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Origin, History & Meaning
Of the Druid Sigil


Sigil Art Gallery

Here's a gallery of various sigils, I'm found on the web. Do not take them as they are probably copyrighted. I'll put the addresses on them soon.


sigil6.gif
147x226
ADF
sigil7.gif
193x147
ADF
sigil8.gif
226x248
Unknown
wallpaper

sigil5.gif
64x120
keltria
sigil10.gif
125x122
keltria
sigil13.gif
62x60
keltria

sigil9.gif
200x175
Stonecreed ADF?
sigil1.gif
66x48
www.neopagan.net
sigil2.gif
139x109
unknown

sigil5.gif
62x60
www.neopagan.net
sig.gif
100x170
www.rdna.info
adfsigil.gif
196x144
ADF?

sigil4.gif
66x48
keltria
sigil9.gif
176x127
Muin Mound Grove ADF
sigil20.gif
176x127
keltriaMuin Mound Grove ADF

sigil5.gif
643x483
Draoi Croi Croga Garran RDNA
sigil5.gif
218x218
The Grove of One RDNA



What is a sigil?

The circle bisected by two vertical parallel lines is known as the Druid sigil in modern Druid groups. It is one of the many symbols now widely used by Reformed Druids of North America, it's offshoot called Ar nDraoicht Fein (ADF) which started in 1983, which also had an offshoot The Henge of Keltria. Therefore, it is a prominent symbol of Druidism in America.

Any group can use the sigil, if they wish, we're not possessive about it, just send us a copy of your artwork for our gallery collection below.


False Origin Myth #1


There is a well publicized myth that it came from a photograph of a Celtic-Romano temple's foundation which had a square Roman foundation over laying an older Celtic circular structure. It looks remarkably like the Druid sigil with two of the rectangular whiles parallely intersecting the circle. However, this shot published in Stuart Piggot's seminal work "The Druids" was first published in 1966, three years after the RDNA was already documented as heavily using the symbol. So that can't be it. None of the founders probably had the background knowledge in 1963 of obscure archeological digs, so they couldn't have come across it anywhere else in the first two weeks of the founding of the RDNA.


Closer to the Truth Story

David Fisher, the founder of the RDNA, was eating Lunch at Goodhue Dorm Cafeteria on Carleton College Campus in Northfield, Minnesota, USA in early April 1963 (perhaps April 1st?) and talking to Norman Nelson and a few of his other friends. There were complaining about a mandatory requirement to attend weekly religious services by the college. They decided to start THEIR OWN religion to see if that was satisfactory, and they decided on the name "Reformed Druids of North America"

So they traipsed up to the hill of three oaks soon thereafter (April 17th, 1963) and had the first ceremony. David Fisher claimed to have been initiated into a Fraternal Druid order in Missouri, but they didn't believe him, because he had also tried to set up 3 other semi-secret farsical organizations on the campus with a similiar story. But the others recognized the power of continuing an older tradition The sigil was apparently used during that ceremony.

So from whence did it come? Probably from David Fisher's fevered imagination (divine inspiration?, definitely inspired by spirits of whiskey ). I've conducted over 11 hours of research through various books of symbols and magical runes, but I have found no trace of the circle with two vertical lines. The closest thing is a greek letter of a circle with one vertical line (and David was possibly interested in starting a greek fraternity style group, whcih were banned at Carleton). The alchemical symbol for oil is similiar to that greek letter.


What does it mean?

Good question. There is no definitive answer on this subject. It both means what you think it means, and it means something you don't think it means.

Various designs have popped up, but there were no ornate designs until 1969. It had always been simple three strokes of a pen until that date. Recently, people have tended to draw it as a wreath pierced & supported by two wooden poles.

Since then, various designs, visualizations, and descriptive readings have been attempted of the Sigil. I'm in the process of collecting and listing them below.


Sigil Construction 101

By Mike, Order of Lugh

For 40 years, the RDNA, ADF, and Keltria have been flashing those Druid Sigils with a circle and two parallel lines. We don't know where it came from, except possibly from Fisher's feverish mind (see http://www.rdna.info/sigil.html for more on sigils), but people have been asking me to sell them one, and I get this wonderful idea. Why don't we just make them? We make up everything else in this group, so why not? Revolt against pre-fab, mass-made religious articles!

Being inspired by Lugh, and being a cubicle-bound secretary, I open the drawer to actualize my words. All the materials I need are in there. First take a book ring (see illustration to right) which will form the ring base of the sigil, and they come in many sizes. A side benefit is that you can clip your final sigil on to a button hold, hand it from one of your pierced body-parts, use it to remove ticks and chiggers, or to pick-up and turn-over bacon (large model recommended).

Now to lay the bars onto the circle, balanced on either side of the joint-hinge and the snap-close. These bars can come from snipped coat hangers, paper clips, wire stocks at a bead and jewelry store, or hardware store by the foot. To avoid a sigil that is heavy on the front side, and looks funny when it inevitably flips over, you may wish to in-set the bars. If you have access to a metal shop with a fine-quality metal file (or a simple nail file and lots of patience) you can gouge the four grooves into the book ring. I like to divide the circle into three sections of equal horizontal width, but perhaps you like each section to contain equal amounts of area (remember your geometry classes?), follow your muse here. The bars or rods can then be either welded, set with epoxy, or tied on with clear fishing line (if you're skillful). Don't have the bars extend past the circle too far, or they'll catch on things and poke you (round and polishing the edges is advisable) Goldish bars on a silvery ring make a nice contrast. A weight of about one ounce (four ounces is the same as a quarter-pounder patty) will make it hang well, any lighter and it will flop about. I caution against soldering, since the lead prevents you from dipping your sigil into the Waters (if you're into that custom).

The final step is getting the string. You can use yarn (if you're daring), leather, waxed cotton cord (found at bead and craft stores in various colors, I like black), ribbon, parachute cord, fishing line, or twine. Just remember if you catch your necklace on something, you'll get garroted! For the knot to close the string, I like to tie a double-fisherman's knot, which has the added advantage of allowing you to adjust the length while you're wearing it, by pulling the knots closer or father apart.

Attaching the pendant. The following is one way, yea, one way among many. I detest running the cord simply through the book ring, as it never lies flat, the knot closing the string always works its way around to the pendant, and the book ring might open (unless you solder it shut) and you lose the pendant (life is about giving up possessions too, I suppose). I like to hide the joint of the book ring by binding a "prussic knot" over the hinge, between the two bars on the top of the sigil. That way the knot closing the loop of the necklace will lie at the nape of your neck, and can be lengthened and shortened easily.

Cost of the materials, with borrowed tools and free labor, about $2 each. You're welcome to mass-produce them with this design and process. They're not copyrighted. Enjoy.

  • Prussic knots illustrated: http://www.hstech.org/howto/rigging/knots/sunday.htm
  • Easy soldering http://www.allsands.com/HowTo/howtosolder_cc_gn.htm
  • Soldering basics: http://hop.concord.org/ieu/ieu.mess.act1.html
  • Jewelry supplies http://www.jewelrysupply.com