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By Witchipedia, Sigils

Sigil: History, How to Create & Use it

Updated on:


Written by: Dawn Black (Witchipedia)


Reviewed by: Tina Caro

A sigil is a symbol drawn for a specific magical purpose; to represent the scribe’s intent or a specific entity.


Sigils have a rich history dating back to ancient civilizations, with roots in various magical traditions, such as the medieval grimoires and modern chaos magic.

Creating sigils involves a unique process of condensing intentions into a symbolic form, often utilizing letters or symbols, and then charging them with personal energy to make them effective.

To use sigils effectively, one must focus on their intent, activate the sigil through methods like meditation or visualization, and release it into the subconscious mind to allow it to work on a deeper level.

Ethical considerations are crucial when working with sigils, emphasizing the responsibility of practitioners to avoid harmful intentions and respect the free will of others.

A brief history of sigils

The word sigil derives from the Latin sigillum meaning “seal” and is likely also related to the Hebrew segula meaning “word, action, talisman”. The plural of sigil may be sigilla or sigils.

In Medieval systems of ceremonial magick systems, a sigil was the symbol of a specific entity, an angel or a demon which allowed a magician to summon and control the entity. In modern magical systems, a sigil is often used in magical work to represent a specific intention or to give shape to a thoughtform.

CivilizationSigil Usage
Ancient EgyptiansUsed sigils for protection, invoking deities, and magic
Medieval EuropeSigils were employed in ceremonial magic and alchemy
Chaos MagickDeveloped the concept of personal sigils for intentions
Contemporary WitchcraftSigils are used for manifestation and spellwork
Table 1: Historical Sigils

In Chaos magic, a word or a statement may be reduced to symbolic form to create a sigil for ritual use using Spare’s technique. Sigils may also be created using someone’s name and used as a target for sympathetic magical practice.

Creating sigils

A sigil may be drawn, carved or wood burned using any medium you like, but a pen and paper is usual.

When the sigil is no longer needed, it can then easily be destroyed by tearing it up and/or burning it.

While rituals surrounding drawing and activating sigils vary, the most important thing is to keep your mind on the goal while drawing the sigil.

It can then be carried, hidden nearby or hung up where people can see it as is appropriate.

Using sigils

Once the sigil is created, it can be used in a number of ways. It can simply be placed in a spot where the practitioner will view it and recharge it periodically, raising energy through whatever means they prefer.

A religious witch may place the sigil on their shrine to deity where they can view it as they pray. Practitioners of sex magick may place it above their bed. Sigils can also be added to container spells, or carried, worn, or placed in a location to serve as talismans.

The ethical considerations and responsible use of sigils

Initially, I grappled with sigils conflicting with the spiritual philosophy that desires lead to suffering. However, upon further exploration, experimentation, and contemplation, I discovered that sigil magic revolves around the process of creation and release. In other words, creating a sigil not only encourages desire but also surrender.

The process of releasing one’s desire in sigil magic holds two significant benefits. Firstly, it allows the desire to penetrate the unconscious mind without interference from the ego or inner critic. Secondly, it acknowledges and respects the wisdom of life, recognizing that the fulfillment of desires ultimately rests in the hands of divine intelligence.

It is crucial to differentiate between desire and lust. Desire stems from a longing for something, while lust represents an unhealthy fixation or obsession over what is desired. Making this distinction is of utmost importance.

Desire, as an inherent part of existence, is vital and serves as our life force, sexual energy, and kundalini. Lust, on the other hand, taints desire and gives rise to addiction, jealousy, crimes of passion, hatred, and various forms of suffering.

When engaging in sigil magic, it is imperative to be mindful of our intentions and avoid falling into the trap of lust. We must remain aware of the importance of releasing our sigils to be fulfilled, or not, according to the divine will of life.

Additionally, it is crucial to refrain from attempting to control, coerce, or interfere with the lives of others through sigil magic. Seeking control over everything and everyone is fruitless and detrimental. Even seemingly benign intentions, such as creating a sigil to make someone fall in love, go against the principle of respecting others’ free will. Focus on oneself and avoid tampering with the lives of others.

Common questions

What distinguishes a sigil from a symbol?

A symbol is a pre-existing tool with broad general purposes found in various cultures, such as protection or luck. In contrast, a sigil is a unique symbol created by an individual with their specific intention, making it more powerful and personally meaningful.

Is special training required to create and use sigils?

No, sigils are beginner-friendly and do not necessitate specialized training.

How long does it take for a sigil to manifest results?

The time frame for a sigil to work depends on the strength and firmness of one’s intentions during its creation.

Can sigils be used for harmful purposes?

While it is possible to use sigils for negative purposes, it is not recommended due to the principle that positive energy attracts positive energy, and negative energy attracts negative energy. Engaging in harmful practices can lead to dangerous repercussions.

Are there any risks or side effects associated with working with sigils?

As long as intentions remain pure and benevolent, there are no inherent risks or side effects.

Can sigils be combined with other magical practices?

Certainly! Sigils can be integrated into spells, rituals, and even used as talismans.

How can I choose the right sigil for my intention?

Begin by focusing on a powerful and meaningful intention. Reflect on what you genuinely desire, let your creativity and intuition guide you, and you will discover the appropriate sigil for your purpose.


Sigils serve as incredibly potent and versatile tools for personal transformation and manifestation. They offer a means to express intentions and desires to the universe, opening the path for the creation of a more favorable reality. Through the exploration and experimentation of sigils, one can tap into the power of symbols and intention in the realm of magic.

Additional reading

About Morningbird (Witchipedia's Founder)

I am a homesteading hearth witch who grew up along the shores of the Hudson River and has lived among the Great Lakes for the past 20 years. Together with my musical husband and youngest child, I steward a one-acre mini homestead with herb, vegetable and flower gardens, chickens, ducks, geese and rabbits, and areas reserved for native plants and wildlife. 

I have three children; two are grown, and I have been practicing magick alone and with family and friends for over 30 years.

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