Simple Sigils

What is Sigil?

In this article, we are dealing with sigil magick and we describe step by step how to create and make use of your own sigil. (Mateo Sol) Sigils. I am enchanted by the simplicity and power of these little magical symbols. Sigils help you to achieve goals, co-create your reality, self-actualize your potential and fulfill. Name sigils are sigils that are used to represent a name, and whatever construct, or entity possesses that name. These sigils are constructed to represent names of specific constructs, or entities, and can be used to connect with them, summon them, and/or represent them in your magickal working. This app will guide you through drawing your own sigils by converting words and phrases into a simple list of points.

Sigil is a multi-platform EPUB ebook editor with the following features:

  • Free and open source software under GPLv3
  • Multi-platform: runs on Windows, Mac, and Linux
  • Full UTF-16 support
  • EPUB 2 spec support with a lot of EPUB 3 support
  • Multiple Views: Code View and Preview View
  • Complete control over directly editing EPUB syntax in Code View
  • Table of Contents generator with multi-level heading support
  • Metadata editor
  • User interface translated into many languages
  • Spell checking with default and user configurable dictionaries
  • Full Regular Expression (PCRE) support for Find & Replace
  • Supports import of EPUB and HTML files, images, and style sheets,
  • All imported files can have their formatting mended, and your code can be optionally “prettified>”
  • Plugin Support
  • Pies and Puppies!


This is the boring part so that’s why it comes after the features which is what people really care about. Most of this is from memory and looking back though emails. Sigil has been around for a number of years so and changed hands during that time.

The beginning

Sigil was started by Strahinja Marković in 2009. It started as a school project as part of his computer science course work and was the basis of his Bachelor’s and Master’s thesis. While it was a school project there was plenty of time to devote to working on Sigil full time. Once Strahinja graduated the magnitude of keeping a project like Sigil wasn’t as simple.

Simply put he was done with Sigil for a few reasons: 1) he got a job which took away most of his free time. 2) After two years of working on the same code day in and day out he got tired of it. His exact words were “I’ve been looking at this codebase for over two years now, and frankly I’ve grown weary of it.”. 3) He felt it was time to move on and contribute to other projects and use his free time in a more free manner such as working on other open source projects.

Strahinja leaving Sigil and the transition to new maintership

In June of 2011 Strahinja made a post on the then Sigil development blog stating that he was leaving and a new maintainer was needed.

I (John Schember) who had been developing for calibre decided to step up and offered to becoming the maintainer of Sigil. By July of 2011 I was the official maintainer of the code base.

Strahinja said some very kind things to me during the transition. His trust in me made me feel I was right for the role. Specifically he said these two things that have stuck with me (because I highly respect him as developer).

1) “Frankly, even if someone comes forward who’s willing to devote more time to Sigil than you, I’d still probably tap you for the PL/gatekeeper role because I know I can trust your judgment. Other people could then contribute under whatever level of supervision you deem necessary.”

2) “Like I said, I’m not going to lay down any expectations/requirements. If you decide to take over the project as the maintainer, you’d have free reign over any aspect of Sigil development; you’d become “the boss” and how you decide to evaluate future contributions from others (and yourself) is up to you. I’m not going to interfere in any way, shape or form. I really want you to know you’d have full autonomy to do whatever you feel is necessary. I trust your judgment.”

Giving someone full control over your project, a project you started and were basically the sole developer on is very difficult. He basically handed me the keys to his classic Mustang and said it’s yours do what you want even if you wreck it I won’t mind.

The expectation and the reality

When I (John Schember) took over I was planning on being a project manager for Sigil. My goal was to manage releases, help contributors, evaluate code but not actually write code myself. My goal for Sigil was to keep it moving forward from a project manager standpoint and continue coding for calibre.

Very few contributors came forward to help which has always and still is a problem for Sigil. Especially when compared to calibre. At the time of transition the 0.4.0 release was nearly ready. Only a few pieces were missing. Knowing C++ and Qt (which Sigil is written in) I decided to finish the 0.4.0 release and get it out the door.

With very few contributors I ended up doing the vast majority of development nearly full time (like Strahinja had). I needed a break and in late 2013 simply stopped coding. There were a few contributors over the years but they few 3-4 people total and they all wanted to work on specific things. That’s fine and perfectly natural and acceptable. A contributor can work on what ever they want, that’s the point of open source software.

Two people really helped get the 0.7.x release done and once 0.7.4 was released the two contributors felt they had finished what they wanted to accomplish and moved on. At that point I said that I couldn’t continue at the rate I had been developing and I needed help. No help came forward. So I took a break.

Sigil wasn’t shuttered and I still worked on it from time to time but it wasn’t much and it was light. Like with Strahinja, life changes and more important things happen that get in the way. Plus like him developing so much for so long I was feeling a bit burned out. The 0.7.4 release as October 27, 2013.

Sigil’s Spiritual Successor

When I said I couldn’t work as the sole developer of Sigil people went overboard and acted like the sky was falling. Kovid Goyal from calibre stepped in to create Sigil’s Spiritual Successor which is an EPUB editor as part of calibre. I didn’t contribute any code to this endeavor but did talk to Kovid about features. He released it and I announced on Feb 9, 2014 that, “At this point Sigil is no longer being actively developed.” Since the 0.7.4 release until then I hadn’t touched Sigil’s code. But at least there was something Open Source, stable, and had an active development community that people could use.

A lot of people took not being actively developed to mean Sigil was dead. It wasn’t. I just didn’t have any one coding. It was still there, it was just in hibernation waiting for people to contribute.

Simple Sigils

September of 2014

In September of 2014 after over a year of calibre’s editor being the mainly developed editor and having a vast majority of features a lot of people didn’t like the fact that it was tied to calibre. Most didn’t like that they had to have all of calibre installed just to use an editor.

Kevin Hendricks stepped up and decided that he’d had enough and wanted to see Sigil continue. Since then he’s been the driving force for writing code. He’s even gotten me back into it in as my time allowed. With his help Sigil has had multiple new releases and is on a good path for the future.

June 2015

Maintainership transferred from John Schember to Kevin Hendricks and Doug Massay. The reasons for John leaving are simple. 1) Lack of time is the main reason. 2) Lack of motivation. It wasn’t fun any more.

What most people never knew is John never actually used Sigil. His motivation was for there to be a free and open source ebook editor available to those who need it. In addition to having a fun project to work on. Alas, times and interests change and as before it’s better to leave Sigil in the hands of people who (for as long as they’re willing) will continue making it great than to let it die.

Things left out

At one point Sigil was hosted on GoogleCode, it had a GoogleGroup and it even had a twitter feed. GoodCode is basically shutting down so development was moved to GitHub in September of 2013. Having multiple support forums didn’t make sense so everything was consolidated into MobileRead and I don’t like or use Twitter so that was just stopped. I didn’t see a need to have a long form blog with an RSS feed to notify people of releases and a twitter account to point them to the blog.

You know how they say every woman needs a little black dress in her arsenal?

Hm, now I'm beginning to question the veracity of this analogy. I definitely don't own a black dress, little or otherwise. I'm more of a pastel kind of gal. And I'm fairly certain my best friend doesn't have a black dress either. Come to think of it, I've rarely seen her in a dress, which is a bit puzzling. She's one of those annoyingly beautiful women who just exude femininity. Like, leaves-a-glittering-trail-of-womanliness-as-she-saunters-into-a-room kind of dainty.

So not the case with me. I enter a room like Kramer, knocking over houseplants and what not. I mean, I'm no Bella Swan. That chick needed to get her equilibrium checked. But I have been known to fall off sandals while bumbling through the troublesome task of walking. Not even the wedge kind of sandals. Just your plain 'ol sandal.

Simple Sigils....Oh, the late 90s were a rough one for yours truly. How I managed to avoid a broken ankle in those brick-ish, Spice Girl monstrosities is a question that remains as unanswerable as the quantity of licks required to reach the center of a Tootsie Pop. I had this sweet little pair made out of white canvas that were roughly 892 inches tall. Because, I mean, *chuffs* who doesn't want white canvas platform sandals?! Just give me a moment to savor the butterfly clips and tattoo chokers before we move on.

...le sigh

Simple Sigils

Anywho, much like the ubiquitous little black dress that every woman *should* have in her closet, every witch absolutely, unquestionably needs sigils in her cauldron. Why? Because they are insanely easy (when you make your own), ridiculously powerful (especially when you make your own), and extraordinarily versatile. I get almost as excited talking about sigils as I do thinking about jellies.

Simple Sigils List


Sigils (pronounced si-jels) are symbols infused with magickal purpose. They are also one of the first spells I learned to cast, but I still use them frequently to this day. And I'm about to show you why!

The simple art of a personalized sigils is this: You take the word you wish to invoke, like 'protection' to be used on a front door or 'health' to be traced into soup, and you connect the letters to form one interlaced symbol. It's much easier to visually explain, so I created this demonstration for you!

See? Crazy easy, right?! Simple but powerful, just the way I like my magick! And, of course, you don't need to follow my example. If that crooked 'A' is driving you bonkers, incorporate it however you please. That's the beauty of personalized sigils, it's entirely in your hands.

Once you've created your sigil you can apply it to your desired medium (such as a candle), take a few moments to visualize your sigil hard at work on your behalf, and you're done!

The best part about personalized sigils is they can be used and created anywhere. Unlike runes or the Celtic Ogham (both of which I love), there's no memorization necessary. Say you just bought a car and you're about to drive it off the lot. You can immediately create a sigil for 'safety' or 'protection' and trace it on the glass using only your finger, offering you magickal shield until you can whip up a vehicle protection sachet.

And since I adore these wonderful little magick creations, I drafted alist of ten easy ways to use sigils in your everyday life! Hope you enjoy!

— Paint a sigil under a flower pot to bring desired energies to everyone who passes.

— Draw a sigil in the soil under full moon light (or lack thereof on a new moon) to set your intentions for the cycle!

— Use essential oils (such as rosemary or cedar) to inscribe sigils on windows and doors for protection.

— Use chalk to write a sigil under a door mat. Change your sigil with the seasons to invoke new energies depending on your current needs.

— Draw sabbat-appropriate sigils into cookies or pie crusts to celebrate the holidays. For example, you can create a 'renewal' sigil for Yule. Or create a sigil with a departed loved one's name for Samhain! Are you a private witch? Carve your sigil into the bottom crust before adding filling. No one will be any wiser! ;)

— Using your finger dipped in moon water, trace a sigil under children's beds for protection or health. Battling the Boogie Man? Conquer nightmares by creating a sigil for happy dreams and involve your child in casting the spell.

— Mark the back of a pet's tag (rabies tags are usually blank on the back) with protective symbols. Because essential oils can be toxic to pets, use a marker or moon water to work your magick!

Simple Sigils And Their Meanings

— Set your intentions for the day by tracing a sigil on your wrist with essential oil.

— Keep a slip of paper in your wallet with a sigil for abundance or prosperity.

— Draw a sigil in the soil of your garden to encourage growth and fertility.

I could go on for hours, but that would be very Bubba Gump Shrimp of me, so I'll leave it at ten. Here's to hoping you find this enchanting little magickal symbol just as useful as I do!

As for platform sandals, those were never practical. I hang my head in 90s shame...

Enjoy this spell? Check out By the Light of the Moon: 13 Simple & Affordable Pagan Spells & Rituals for a Year of Full Moon Celebrations! Every purchase helps support the blog, so thank you! =)

Do you use sigils? What's your favorite application for sigils?

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