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Sigils for Newcomers

What Is a Sigil and What Are the Benefits of Sigil Magick?

Pagan gender inclusion sigil

November 19th, 2020
Estimated Read Time: 13 minutes

When you’re just on the cusp of opening your mind and are embarking on your Wiccan journey, the first thing your seniors will tell you to do is to learn how to make and activate sigils.

Sounds easy, right? Of course not. In both theory and practice, making sigils is the most straightforward form of magick, but one has to know how to do it before one calls it a piece of cake.

So, gather round, young Wiccans! Today, we learn how to make, charge, and activate sigils!

Sigils — the Essentials of Magick

Many people, especially those who refuse to believe there’s more to the world than meets the eye, think that magick is all about difficult spells and incantations. They think it’s a way to pass the time without actually achieving anything, but let’s discard that fantasy for a moment.

What those and many other people don’t realize is that magick is defined and executed thanks to intent. That’s why sigils are so important.

Transcending Language

An old book with sigils and candles on the table

Incantations, magick words, written spells with rugged rhymes, etc., aren’t as important as resolution. Sigils transcend language. They are the manifestations of something everyone understands — will.

Anything you can imagine, you can achieve. Of course, some dreams and desires are more manageable to manifest than others. That’s why common sense and maintaining a realistic outlook are vital when casting.

We’d all love to be millionaires, but for many of us, that’s a far-fetched desire and something we couldn’t will into reality, try as we might. But, for realistic desires, needs, and wants, all you have to do is focus enough intent and energy into creating, charging, and activating a sigil, and you can manifest your destiny.

Ah, alright, we’ve stumped you with this. Sure, you understand the basics but not the intricacies of sigil making, right? Before we jump into the “how to make a sigil and get what I want” portion of today’s lesson, let’s go over the most important part first — what are sigils anyway?

What Is a Sigil and How Does It Work?

Witches grimoire symbols

A sigil is our will and intent condensed into one intricate symbol. It’s something that we make ourselves to project and focus our intentions and desires. Sigils are meaningless to everyone, aside from the person who created them and gave them meaning and purpose.

Modern Sigils Are Everywhere Around Us

That sounds complicated, but, in reality, it’s not only simple but also common. People use sigils every day without even knowing it. In fact, one entire field of marketing thrives precisely thanks to this branch of magick. Because what are brand logos if they aren’t sigils?

Someone drew a symbol to represent one company’s intent (probably to top the selling charts). And now, when people see that particular symbol, they immediately think of the company in question and even feel the desire to purchase their product.

Of course, there’s more to sales than sigil magick, but the basics are the same.

So, sigils are coded symbols that have the purpose of delivering you your desires and wants. If your wish is realistic enough and your intent powerful enough, the Universe aligns to make it happen for you.

Sigils Aren’t All-Powerful…

An old papers with sigils and candles on the table

Of course not. Sigils aren’t cure-alls, and they aren’t your ticket to stardom. Sigils only work if they are realistic.

They also aren’t a replacement for action. You can’t just wish to have a fantastic job and sit around the house waiting for it to happen. Don’t be lazy.

Sure, you put in the effort of wishing it, but you also have to put in the effort to look and work for it. If you don’t, the Universe can throw hundreds of opportunities your way, you’ll waste them all and, ultimately, miss your wish fulfillment.

…Nor Are They a Device of Manipulation

Another critical thing to remember is that sigils also aren’t a way to manipulate other people. Sure, it might seem like a good idea to break up someone’s relationship and snatch the hottie for yourself, but sigils depend on your motivation.

Every sigil needs a wish or desire to be able to manifest your will. However, desire is a slippery slope. Many Wiccans have gone down the road of desire only to end up smack in the middle of lust.

Lust is your enemy. You can’t manipulate forces bigger than you can even imagine. You can’t control Life, Destiny, and the Universe.

Sigils and Sigil Magick

Clavicula in Italian and Latin
Clavicula, in Italian and Latin / Wellcome Library, London. WellCome Images / CC-BY-SA-4.0

The basic thought behind sigil magick is that we are the co-creators of our destinies. Nothing is predetermined so much that we can’t influence it. With sigil magick, we create spells that change the reality we’re living in.

As you’ve already gathered, there’s a limit to our ability to actually change our reality. It’s nice to imagine ourselves as perfectly accomplished, firmly holding the threads of our lives in our hands. But if that’s not the way the Universe destined us to be, we simply won’t be.

We can manifest our desires, but the way things unravel is, ultimately, out of our hands.

Still, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to influence the Universe. Making sigils is an excellent way to accept that we indeed are the co-creators of our destinies. Sigils can also help us focus on our desires, visualize them, and motivate us to go after what we really want.

And if we go after it, the Universe might help us because it heard our intent. And it’s funny what a difference a small nudge from the Universe can make, right?

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Sigil Making 101

A sigil drawn on paper with a quill and red ink. A lit candle sits beside it

Sigils are little seeds of desire and intent that can blossom in our minds only if we plant them. And we plant them by making sigils, visualizing, and activating them.

We’ve danced around the subject of how to make a sigil enough. So, let’s jump straight to it.

Sigil making is all about visualizing a goal and manifesting our intent. You really don’t need much to make a sigil. A simple pen and paper will do, but you can also create sigils on your computer. Making digital sigils is a bit different than working in the old-fashioned way, but the end result is the same.

Wiccans are nothing if they aren’t adaptable and flexible, so computer-made sigils are just as effective. After all, it’s all about your intent, not the materials.


Find a Quiet Place

Thoughtful woman writing in notebook at home

Sigil making isn’t difficult, but it isn’t something you can do in a crowded room. Sure, maybe you’d love to create and activate a sigil in the middle of a school cafeteria to help you with your exam, but, chances are:

  • you won’t be able to focus your intent
  • the sigil won’t be as powerful as possible
  • you’re too late

Sigils are generally something we make in a peaceful environment. Not to mention, last-minute sigils are rarely effective as they don’t have time to manifest our desires.

Create a Focus Area

a girl writing on a notebook in front of cup and plate on the table

Focusing intently on something doesn’t come naturally to all of us. If your mind wanders off sometimes, that’s perfectly fine. You are a free spirit, after all.

However, sigil making requires focus. So,  if you need a little extra help with that, you can create a focus area. For those who are imagining a ritualistic circle of black ash they’ve seen in many supernatural shows, we hate to disappoint, but focus circles aren’t nearly as mysterious as Hollywood wants you to think. A focus area is like a temporary altar.

To create a focus area, simply surround yourself with things that are important to you, which will help you stay focused on the sigil making ritual. You can also include things that are related to the sigil.

For example, if you’re making healing sigils for your friend who’s just had surgery, you can include their picture in your focus area.

Check Your Motivation

An old book with sigils on the grass

We’ve already mentioned this, but let’s unpack it a bit further, shall we? Motivation is fundamental when it comes to making sigils. Also, sigil making is a slippery slope.

You start by voicing the inner desires that really matter to you but, if you’re not careful, you’ll end up making a sigil for every little thing in your life, and every want that crosses your mind.

So, please, check your motivation before you start making a sigil. Sometimes the path to your desires is already in front of you. In other words, instead of making love sigils that will improve your relationship, try communicating with your partner and put some effort into being a better companion.

Once Again, Be Realistic

When creating sigils, common sense is vital. You know you can’t become a bestselling author if you aren’t ready to put in the work to actually write a book. We’ve said this before, but it bears repeating — sigils can only plant and manifest your desires, and the Universe can only give you opportunities. You still have to do all the legwork.

Therefore, be realistic when you’re making sigils.


Write it Down

Ancient and Magic Library Full of Valuable Manuscripts

Once you’ve decided on your intention (or you wish, want, desire), you need to write it down. You can do so on any paper, and with any pen you have handy.

The materials aren’t what matters. However, phrasing your intention does matter (a lot).

To successfully make a sigil, you need to be specific about your intentions. Don’t make the statement too vague, but don’t go overboard and make it too complex.

So let’s say you’re making protection sigils. You want to have a safe home and are intent on getting the Universe to help you. However, creating a sigil with the phrase “My house is safe” might be too vague and thus ineffective.

On the other hand, a phrase like, “My house is safe, and even though I live alone, the intruders aren’t targeting it or attacking it.” is too complicated.

This is actually the most difficult part of making sigils because you’re supposed to balance on edge between clarity and complexity.

It’s also important to remember to:

  • make your sigils positive (avoid phrases like “do not” and similar ones)
  • use present tense (to manifest your intent in the current reality)
  • keep the statement short and clear
  • don’t write your goal in a language that is foreign to you (it’s best to use a language you’re fluent in, to avoid any vagueness or linguistic distractions)

Remember, your intent doesn’t have to be formed as a sentence. If you wish to possess certain qualities, for example, you can simply mark them down and provide context (“More self-confidence around people I’m interested in”).

Simplify It

Step 1 in How to make a Sigil

Once you’ve chosen the right words to clarify your intent, and you’ve written them down, simplify the phrase. Remove all vowels from your statement. Then, remove all repeating consonants until you’re left with a bunch of letters.

Use What’s Left to Create a Symbol

Step 2 in How to make a Sigil

After you’ve simplified your sentence of statement, use what’s left to create a symbol. It doesn’t have to be elegant or particularly appealing. Scatter the letters around and layer them around or on top of each other until they no longer look like letters.

Don’t think too much about the appearance of the sigil but work on it until you’re happy with it.

Now, some among us are more creative than others and can make beautiful sigils. Others, however, don’t have the same artistic streak, which dissuades them from creating sigils.

Don’t let this be the case with you. If you really think you can’t create a sigil on your own, you can always use the Witch’s Sigil Wheel to create a design that will represent your intent.

Witch's Sigil Wheel

The Witch’s Sigil Wheel consists of three concentric circles that contain the letters of the alphabet. To create a sigil, simply trace the letters of your simplified intent on it. You can print out the handy Witch’s Sigil Wheel above. Just right click and select “Save Image As…” or on your phone press on the image, then select “Save Image” or “Download Image”.

No matter which way you go about it, at the end of this, you’ll have your first sigil in front of you. But that’s only half the work. Next, you must charge and activate it.

How to Charge a Sigil

A sigil drawn in a book

Right now, all you have is a piece of paper with a weird glyph on it. Sure, you know the meaning and purpose behind the sigil, but you still need to give it energy. Here’s how you do that.

Draw Your Sigil

A person writes on a notebook while holding a mug of coffee

If you’re charging your sigil immediately after drawing it, then you already have the first step completed. If not, then you need to redraw your symbol. You can use a simple paper or anything else that you find works better for you.

Paper works best due to the activation process that usually involves burning the sigil, but you can also draw your symbol on the wall, yourself, the mirror, etc.

Raise Your Energy

A woman dancing alone in front of mirror

To infuse the sigil with energy, you must first create energy. You can do so by doing anything that increases your heart rate. We suggest dancing, singing, or exercising, although just about anything will do (you can run in the spot or get more creative and raise your heart rate in a different way).

If you’re not a big fan of physical energy, you can charge your sigil with strong emotions. We suggest you stick to positive ones, though. Think of Harry Potter summoning a Patronus — happy memories work the best. So, try recalling a memory of when you were happy or even better euphoric, and charge your sigil with that emotion.

Clear Your Mind

The most important thing when it comes to charging your sigil is that you clear your mind. It’s from this mindlessness, the absence of the clutter of thoughts that’s usually in your mind, that you’ll draw the necessary energy.

Many Wiccans meditate in order to charge their sigils. That’s a reliable method, but it does take some practice.

Visualize Your Intent

Once you’ve sufficiently raised your heartbeat (or not) and cleared your mind, you need to visualize your sigil and your intent. Let there be nothing else in your mind but that. If there are any other thoughts or images in your mind, the sigil won’t charge properly.

How to Activate a Sigil

Burning Paper

After charging comes activation, naturally. It’s what you’ve been working towards, after all. To manifest your intent and get the Universe to help you change your reality, you need to activate the sigil. Otherwise, it’s just a symbol on a piece of paper.

Charging the sigil is the first step toward activation. To actually activate the sigil, you can either focus on visualization, ritualistically destroy the symbol, or do both. Some people like to incorporate the elements into their sigil activation.

Most commonly, people combine visualization with a symbolic burning of the sigil. You can also use one of the three other elements and either bury the sigil in Earth, wash it away with Water, or blow on it with Air.

Again, the intent is what matters.

Focus on Your Sigil

The first step in the actual activation is to focus on your sigil. Take it into your hands and repeat the intent behind it. Clear your mind of everything else.

Meditating a bit before this step isn’t a bad idea. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Align your thoughts with your actions and get into a focused state of mind.

Burn and Visualize

If you’re opting for the Fire route, you’ll need a fire-proof bowl to burn your sigil in. Put the sigil into the bowl, light a match, and burn the paper. Don’t forget to visualize your wants, desires, and intentions that the sigil represents while doing so.

While the sigil is burning (or being treated with other elements), it’s actually discharging. It’s sending all that energy you’ve charged it with into the universe in order to manifest your intent.

While the sigil is discharging, visualize your magick stirring inside of you. Imagine it burning with potency and gathering power to grant your wish, or washing away whatever it is you wanted to be washed away.

Stop Thinking About It

After you’ve successfully activated your sigil, don’t dwell on it. Occupy your mind with other things and let the Universe do its thing.

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A Cautionary Word On Manifesting Your Destiny

Drawings of different sigils on paper and books

Spiritualists who equate desire with suffering might think of sigils as the devices of our downfall. After all, we use them to manifest our desires, don’t we?

Essentially, yes. But, sigils don’t have to work to our detriment, if our motivation and execution is correct. We just have to make sure they are.

Sigils are about more than simple desire. They are about us becoming aware of our desires, wants, and needs, voicing them, and then releasing them into the Universe. Remember, the last step of the sigil activation has to be letting go.

By doing this, we’re actually detaching our desire from our egos. We’re accepting that achieving the thing we desire is out of our hands. We’re aware of it on a subconscious level, but we aren’t making conscious decisions with the sole purpose of achieving it.

Whether our sigils prove to be fruitful or not is not up to us. We do the legwork, but the Universe and Life either make it happen for us or don’t. All we can do is our best to get their help.

A Few Parting Words

So the answer to the question of how to make a sigil is — easy! All you need is your will and determination. Sigil magick is an amazing way to realize and manifest our intent and get some help from the Universe. It’s fun, easy to do, and a perfect way for you to start your Wiccan journey. So grab that pen and paper and get manifesting!

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