tried-and-tested way you can create a sigil is by writing a sentence expressing your deepest desire then turning into a symbolic picture. Then you can fill this picture with energy and forget about it – and wait to see if your goal comes true.
Unlike complicated magical rituals, you will need:
- A pen or pencil
- A piece of paper
To make our sigil, we’re going to do five things:
(1) Write down our desire as a statement of intent
(2) Turn it into a picture (a sigil)
(3) Simplify that picture and make it look more magical
(4) Charge the picture up with magical energy
(5) Ground ourselves, forget about the sigil and go and do something else – confident that the sigil is now in our unconscious which is going to do all the magical work for us.
So that’s what a magical sigil is! Now scroll down the page and we’ll tell exactly you how to make one. If you’re still not sure what a magical sigil is and why it should work, let’s break it down…
What is magic?
Let’s start at the beginning. Belief in magic is very basically a belief that the world contains forces we play with and are subject to, but are not fully aware of. And would like to get to know better. Forces that we may wish to file under ‘superstition’ or ‘hocus pocus’ or ‘utter bollocks’. It’s fair to say that if these forces exist, we don’t understand them very well yet. Not as well as gravity. Working magic is an attempt to understand these forces and use them in our lives in order to affect the world we live in.
What is a magical sigil?
If you look in the dictionary, a sigil is a symbol with mystical significance.
In magical terms, a sigil is a tool – it’s a shape you design that tricks your mind into magicking a specific effect into your life. Creating sigils to work magic was made popular by mystical artist Austin Osman Spare. He said:
“Sigils are… a means of symbolising desire and giving it a form that prevents thought on that particular desire… and allows it free passage to the sub-consciousness.”
– A.O.Spare, “The Book Of Pleasure”
Cool. So what does that actually mean?
Well, sigils are greatly beloved of a particular kind of magic-worker called a Chaos magician. Many chaos magicians believe that to some extent you can create your world, because the world is built up of your perceptions.
The biggest problem with creating magic is your conscious mind, dammit! It’s your psychic censor and it keeps telling you what you should think, even if you don’t agree with it. The theory goes that if you believe there’s no way you can magic a laptop into your life, then of course your magic won’t work. Remember, your conscious mind is very powerful at telling you there’s simply no logical way you can draw a magical picture that will somehow get you a laptop three weeks later. You have to trick it to let it know who’s boss
Making a sigil gets you PAST your conscious mind. The good news is that your subconscious is way more powerful than your everyday common-or-garden consciousness is your subconscious. It will ALWAYS be more powerful, because your conscious mind only works when you tell it to. Your subconscious mind, on the other hand, works ALL THE TIME. If you can tell your subconscious to do something, it will chug away at the problem without you even ‘thinking’ about it, 100% of the time, and your magic will be far more likely to work.
The theory goes like this: the conscious mind is not directly capable of performing magic (in fact, it inhibits magic), so the subconscious mind must have the magical intent implanted in it somehow it so that it can ‘unconsciously’ manipulate the magic-steeped world around us to bring about the result.
Our subconscious understands images and symbols better than anything else, so it’s best to send it a symbolic form of our wishes.
Q. I’m genuinely ready. Can we just make the sigil now?
A. Sure. Let’s go!
How to make a magical sigil
1. Create a statement of intent
First, write down your desire very clearly, like this:
IT IS MY WILL TO BE OFFERED RED FRUIT
Scan the letters and cross out any repeating ones, as follows:
IT xS MY Wxxx xO BE xFxxRxD xxx xxUxx
Which leaves us with the following letters remaining:
There. Now you’ve done the first stage – creating your statement of intent, and simplifying it.
Magical notes: What lies behind creating a statement of intent?
What you’ve just done is taken a conscious desire and broken it down into something your conscious brain doesn’t recognise any more: a meaningless string of letters. The more energy you put into turning your sentence into something unrecognisable, the more you leave your annoying conscious mind behind and hammer the message into your powerful subconscious.
The creation of the Statement of Intent is really important. Austin Osman Spare preceeded all of his magical statements with the prefix “THIS MY WISH…” followed by the description of what he desired. Maybe you don’t have to, but it does make the exercise feel more formal and special. You could also use THIS MY INTENT, or THIS MY WILL – whatever works for you.
Also, the statement of intent must be expessed only in positive, not negative terms. The subconscious has the annoying habit of perceiving everything positively. For example, if you want to pass an exam, do not express it as “I will not fail my exam” — the deep mind ignores the “not” and hears this as “I will fail my exam”! Instead, express it as something like “I will pass my exam with flying colours”.
Also, sigil magic is simple and powerful. A good way to begin is to choose some simple, unimportant result — one to which you aren’t personally attached, so your conscious mind doesn’t care what the results are. Like:
IT IS MY WILL TO BE OFFERED RED FRUIT
Such a wish is entirely unimportant, but not something that one runs into every day, so it’s a good test. See how long it takes for the wish to manifest. The practical side of such exercises is that success increases one’s confidence that MAGIC WORKS, which in turn makes success more likely for more important objectives.
There is no way to prove if sigil magic works (or not) except by trying it yourself. Never believe the hype. Create your own. Moving on…
2. Turn your Statement of Intent into a Magical Sigil
So far, you’ve got your simplified Statement of Intent: ITSMYWOBEFRDU
You’re now ready to go on to the next stage and turn this string of letters into a picture – your magical sigil.
On your piece of paper, make a basic, rough sketch linking the various letter shapes together, combining some of them as you go along (for example, an “M” is a “W” upside down, “I” is contained in “T”, “F” is part of “E”, “D” sits snugly in “O”, etc.):
Next the image is simplified and refined.
The magical sigil above contains all the letters in “it is my will to be offered red fruit”.
It’s been given extra embellishments to look spooky and distract the mind.
It’s also been designed to look a little bit like a strawberry. Because why not.
Most homemade sigils look a little spooky or alien – like UFO writing or witchy wall-scratchings. There are no rules as to how your sigil should look as long as it works for you.
Magical notes: What lies behind turning a statement of intent into a graphical sigil?
Your goal is to make a shape that your mind can easily visualize. You also want it to look artistically impressive and somehow special – like a magical logo. Again, this is for ease of visualisation later. However, what you’re aiming for is a design that can be easily recalled by short term-memory, but not by long-term memory – you’ll want to forget about the sigil. So too much simplicity is not a good thing. Easy enough to visualise in the ritual, easy enough to forget later on – that’s the key to a good sigil.
3. Charging the sigil
Charging the sigil means infusing it with your energy. You have to get yourself to a point where you are full of energy but not really thinking anything, and then pour this energy into your sigil. There are several good ways to charge your sigil:
The simplest form of meditation is to hold the image of the sigil in front of your eyes and stare intently at it at the peak of gnosis and, to use Spare’s description, ‘drink it into the mind’. Try to get into a state of “not-thinking” but at the same time obsessively concentrating on the image of the sigil to the exclusion of everything else. Not the meaning of the sigil, but simply the graphic image itself as pure abstract, unconnected to any meaning – a picture and nothing more.
We’re not joking. Masturbate while visualising the sigil in your mind’s eye. With the masturbation method you’re likelyto get yourself to a point when you’re full of energy and no thought, ie. orgasm. Hurrah! At the point of orgasm, visualise the sigil becoming big and bright and then exploding/disintegrating into nothingness. That’s it! Sigil charged!
c) Wild dancing
If you don’t like masturbating but do like dancing, pour yourself into wild wanton dancing – leap everywhere, go wild, spin round and round, get out of breath – it doesn’t even have to be to music. You just have to get to a point where you feel full of adrenalin and power and tingly and aren’t really thinking anything. Then visualise the sigil in your mind’s, eye, see it becoming big and bright and then let it explode/disintegrate into nothingness. And stop dancing.
4. Ground yourself
Destroy the sigil (for example, burn the bit of paper that it’s on). Now do something completely different. Do the washing up. Go for a bike ride. Do something completely grounded in reality. The sigil is over, done with. You don’t care any more. Your subconscious might care (the bit that’s still doing the magic) but you and your conscious mind are now totally uninterested.
5. Forget about it
Finally, it’s important to separate yourself from the magical ritual you’ve just done. Don’t do any meditation, other magical operations, or talk about the working with anyone. At least, not the first time you do a sigil – you need to find out what works for you. The idea is to shut the doors to the subconscious. It also keeps it from easily floating back into the conscious mind until the short term memory dumps it, which according to psychologists takes about three hours.
So just sit back, get on with life, and in a few days or weeks, you’ll probably pass your exam, or be given a delicious piece of fruit.
Congratulations! You just made a sigil!
Further magical notes on sigils
CHAOS MAGIC TIP: The trick of forgetting is tricky indeed. You may want to create lots of sigils at once for different purposes, then put them in a drawstring bag and leave them for six months, or at least long enough to forget what they all are. Then, when you pull one out of the bag at random and charge it, your conscious mind won’t remember what it’s for. The subsconscious mind will know, though. It’ll get to work on that sigil with glee…
There is also the “under-the-nose” method: If you prefer, instead of destroying the sigil you can put the sigil where you can see it all the time it will just fade into the background and you won’t really ‘see’ it, but your subconscious will.
So wash the dishes, go for a bike ride, read a book that’s NOT about magic, watch Mean Girls.
Examples of sigil use:
Paint the sigil somewhere visible on your body with water-soluble paint, then take a bath and let it slowly dissolve away while watching it. This is especially useful for magical work such as healing the body.
Draw the sigil on paper or cloth with dissappearing ink and stare at it as it slowly evaporates.
Some schools of thought find sigil magic extraordinarily superficial, because it’s typically so results-oriented. But once you have the basics of sigil magic down, you can find your own purposes for it, including personal reflection. You can also do sigil magic for friends, not just for yourself. You can do it for lost pets when you see LOST PET posters up in the street. It may not be the Great Work of discovering your Holy Guardian Angel, but there’s nothing superficial about turning your energy to the task of finding lost pets.
Chaos magicians known for using sigils:
Check out the work of Austin Osman Spare, Phil Hine, Grant Morrison and Alan Moore, to name a few… then, if you so choose, add your name to the list.