Q&A: Why Isn’t My Sigil Working?

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I’m very new to sigils, but after reading Frater UD’s Practical Sigil Magick I recently decided to make my first sigil. It said “MY WILL IS TO WIN THE TOP PRIZE ON A SCRATCHCARD TOMORROW.” I did everything the way the book explained, drawing and redrawing the letters until they looked strange, unique and magical. Then, I activated the sigil, ripping it up under running water.

Today I purchased two scratchcards one in the morning, and one in the afternoon. I didn’t win a penny. I’m confused, because so many sources say sigil magick really works and fast and is the only magick most people get results.

Did I do something wrong? Do you have any ideas why it didn’t work?

Let’s start with the traditional mystic’s answer to this question: If you believed it would work, why did you stop at three scratchcards? Why not help the “magick” along by buying more until you got the result you wanted? You asked for something terribly unlikely — winning the lottery — and yet you only gave it a mere three chances to happen. That’s almost the same as not buying a scratchcard at all, and hoping someone will just hand you the winning ticket.

That’s a nice, simple answer, isn’t it? It even has the ring of wisdom to it. But it’s not a satisfying answer.

So, let’s get real. It didn’t work because that’s not really what sigil magick is for. Sigil magic is more about focusing your intent than it is about shaping the world around you. Remove the occult trappings from sigil magick — the 18th century idea of the “will” being able to control all, or the arcane rituals for breathing life into a symbol — and what you’re left with is art, passion, and a statement of intent.

Those statements can be powerful. They can — and do — steer the course of entire lives. In the case of sigil magick, things that seem far too perfect to be coincidence often happen, but WHY and HOW they happen is an open question. Is it something truly supernatural? Or is it a tool for channeling the power of the subconscious mind, subtly steering the user toward uncanny connections, discovering the hidden obvious, or even providing a token of confidence to move in a new direction?

I come at sigilcraft from a chaos magick perspective. That tradition holds the view that belief is a tool. Maybe there are powerful arcane forces shaping the world, just beyond our view. Maybe not. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter. If believing in something — anything — creates real results, then it doesn’t really matter if it’s “magick” or “positive thinking.”

Do you want real results from your sigils? Here’s my advice: Forget the scratchcard.

Unless you just have some fetish for scraping silvery glue off cardboard with your spare change, it’s not the actual, real thing you want. It’s a means to an end, right? You want to have some money, I’d guess. Ultimately, it’s not even the money you want, but what that money would allow you to have or do.

It’s a lot harder to get the result you want if you try to force it to go through a single channel — like, say, only via a scratchcard — and on a specific schedule of “tomorrow.” Consider how many things you directly control or strongly influence that couldn’t happen on that schedule. I can’t even get my friends to agree on a place to meet for coffee with a week’s notice.

So if you really want to give this sigil magick thing a shot, I’d say dig down to the root of what you actually want. Be specific. Focus in on it. See it in your mind’s eye. Then write out that desire, make a fresh sigil for it, and activate it. Don’t get tripped up in the details of how you active it. Then, shake it all off. Finally, give it a little time. It’s a big ask for the world to change itself around you (or for you to change how you experience the world), and a little patience seems reasonable.

Will it work? Prepare to be surprised. In my experience, however, it’s also not much for generating the kind of instant, obvious effects you probably expect. It’s a subtle thing, almost imperceptible at first. But it builds. As I wrote in the Sigil Daily guide:

Buy The Ticket, Take The Ride. In the coming days, you’ll start to see little things that are eerily evocative of the sigil you activated. Don’t deny these. Don’t dismiss them, even if they seem minor. This is the process starting to work, bit by bit, to bring your intention into reality. The more open you are to these changes, the faster the magick will come into effect.

It’s important, however, to note that your decisions play a hugely important part in how effective the sigil will be. If your sigil is about meeting a new romantic partner, for instance, you might want to think about going out to a place where that could plausibly happen. Staying inside your home, with curtains drawn and lights out, not answering the door, is actively working against the thing you want. Don’t count on the sigil to do the work for you. You’ve already bought the ticket, now you have to take the ride.

I hope this helps. If you want some additional insight, check out the Sigil Daily page on sigil creation and activation here: http://sigildaily.com/activating-rituals/

Best wishes,

Sigil Daily

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