The most frequent interview question that I received after writing The Witch’s Cauldron was, “What’s your favorite use for the cauldron?” Well, in our house, our five-foot-long, claw-foot tub is our beloved, most-used cauldron. So, consequently, my most common magickal applications center around bathing.
But there’s more to bathing rituals and spells than herbal infusions and salt mixtures (check out “The Blessed Bathtub,” pages 203-209 of The Witch’s Cauldron, if you want to know more about these classic methods.) Did you know you could use sigils to focus your magick?
A sigil is a symbol, sign, or design that is believed to have magickal properties. They can be carved, drawn, painted, or inked on to any surface, which makes sigils very versatile. Sigils can also have a wide array of uses—pretty much anything you can think of to do with ingredient-based spells, you can do with a sigil—and more! Sigils simply require you to first consider what you wish to manifest, then translate and combine those ideas into a symbol.
There are several different methods for crafting sigils and using them. I am going to reference the one I use in Sigil Witchery: A Witch’s Guide to Crafting Magick Symbols:
- Define your problem/issue or your goal.
- Brainstorm Ideas (make a word bank that helps you narrow down what you need)
- Design the Sigil (using symbols associated with your word bank)
- Apply & Acknowledge (use a properly corresponding method to incorporate your sigil into your practice)
If I’m going to incorporate a sigil into a bathing ritual, then it’s probably designed to do one or more of the following for the mind/body/spirit:
- to cleanse (to remove something)
- to purify (for ritual/sacred purposes)
- to imbue with a desired trait or condition (protection, luck, love, prosperity, psychic ability)
- to heal (cleanse, renew, and fortify)
- to prepare (immersion so a new concept takes root)
That should help you think about what kind of sigil you may wish to design. Design your sigil prior to your working. To apply your sigil, there are several simple options. Some of these methods can also be used easily in the shower, so if you’re missing a bathtub, don’t despair!
- Carve your sigil into a bar of soap, and use that to wash yourself with on a daily basis. Re-carve as necessary.
- Using a liquid soap, draw your sigil into a washcloth, then bath normally. Repeat as necessary.
- Put some shampoo or conditioner into your non-dominant hand, and use your index finger to draw the sigil into the liquid. Then, wash your hair. (Good for workings that involve shifting your mind.)
- Spread bath salts into a shallow bowl, etch the sigil into them with your finger, then release it into the bathwater. (Thanks to my friend Theitic for this suggestion!)
- Use baby oil, or a corresponding essential oil that’s safe for sensitive parts of your skin, dip your finger in the oil and draw the sigil on to the bottom surface of the tub then start the water. You can also draw it on your body, and then get in, if that works for your purpose.
As you can see, you don’t even have to do something elaborate or extra special to do most of these. You can add a little magick into your everyday grooming habits!
Our thanks to Laura for her guest post! For more from Laura Tempest Zakroff, read her article, “A Sigil for the Year.”