How to Make Seals for Ceremonial Magick

Written July 18th, 2016 | Edited: 28th February 2019

So this time we’re talking about seals: those weird designs in circles that Japanese animators and game designers love.


There are many kinds of seals in Magick: Planetary, Goetic, Angelic, Demonic etc. Seals are essentially symbols that are used to invoke/evoke spiritual energies in a ritual setting, and function similar to idols in pagan religions, though more powerful. Seals are also unique, as traditionally, they are unique to ceremonial magick, especially in Solomonic Magick.

So, if you’re a ceremonial magician, and are ever planning to work with Demons, Angels, Geotic Spirits or the Planets, chances are you’ll be needing to make seals. However, making and consecrating seals is a tricky affair. The grimoires all have grand, or differing methods to make them, and the sheer amount of ways and opinions on the Internet can confuse the novice, especially those making them for the first time. So in this post, I’m going to go over how Seals work, and how best to create them, based on your desired approach. When the theory behind it becomes clear, it is easy to choose and build one’s own practice around it rather than just borrow from others.


Seals From Metals


Most Grimoires, such as the Key of Solomon, will tell you to make seals from metal, as must have been common in the Old days. The metal used depends on the planetary nature of the seal:

Sun= Gold
Mercury= Mercury (any solid alloy)
Venus= Copper
Mars= Iron (Although sometimes they say to use a mixture of Copper and Silver)
Jupiter= Tin

Since Uranus, Neptune and Pluto aren’t part of traditional astrology, there are no metals associated with them, but they don’t have seals either so it’s fine. I’ve heard someone say Uranium, Neptunium and Plutonium.

These make sense, but you can’t acquire them anyway (even if you got some, a piece big enough to make a seal will probably kill you before the ritual is over, or at least, mutate you into a giant potato). Personally, I feel the correct metals for the new planets would be from the Platinum group of metals (which consists of rare metals like Platinum, Iridium, Indium etc. These are often used in machinery and electronics, and thus correspond well with the Trans-Saturnine energies, even more so than the radioactive metals).

Be careful with Lead or Mercury unless you really know what you’re doing. Both are fairly toxic, if handled without care. Also, possessing Mercury is illegal in some places, so watch out for that.

There was once a time when metal was probably the easy and cost effective way to make seals. After all many of the things, from horseshoes, to tools, weapons, armour, to common day to day items would have been made from metal, so finding a blacksmith would be easy. This would have been the case for most of human history, all the way from Old Kingdom to the Industrial Era. So, all they had to do was get a blacksmith to make it for them, or even make it yourself if you knew how.


What’s important to remember is not the material they used, but that they used what was readily and easily available to them. When the Occult was revived in the 19th-20th centuries, it must have become tricky to get your hands on metal, so at that point they started coming up with other methods.

If you want to use metal seals, go for it. Since the vibration of the metals is aligned with the planets, the seals will be very strong, but the same can easily be done with colour coordination.

You can buy them online, although the ones actually made from pure metal for the purpose of ritual are quite expensive. The price goes up if these were made by hand in the correct day and hour. The cheap ones I’ve seen are usually mass produced, and made of stainless steel or aluminium, and then electroplated.

You can of course, make your own! This is the Age of Information after all, and so it is very easy to learn. DIY shit is abundant these days, for those who have the time, money and space. The most popular example is probably Grant Thompson’s tutorials, but there’s many more. I’m not an american with a garage and industrial equipment lying around, so this isn’t the path for me. But I know for a fact that many occultists, especially those that belong to Orders and Covens, prefer to use real metallic seals.


Paper/Parchment/Fabirc Seals


Most magicians today prefer to use seals made from parchment or paper. If fact, in the Greater Key of Solomon, it specifically says that if you cannot use metals, you should use virgin parchment.

First off, I just want to clarify what they mean by virgin, because when I was new, I had to look around a lot to get my answer. By virgin, they mean a parchment that has never been used for anything else. If it wasn’t already obvious, don’t use a paper with something written or printed on it.

Some old grimoires require you to make other things out of the skin or feathers of virgin animals, but that something else entirely. 

Parchment usually meant animal skin, or cloth/linen sheets, rather than modern paper. But I also want to point out that when this was written, parchment was what was generally used to write things. Once again, we come back to how they used what was common and widely available, and the material itself isn’t very important. The kind of paper we have today was not around and skin or linen was much more common, ever since we did away with tablets, plates and papyrus, which were common in their own times.

So, sticking with tradition, you can use paper. A great example of paper seals still used today are the Japanese Shinto seals. I imagine these were made of bamboo or rice paper in olden days.


Now, the kind of paper you want to use may vary. Normal paper is thin, and may not be the best for this. Personally, I use pastel sheets or cartridge sheets for white seals. It really depends on how durable you want it to be. I use black and white papers, depending on the type of forces I’m Invoking.

As for writing on the paper, I use coloured ink. It’s pretty much up to you. If you can’t get coloured writing material, use coloured paper instead and write on it with black. Or heck, just use a black marker on white paper. I’ve had success with torn notebook pages and sigils drawn in pen. Depends on how much effort you think needs to be put into it.

Some people write with dragon’s blood ink, or sandalwood paste, or even real blood.


Just like metals correspondences, there’s also colours associated with each planet. These are the ones commonly used in magick, but they may vary in the astrology of other cultures and religions.

Sun= Yellow (Planetary), Gold (alchemical), Salmon/Azure (Sephirotic)
Moon= Violet (Planetary), Silver/White (Alchemical), Light Blue (Hexagram)
Mercury= Orange (Planetary), Redish Brown (Sephirotic)
Venus= Green (Planetary), Pink (Pagan)
Mars= Red (Planetary), Crimson/Scarlet (Sephirotic)
Jupiter= Deep/Navy Blue (Planetary), Purple (Hexagram)
Saturn= Black (Planetary), Brown (Sephirotic)
Uranus= White (Sephirotic), Electric Blue (Planetary)
Neptune= Gray (Sephirotic), Bluish Gray (Yetziratic)
Pluto= Indigo/Crimson/Black (Personal Opinion)

As long as the colour is correct, you can use whatever tool you want, from colour pencils, to ink. One thing I want to say is that for Saturn, it would be better to use pencil to draw, since the lead in the pencil relates to Saturn. (I know the “lead” in pencil is different from metallic lead, but words have power).

However you make them, make sure they’re kept in a safe place where they don’t get ruined.

Seals from Other Materials


Clay: Seals can be made from clay. They’re not as good as metal, but they’re a bit sturdier than parchment. The clay being used should be natural, brown clay, not the synthetic white or orange clay you get, like air dried or polymer. You can then paint it with the appropriate colour.
The only thing with clay though, is that it contains the energy of the element Earth. Even though everything we use comes from the planet Earth, dirt in particular is traditionally also associated with the alchemical element of Earth as well. 

Fabric: Parchment for books was traditionally made from linen/cloth, and seals can be made of fabric in the same way, and instead of using coloured ink, you could stitch coloured threads onto coloured fabric to make it. The Black Pullet actually states that its talismans be made from fabric, and gives an elaborate set of colours for the cloth and threads. Natural fabrics are better than artificial ones.

Wood/Stone: Wood seals can be made the same way as clay seals, but will need tools, so go for it if you know how. Wood is not so strongly associated with Earth, and you could probably use different types of wood based on the nature of the sigil, instead of colouring. In this case wood most closely resembles the original method of using metal. You can do the same with different stone surfaces. You can see John Dee’s Seal of God’s Truth above, made of stone. In fact, stone is the second most common material for ancient seals that we’ve found, after metal (although I suspect that’s because fabric/clay/wooden seals have probably disintegrated, while stone/metallic seals have been preserved. Most ancient seals were probably made from clay or copper)

This is about all the materials I can think of, that magical seals have ever been made from. Avoid artificial materials like plastic, for obvious reasons, but if any other natural material, likes beeswax appeals to you, you may use that. It’s all about remembering the core aspects of a seal, and how it will be used. Good Luck!

EDIT (2019): I have a great post on urban and modern material usage, here 

Be sure to follow the blog. You can also follow me on Instagram @WhiteRavenMagus

Until we meet again

~White Raven

Tools of Ceremony: Why use them?

Written May 20th, 2016 | Edited: 27th February 2019

Right, so in this post i’ll be talking of something more theoretical: the tools of ceremony. When I was starting out, I perhaps had the toughest time figuring this out.

In all fields of the occult, one common recurring thing is the tools we use. They differ according to tradition, but things like wands, daggers, altars are common, and these days there’s a lot of flexibility and free flow of ideas. What most often confuses people is the practical importance of tools, the way to make and use them, and how to reconcile seemingly conflicting ideas across traditions, like should one use a dagger to represent the element of Air, like the Golden Dawn did, or a Feather, like many Wiccans do. I find very little on the internet regarding this, so let me try and answer from experience.

One can broadly divide ritual objects into three categories: permanent, like wands and daggers, consumable, like candles and incense, and lastly sigils. This post will focus on the permanent objects, which i’m referring to as tools.

EDIT (2019): For seals and sigils, click here.

History of Ceremonial Tools

Well, in all magick, we use objects that have spiritual power during our practice. It may vary from the elemental weapons, to cauldrons, to statues, to circles and triangles, and even apparel like rings and robes, and have been used pretty much since the beginning of the occult traditions in the olden days. But, this is not just something found in the modern occult, but all spiritual philosophies throughout the ages. 


Whenever historians discover strange artifacts, like a horned helmet, little dolls, stone cubes and lingams, that do not seem to have any practical or decorative use, they conclude that it must have been a ritual implement. Human beings have used ritual tools for as long as we have been spiritual. One can even find small holes in ancient settlements in Turkey, built around 11,000 BCE, where ritual implements are though to have been placed, as they don’t seem to have any other purpose. Some of these objects are found in mythology, and have legendary status, such as the Holy Grail. 

You’ll be interested to know that just about every civilisation that ever existed has used them, although as religions developed, the importance of these implements was reduced to mere formality .Think of the idols of the Hindus, the headcap and tunic of the Muslims, the Crucifix and the Altars, the Statues of Christ, the Turbans and daggers of the Sikhs and just about anything that counts as a “religious object”. Most of these started out as occult tools (although many, like turbans, were of cultural significance instead, but that still owes to their occult symbolism), which made their way into religion, where the only thing that seemed to matter was their appearance, and this led to their mass production.

These days, there is an obsession with these relics, and they often become more important than the spiritual aspect itself. When Mohammed warned against idolatry, this is what he meant. People had become so infatuated with idol worship, they had forgotten the importance of actually connecting to the Gods themselves.

EDIT (2019): To think that I would ever agree with the Muslims on something, lol.


But clearly, ritual tools are important. Some tools are ancient, and thus common in all traditions, most notable the wand, dagger, staff, and statues. Some, are more recent, and can be found in specific schools, like the cup, pentacle, skulls and steel crosses. Most of them are deep archetypal symbols. So, what exactly are these strange objects, and why are they so important to a magician?


What are Ceremonial Tools? 

Well, in a simplest sense, they are symbolic objects that contain our own energy, and act as extensions of the magician’s body during rituals (although one might note that our body itself is a tool, and really just an extension of the Self, along with the psyche, personality, and even individuality. A better way to see it would be that everything is an extension of the unchanging Self/Spirit.)

You must have noticed that most ancient grimoires emphasise the importance of making these tools yourself, and often in very strange and convoluted ways, which leaves people utterly confused. After all, no one really wants to make a lion skin belt, or raise a black rooster, ensure it never has sex, and then kill it and use it’s skin. Fortunately, we have more resources and information these days, and we can understand the exact purpose of a tool. We can decide ourselves whether it’s use is desired and how we can substitute complex tools for simpler ones. But keep in mind they ARE important, and the specific process of creation behind them is as well, which is more symbolic than literal. 

The complex instructions in some cases are also just metaphor to keep sacred knowledge away from prying eyes.

Uses of Tools

These tools have many uses, but there are five important ones. I shall list them in ascending order, from the least to most important reason we use them.


They serve a real purpose: There are few of these, so I wanted to address this first. Of course. They are unique as they have a practical function, and often are not directly part of the ritual. I’m referring to things like the offering bowl, the candle holder, a carving knife or a pin to draw blood. In their case, one must be realistic and should usually follow instruction close to as they are given. So, if it says use a stone or clay container to burn incense, you may use glass, but don’t just use wood or plastic, for obvious reasons.


 They Are Symbolic: Of course, the most basic reason is that they symbolize certain things. Take the elemental weapons for example, the represent the four alchemical elements. The symbolism is what matters the most in this case, rather than what physical tool you pick. Always get your symbolism correct, and know what a tool represents in your tradition, so that you can use it properly, and substitute if required. For example both the staff or the wand are perfectly viable representation of fire. The magic dagger, used for the LBRP, can be substituted with the index and middle fingers extended out. Bear in mind that many symbols are deeply rooted in the human psyche and common across traditions and cultures (like the sword, phallus, wheel etc.)


They Contain Our Energy and Intent: When you make a tool, it becomes imbued with your spiritual essence, and once you consecrate it, it contains your intent. The more you use it, the more powerful and energised it becomes. It is yours, and used to manipulate our own energy. As I said before, the Tools are an extension of you, and so they should be carefully stored and kept clean, so as to not accumulate foreign energies. It’s best not to let the others touch them, or in some cases even see them. For this reason it is usually recommended that you make items yourself.

A more detailed account can be found here.


They Correspond of Specific energies: One of the big reasons we use ritual tools is to tune the frequency and energy of the temple space and altar to the energy of a specific spirit. When you craft ritual objects, you should know what it’s purpose is and use corresponding items.
So, now you know why the grimoires are so specific about what colours and materials to use when making something, because correspond to the energy of certain spirits and forces. Knowing correspondences will also help you with substitution. Once you realise that gold and the colour yellow correspond to the sun, you can make a yellow paper sigil and also put gold jewelry on the altar, rather than purchasing an actual solid gold sigil.

EDIT (2019): This particular paragraph is obviously a gross oversimplification. Using a black paper dagger is not a substitute for an iron one, and sometimes objects have immaterial power and significance too. This point is really about psychological correspondence. I should mention though, that MANY famous correspondences (such as the flashing colours of the Golden Dawn) are actually arbitrary. Make of that what you will. Practice, and see what works and what doesn’t.


They Appeal to the Subconscious: This is by far THE most important use of ritual tools that no one seems to talk about. When you perform a ritual, the whole idea is to enter a trance, and that is where tools play a big part. The word “impress” means to leave a lasting impact, and has two uses for a reason. You can “impress someone” or “impress upon something”, and means the same thing. In magic, this someone/something in both cases, is the subconscious mind. The subconscious mind is simple, naive and easily excited. It is deeply affected by symbols and visuals, and the magick tools help it enter the certain state that is desired for a ritual. The Subconscious mind is incredibly powerful, and is the one who actually does the magick.

Impressing the Subconscious

Ritual is like a date with the subconscious, where you must impress it to manifest results. Think about it like this, if you were not a magician, and wanted a ritual done, what would impress you more: a guy with a intricate mask, in fancy hooded robes chanting in an ancient language, standing in a circle inside a dark room with candles all around him, and a table before him with strange objects and spiraling incense, raising a dagger made of horn, or a dude with tshirt and jeans, holding a butter knife, in a well lit room, calling out to deities with badly pronounced names?

The whole point of ritual is to impress the subconscious mind. The subconscious can’t tell what is good or bad, and what is real and unreal, so it believes the tools have some deep value, even though the most valuable thing in magick is your intent. That is one of the reasons we approach the altar in special clothing: be in robes, or witch’s clothing. The subconscious identifies that something is “different” about what you’re going to do. This is where ceremonial tools come in, and why they look so fancy and intricate. Once you enter the trance, the colours, words, smells that you perceive all affect the subconscious, and activate certain parts of it. Ideally, there should be one thing to affect each of the senses: visuals (sight), incense/oils (smells), chants (hearing), offerings (taste), fine materials and clothing (touch) and visualization (the sixth sense/magick). The ancient Egyptians would also consider speech to be a sense, and so you had to vibrate certain words and names.

Images like these are what draw wonder and awe towards magicians throughout the ages. Imagine these people in their living room in casual clothing, with no props. A big part of the effect a ritual produces is the mood it created among all participants and observers, and stirs their energy and emotion. You may even impress the spirits with your grandeur. After all, do they not show up with great splendor?

When you invoke a specific God, you usually dress up like the God and hold the implements they are portrayed with, all so that the subconscious genuinely believe you are that God, flooding that energy into you. This is also the reason religious figures dress in a certain way, so they they are imbued with a sense of power, authority, and superiority to the masses. The Catholic Church is the most notorious example.

Many a times, you may also use things that were put into your subconscious during your childhood. So, if you were raised Christian, your subconscious might associate the crucifix with protection, so you can use the crucifix during an exorcism. This is the main and most important reason why we cannot just ignore all the drama of ritual and it’s tools.

When i make ceremonial tools, I make them look as nice and fancy as possible. I always use the best materials I can find, and never cut corners. It may not be perfect, but it HAS to be the best I personally can do.

The most important thing to keep in mind when making an object is that it should appeal to YOU. If you don’t like it, chances are the subconscious also won’t like it. Magick rituals are essentially elaborate forms of self hypnosis, so perform them with as much splendor and aesthetic appeal as you desire. 

Substitute where you must, but ensure they are amazing and resonant. With magical tools, half the magick is already done before you even say the first word.

Be sure to follow the blog. You can also follow me on Instagram @WhiteRavenMagus

Until We meet again.

~White Raven