Posted Under Paganism & Witchcraft

A Sigil for the Year

Bosco cat with sigil on altar

Have you ever thought about crafting a sigil to guide your entire year? We tend to think of sigils for manifesting certain things (a new job, to draw love, to help finish a project) or performing designated tasks (protection, luck, healing). But they can be designed and employed to help guide us for bigger tasks as well.

If you're unfamiliar with sigils, let me introduce them to you. A sigil is a symbol, sign, or design that is believed to have magickal properties. It can be carved, drawn, painted, or inked on to any surface. Sigils are fairly simple in that their main ingredients require just you, a pen or pencil, and something on which to write. You first consider what it is that you wish to manifest, then translate and combine those ideas into a symbol.

Why design a sigil for your entire year? Think of it as a way to help focus and guide your path throughout the year. It's like making a list of New Year's resolutions, but actually employing a system to help you achieve those goals.

In Sigil Witchery: A Witch's Guide to Crafting Magick Symbols, I outline a 4 step process to creating sigils:

  1. Define your problem/issue or your goal.
  2. Brainstorm Ideas
  3. Design the Sigil
  4. Apply & Acknowledge

There are several ways you could go about Steps One and Two. Here are some ideas:

  1. Twelve Months As A Guide: Since there are twelve months in a year, you could make a list of twelve things or concepts you would like to bring into your life. You could just list twelve ideas, or you could create a list where each month builds on the next, sort of like a business plan. Another idea is pull a card or rune (depending on what system you prefer) as a forecast for each month. Then assign a corresponding trait to assist you with what the oracle says about that month. For example, if you were to pull The Tower card, you might write down "strength" or "foundation" depending on how you relate to or perceive that card.

  2. Wheel of the Year: Rather than going by twelve months, if you follow the Wheel of the Year in some respect, you can separate out the year into the eight or so sections, then consider what your goal is for each. Remember, while we may look at Sabbats like holidays, they are more seasonable markers versus something reserved to a specific date on the calendar. So you could mark the sections out as Yule to Imbolc, Imbolc to Ostara, Ostara to Beltane, etc. Contemplate what each season means to you, then assign that timeframe an idea to focus on. For example, I could assign "focus on family" for Yule to Imbolc, "start a new class" for Imbolc to Ostara, and "prepare the garden" for Ostara to Beltane.

  3. Quarterly: If you don't follow the Wheel of the Year, you could split the year into quarters—perhaps following the Equinoxes and Solstices or the traditional seasons. You can reflect upon the energy as well: increasing, decreasing, balancing, etc. Then for each quarter, figure out what you most want to work on.

  4. Year + Age + Focus: Another thing you can do is use symbolic math concerning your coming age for the year, the total of the year itself, and an over-sweeping goal or concept you'd like to engage for the year. I tend to then equate those numbers with the Major Arcana of the Tarot. If I add up the digits that make my birthday age in 2018, I would get 4. 4 is the number of the Emperor, so I would consider what that card means for me, and what I want to make out of it. If we add up 2+0+1+8 = 11, which in most decks is the Justice card. I could sure think of some things that could use Justice in the coming year! This card calls our attention to matters of justice, making important decisions, acknowledging responsibility and consequences. If you want to see 11 as 1+1, then it becomes 2, or the High Priestess card. She brings elements of mystery, considering potential, unconscious or metaphysical powers, and keeping watch. Lastly, you may have one general goal you wish to achieve in 2018, or perhaps a theme you want to have flavor your life. Past themes for me have included: compassion, kindness, release, transcendence, etc.

So after you've chosen your approach and made your list of words (and/or numbers), it's time for Step 3: design your sigil. To give you an example, I'll lead you though a sigil I might create for myself using option #4.

As I mentioned, my age will add up to 4 in 2018, so I looked at the Emperor card. From it I decided I want to focus on structure and organization in the coming year, because there are some areas of my life that could use some assistance in those regards. I'm going to take the Justice card at face value, and hope that socially/politically the year will bring justice and balance. I'm also inspired by the High Priestess, so for my artwork, I'm going to the idea of considering potential.

So my design elements include structure/organization, justice/balance, and potential. I can also pull from the numbers 4, 11, and 2 for inspiration. For structure, I am choosing an equilateral triangle, point up, base extending out to give a horizon line or sense of foundation. To represent justice, I added a pair of parallel lines going perpendicular to and through the extended base of the triangle. Next I made the resulting crosses into asterisks, representing inspiring energy and balance. From the top of the triangle, I extended a single line up, and topped it with a star, to signify potential. I bisected that single line with two chevrons, directing the energy upward. Finally, on the base of the pyramid, I made 10 small hatch-marks, combining with the single larger line to make a total of 11. They also enhance the sense of organization and structure.

Sigil for the Year

So now we have crafted a sigil for the year, which means we've reached Step 4: apply and acknowledge the sigil. Here are just a few ideas for how to put your sigil into action for the year.

  • Draw it on your mirror so you can see it every day, or put the sigil on a Post-It note by your computer, work area, or altar.
  • Make the sigil into a piece of jewelry that you can wear on a daily basis.
  • Tattoo it on yourself (if you're so inclined), and anoint the healed tattoo with oil on a monthly basis to remind yourself of its meaning.
  • Put the sigil on a tall votive candle, and once a month during the full moon, light it and meditate.

I hope this exercise gives you new inspiration for the coming year. Happy sigil-making!

(For more ideas and sigil witchery techniques, check out Sigil Witchery: A Witch's Guide to Crafting Magick Symbols!)

About Laura Tempest Zakroff

Laura Tempest Zakroff (she/they) is a professional artist, author, performer, and Modern Traditional Witch based in New England. She holds a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design, and her artwork has received awards and ...

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