Illustrating Intention 

Words are vehicles for thought. They are made from symbols we call letters that carry sound which when put together convey meaning. Language, it can be said then, is itself a symbol. We've been using symbols to convey meaning for centuries, and some symbols are so tied to the thing they represent, that we find their motifs repeated throughout cultures and traditions around the globe. 
When we see a circle nestled atop a stick supported by two other sticks with yet two more stick appendages poking out on either side, we can recognize this as a "stick figure" and know that it represents a human being. We see arrows or "V" shapes and may recognize them as pointing towards somewhere and implying direction. Concentric circles, depending how they're drawn, may bring to mind concentration inwards or a ripple resonating outwards.
In magick, Sigils are drawn symbols that illustrate a specific intention. They are often minimalistic and simple line-and-dot works. Like words, they can be made up of different, smaller sigils that represent the parts or ingredients of that intention. 
For example, you may have a symbol for fire that you combine with one for heart by placing one inside of the other. Then, maybe some long double-terminated arrows (indicating an exchange of energy both ways) surrounding them like rays halo'd by some dots that represent spiritual energy. Altogether, this sigil would work to bring divine inspiration and guidance to the heart and emotions. 
Runes and Rune bindings are a common example of sigil magick. Each letter of the Futhark has its own rich interpretation and meaning. Combined, then, those meanings take on special characteristics, again, depending on how they are positioned in relation to each other.


The origins of sigil magick are somewhat obscure and debated among practitioners and scholars. Some believe that the use of sigils can be traced back to ancient civilizations such as the Egyptians and the Greeks, while others argue that the practice was developed more recently by occultists and magicians in the 19th and 20th centuries.

One of the most well-known figures associated with modern sigil magick is Austin Osman Spare, a British artist and occultist who lived from 1886 to 1956. Spare developed his own unique system of sigil magick, which he referred to as "atavistic resurgence," and published several books on the subject, including "The Book of Pleasure" and "The Focus of Life."

Today, sigil magick continues to be practiced by many modern occultists, witches, and magicians, who have adapted and expanded upon the techniques developed by Spare and other early practitioners.

Using The Spare Method of Sigil Making 

Working with sigil magick can be a powerful tool for those who want to manifest their desires into reality. Here are some tips for working with sigil magic using the method created by Spare:
  1. Define your intent  - The first step in working with sigil magic is to define your intent. What is it that you want to manifest? Be specific and clear about your intent. This will help you create a sigil that accurately represents your desire. Remember to phrase your intentions in the active present tense.    
  2. Create your sigil - Once you have defined your intent, it's time to create your sigil! In the Spare method, first you write out your intent in a sentence and then remove all the vowels and repeating letters. Then, you can combine and shape the remaining letters into a symbol or design that represents your intent.
  3.  Charge your sigil - Once you have created your sigil, it's important to charge it with energy. There are many ways to do this, but one effective method is to focus on your intent while visualizing the sigil in your mind's eye or while staring intently at it. You can also use other techniques such as using it in a ritual.
  4.  Release your sigil - After you have charged your sigil, it's time to release it into the universe. This can be done by burning the sigil, burying it, or simply forgetting about it. The idea is to let go of the sigil and trust that the universe will bring your desire into reality.

Other Methods of Sigil Making

There's a fantastic book that teaches practitioners how to create their own home-grown sigils. Sigil Witchery, by Laura Tempest Zakroff is an amazing guide to constructing sigils from the ground-up. 
Zakroff is an artist, author, and practicing witch who has been involved in the pagan and occult communities for over 25 years.

The book begins with an introduction, explaining what sigils are, how they work, and their role in modern witchcraft. Zakroff provides a brief history of sigil magick and its use in different cultures and traditions, as well as tips for creating and working with them. She goes through common symbols and asks you to interpret their meaning, then shows you the generally agreed upon interpretations, as well as offers workbook-style exercises that challenge the reader to draw what they think prompts look like (how, for instance, would you symbolize birth, creation, or pain?). 

In fact, the bulk of the book is dedicated to practical exercises and techniques. It offers a variety of methods for creating sigils, including traditional methods like using planetary correspondences and more modern approaches like using technology or automatic drawing. She also provides guidance on charging and activating sigils, as well as suggestions for incorporating them into spellwork, meditation, and other magickal practices.

Throughout the book, Zakroff emphasizes the importance of personalization and intuition. She encourages readers to experiment with different methods and find what works best for them, rather than relying on rigid rules or traditions. She also emphasizes the potential for creativity and self-expression, and provides numerous examples of her own sigils and artwork to inspire readers along the way.

Sigil Witchery is a comprehensive and accessible guide to sigil magick for modern witches and practitioners. Whether you're new to sigils or an experienced practitioner looking to expand your knowledge and skills, this book offers a wealth of information and practical advice for incorporating sigils into your magical practice. Zakroff's book is a must-have for anyone looking for an organic approach to sigil-making. 
April 14, 2023 — Madii Gilbert

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