The Sigillum Dei Aemeth (“seal of God’s truth”) is a magical diagram that traditionally is carved in beeswax for use with the system of Enochian magic discovered by John Dee and Edward Kelley in the sixteenth century. You can purchase a Sigillum Dei Aemeth on Amazon or Etsy, but I think there’s great value in creating one’s own magical implements. I prefer to make my own whenever possible.
It was much easier than I expected to carve my own Sigillum by hand, and I was happy with how it turned out. I could have spent a lot of money on wax carving tools and a lot of time practicing with them, but mastering such a craft can take years. Using a pattern and a ruler proved a way to create an exact copy that has a little bit of homemade flair.
- About three pounds of beeswax. (I used these two-pound bags of pellets, though you could also use blocks which are a little cheaper.) You could get away with using two pounds, but it might end up a little thinner than one-and-a-half inches.
- A nine-inch round cake pan or cookie tin. Make sure to use one that doesn’t have ridges or logos on the bottom. The only blank one I could find was this one from Nordic Ware (I found it for less at Wal-Mart).
- A ruler with a flat back
- An engraving tool (I primarily used the tip of calligraphy pen, sans the ink.)
- A compass
- Black ink pens (optional; I used these Pilot rolling ball pens.)
- A print-out of the Sigillum Dei Aemeth from Lon DuQuette’s Enochian Vision Magick
- Olive oil cooking spray (optional)
- Sewing pins
Lon DuQuette’s Enochian Vision Magick contains a blank Sigillum Dei Aemeth and he gives details instructions for properly filling it in. Besides helping you get familiar with the magical diagram and internalizing its angelic forces, it’s very good practice to do it on paper several times before carving it in wax.
Step 1: Create the wax Sigillum Dei Aemeth.
Pick a day when you’ll be home all day, or start very early in the afternoon when you’ll be home all evening because this part may take about 10 hours straight. Heat the oven to 200 F.
Spray the cake pan with the olive oil so there’s less chance that the wax will stick to the pan. This seemed to add some blackness around the edges in mine, which I liked because it gave it an antique look that’s similar to Dee’s at the British Museum.
Put two pounds of the beeswax in the pan, and place the pan in the oven. Set the timer for an hour, and continue to check on it about once an hour, bumping up the oven temp a bit if desired (I never did mine much higher than 200 degrees).
Take a toothpick, and make a mark on it at 1.5 inches, which is the height the Sigillum should be. Then you can use this to measure it while the wax is melting. Open the open, and carefully hold the toothpick in the wax to see how high it is now. Then add a bit more wax, and check the height again, continuing until it’s 1.5 inches high.
After the wax has completely melted, turn off the oven and let it sit for a while before moving it. (No sense in spilling hot wax everywhere!) You can let it cool in the oven or on the stovetop. By the next morning the wax will have hardened and popped out from the sides for easy removal.
Step 2: Smooth out the underside of the Sigillum Dei Aemeth.
What was the top part of the disc in the oven may be a bit uneven, especially around the edges. It doesn’t take long to use a knife to shave off the outer edge that was a little higher than the rest. Save the shavings for use in a later project (like making four mini-sigils for the table legs). This uneven side will work fine for the bottom of the Sigillum. You can also lightly heat this side of the Sigillum and smooth it out. I’d guess that heating it with a hairdryer or lighter and smoothing it with a soft cloth could work.
Step 3: Carve all of the straight lines on the Sigillum Dei Aemeth.
For this step you’ll need to have a pattern of the Sigillum printed out to the exact proportions as your wax disc. You can scan the diagram from Lon DuQuette’s Enochian Vision Magick, adjust the size to fit your Sigillum, and print it out. DuQuette’s book has the corrected image of the Sigillum; many older books have incorrect diagrams.
Place pins into the wax, at all of the points on the template which you’ll need to connect. It’s easiest to start by carving the outer heptagon and work your way in.
Also, use a compass to carve the outer circle. Place a piece of cardboard in the middle of the Sigillum, so the compass won’t destroy the middle point of the disc.
After you have the pins in the pattern, pull out each one at a time, peel back the template, and insert each back into the pinhole.
Place a ruler against the pins, and carve the lines. Make sure to use a ruler with a flat back so no indentations are created on the wax.
In the photo below, the green pin is at the top of the Sigillum, with the pentagram in the middle pointed upwards, in order to line the pattern back up correctly.
Continue replacing the pattern, inserting pins, and carving lines until all of the straight lines have been created.
Step 4. Carve in the letters and crosses.
I was originally just going to carve the letters and crosses, but I liked the effect created by using black ink to help them stand out. It also makes it look more like Dee’s Sigillum Dei Aemeth.
If you make a mistake, a Q-tip and water will remove the ink. If you make a small mistake carving, it may be possible to correct it by smoothing the wax in that area.
Step 5. Carve the back of the Sigillum Dei Aemeth.
Using the methods above, create a pattern for the back of the Sigillum Dei Aemeth. Then use pins and a ruler to carve the lines.
Congratulations–you’re finished! The beeswax is very soft and easily damaged, so it’s worthwhile to invest in a special box in which to store the Sigillum.
Have you made a Sigillum Dei Aemeth or do you have any tips for doing it yourself? Do you have photos? I’d love to see and hear how other people have created theirs and best practices anyone else has discovered.