Want to harness the power of your intention? Consider creating a sigil. A sigil is a unique, magical symbol created by you to symbolize your dreams, motivations, and desires, and sigil magic can be pretty powerful.
While people have been using magical symbols for centuries, contemporary sigils were created by early twentieth century occultist Austin Osman Spare. He developed a routine anyone can use to imbue her own words with magic—and, unlike many magical rituals, sigilization only asks for a pen, paper, and a flame. “Traditional sigil magic is intensely personal, as it's about turning a desire or hope into a symbol that only has meaning to the person who created the sigil,” explains Steve Shanafelt, the Ashville, NC, creator of SigilDaily, a website with Sigil inspiration. “In that sense, there's nothing supernatural about sigilcraft. It's about creating a deeply personal work of art, and using that symbol to bring the idea behind that art one step closer to existing in the real world.”
Here, three steps to make and activate your own.
1. Make A Statement: Write down your goal or desire on a piece of paper—with an actual pen or pencil (the sigil should be in your handwriting). Write your goal in the form of an “I will” statement, and make it incredibly specific—I will create my own business selling T-shirts on Etsy and live off that income by January or I will fall in love with someone who loves hot yoga and long hikes. Winnow your intention—if you need help, making a collage of images can help you suss out your true desire.
2. Turn It Into Art. Creating a sigil requires quiet, space, and an open mind. Shanafelt suggests crossing out all the vowels in your statement with a pen. Then, cross out the consonants that appear frequently. Finally, jumble the letters that remain. Take a new piece of paper and play around with patterns or designs with the letters—the idea is to make the letters look less like words and more like a symbol.
How does a sigil work? The symbol marries the intentions in your mind to the physical world in a unique and powerful way. And don’t worry about it looking “perfect.” “The real end goal isn't to have a beautiful example of brushwork to mount on your wall, it's to create a uniquely personal symbol that crystallizes a dream, a desire, or a hope. A uniquely squiggled line created with that intention is just as valid of a sigil as an intricate design,” says Shanafelt.
3. Activate Your Intention. Your sigil will already start its work as soon as you create it, but for additional power, you can perform a sigil activation ritual. In a quiet spot, re-draw the sigil, then tear the paper around the sigil. Light a candle and think of your intention as you burn the paper. The sigil is now activated, and while you can keep the symbol (it can also be a great feng-shui tool to add to your home) in your life, you don’t need a daily reminder for it to be doing its work.
Here’s to literally creating magic with your own two hands!
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Sigils created by Steve Shanafelt.