Sigils. I am enchanted by the simplicity and power of these little magical symbols.
Sigils help you to achieve goals, co-create your reality, self-actualize your potential and fulfill your deepest dreams and desires.
If you’re at a place in your spiritual journey where you’re thinking, “I’ve done a LOT of inner work … but now what?” it’s time to step out of your inner world into the outer world.
Think for a moment:
What would you like to do with your life? What unconscious stories would you like to reprogram? What habits would you like to replace? What parts of you would you like to transform? How would you like to use your will, energy, and creativity?
Sigil magic helps you to step into your power as a creator.
If you are used to playing a passive (yin) role in your spiritual path, it’s now time to experiment with an active (yang) role.
(✬ By the way, if you’d like to learn how to tap into the power of your unconscious mind more, which is what sigils do, check out our Illuminating the Unconscious Bundle for more deep practices!)
Table of contents
What is a Sigil?
A sigil is a symbol you create with the intention of changing your reality in accordance with your will. All sigils are encoded with a specific purpose, for example, to attract a romantic partner, to set strong boundaries, to be more financially prosperous, to heal your inner child – the possibilities are limitless.
While sigils were used in the past to symbolize and conjure up spirits, these days, sigils are used in a personal way to symbolically represent and manifest our own desires.
What is Sigil Magic?
Sigil magic is the formal practice of creating sigils (or intention-charged symbols) to change your reality. Those who practice sigil magic incorporate self-reflection, creativity, willpower, and ritual to manifest their desires. Sigil magic is based on the philosophy that we are co-creators of our reality. As such, we are empowered to make the changes we desire so long as they align with our ultimate destiny and the will of Life.
11 Benefits of Creating Sigils
Sigils are quickly becoming one of my top five most used spiritual tools. Here’s what I have observed from my own experience and others who have experimented with sigils:
- You feel empowered
- You feel more responsible for your life, choices, and actions
- You become more aware of the interconnected nature of reality
- You get to express your creative side
- You become more decisive and intentional
- You feel more motivated
- You learn the difference between lust and desire (more on this in the “shadow side of sigils” section below)
- You recognize yourself as a conscious co-creator of your life
- You feel connected with Life/Divine more deeply
- You develop more hope knowing that most situations can change if you will them to
- And of course …
- Your life can change dramatically and drastically in accordance with your intent!
Please know that spirituality isn’t meant to be solely about passivity, surrender, and the destruction of the ego – it can also be about creation. As always, I prefer to follow the path of the middle and have balance in my own spiritual practice.
How Do Sigils Work?
Sigils are essentially like little seeds that are planted within the unconscious mind.
Many things enter the depths of our minds, but not all of them are placed there intentionally or take root. What gives sigils their power is the energy and intention behind them – and that is what helps them to sprout and blossom into manifestation. The symbolic nature of the sigil also helps bypass the rational (skeptical) mind and enter the unconscious where possibilities are endless.
As the language of the deep mind is symbolic, sigils basically ‘speak’ to your unconscious. How cool is that?
The Dark Side of Sigil Creation
One of the biggest issues I first had with sigils is that it goes against the well-known spiritual philosophy of, “desire equals suffering.”
The more I read, experimented, and reflected, the more I realized that sigil magic is actually based on the process of creation and release. In other words, creating a sigil encourages surrender as much as it encourages desire.
As you’ll read in the next section, sigil magic involves releasing and intentionally forgetting about one’s initial desire. This process of letting go has two benefits. The first benefit is that it allows our desire to burrow more deeply into the unconscious without the ego’s (aka. the inner Critic’s) interference.
The second benefit of releasing as a part of sigil magic is that it acknowledges and honors the wisdom of Life; that whatever will be will be. We can put our intentions/sigils out there, but ultimately it’s up to the divine intelligence of Life to fulfill.
Furthermore, there’s a big difference between desire and lust. Desire is what we feel when we want something. Lust, on the other hand, is what we feel when we take what we desire and cling to/obsess over it. It’s very important to make this distinction.
Desire is not an issue so long as it doesn’t become lust. Without desire, we would be incapacitated. We wouldn’t be able to have preferences, make decisions, or listen to the voice of our heart and soul. Not only that, but without desire, we would feel no attraction towards our partners, no motivation to fulfill our potential on this earth, and no incentive to keep living life.
Desire is necessary. It is an integral part of existence. Desire is our life force, our sexual energy, our kundalini.
Lust, on the other hand, is desire turned sour. Lust is the dark side of desire, and we need to be careful of it. Lust results in addiction, jealousy, crimes of passion, hatred, and all kinds of suffering.
The dark side of sigil magic is falling into the pit of lust. So beware. Check your motives. Remember the importance of letting go and releasing your sigil to be fulfilled (or not) by the divine will of Life.
The other major dark side of sigil magic is that it can be used to try and control, coerce or otherwise interfere with the lives of others. Please don’t do this. Just don’t, okay? It’s not worth it. Whatever manipulative intentions you have will bite you in the ass many times over. Even if your intentions are seemingly benign (e.g. creating a sigil to make another fall in love with you), the Universe will see that justice is served for attempting to interfere with another’s free will.
The lesson? Focus only on yourself. Keep the ball in your own court. Don’t try to mess around with the lives of others. Simple.
How to Make a Sigil (For Beginners)
Now that you understand the importance of focusing on your own needs and desires, let’s learn how to make a sigil.
There are many ways of making sigils. Below, is a simple, no-fuss guide describing the most popular method out there. This is the very same method I continue to use until this day and have received wonderful results from:
What you will need:
0. Check your motivations
In other words, do you really need to create a sigil? Be careful of going sigil-crazy and forming elaborate symbols to attract a new computer (when you can just get it repaired) or better friendships (when you can stop being a dick to your current friends).
Sigils are not a replacement for action. Yes, sigils can help you manifest just about anything – but you also have to put in the work. Don’t be lazy. Sigils will create inner changes, but you need to be responsible for making outer changes first.
If you need a more objective way to assess your motivations, I recommend using oracle and tarot cards. There are all kinds of cards out there ranging from religious, to new age, to secular – so you don’t need to be donning a velvet turban to enjoy their benefits. Tarot and oracle cards are wonderful tools to help you self-reflect and look at different angles.
1. Write down your intention
Avoid being too vague or too complex. Be specific. A good example of a clear and specific intention is, “More confidence around my boss.”
Poor examples of this same intention might include, “More confidence” and “More confidence around my boss next week at the business meeting at 2 pm.” One of these intentions is too vague (sigils work best when you are specific), and the other is too complex.
You can phrase your intention in any way that speaks to you. Examples might include:
- I am …
- I need …
- I want …
- I wish …
- I desire …
- More …
Or simply write the qualities you desire, such as “self-protection and maturity around my parents” – I actually find this approach to be more effective than beginning with the words mentioned in the bullet point list above.
I personally discard of phrasing such as “I would really like more of …” as the sigils become very hard to create. Try to simplify your intention as much as possible.
Also, ensure that you create one sigil for every intention. Don’t cram numerous desires into one sigil. For example, don’t create a sigil for the statement, “I desire to have a big family full of seven kids in a mansion by the ocean.” Create one sigil for each of those intentions.
You’ll also need to be realistic and use your common sense. Don’t create a sigil for becoming a millionaire if you have no intention of working hard or putting in the effort in physical reality. Don’t create a sigil for becoming the CEO if you are nowhere near qualified. Similarly, don’t bother creating a sigil for that which is most likely going to happen. Pick something that has a 50/50 chance of happening.
Finally, (I promise this is about as complex as it gets), keep your intention phrased positively as that is much easier for the unconscious mind to understand. For example, instead of writing, “I will not feel scared and anxious around others,” phrase your intention positively such as, “I feel calm and empowered around others.”
2. Cross out letters
Once you have a sentence that captures your intention, it’s time to cross out all vowels and repeating letters.
For example, if your statement of intent was, “ I am safe and secure in my own skin,” you would then go and cross out all of the vowels:
Then go and cross out any repeating letters – you will then have the remaining letters msfndcrywk:
3. Create a symbol
After simplifying your sentence, you will then take the remaining letters and create a symbol:
Don’t worry if you can’t create an elegant looking symbol at first. Keep playing around until you find something you like. You don’t need to be an artist and your symbol doesn’t even need to look like a sigil – just create something that speaks to you. If you like it, you’ve done your job.
Rearrange the letters in any conventional or unconventional way you like. For example, you can choose to turn some letters upside down, enlarge other letters, minimize the rest, or merge two letters together. Have fun and enjoy the process!
Once you are done, take a moment to congratulate yourself. You have now created your first sigil!
How to Activate a Sigil
Activating a sigil involves infusing it with energy and propelling it into your unconscious mind. There are many ways to complete this final stage of sigil magic.
Some people prefer to enter an altered state of consciousness through dancing, chanting, meditation, sex, sensory deprivation/overwhelm, visualization, etc.
Other people like physically and symbolically destroying their sigils – such as through burning, burying, tearing or dropping them into water.
For a truly dynamic way of activating your sigil, try combining both methods.
Here is a simple method that anyone can use:
What you’ll need:
- Fire-proof pot, bowl or cauldron
- Your sigil paper
Step 1 – Find a quiet place
Ensure you’re undisturbed as you’ll need to focus. You don’t need a fancy setup if you don’t have one. Otherwise, try sitting in your sacred space/altar (if you have one in your home).
Step 2 – Close your eyes
Ground yourself by focusing on your breath. Practice a bit of mindful meditation by observing your breath going in and out. When you are ready …
Step 3 – Pick up your sigil
Stare at your sigil for a few minutes. You may like to hold the sigil close to your face or put it far away. Either way, gaze at your sigil until your vision gains a dreamlike quality. (If not, just gaze at it for a couple of minutes and reflect on its significance.)
Step 4 – Burn your sigil and visualize
When you’re reading, bring out your matches/lighter, hold your sigil paper over your fire-proof dish, and light it on fire. When the paper catches fire, wait for a few seconds, then drop it into the dish. Alternatively, scrunch up your sigil into a ball, place it in your fire-proof container, then light it (this is a safer option as you’re less likely to get burned).
As you watch your sigil burn, imagine that the flames are burning inside of your mind as well and creating an opening to your unconscious mind. Allow your mind to become completely empty as you become consumed in watching your sigil burn.
Once your sigil has turned to ash, imagine the opening within your mind closing and returning back to normal.
Step 5 – Forget and release
Now the bulk of the work has been done. What happens next is out of your hands. But the core thing to remember is to forget and release. Don’t dwell on your sigil. Don’t obsess over it. Don’t attach to it. Let the Universal Will take over and do its thing. The more you think about it, the more you’re involving your conscious mind. This is the equivalent of burying a seed in the ground but then digging it up every day to make sure it’s growing. Leave it alone!
And that’s it.
Close your ritual space and carry on with your other daily business.
Does Sigil Magic Work?
That’s up to you to figure out. But in my experience, yes, it does. However, I also understand that creating sigils isn’t for everyone, so please do experiment and see for yourself.
One great way to keep track of how effective your sigils are is by creating a sigil journal. You can get a sticky note, fold it in half, then put the sigil on one side and the meaning on the other (just in case you happen to glimpse it while flipping through your journal).
Set a notification on your phone or in a physical calendar to check back on the sigil you created in 2-3 months time, and record your observations.
Learn more about how to journal.
Sigil magic is a wonderful, surprising, and empowering tool to have in your spiritual arsenal. Remember to indulge your inner child and have fun! Yes, this is a serious practice, but it doesn’t have to be a drab or complex experience.
What are your thoughts on sigil magic? Have you experimented with it before? I’d love to hear any juicy experiences you’ve had. Please share below!
I’ve been practicing making similar but have not activated any yet.
I have written down statements crossed out vowels and then repeating letters. There have been times where everything crossed out or only one letter was left. Why? What do I do with my experimental sigil practice. I don’t want to in intentional activate them In your pics. You have a big circle with letters surrounding it. Mine are just letters joined together. Is this wrong. What technique do you use. What should I do?
Thank you for another clear, educational and immediately accessible article. I made a sigil this evening. This is my 2nd lunar cycle of setting intentions in the new moon. We are now in the Balsamic Moon, the final sliver of light before the New Moon. My teacher in this walk with the moon advises that now we reflect, rest and restore. I was feeling like my process with my intention in this passing cycle was incomplete. It’s been a crazy powerful cycle, but I needed a way to sort of close this chapter while honoring my intention for ongoing change. Using a sigil to release this cycle’s intention into my subconscious and the hands of my Divine Source feels so perfect, and is so divinely timed, just like everything I’ve ever read from you. I’m so grateful for your part in my journey to this time of powerful transformation.
I just finally today also purchased your Inner Work Journal, over which I’ve been licking my chops for many, many months. Thank you for that as well. And, thanks for your messages to your email subscribers! They’ve been beautifully timed for me as well! May you dwell in abundant blessings.
Good Morning Teo!
Mijo, I would love to charlar .I have a situation that requires, no.. DEMANDS attention. I firmly feel that i stumbled upon this page intentionally! I have been carrying this heavy load for more than 10 yrs. I hope you csn find it in your heart and will to reach out to me.
My idea is to carve a sigil into a wooden ocarina that I’ve made. The sigils’ magic will help me express my souls’ intention through the instrument..
The act of playing the instrument is meant to be the activation portion of the sigil..
To lose myself in the music so that it comes out as raw emotion and intent when I play is the forgetting portion…
My question to you is.. if the sigil itself is never let go of.. am I abusing its power? Or is breathing life through it again and again a good thing?
You said not to use this for manipulation and such things, but what if I have a close friend who is feeling depressed and I want to help give them strength and positivity or block out any negative energies? (Sorry if I posted this a few times, I kept accidentally backing out and it went away for me)
Wow! This can be one particular of the most beneficial blogs We’ve ever arrive across on this subject. Actually Magnificent. I am also a specialist in this topic therefore I can understand your effort.
I use sigils almost everyday I love making up new sigiles for the same statement. I especially use them to remind myself to practice self love an to be playful with my dogs I’m also always making a statement of how proud I am of myself.I JUST LOVE SIGIL MAGIC
Can you create a sigil and use that as a tattoo design – thinking good health and protection??
Be very careful and aware that creating these symbols and activating the magic you want may have consequences you didn’t expect and could be more detriment than help. Long before I knew what sigil magic was, I was always interested in the esoteric practices of shamans, ascetics both in the far east and as practiced by our own Native Americans. The specific practices included the sand paintings of the Navajo, the meditations of ascetics, the various steps taken by Don Juan in his research of Native American shamans, the Brotherhood of light book on the Tarot, the Tibetan book of the dead, the Chinese I Ching. I also researched various hallucinogenics and spirits as used culturally in these practices. At the time I was in a relationship and confused about the course it was taking and felt hurt and angry. I decided to invoke the shamanistic practices to perhaps strike a turnaround in the course of the relationship. To that end one evening I created a sand painting of various colors on art board with a hole in the center. and I also drew a portrait of an imaginary (I don’t know what to call it- avenging angel, but my… Read more »
Hi, I have tryed sigils a few times, but still learning, I found your article quite interesting, so I will continue to grow my experience on this subject. May you always be well.