Nurturing the New Moon: Making a Sigil

The Sun will enter Aries on March 20th, marking the astrological new year. The Aries new moon will occur about three weeks later, on April 11th. Unfortunately, some folks use this time to become overly invested in the idea that now everything can change, everything can be different. But we know how new year's resolutions tend to play out.

Nevertheless, we certainly do see a shift in nature at this time. The Northern hemisphere sees new leaf buds, new flowers, new warmth. And while the Coastal Redwood (who has possibly experienced this transition over 1,000 times) probably doesn't get too excited, it can still be a fun time for humans to reflect on endings, beginnings, and change- while enjoying the warm Spring sun and first peeps of infant flowers.

Many of us know that strange sensation of shifting from the somnambulic end-of-winter state into the quickening aliveness that is triggered by the Spring sun. This sensation coincides with the Sun's shift from Pisces into Aries. In the realm of astrological magic, planetary energies are purposefully harnessed and directed. Many practitioners factor in the activities of the moon along with whatever other planets they are working with. Often the first half of the moon cycle is used when growth is desired, as the moon grows slightly larger and brighter with each passing night. Below is a simple process for making and using a sigil, or magical symbol, to harness the upcoming Aries sun and new moon energy in order to lay the groundwork for a fruitful year.

Step 1. Spend some time reflecting on/journaling about what you would like to create or change this year. I like to spread this process over a few sessions, then find an overall theme in the writings. After reflection time, pick one word or short phrase that you feel encapsulates your thoughts. As an example, let's say I have written a lot about wanting to not get so worked up about things- that I want more peace and tranquility in my life. So I'll use the word calm.

Step 2. Doodle with your word for awhile, doing your best to avoid rationalizing or logicizing the marks you make. This step is creating a transition from the word as a precise linguistic symbol into a more irrational, creative form. You can focus on the shape of the letters, or free associate ideas and forms that pop into your head- there's no wrong way to do this. Here's what happened when I worked with the word calm for a few minutes.

Step 3. Pick a shape or form from your doodle page to make into your sigil. Ideally your final form should not look like the original word you started working from. Here's the shape I chose to work from, and the redraw of the final form that I will use to make my sigil.

Step 4. Draw your sigil. This can be as simple as pencil on paper, or as complicated as etching the symbol into wood, metal, or some other material. You could arrange pebbles in the shape of your sigil and photograph it, paint it on fabric or canvas, plant seeds in the outline of the form- the possibilities here are endless. Do whatever feels fun for you.

Step 5. Now it's time to let the image sink into your subconscious and into the universe. This process can be as passive or as active as you would like. For maximum passivity, just keep the sigil somewhere you can occasionally see it (unless you have chosen to bury it, which is also an option). If you tend to be a little over-controlling, this hands-off, mind-off approach might work best for you.

If you prefer a more interactive practice, there are lots of ways to use your sigil. You can incorporate it into a meditative practice by sitting and focusing quietly on the image, or closing your eyes and envisioning the form in your mind's eye. You could also use a guided imagery process using your symbol. You could envision yourself visiting a beautiful landscape that somehow incorporates the image you've made. Maybe your sigil is carved into a cliff face, or you could imagine it sitting on an alter in a pine grove. Whatever floats your boat...maybe the symbol is floating on a boat in a lagoon.

If you choose to actively "work" with your image through meditation or visualization, I recommend doing so between the time when the moon is new in Aries until the full moon (approximately March 11th to March 28th- this exact date will vary depending on your location on the planet, there are lots of apps and website that will track the moon for you.) Within this time period, the creative lunar energies are building, and are conducive to growth in your life. After this period of lunar growth that culminates in the full moon, you can save your symbol or release it out into the universe. This release can be as simple as tossing the paper in the garbage, or you could ceremonially burn, dissolve, or bury it- whatever suits your style.

This process is most likely to create tangible ripples in the universe if you avoid fixating on it- try not to spend time thinking about it, and wondering when and how it will work. If you have questions/need help/have feedback, please reach out to me here!

Happy New Mooning!