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At this point, your sigil is ready to use! Slap it on jewelry, walls, mirrors, yourself, boxes, sticky notes, pie crusts, whatever you want. 

When you’re ready to actually use your sigil, you’ll have to activate it. You must do this for the sigil every time you use it, even if you’re using the same symbol that’s just been copied somewhere new. If you like working in ritual space, set that up for yourself. With practice, you can learn to activate sigils on the go without all the ritual trappings but they can be helpful when you first begin.

Activation is a process of charging the intention of the sigil while bypassing the conscious mind. This can be achieved many ways, traditionally it is done by inducing light trance states to facilitate the connection to the subconscious part of the mind. I will address this further in the next section but it is very important that you avoid thinking about the intention of the sigil while you’re activating it. This involves the conscious mind in the process and can cut off the connection.

The method of activation that I use is actually quite easy, though it may take a bit of practice before you identify what the “activation moment” feels like. Make sure the entire sigil is visible and gaze at it comfortably. Let your eyes become familiar with the symbol but avoid thinking anything. The idea is to simply observe. As your eyes become more comfortable they’ll start to warp the sigil, it’ll look like it’s squiggling a bit. Shortly after this the sigil will fall still again and appear very ordinary and inert, letting you know that it’s charged and activated. You may feel a surge of energy or tingling through your body at this point or you may not. It’s activated either way.

There are many other ways to activate sigils as well. All of the methods provided below are simply options, some people will love the idea of the more extreme methods, others will not. It’s important to note here that you do not have to try any method listed here that makes you uncomfortable, many of the traditional methods employed by chaos magicians definitely push the boundaries of some peoples comfort.

Holding Your Breath

Oxygen deprivation can absolutely cause a slightly altered state of consciousness. I want to stress that this is NOT a method you should use if your heart or respiratory system are at all unwell. This method is for people who are in good health ONLY, magic should never put your health at risk.

Hold your sigil in front of you and gaze at it. Take a deep breath and hold it. Your goal is to hold your breath for as long as you can, ideally until you approach unconsciousness (though actually falling unconscious is not desirable). Your vision and thoughts will begin to distort at this point and this is where the sigil activation happens. When you take your next breath move the sigil out of your view and either destroy it or stash it somewhere you won’t be able to see it.

Emotional Activation

Emotions are incredibly powerful and it’s entirely possible to harness your emotions to activate sigils. If you’re able to elicit emotions in yourself then do that but it’s also possible to simply wait until strong emotions pop up naturally in your life. Any emotion can be used for this, joy, anger, rage, jealousy, sadness, fear, etc. The emotion does not have to be related to your intention and again, don’t think about your intention as you funnel the emotional energy into your sigil.

For more on emotional magic check out this lesson from Meditation For Witchcraft.

Positive Memories

In the same vein, very positive memories can be used to charge sigils. Think of the happiest moments of your life, recall those memories in as much detail as you can and allow those feelings to resurface and when you reach the emotional “peak” (when the emotions reach their strongest point before beginning to taper off) open your eyes and look at the sigil.

Orgasmic Activation

Sexual energy is an extremely potent and quick way to activate your sigils. This can also be a very quick method of activation. All you have to do is achieve orgasm either by yourself or with a partner and, at the moment of orgasm, look at your sigil. As with other methods, do not think about the intention of the sigil!

This is the favorite method of many traditional magicians and chaos magicians alike. The reason is simple, it’s easy, accessible, and most people know how to do it. It’s also quite explosive so the results tend to be strong and immediate!

If you’re the kind of person who has trouble orgasming or can’t orgasm at all, that frustration, delay, or sense of your orgasm escaping you can also be used to activate the sigil. This is a less common method but can be just as effective.

Extreme Boredom

Seems counterintuitive, doesn’t it? Serious boredom is a kind of trance state though! To use boredom to activate your sigils, keep copies of your sigils on you and the next time you’re sitting in class or a meeting or traffic, bored out of your mind, pull the sigil out and stare at it. Don’t fight the boredom, allow it to suck you in and become a blanket of inanity. Keep doing this until something breaks your boredom, either having to move in traffic, being asked a question in class or something else. Being suddenly jarred from your bored trance activates the sigil.

Slow Forgetting

This method does extend the sigil process some but it can be quite effective. Post the sigil somewhere you will see it very frequently. I like to put mine on mirrors but placing it near your bed, on a corkboard, a post it on your computer screen, over your desk at work, or anywhere else you’ll see it a lot.

After that, you simply leave it there. Over time you will cease to be conscious of it, it’ll become so much “visual noise” that your conscious mind tunes out, allowing your subconscious to work its magic. As mentioned, this method does take time but it’s particularly effective for people with ADD/ADHD as they’re prone to tuning out repetitive surroundings quite quickly.

Sigils are wonderful for all sorts of magic, I’ve used them on the outside of the doors to my house for protection, on my skin for changes in my mental state and on sticky notes scattered about my home and town when I need some quick magic.