An Important Sigil

In a lot of the reading I’ve been doing lately, there’s this idea of Sigil Magic.My most important sigil The idea behind Sigil Magic is in part the process of formulating a statement of purpose or intent, and then rendering it into a pleasing form which can then be energized or focused in some way.  The nature of this work is that while the sigil is active in your mind and imagination, even on an unconscious level, one is in fact motivated to make it happen.  It’s one of the elements of chaos magic that’s always intrigued me … but I’ve tended to be much more of a traditionalist (high-Church Episcopalian and all that.) So I’ve never really experimented much until recently.

My mom has, though, for a while.  She takes statements like the one in the picture, and turns it into a pleasing bit of typography like this. Then she hands them out to artist friends.  Once she made me a scarf.  The condition of wearing it was that any time anyone asked me about it, or complimented me about it, I had to say, “Thanks. My mom made it; she’s an artist.”  The scarf became a talisman, acting out in the world, to make people think of Andrew’s mother as an artist.

Guess what?  It worked.  All my friends who’ve seen me wear this scarf in winter know that my mom is an artist.  It’s part of my identity, that my mom is an artist, and that she makes things, and that her creations are artistic…  It’s not just a ‘mom’ thing, this scarf… it’s an ‘artist’ thing.  That makes it special.

My mom has been after me to think of myself as an artist and a poet and a writer, rather than a teacher, for a long time.  She used this … this Sigil, (“Get out to the studio and make stuff.”) for lack of a better word… to motivate herself to sit down every day and make something or work on something or create something.  She chose to be a creator and a maker rather than a consumer only.

And now she’s given this talisman to me.

I intend to use it.


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  1. I like the terms of your Mom’s gift. What an interesting experiement.

    In “The Accidental Creative”, Todd Henry talks about the Big 3 list. It’s a list of the top three things you need traction on – not a to-do list, not a project list, not a goal list. The Big 3 are written someplace prominent where you’ll see them often. Like a sigil, it keeps things cooking in your mind when you’re not actively focused on them.

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