In Sigil Magick, what does activation really mean? Simply put, it's a way to release the energy of something (in this case, your sigil, and thus your intention statement) out into the Universe in such a way that you are now bringing life to its meaning and intention.
If you've ever done candle magick for example, you know there is time and energy spent on setting up and clearing the space, perhaps drawing a circle of protection, carving and/or anointing the candle with intention oils, and speaking your intention into the candle.
Then what? You light the candle. This activates the spell. It brings life to it and tells the Universe and spirits (and your own subconscious) "OK - NOW!"
Activating a sigil is just as necessary. You wouldn't set up a candle ritual and leave the candle unlit indefinitely, would you? Maybe for a short time if you're waiting for the right time of day or the right astrological line up, but you know the spell hasn't started until you light it up.
The same goes for sigils.
There are many ways you can activate your sigil. Base your activation on what's available to you and what feels right.
Below are suggestions on what kinds of activation might work best with different categories of sigils, but the important thing to remember is that they all work as long as you have the right emotional/mental/spiritual space while you're doing the activating.
You can even combine activations or create your own. You're allowed to be creative with this.
For all of the following activations:
You will need to first create a sacred space for yourself. Make sure you won't be disturbed or distracted for at least 15 to 30 minutes - turn off your phone(!), turn off your computer/TV/music/etc.
Gather everything you'll need so you don't have to find it after you've started. There are suggestion lists in the sections below for items you will want to have close for each activation.
Take a few deep breaths as you visualize your intention and your sigil.
Then follow the instructions for your particular sigil, or choose the activation that feels the most potent to you.
Click any link below to go directly to that activation's instructions:
Fire activation is great to use with any sigils that speak about the following:
There are a few ways to activate by flame. If you have a lit fireplace or campfire, you can simply place a copy of your sigil into it. If not, gather the following items for flame activating:
Note: If you have a smoke detector very close, there will be a little smoke, so see what you can do to not set it off.
While in your sacred space, first tear around the sigil on the paper so that there is as little empty paper as you can manage. If you tear the sigil a little, don't worry, it's all a part of the process and won't ruin your activation in any way. Also tear away the printed words at the top so that only the sigil is left. (The printed words are more for display copies so that you don't forget what the sigil means.)
Next, set the paper with your sigil on it on fire (watch that you don't burn your hands) while keeping your intention in mind. You can say your intention out loud or, if you don't have that kind of privacy, you can say it in your mind in a loud and commanding tone. Imagine that the intention is blasting itself out into the Universe. Then drop the paper into the bowl and let it burn out. Don't worry if the paper doesn't get completely burned up. The act of setting fire to it is the activation and will effectively release the energy needed.
Once the fire is out you can discard the ashes and paper bits as you see fit. I personally wouldn't just flush them in the toilet or throw them in the trash because the energy of those two actions feels ungrateful somehow to me, but if you're okay with it, go ahead.
The point of that is don't dispose of it in a way that to you seems ungrateful or just wrong somehow. Remember it's the energy we're working with here. If certain thoughts or actions lower the vibration of the energy you're working with, then don't do it.
Other methods for disposal are releasing the ashes into the wind, burying them in the ground, or releasing them into a flowing stream, river or ocean. Just make sure there are no large bits of paper while doing these things because you wouldn't want to litter.
This form of activation is something you can use in place of the Fire Activation above. You would use it on all of the same types of intentions.
You will need the following items:
To begin, set yourself into that frame of mind that I mentioned in the introduction.
Now fold or roll up your printed sigil and place it in the glass container. If you opted to also charge a small object with your sigil's intention, also place that object into the glass container now.
Seal up the container and place it in the spot you've picked where it will get plenty of sunlight while also saying out loud or in a commanding tone in your mind the intention statement that the sigil represents.
After a full day of sunlight, you may remove the object you have placed with the sigil to carry with you or place on an altar space. Re-seal the glass container and place it where it was before with the sigil still in it.
When you're done, leave the sigil where it is until it fades from the paper, or until you feel the intention has been fulfilled.
Water activations are wonderful for the following types of intentions:
Any Activation by Water container must be made of glass (Pyrex is fine too). Clear is better than other colors for these particular kinds of energy work, but plastic will not do at all. Plastic is an insulator of energy and won't allow anything in or out. It's great for protecting objects from unwanted energies, but not so great at charging anything.
What I mean by "External" here is that this method works best for any of the watery type intentions that affect your external environment like your home, your workplace, etc. These could include from the list above Cleansing the physical space around you, Cycles and Flow that don't occur in your body, Family, Peace/Serenity when it applies to calming the external "noise" or drama that is in your space, etc.
To activate your sigil using the external water method, you will need the following list of things:
To begin, set yourself in the frame of mind I mentioned in the introduction.
Roll or fold your sigil so that it fits into the glass container that you chose. Also place the small object you may have chosen into the glass container with your sigil at this time.
Next, pour the water over the sigil until it is completely covered. As you pour the water, speak out loud (or in your mind) the intention that it represents and imagine that intention flowing out into the Universe.
Don't worry if your sigil floats, just leave it and depending on the density of the material you printed it on, it will soak up the water and sink in time.
Now place the glass container, uncovered, in the space you chose for it. If you chose to place an object in with your sigil, you can remove it after a full day and night has passed.
The sigil itself should remain in the water until the ink has faded from the paper, the water has completely evaporated, or until the intention has been fulfilled.
Using this method of water activation will require that you drink the water that you're charging. This is great for intentions that are internal like Cleansing of the body/mind/spirit, Lucid Dreaming, Intuition, etc.
Here's what you'll need:
For this sigil activation, begin by getting into the mind set I mentioned in the introduction.
Tear along the edges of your sigil so that there is as little empty paper (white space) as possible while thinking about your intention.
Take the empty glass container that you will be drinking from, and tape, or in some other way fasten, your sigil to the outside of the glass. Make sure the glass can still stand flat and sturdy.
Now, while saying aloud or loudly in your mind your intention, pour the drinking water into the glass with the sigil fastened to it. Fill it as high as you are comfortable because you might have to move it. At the very least, you'll need to pick it up in order to drink it later.
Place your cover or lid on the glass and place it beside your bed or somewhere where it won't be disturbed for at least 24 hours. You can leave it there longer if you wish, but part of this activation is the drinking of the water, so understand that it's not totally activated until you drink it.
When the allotted time is done, get back into the mind set I mentioned in the introduction, focus on your intention statement and drink as much of the water as you like.
Lunar Activation uses the light of the Moon to activate your intention and is also associated with the water element. This particular activation does require that you use the proper phases of the Moon to work well. The types of intentions that work great with a Moon activation are the same as those listed in the beginning of this section.
About using the proper phase of the moon for manifesting:
Because intention statements are generally about bringing something into one's life (rather than taking something away), it's best to do a Lunar activation during the waxing moon. This is when the moon is increasing in size from new moon to full moon, and you can look up the dates for phases of the moon easily online.
Here are the things you'll need for lunar activation:
Sometime during the waxing moon phase at night, begin by setting yourself in the frame of mind I mentioned in the introduction.
Roll or fold your sigil so that it fits into the glass container that you chose. Also place the small object you may have chosen into the glass container with your sigil at this time and place the lid on it.
Place the glass container in the place you chose for it while saying out loud or in your mind the intention statement that the sigil represents. Once the sun rises, remove the jar and put it somewhere away from the sun until the next night and repeat the process each night that you can until the full moon.
If you can only do this for one night, I recommend waiting until the actual night of the full moon to get as much lunar power as possible to activate your sigil.
For this activation, it's best to leave the small object, if you chose one, in the container with the sigil for the duration of the process, that is, until the full moon. Then you can remove it with the sigil and carry or display both.
Using the Earth element to activate your sigil is appropriate for the following types of intentions:
*You'll notice that although prosperity and abundance are on this list, actual Money is not. This is because, in the current era, our "money" is no longer backed by earthly things like gold, silver, and other metals or jewels. While those items have significant value by themselves, they don't actually have anything to do with currency or the digital numbers on your bank statement. For this reason, if you're looking to activate a sigil that is specifically about things like currency, bank accounts, credit, or winning the Lotto, look in the Activation by Air section.
Here's what you'll need for this activation:
Start by getting into the mindset I mentioned in the introduction.
Dig a hole in an appropriate place. Go at least 8 to 10 inches deep. Be aware of the possibility of animals digging it up and just choose a good place where they likely won't.
Place your sigil FACE DOWN into the hole. If it wrinkles, that's fine, but it's best to place the image of the sigil toward the earth.
As you place the sigil into the hole, say your intention statement out loud (or loudly in your mind) and repeat it as you fill the hole back up with the loose dirt. Pack it down and you're done. The paper and the sigil should disintegrate on it's own.
You can also use this method for an outdoor burial activation if you can't find an appropriate place to bury your sigil directly in the earth, but you can find a place to set a pot or potted plant outdoors.
Here's what you'll need for this type of sigil activation:
First decide on whether you'd like to simply use a pot with only dirt, which you can leave alone, or if you'd like to use this activation to also transplant a plant you currently have or to start growing a new one. Gather the appropriate materials based on this choice.
If you're doing this activation where dirt on the floor or table will be a problem, go ahead and lay down the sheet and gather your things on top.
When you're set up, get yourself into the state of mind I mentioned in the introduction.
Place your sigil in the ceramic pot so that it wraps around the inside of the pot and the sigil is facing outward for manifestations in your environment, or facing inward for those that are internal in nature.
Fill the pot with dirt (plant your plant if you're doing that), and say your intention statement out loud (or loudly in your mind) while doing so.
When you're done, place the pot in an appropriate location and leave the sigil there until the intention has been fulfilled.
This is a very simple and short activation. Here's what you'll need:
Begin by getting into the mindset I mentioned in the introduction.
While focusing on your intention statement, place the sigil face up on the plate.
Cover your sigil in salt, gemstones/crystals, or all of the above, and put the plate in a place where it won't be disturbed for a while.
Leave it there until the intention has been fulfilled.
The types of intentions that go well with Air activations are:
This activation is very straight forward. All you need is:
One example of this is to attach a copy of your sigil to the wall and allow a fan to blow air onto it. Don't leave the fan on while you're not in the house as they can overheat and cause problems, but do turn on the fan whenever you think about it and focus on the wind blowing your intention out into the Universe.
If you have a clothes line outside, you can hang your sigil on it and allow the breeze to play with it. Just make sure it doesn't blow away.
Continue this until your intention is fulfilled.
For this one, all you need is:
Start by getting yourself into the mindset I mention in the introduction.
Now sit comfortably with your sigil in your hands and focus on your intention.
Take a deep breath and breathe out onto your sigil. Do this at least three times, but you can do it for as long as you like. Just don't hyperventilate. :)
As you're breathing onto the sigil, imagine the energy of your breath infusing the sigil with power.
When you're done, place the sigil in a high place and leave it there until the intention is fulfilled.
For this activation you will need:
To begin, get yourself into the state of mind I describe in the introduction.
Light up the incense you've chosen and once you can see that the incense is glowing, blow out the flame and place the incense in the burner.
Take your printed sigil and hold it over the incense smoke while you state your intention statement out loud (or loudly in your mind). You only need to do this a few times.
Then place the sigil in the spot you've chosen and leave it there until the intention has been fulfilled.
The following activations are for any intention you can think of. For some, these are more familiar or simple (especially #13). These would also be useful for people who simply don't connect with the four basic elements in the sections above.
You might think that this activation belongs in the fire category. The reason I put it here is because candles are used in all kinds of rituals all over the world and connect to every element, including Spirit. What links them to any specific element is usually candle color and any anointing oils that one would use on it.
To learn more about candle magick, types of wax, and candle burn times, click here.
To use my detailed list of color correspondences, click here.
For this activation, an unscented white candle will be also be just fine as white represents all colors in candle magick.
I don't recommend scented candles because they are usually full of toxic chemicals, so unless you know for sure that yours is only made with natural oils and scents, I recommend unscented only.
Here's what you'll need for this activation:
To begin, get yourself into the mindset I discuss in the introduction, only this time, you'll want to at least be in the same vicinity as the candle for an hour or so. Because: Never leave a burning candle unattended.
Next, place your sigil on the flat surface where the candle will be. The candle will go on top of it (in its holder of course).
Place the holder with the candle you've chosen on top of your sigil.
Say your intention statement out loud (or loudly in your mind) while lighting the candle.
Leave the candle alone for as long as you can keep an eye on it for safety reasons. I mentioned an hour earlier because many candles will burn more efficiently (less wax wasted), and will be easier to re-light if you can leave it burning for a good hour before you extinguish it.
Continue to light the candle when you're available until the intention is fulfilled.
This is probably the most simple activation, but might require more time and/or focus than some of the other activations.
For this type of activation, all you need is:
I can't predict how much time you will need for this activation. For some people it only takes a minute, but for others it can take a half hour or more, especially if it's difficult to keep focus.
First, make sure the light in the room is low, light a candle if you like to use its light on the sigil.
Next hold the sigil in front of you and stare (you can blink as necessary) in one empty spot on the page towards the middle of the sigil. Try to stare at the same spot the entire time until the sigil seems to flash white with energy.
When that happens, you're done. The sigil has imprinted into your subconscious. You can either put it away or display it if you like.
There are so many ways of activating a sigil.
Because this is all about the manifestation of energy into results, it works best when what you're doing feels right to you. On that account, it's perfectly fine (in fact I encourage it), to mix it up a little, combine activations, come up with your own, search the internet and find any others you think might fit with your energy and lifestyle.
In the end, that's what counts. It's your energy, your intention, and your results. Your ability to manifest will lie in your confidence and commitment.
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Obligatory Statement: 'For entertainment purposes only.'
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Some research for this site was conducted with the assistance of ChatGPT. All information was corroborated by the owner of SigilArtandMagick.com.