Decide on a word that resembles what you want to accomplish, such as LOVE, HEALTH, or PROTECTION. Then, starting from the first letter trace the letters of your word in a straight line from one to another, ending with the last letter of your word. If you want, you can connect the last line back to the first to create a closed shape, or leave it as an open one.
When you’re finished, you have a simple sigil then can be etched into a candle and burnt down, or you can write it down on paper and add it to a small bottle or pouch with herbs.
The Zodiac is an imaginary belt of the Heavens, within which are the apparent paths of the Sun, Moon and Planets. The belt contains twelve Constellations of Stars (hence the twelve Signs of the Zodiac) and each of the twelve Signs are governed by one of these four Elements: Earth, Fire, Air or Water. Astrology plays a big part in the Zodiac, as it is the actual study of influence that the Sun, Moon, Stars and Planets have on an individual at the time of their Birth (which creates all the Sun/Moon/Rising Signs of the Zodiac).
Limited edition of 18. Three-color screenprint on archival paper.
Wheels and magic circles have been used by magical practitioners dating back to ancient cultures. The wheel acts as a graphical microcosm of the universe itself and represents the sorceress’s relation to her surroundings and available energies. Mayday’s Magic Circle embodies the origins, traditions, lore, and symbols pertaining to fire festivals practiced around this time of year (May 1st) to mark the return of spring and summer.
At the wheel’s core is a depiction of Flora, the roman goddess of flowers, sexuality, fertility, and vegetation. Her festival, Floralia, is one of the oldest recorded holidays in which Mayday-like traditions arose. The fire festivals of Beltaine, Mayday, and Walpurgisnacht all hark back to having roots in Floralia traditions making Flora the perfect centerpiece for Mayday’s Magic Circle.
The first inner circle of the wheel touches upon common traditions practiced during Mayday including erecting a Maypole, gathering flowers, building bonfires, crowning the May queen, hand fasting, and visiting natural springs or wishing wells. The Maypole was thought of as a phallic symbol representing the sun which fertilizes the earth to bring about new life. Gathering flowers and wood for bonfires was very common throughout all springtime festivals as a way of sharing earth’s bounty with your family, neighbors, and community. A young maiden was chosen to lead the Mayday festivities and crowned the May Queen as a representation of Flora and mother earth. Finding love and being flirtatious were encouraged during the festivities and therefore many betrothals came about during this time which lead to weddings during the following month of June. This is a tradition still somewhat prevalent in our modern age and attests to the undying customs of Mayday. Although Mayday and the like are fire festivals it is important to note that water was also worshipped during the celebrations as an aid to the earth’s growing season. It was a common occurrence to visit natural springs and wells the morning of May 1st and that the first pale raised from the well (as well as the morning dew) was blessed with the magic of spring and would bring you good luck and beauty throughout the year.
The second ring from the center of the wheel depicts the animals and magical creatures believed to correspond to Beltane and Mayday. Goats, hares, and honey bees were all worshipped for their energetic and sexually active nature as a symbol of fertility. Cattle were blessed in Beltaine bonfires to ensure good health and an abundant growing season. The mythical creatures associated with springtime are Faeries, Pegasus, Giants, and Satyrs. It is believed that May 1st marks the day when Faeries come out of hibernation to cause playful mischief and spread their magic throughout the green lands once again.
A thin ring of symbols makes up the next layer of Mayday’s Magic Circle. Alchemical and planetary symbols represent fire, the sun, water, the earth, the moon, Venus (the feminine goddess), Mercury (the masculine god), and Taurus. Interspersed between these symbols are ancient runes representing protection, the torch, the sun, awakening, the gift, the cycle, longevity, and motherhood. The runes presence on the wheel represents the Scandinavian cultures that also hold a springtime festival on May 1st referred to as Thrimilci. The mixture of alchemy, astronomical symbols, and runes alludes to the fact that although they are different cultures, springtime is a joyous season that effects everyone throughout the world.
The outer ring of the magic circle represents the trees, plants, and herbs commonly worshipped and used during Mayday ceremonies. Clockwise from top is Lily of the Valley, Willow tree, Lilac, Hazel tree, Apple blossoms, Juniper tree, Woodruff, Fir tree, Bluebell, Birch tree, Ivy, Rowan tree, Cinquefoil, Oak tree, Primrose, and Hawthorn Tree. Among these trees there were 9 sacred woods gathered in preparation of Mayday and Beltane which were used to light the ceremonial balefires.
The entire wheel is encircled by the ouroboros, the snake eating it’s tail, as a reminder that Mayday festivities are to honor one half of the year in a never-ending cycle of death and rebirth. Also spanning the entire wheel is the constellation of Taurus which is highlighted by silver leaf accents. Cultures would know when it was time to prepare for Mayday and Beltaine when the sun reached 15 degrees Taurus in the night sky.
“Like a Circle in a Spiral Like a Wheel within a Wheel Never Ending or Beginning On an Ever-Spinning Reel.”
Symbolically, the ever-repeating Cycle of Eternity is represented by the Ouroboros. The Ouroboros is a Serpent in the shape of a Circle that is devouring its own tail. As the Serpent continues to devour itself, the size of its Circle spirals into smaller and smaller Circles. Once the Serpent completely devours itself, that particular Cycle (Circle) is ended and a new Cycle is ready to begin.
In Alchemy, the Ouroboros is a Sigil. Swiss psychologist Carl Jung saw the Ouroboros as an Archetype and the basic Mandala of Alchemy. The alchemists, who in their own way knew more about the Nature of the Individuation process than we moderns do, expressed this paradox through the Symbol of the Ouroboros, the Snake that eats its own tail. The Ouroboros has been said to have a meaning of Infinity or Wholeness. In the age-old image of the Ouroboros lies the thought of devouring oneself and turning oneself into a circulatory process, for it was clear to the more astute alchemists that the Prima Materia of the Art was man himself.
The Ouroboros is a dramatic Symbol for the Integration and Assimilation of the Opposite, i.e. of the Shadow. This ‘feed-back’ process is at the same time a Symbol of Immortality, since it is said of the Ouroboros that he slays himself and brings himself to Life, fertilizes himself and gives Birth to himself. He symbolizes the One, who proceeds from the clash of opposites, and he therefore constitutes the secret of the Prima Materia which unquestionably stems from Man’s Unconscious. Ultimately, Cycle of Eternity s a Symbol of the Eternal Unity of all things, the Cycle of Birth and Death from which the alchemist sought Release and Liberation.