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  • Writer's pictureMatthew Blankenburg

Signs, Symbols, Seals, and Sigils : What's the Difference?

Signs, symbols, seals and sigils are all representing a form of visual representation and we see them around us on a daily bases. But what are the exact differences between them, and in their esoteric use? We compelled a short description of each of them as a reference point for when in doubt.


A sign can be a gesture someone makes or, for example, a public sign that illustrates something. Of course, a sign, in an abstract sense, can often serve as a warning of something to come. So, a sign can often be an expression through a gesture or illustrated, which wants to inform someone of something.


A symbol can be much broader and can almost be like a logo that represents a concept, idea, or organization, etc. A symbol may seek to sum up a main core teaching or multiple ideas fitting together into one ideology. Symbols can be elaborate or simple and they typically appear to express major or most notable ideas or concepts behind whatever the symbol is being used for. Within a symbol is also the collective energy of the current that it represents.

symbol seal sigil difference


Seals in witchcraft are related to spirits and are used to help facilitate contact with a spirit who corresponds with the related seal. They're kind of like symbols that represent the spirit, though they differ from symbols in that a symbol often tries to convey or express some kind of meaning whereas a seal can be completely abstract. Though, sometimes the seal of a spirit may illustrate certain principles related to it. In fact, technically, the whole seal should, in some way, express the spirit's energy, one way or another. On the subtlest level, and in the way that its drawn, indicating the kind of energy related to the spirit. You can trace over a seal, or all the seals of a tradition, in order to get an idea of the energy current related to the spirits of that tradition and the way the person who made the seals was experiencing the spirits.


Sigil can be a bit more individual to each person who makes one. Where a symbol might be known to establish or express a certain idea, the same symbol within a sigil (if so used) might be used differently depending on how the person chooses to use it, or however it fits into the rest of the sigil and relates to their intended goal. Typically, with sigils, you take a statement, similar to an affirmation, such as, "I am _____ ." You take the statement and cross out any vowels and any repeating letters, and then you put the letters that are leftover into a symbol that represents this idea. It can also be charged or cast.

how to sigil

Symbols, Sigils and sometimes even Signs,can be used as an element in great variety of spells, talismans or rituals. Symbols and Sigil work very well with candle magic - simply carve the sigil or symbol on a magically charged candle.


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Thank you for the explanation. It is a relief I found your site!

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