A Word on Sigil/Affirmation Phrasing.

Let’s go through converting and affirmation to a phrase for a sigil. In doing so, we can touch on how to best tailor a phrase/sentence to be turned into a functional sigil. So, let’s get started.

Original Affirmation: I will be superior to bad thoughts and low actions today.

Hm, okay. The intention is good, but there is a lot I would change about this affirmation before making it into a sigil.

1: Phrase Tense

Sigils work via continued contact or a slow steady discharge. Because of this, it’s usually best to use the present tense in your phrase. Saying I “will be” something is well and good, but it doesn’t define when. Saying “I am” is clear, and demands results now. To be sure, there’s a little fake-it-‘til-you-make-it here, but that’s fine for sigils! We’re defining intent so that we can manifest it, so let’s aim high!

This affirmation works as a spoken affirmation but might lose some punch as a sigil due to the future tense phrasing. Instead of having a hopeful “will be” let’s change the tense to the Present. Also, let’s get rid of the “today.” I want to be this way forever, so let’s not limit the positive effect on this one.

Affirmation: “I am superior to bad thoughts and low actions.”

2: Clear adjectives

This one may depend on your world-view. If you have a good/bad and black/white worldview, saying “bad” and “low” might be enough, and the phrase may not need any more alterations in terms of adjectives. My world-view does not include a set, universal definition of “bad” or “good,” so I need to be a little more specific to get the results I want. Even if you do subscribe to a tidier worldview than mine, it may help to be specific! (I’m not going to get into world-view here, because that’s a whole book in itself)

Rather than say “bad” thoughts, I really want to focus on what kind of thoughts I don’t want. I’m going to go with “self-sabotaging”. This is much more specific, if a little more verbose.  Likewise, instead of saying “low actions” I’m going to go with “hurtful actions.”

Affirmation: I am superior to self-sabotaging thoughts and hurtful actions.

3: Caster’s State of Being

In the affirmation we have, the caster is “superior to” the behaviors that are listed. That’s dandy, but the phrasing still worries me, because humans (or however you define yourself) err, and have bad days. This phrasing is worrisome, because it invites the user to feel shame if a self-sabotaging thought or hurtful action does slip through. Sigils are great, and we should aim for the stars (like I said before), but keep in mind that there are limits to how much energy you can give to it, and therefore limits to a sigil’s power.

So, the quick fix would be something like “I do not engage in self-sabotaging thoughts and hurtful actions,”  right? NOPE!

In a sigil, we are aiming to attract things. Sigils aren’t nearly as effective at banishing things, so lets work with attraction. So, we want to make sure we’re not using a negative phrase. Anything that has the word “not” in it is weaker than a positive “I do” or “I am.”

This affirmation names two negative behaviors, so we have to do some linguistic gymnastics to make this work.  The easiest way is to name behaviors that you want to attract instead of ones that you want to push away. However, that’s not the point of this affirmation, and sometimes we just want to get rid of a behavior, so let’s give this a shot.

Affirmation: “I am detached from self-sabotaging thoughts and seek non-hurtful actions.”

Awesome! This gives us an added bonus of not trying to change our thought patterns completely, but instead work within the framework we are given. This makes the sigil easier to charge and maintain. The “Non-hurtful” isn’t maybe the most ideal, but it will do.  “I am detached” works, because it means that yes, those self-sabotaging thoughts are still going to come through sometimes, but they’ll just roll off. That’s great! In my experience, being able to have a thought but not really buy into it is the first step in meaningful change of a thought process, so we’re off to a good start here for long-term change!

Final note:

It would be possible to take this affirmation and split into it two separate sigils and then mash them together, too. Then the phrases would be “I am detached from self-sabotaging thoughts” and “I seek non-hurtful behaviors.” It may make the creation of the visual aspect of the sigil easier.


-Kitty, Magus Advertising