Basic Sigil Construction

Sigils are a great way to identify your intent when you’re working magic. A sigil is simply a symbol of your purpose – for instance, you could use a heart to identify love, or a dollar sign to indicate money. Those are the easy ones – and certainly, there are a floppity-million other symbols you can use. If you want to do the standard issue symbols, pick up a copy of Raymond Buckland’s Signs, Symbols, and Omens – it’s chock full of great suggestions.

That being said, one way to connect your intent to your working even more effectively is to create a unique symbol of your own. This sort of “locks the magic in,” or at least, it does in a number of modern magical traditions. The very act of creation is part of the magical process.

So, I thought I’d share my tried-and-true method of sigil construction. This is a pretty bare bones method, but it works. It’s a great way to create a symbol that’s unique to you and your purpose, and you can utilize it for ANY magical working at all.

Let’s say you want to do a working for love. Start by taking a piece of paper and writing the word love on it, like so:

Next, eliminate the consonants, so what you have left is this:

For the final step, take these remaining letters, and combine them to create a single symbol that you can use in your workings:

When you use it, even if someone else sees it, you’re the only person who knows what it means.

Okay, let’s do another one, that’s a little more complicated – how about protection?

Just like before, we’re going to eliminate the vowels. There are also two letter T’s, so we’re going to get rid of the second one. Ditch any duplicate letters, so you get this:

 

 

 

 

Then, for the last step, we’ll combine these remaining five letters into a single symbol:

It doesn’t look like much of anything, except maybe Tolkien’s Tengwar script, or perhaps the symbol for a musician formerly known as something else. But you know it means protection… and that means you can write it, draw it, or paint it anywhere you like, and no one will ever know.

 

For the Love of Fairuza Balk, “The Craft” is Not a Documentary

I told someone during a conversation yesterday that I can always tell when the USA Network has aired The Craft for the 847th time because I start seeing an influx of emails from people who want to know how they can change their eye color with Teh Magicks.

This is the face I make when you ask for a spell to change your eye color.
This is the face I make when you ask for a spell to change your eye color.

Usually what happens is I’ll say “Erm, no, you can’t really do that,” and then, THEN GUESS WHAT. Nine times out of ten I’m told I’m wrong, I’m lying, or I must not be a Twoo Pagan or I would clearly know better. DUH PATTI.

Okay, Neve Campbell Jr., don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.

Here’s the thing. The Craft is actually not a terrible movie. I don’t hate it. It’s entertaining as shit, and it definitely has a delicious feminist spin that you don’t often see in the horror genre, especially with Balk’s chain-smoking leather jacket look. The costuming and makeup are so over the top that it’s clear the film doesn’t take itself too seriously (I know that when I’m feeling up to a bit of spellery, I always put on my finest Catholic school girl uniform and the eyeliner I got on clearance at Hot Topic).

Not only that, some of the ritual scenes are pretty good – although there’s no god called Manon in modern Pagan religious systems, like there is in the movie.

But folks, honestly, that whole eye-color changing thingie? NOPE. The spell to make you switch bodies with someone? NOPE. Making your friends levitate at a sleepover? Let me have my good friend the Nope-topus answer that one.

On the other hand, some of the stuff in The Craft is sort of rooted in reality, if you happen to believe in things of the magical persuasion.

Director Andrew Fleming hired Pat Devin, High Priestess of Covenant of the Goddess, as a “professional Wicca consultant,” which I didn’t even know was a job title but it is. Anyway, Devin was smart enough to put some material into the film that could be done by a competent practicing Pagan. You can’t change your eye color, but you could change the way people perceive your appearance. No one invokes a creepy god called Manon (there’s that whole he doesn’t exist bit), but many Pagans call down the goddesses of their tradition in the ritual known as drawing down the moon. The teen protagonists call the quarters and cast a circle, which is something found in some – not all – traditions of Wicca.

Honestly, the biggest complaint I have with the movie is there’s (sort of) a presumption that magic isn’t real, that it’s all just illusory, and while plenty of people do believe that, those of us who have lived magically for any length of time know that it’s really all just a matter of perception.

So when you send me a message asking for a spell to levitate your friend while you’re switching bodies with them and changing your eye color from brown to purple, and I tell you NOPE, it’s not because I don’t like you. It’s not because this is some secret esoteric knowledge that us Olds like to keep away from the N00bs, and we’ll only tell you when you become a Level 12 Paladin. It’s certainly not because I don’t know my shit. It’s because that’s just not how magic works.

The Craft is good, fun, horror fiction. It’s not a documentary. If you want to learn How to Magic, there are metric shit-ton of resources out there, but The Craft ain’t one of them.

Oh, and just to be proactive, I think there’s a Harry Potter marathon coming up next week somewhere, and I won’t be answering questions about how to conjure up your Patronus, either.