CHAOS201.HTML Frater M 1232 20 May 1998 Note: At the time I wrote this I was clearly in full embrace of the 'all entities created by human belief' paradigm. I also clearly wanted to put things in nice little boxes but was beginning to grasp that things weren't that simple...
Servitors, spirits, demons, angels, elementals, gods, goddesses, imps, pixies, faeries, goblins, call them what you will but magicians have often found it useful to get certain entities to perform magick for them on their behalf. Sometimes these beings have a physical basis in the form of an amulet, charm or idol, sometimes they exist purely in the Aether.
On this page you can learn a little about the differences between these entities and how to use them. There is also a brief discussion on the use of Sigils and Mantras in calling servitors up.
Servitors in general
Servitors are called into being by the magickal investment of belief. This can be done by a solo magician working alone, a group of magicians, a whole tribe, or in the case of deities by a whole society. Each individual invests a side of themselves into the servitor, which takes on the character of the qualities invested into it. Thus it is easier to control a servitor that only yourself has invested in, but at the same time deities can be extremely powerful because of the mass belief they are supported by. You need to work out the exact balance necessary for the task at hand.
Familiars and Guardian Angels
Familiars are servitors that work for just one magician. Most magicians will have many familiars, although they may not call all of them by that word. Wands, ritual swords/knives, cups, pentacles, lamps, runes and tarot cards are examples of specialist familiars that are never really refered to as familiars. Familiars may not have a material basis. In some cases the material basis will be a living creature such as a cat, a spider or a hedgehog.
Guardian angels are a special type of familiar, usually having no material basis, and generally concerned with the magicians spiritual and emotional well-being.
Charms, Amulets and Talismans
These can be created by one or more magicians and refer to special servitors that have a material basis. Usually these are for protection or to help invoke a particular quality. They can be designed to be worn on the person, or carried or they can be fixed to a part of a building. In some cases they may actually be built into the design of a building. They are also commonly found on ships and boats.
It is possible that this type of servitor might also be a familiar, or also a demon/spirit, or an elemental, or even an idol. Some medals/charms contain the symbol of a god or saint. Distinctions between types of servitor are often blurred.
Christians often wear charms with Jesus on a cross, the Virgin Mary, the Holy Spirit or St Christopher. Pagans often wear ankhs, pentagrams, runes, Celtic knots or Thor’s hammers. Chaos magicians are often seen wearing chaos sigil rings.
Demons and Spirits
These are generally called up for a short time, enough to perform a specific task, and are then banished. This is not always the case, but it is a general rule. Mostly they do not have a material basis. An exception is when they are used in talismans or protective wards on a house. They can be called in solo, or in a group context with equal efficiency.
Sometimes a Demon may actually be a God. This is a different type of demon, and perhaps they should be refered to as Demon-Princes. The difference between a Demon and a Demon-Prince is like the difference between a Guardian Angel and an Arch Angel. Arch Angels and Demon Princes are more like Gods, in that they are usually well known and have their names publicised in books, as well as having relatively clearly defined specialities/spheres of influence.
These are a special type of Spirit/Demon having a special association with one of the four elements. Earth elementals can be, among other thing, gnomes, dwarves, moles, rocks, stones or trolls. Water elementals can be undines, mermaids, fish, serpents, frogs, rivers, lakes, oceans, water nymphs or whirlpools. Air elementals can by sylphs, fairies, owls, eagles, the wind, smoke, incense or tornadoes. Fire elementals can be salamanders, bonfires, lanterns, candles, torches, fireworks. They can be used both in group or solo work.
The magicians magickal tools are also a special type of elemental. Wands are fire elementals, Swords/knives are air elementals, Cups are water elementals and Pentacles are earth elementals. These magical tools can be thought of as a sort of cross breed elemental-familiar-talisman type of servitor.
Idols are a type of servitor that has a physical basis. They are often worshipped, making them easily mistaken for gods. Sometimes they actually are gods in a physical basis, but at other times they may actually only be known by a very small number of people, or even only one person. Read Shredni Vashtar by Saki for a good example of using an animal as an Idol. Not only that but it is a damn good short story.
Gods, Goddesses, Arch-Angels, Heroes and Saints
These are a type of servitor in that they sustain their existence from the belief of a large group of people. They can be very powerful because of this, but at the same time they tend to have a will of their own, and can generally only be used for specific purposes that are within their character scope. There are so many to choose from though, that you should be able to find one that suits your purposes if you choose carefully enough. Just don’t ask Mars to help you find a new lover and you should be okay.
Gods can be invoked into a human being in order that they may speak directly to the group, or in solo ritual so that they might endow you with their properties. The author is currently working in an ongoing Artemis invocation that started in 1990-91 sometime.
For more on deities, see the page on Chaos Gods.
Servitors and Sigils
Sigils can be of particular value when working with servitors. It can be useful to give a permanent servitor a mantra-name and a sigil-symbol which can be re-used in calling it up, even marked on its material basis. When making a sigil for a servitor, you can combine words of the qualities you want the servitor to have with astrological, planatery and other occult symbols which represent qualities to be included in the servitor and combine them into one sigil. The name can be formed by making a mantra from the letters, which can be repeatedly chanted while focussing on the sigil when the servitor is to be summoned.