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Comparison Between Bind Runes and Sigils

There is a lot of confusion and cross-over between bind runes and sigils depending on the witch or magician employing them. Despite various discourses on each, we are going to examine the essence, appearance, and usage of sigils, bind runes (and galdrastafir) so that you can embark on your practice armed with such knowledge.

How are Bind Runes and Sigils Similar?

Both bind runes and sigils are typically pictorial (through sigils can widely differ in mode). When bringing either to mind, you may immediately think of an esoteric image that -- to the layman -- may appear meaningless or packed with intangible meaning.

(As we will later elucidate, whereas bind runes are generally recognizable in terms of their runic composition, sigils can come in a wide variety. Whether visual, literary, or verbal -- art as a whole as workings of any type may classify as sigils.)

Essentially, the creation of either one is for the purpose of easing along manifestations or outcomes magically. Both work by being released after intentional composition and programming. It does not serve to desperately hold onto a manifestation with lust for result. Sigils and bind runes are externalized entities of the manifestation, which mentally allows you to let them do their work in the world and release them, knowing that after you've set your intentions, they are out in the field doing work for you.

You may also carve bind runes and sigils into talismans or anything else you see fit to imbue with their magical properties.

What is a Bind Rune?

Visually, bind runes (or bandrúnir) are two or more runes superimposed on each other in an artistic way. The runes each have different qualities and have been used as both a means for spellwork and a system of divination. You may use any futhark you prefer to construct bind runes. I tend towards the Elder Futhark.

Our blog offers a wealth of knowledge about the different runes.

When creating a bind rune, you want to choose runes that feed into your intention. There are many common bind runes that you may already have seen or are familiar with from times of old. You may reuse those as you see fit, or you could construct your own bind rune to harness energies more specific to your situation.

If you are interested in customizing your bind rune but don't know where to start, check out this article on The Most Effective Way to Get Bind Runes to Work.

A difference from sigils (which we will also note with the section on galdrastafir) is that you'll want to be able to mentally reproduce the bind rune in your minds eye. See its workings and see it as a mobile being. You can reproduce it as needed. With sigils, it is not as necessary to commit their form to memory.

What are Galdrastafir?

Galdrastafir (when translated, these are magic (galdra) staves/spells (stafir)) are a sort of in-between between bind runes and sigils. Although they have roots in Norse mythos and Scandinavian folklore, they are not directly derived from this time. A look into Stephen E. Flower's Galdrabók will elucidate the Icelandic medieval age in which they are more numerous.

Here great off-site resource to go more in-depth with understanding the galdrastafir.

Where the galdrastafir become more sigilistic than runic is through ciphering. Ciphering is putting things into secret writing, and this was done with the crucial content of certain spells so that it was less likely to be uncovered or understood by others. This idea of ciphering becomes more abstract and harder to pin down verbally with different types of sigils.

What is a Sigil?

Sigils come in several different forms. In essence, they are a creative means for the subconscious Will to break through conscious limitations, thus bringing about the desired change in your life. Unlike basic bind runes, you will typically not be able to easily figure out what a sigil does when seeing it. Although, this may vary depending on the type of sigil.

We will here elucidate the primary forms of sigils that have come to our attention:

1. Hypersigils

A hypersigil is an extended work of art infused with magical meaning and Will. For example, a journal in which you write desired events as if they had actually happened for a long period of time is a hypersigil. Even a long-term painting or other form of project could be a hypersigil if you imbue it sufficiently with your intention as you add to it.

If you are interested in learning more about hypersigils, check out Aiden Wachter's Weaving Fate: Hypersigils, Changing the Past, & Telling True Lies.

2. Letter Sigils

To easily create a sigil, write out a sentence based on your desired manifestation. Usually, some form of affirmation will do. Then, cross out any vowels and repeated or mirrored letters (mirrored letters are ones that would be identical to another letter if reversed -- M and W are mirrored letters).

With the remaining letters, fashion an aesthetically pleasing image. You can add additional stylizations to the finished product.

3. Pictoral Sigils

Draw a simple picture of a scenario that you want to bring into being -- don't be precious with how good it looks because you will then gradually simply it into a sigil that does not necessarily recall the main image. For instance, simplifying forms into shapes, lines, and abstract doodles will bring you closer to your final sigil.

4. Mantrical Spell Sigils

You can speak your sigils as well. The purpose of a sigil is to bypass conscious limitation for subconscious manifestation. So for this method, write down your affirmation, cross out any repeating letters (we probably need the vowels for this one), and rearrange them randomly into an incoherent but pronounceable phrase. It should not in any way relate to language. Then, you keep vehemently repeating it until you forget what it means!

5. Line Sigils

One of the most mainstream forms of sigil-creation is essentially doing the beginning steps of the letter sigil but instead of making the sigil out of letters themselves, creating an artbitrary connect-the-dots with numbers and letters and tracing the lines.

I personally prefer the other above methods of creating the sigils because it feels more magically free whereas this method feels constraining to me. That said, different strokes for different folks.

6. Computer-Generated Sigils

If you're not feeling creatively-inclined and want a quick sigil fix, you can type in your desired phrase and have a sigil auto-generated for you on platforms such as Trinary. This can be useful if you're shoaling sigils and don't feel like coming up with the drawings yourself.


Depending on which you are called to at any given time, you can create and employ several bind runes, sigils, and so on to achieve your magical ends. For more witchy tips, subscribe to our blog or follow our TikTok and YouTube at kiratherunewitch.

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