I- What are sigils?
Simply put, a sigil is a representation of a specific intention or concept given form in a symbolic way. This symbol is then used as a focal point for the mental energies, sometimes called the Will, or many other things in various schools of psychology or “magic,” as a kind of mental shorthand for a larger concept. In many ways, if we may use a modern technological term, the sigil is like a “zip file,” a small, condensed container inside which very large and complex information and data can be stored. The sigil helps us “access” these pieces of data through a lengthy process of association, in which we “charge” the sigils by using them for specific purposes and meditating on their given meanings until we begin to grow something from them that could almost be termed a personality. They start to take on a life of their own, in a way, and when we think of them after years of usage and connected experiences, they are heavy, filled with meaning and power, capable of jump starting our brain in certain directions, or pulling us immediately into a set “feeling” or type of perception.
In this way, our own personal sigils can be used for anything from meditation and calmness to summoning up the depths of mental or physical strength from deep within ourselves to apply when the situation calls for something extra. They can help us feel confident, or eliminate fear, bring us to a place of positive mood by connecting the sigil with those neurological pathways that we strengthen through repetitive use. For example, we might create a sigil that we bring into our mind’s eye and hold there every morning when we perform our private rituals of calm and strength- after months or years of this, when we simply bring the symbol into our mind, we are immediately flooded with all the associated time spent using this sigil in the aforementioned way.
I believe that the creation and repeated use of sigils can be used to great effect, and essentially gives us a toolbox of situation specific “gates” or “vehicles” that through continued work with and use of, will eventually act to take us immediately from one “mode” to another. I believe that this type of “magic” is very real, and can be quantified and proven through science, since we know that neurons adjust their activity in response to changes in environment, new situations, and so on, and that new pathways can not only be created in the brain in this way, but strengthened like a muscle. Effectively, I believe that sigils used in the way discussed in this piece can change the interaction in the brain in a real and tangible way, but that it must be done in the same fashion as changes in the musculature. Through dedication, discipline, and the slow and steady building of these “muscles” through correct exercise and proper nutrition, in this case, what we do with the brain, and what we feed the brain, both literally, through what we consume physically and with careful consideration to what we put into it via external stimulation and information.
Using this explanation, we could give modern examples of “profane/mundane” sigils as anything from corporate branding (BlueTooth technology even uses a sigil that is two runes combined together into one symbol, or “bindrune”), band logos, specialized artist signatures and so on. These are the “common,” everyday uses of sigils that we see around us in the world, and perhaps give little thought to- but how powerful or iconic is the Nike symbol, and what images does it convey when you think about it? How about the McDonald’s “M”? Do either of these evoke a feeling in you when you bring the image to mind? If so, it has functioned in some way to act as the sort of mental shorthand we are referring to, a simple set of lines that start a process in the mind in a specific direction- in this case, to concepts of athleticism and competition, or “food,” or whatever. Obviously, some may feel more drawn or repelled from these symbols and what they represent based around our specific and personal relationship to and experience of them- and this is what makes the creation of personal sigils a much “purer” and controllable form of this art.
In medieval magic, sigils were considered to be the true name of the angels and demons they represented- the knowledge of this true name or “total knowing” of the being in question giving the magician complete control over them. I think there is a truth that can be extracted from this, in that if we use the terms “concept, habit, thought process, mode” instead of “angel, seraphim, demon,” whatever, we can see that a full knowledge of them is needed in order to obtain control over them. We cannot control ourselves without self-knowledge that stems from deep contemplation, meditation, and a dedicated practice to creating ourselves in the image we see fit.
The more time we spend in contemplation of certain ideas with great scope and depth, the more “offshoots” are created, the more complex pathways our brain will go down in connection to them, almost like circuitry- we build these roadways with our thoughts, and connect them through experiencing these inner dialogues or by putting these ideas into practice and having “real life” images and situations plug into the core idea. This is how sigils are made powerful, going above and beyond the simplicity with which they are created and becoming living giants, “archangels” holding a fiery sword at the gates of our consciousness, operating at the speed of thought as our messengers and servants, if we know their true name.
II- The Creation of Sigils
The ways in which sigils can be created are myriad. We have historical examples of magical squares, or kamea, which use a square layout in which letters are paired with numbers in order to create a pattern on the square, then connected by lines which are used as the sigil. Modern so-called “chaos magicians” often use a method in which they spell out a specific intention such as “I AM STRONG AND HEALTHY,” and then remove all vowels from it, in this case forming “MSTRNGNDHLTHY.” They then remove “doubles” or multiples of the same letter, so now this becomes “MSTRNGDHLY.” These letters are finally used to create something similar to a “bindrune,” effectively weaving together the letters in an artistic or pleasing way to the individual and creating the final sigil.
Runic concepts can be used, as well as numeric ones. Other systems of “magic” or science can be pillaged for methods, and complex mathematics or binary could be applied. The point is, it will be personal to you. Your methods should be your own, in whatever way speaks to you the most- these will be your tools, and you want them to fit your hand, so to speak.
Most importantly, one must put in the time. Without time spent meditating on a specific intention before creatingthem, and then countless hours associating practice with the sigil itself, whatever you create will just be lines on paper. Inert, devoid of any true depth or use, no matter how beautiful or complex the art is. Certainly, the creation of nice art is an end goal by itself, but in this case, we are creating something much bigger, and our aim is not “just for nice.” In the words of a heavy hitter, “Success is your only proof.” No matter what, these are intended to do a job. They cannot do the job if you do not grow them through constant use and application.
Provided here are two of my own, which you are welcome to use, as well as dissect in order to better understand my process for creating symbols of specific intent. Understand that you can absolutely use another person’s tools, and use them to great effect, but only if you refer back to the last paragraph, and put in the time to make them your own. No matter how powerful they are to me, or how effective they are, for you, they are only a starting place- lines of potential, connected to some ideas I will share with you in order to begin the germination process. I hope that should you choose to use them, they spread their wings and become mighty, to function one day like the push of a button or the pull of a trigger.
If the following explanations seem “too complex,” or filled with language or references that seem deliberately obstructed, understand that these symbols are created with the entirety of my experience and relationship to runic ideas, numeric concepts, visual representations of ideas, places, times, and “separate realities.” They are provided here as reference material, and for you to get a grasp on how my process works- but also to potentially spur you toward the “unlocking” of them through study and use.
At its core, the Igniter sigil is a spark plug. By design, it looks like a spark plug, even, and this is to reinforce its intended use even on the visual level. The intention of the Igniter Sigil is to act as Day-Opener, Power From Heaven, Expansion of the Holy Fire. It is the spark at the beginning of consciousness, that which awakens and turns the fuel within the mind into the fires of combustion and directed action.
At the top, a stylized :FEHU: rune, the receiver of the spark from our higher consciousness, our higher self, that is, who we are at the peak of our human potential. The concept of our personal god, or God Himself, if you like.
The next line down on the sigil is visual, and represents power drawing down the central axis, or our spine, and being pulled toward the next set of processes, like gasoline moves from the tank to the carburetor to the cylinder.
Following this is an indicator of “expansive expression under load” (from my notes on the sigil), power under pressure going outwards on ahorizontal line which represents the plane of existence, or “that which is becoming.” A concept of will under direction, and active force.
Now comes a numeric cipher, the 2 hashmarks on each side representing :URUZ: numerically, together all 4 indicate :ANSUZ:, and visually, they are bound to the ninth rune :HAGALAZ:, pictured here as a bind rune of :U: and :H: from the younger Futhark. We have here the combined forms of Primal Might, Elevated Consciousness and The Cosmic Seed, taken together to indicate a powerful wholeness, a streamlined process of deep power, understood and applied toward the act of self creation.
Three more smaller “pulling” lines, a refinement, a distillation of what has gone before, 3/:THURISAZ: Focus, making one thing from many- a perfect, monomolecular point of the “thorn.”
At the bottom of the stave/sigil, the triple :TIWAZ:. This is the “crown” of the sigil, and the “root.” Direction, mastery, dedication. All systems go, the direction known, mastery the goal, dedication the only way to achieve.
DEATHLESS TRANCE SIGIL
For me, ritual is an important time to reconnect to not only that which has gone before, but to those things that live inside me, brought out only at times and places when their expression is needful. At ritual for my tribe, I speak words of power and sing songs of strength to make my brothers more powerful- in order to do this without preparation, notes, or memorization of any kind, my mental state must sink into the depths and pull from the source at the heart of all things.
The sigil is, again, visual, and represents the “magician/tribal leader/shaman” whatever word you use. He is standing with his arms extended out from his body, hands describing the :YR: rune, arms the :T:, the correlation between life, death and sacrifice, with the altar before him. This central, curving line also indicates the burial mound, or the grave stone.
Beneath it is the crossed bones of the mighty dead, all those men of power and legend that have gone before. It is also :GEBO: the X of exchange, the crossroads between this world and the other.
Above us, around us and within us resonates the sacred note of the eternal- that which transcends and calls on us to become the stuff of legend- the sigil’s “head” is a triple :TIWAZ: rune, also indicating direction, vibration, this sacred note moving through the octaves, forever.
Beneath our feet, within our veins, and in the deep recesses of the hidden places are the bones and blood and words of the dead; still there, speaking the sudden intuition, the quick flash of inspiration, the knowledge that we stand on the deeds of dead men. At the bottom of the stave is another :T: rune, bringing the total number in the sigil to 5, :R:, movement in the right direction, but also a quickening, a hint toward the “necromantic” use of the :T: rune, to bring the dead to life and speak with them.
The ritual experience brings our consciousness in line with this resonating note earlier mentioned, and an ecstatic state is reached where those dead ones, not gone, may speak agin with our tongues and see again with our eyes. This experience lights fires, illuminates, and removes the fear of death.