Original Sigilcraft

When asked, I’ve been describing sigils as ‘symbols with intent’. Though certainly more complex than that, it’s a reasonable explanation in a nutshell, to those unfamiliar with their history and pervasiveness in visual culture. A logo is a sigil, a state seal is a sigil, a cattle brand, graffiti tag or maker’s mark can be a sigil. It is a crafted icon in which power has been invested toward a given outcome. For our purposes, it is a seal impressed upon an object (a personal talisman or ward) to be used as a protective shield or to manifest a desire into being. Although they can be a battery for spiritual energy, the use of a sigil does not require religious belief, it can be viewed as a psychological science.

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Wards and Talismans

Protective sigils are created through a variety of methods, and result in a unique symbol or character, charged with specific intent by the creator and user. These objects have been created with specific purpose in mind, and have been cleansed and consecrated to be charged with your energy and perform this function. To activate the ward or talisman, you will need to perform the three ‘C’s – cleansing, consecrating and charging your object – in a way that is meaningful to you and your purposes. Below are suggestions for how to do this:

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Esoteric Stencilism

Borrowing from the mystery traditions and folk medicine, this new collection of stencil cuts is for a series of stoneware wall tiles and covered jars that I’ll have for the Powderhorn Art Fair, Aug 5-6th. A smattering of these images will be featured on enameled copper jewelry as well, but decisions are yet to be made as to which designs make the cut (pun intended). The wall tiles and pendants are intended to act as a reminder to keep a wider perspective in mind, to flow around obstacles or attract abundance, to name just a few. We take subliminal cues from our environments all the time, here’s an attempt at deliberately seeding those spaces with intentional symbolism.

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>A stone, ring, or other object, engraved with figures or characters supposed to possess occult powers and worn as an amulet or charm.
>Any amulet or charm.
>Anything whose presence exercises a powerful influence on human feelings or actions.

These pieces are emblems of personal storytelling, designed to reinforce or diminish certain ideas that we presently hold about ourselves. If we need to altar something in our own inner space, they can act as a constant reminder of the change we want to see.

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Ritual Vessels

>A prescribed or established rite, ceremony, proceeding, or service: the ritual of the dead
>Any practice or pattern of behavior regularly performed in a set manner
>A prescribed code of behavior regulating social conduct (eg: shaking hands).

>A hollow utensil, such as a cup, vase, or pitcher, used as a container.

These are containers for water and medicine, blessings, visions and light. Some of them are intended for everyday use, some are to hold memories of a person or event. While they may vary widely in material and design, they are united in spirit.

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>A piece of artwork, such as a painting or carving, that is placed above and behind an altar.

These are meditative images to live with and absorb slowly over time. They strive to be minimalist in composition, with a transcendent effect. Borrowing from patterns in nature and symbolism, each one documents moments along a path of spiritual inquiry.

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Signs and Symbols

As long as I can remember, I’ve been fascinated with Hermeticism and it’s iconic tradition of capturing mystical truth in highly symbolic imagery. As a kid, I’d look up everything I could at school and public libraries after the mystery traditions. I found friends who shared an interest in exceptions to the general historical narrative, lovers of the hidden fact, and the theoretical outlier. After a point, you learn to recognize your own, you can sense that someone has a relationship with the mysteries. There is a great American tradition around Masonry, the Golden Dawn and Neo-paganism just to name a few strands in the braid. It’s common knowledge, an open secret.

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A Light in the Darkness

Going straight into winter on the tail of November’s election upset didn’t bode well for those of us in Northern climes, especially if you happen to suffer from a touch of Seasonal Affective Disorder or vitamin D deficiency around certain times of year. ‘There’s no bad weather, just bad clothing’ we like to say here, knowing that the worst thing for Winter blues is to let them keep us holed-up in solitude. To beat the soul-sucking cold and grey, the best thing to do is to willingly go out into it. Light a fire, embrace the ice and don’t let it win. This is why we celebrate light during the darkest time of the year, and why those who haven’t experienced this trial don’t understand it’s great value as a galvanizing force.

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Everyday Rituals

Everyone performs rituals to give order to their day. Often, these are punctuated by the use of objects; a favorite mug, a favorite shirt, a wedding ring. What we drive, where we live, color signals, media preferences. We’re all at once broadcasting a story and attracting those who use the same codes. Some of us avoid each other like oil and water, some of us have magnetic qualities. All of us read intent by interpreting signs and symbols borne on the surface of the other. We decide almost instantly who we’re interacting with based on superficial details, seemingly out of necessity.

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Enter Enamels

Stencils sprayed in under glaze on clay seemed like an invitation to crossover into vitreous enamels on copper and brass. What I’d read is that it’s one of those things, you can learn in an evening and master over a lifetime. So, I chose a color palette to play with and hit order. Now, I’m easing into incorporating this new finish into a coherent body of everyday surfaces. My thought is that the most frequently viewed images are those that are commonly on and around us; wall art, a garment, your favorite cup or necklace, etc. If these are heavily laden with meaning, then they serve to reaffirm something of that sentiment every time your eyes pass over them.

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