Spell a Day – Jan 9th 2016

Today’s entry from my new almanac is about personal glyphs or sigils. This is something I have not really done but perhaps I should. Then I can mark my works like one of my idols, J.R.R. Tolkien did. Here is what he did with his initials.

You can clearly see the J, then he reversed his R’s and the T crosses the J to make it complete.

So I decided to do a little research into my family lineage to see what was out there already. I looked into the Ferrell name and most records point to Ireland, where it is believed to come from  Ó Fearghail. In Irish Gaelic this is presumed to mean “Man of Valor”. Not a bad legacy to live up to. Immigration records trace back to 1701. There are records of Ferrell (or one of it’s other spellings, including Farrell most commonly) on the rosters of both the union and the confederacy. There is even a record of a Captain Robert Ferrell in the Revolutionary War, as well as a John H. Ferrell, who was awarded a Medal of Honor as a member of the Union Navy in 1865.

Taking my cue from the Irish background. I looked up some Irish Gaelic Runes. Google directed me to Ogham, an early alphabet from at least 4th Century AD. It is believed to be older than that.

I have always had an interest in rune stones, but I had always stuck more to the Futhark runes as that is the ones used for runecasting that I studied once upon a time. I have some Tarot Cards too.

Using the Ogham alphabet, I constructed a a rather uninteresting looking sigil from my initials. Certainly nothing like what Tolkien came up with using the standard alphabet.

I can certainly come up with something better than that. Sadly the Futhark alphabet I am more familiar with yielded nothing any better looking. I will spare you that image.

So I tried to start thinking outside of the box. Something I have always thought of getting a tattoo of, if I were to ever take that step, would be a symbol of Gemini, my astrological sign. My favorite forms of this are the ones with the little bit of curve to them, as opposed to the straight line blocks. To have the little bit of curve and flow seems to fit more with the somewhat airy and intellectual side attributed to Gemini people.

Taking the above picture as my base, I played with the runes and discarded them again. They just did not seem to convey my name in anyway. Going back to the standard alphabet, I came up with a design that I think has potential. Granted I am no artist so please be gentle.

I did decide after the first drawing to move the line for the F down a little so that it would stand out better without looking like an E with the bottom of the Gemini symbol. What do you think? If anyone makes their own glyph/sigil and wants to share in the comments I would love to see them. Have a great one and see you next time.

Happy Birthday J.R.R. Tolkien


Today would be the 124 birthday of the Father of High Fantasy, JRR Tolkien. That’s something Bilbo and Frodo would be proud to claim. I think about the first time I opened the pages of The Hobbit. I was spellbound. The words curled up in my head and stayed there, fostering a love of reading and adventure that led me on so many journeys over my life thus far.

When Hollywood decided to turn these wonderful works into movies, I was excited, and scared. To see the characters brought to life on the big screen was a dream come true. However, would it live up to the images in my mind? Would it disappoint like so many movie adaptations have? While not perfect, I would hope that Tolkien would be pleased with the finished product.

I have enjoyed watching the Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit movies with my son. When he can sit still long enough to finally read the books in their entirety, I hope he is as captivated as I was with them. I cannot wait to share all the entirety of the journey with him.

I salute you J.R.R. Tolkien, may your words continue to inspire and enrich the lives of readers everywhere.

For those looking for a little more in-depth reading on this great author, I direct you to the following links.