Other Methods to Launch Servitors
Stephen Mace, in his “Stealing the Fire from Heaven”, refers to another form of servitor, known as “The Magickal Child”. This is a technique described at length by Crowley (and forms the central theme of his turgid work of fiction “Moonchild”) in which a couple of magicians have intercourse to produce “an astral being whose power is devoted to carrying out the purpose of the participants. It is empowered by the white heat of orgasm and embodied in the ‘elixer’ generated by intercourse. The participants must give this child a name in advance and also agree on its astral appearance, for it must fill their imaginations throughout the rite, until climax sets it in their mingled fluids.”
Mace continues with the usual thelemic caveat:
“Any loss of concentration upon it or independent thinking during copulation can be deadly, for then their child will be monster. The two participants must therefore agree on the symbolism they will use, making this formula much more relevant to traditional magick, where common imagery is easy to come by.”
I can’t help but ask what, in these days of protected sex, one must actually do to “mingle fluids”, but perhaps we shouldn’t go there. It does occur to me that this ritual is not too far removed from normal intercourse between would be parents anxious to conceive. Mace states that this is a heterosexual ritual, but I can see no reason why it would not be quite as effective, and, in the long run, probably a great deal less stressful to society as a whole, if it were not a same sex rite. After all, if the heterosexual couple does not use protection and a child is the issue of the ritual, the result might be an actual monstrous child, rather than a servitor. Oh, the puzzles entrenched in thelemic logic!
Possibly safer for all concerned by far is the ritual described by Mace that Austin Osman Spare used to create servitors, which he and Mace call, creating some confusion, “elementals”.
Mace describes a technique he asserts that Spare used called “The Earthenware Virgin.” This is a clay vessel with an opening that fits snugly around the sorcerer’s erect penis and into which he masturbates. At the bottom of the vessel is a sigil incorporating the attributes of the servitor. Needless to say this is a technique for male magicians, although I am certain that inventive female magicians could develop effective variations. On orgasm the magician charges the sigil and then buries it, doing the whole operation during the quarter moon (ask Mrs. Patterson why!)
“When the moon passes full, the wizard digs up this clay womb, replenishes the sperm and -‘while repeating suitable incantations’- pours it out as a libation on the ground. Then he reburies the urn.”
Sounds pretty raunchy to me, rather like a pornographic Clark Ashton Smith story. Does the sorcerer clean the vessel before ejaculating into it a second time, or does the grit add an ascetic tinge to the operation?
In any event Mace states
“Spare cautions that though this technique never fails, it is dangerous, and so he leaves much to be guessed.”
Rather too much in my opinion. What if the sorcerer gets the dimensions a little wrong? What if the sorcerer has been using Viagra? Will he get stuck? Then what? Never mind. Back to Mace:
“…one may suppose that the urn acts as a clay womb in which the wizard breeds a familiar spirit. Such help can be as risky as it is effective, however, for if the wizard is in any way unable to control himself, he will have an even harder time managing a semi-independent power such as this. He must always keep the initiative over it, never allow it any scope for independent action, and always maintain a strict separation between its form and his own. He must never invite it into himself.”
Mace underlines “never.”
This curious tendency among magicians from all traditions to warn of the dangers of magickal operations may be no more than stagecraft (“Kids, don’t try this at home!”), or perhaps it is more of the strange conservatism that magicians sometimes manifest. Mace’s comments seem, from my perspective, to be quite contradictory. If the semi-independent power is not completely autonomous how may one maintain “a strict separation?” I’m afraid I’m puzzled.
The Care and Feeding of Servitors
Servitors feed from the obsessional energies of the magician that created them. In some cases, vampiric servitors, for example, the servitor may be charged with feeding from the energies of the individual or entity that is its target, but even here, the magician that created it both launches it and controls it with his or her own obsessional energies. A book-finding servitor, for example, can rest dormant until the magician’s desire for a certain book sends it on its way.
Servitors that do not perform according to the magician’s desire need discipline. This can consist merely of a warning. On the other hand a servitor that consistently fails in its duties obviously needs to be recalled. Chaos magick is, after all, results oriented magick. Servitors can be dissipated by destroying their material base, by visualizing their dissolution, or by any other means the magician finds effective.
Servitors may be domiciled on the magician’s alter. I tend to return mine to a number of crystals strewn about my alter, or to some other material base there residing. Since servitors are semi-independent most authors caution against allowing them to exist in an uncontrolled form, since, at least in theory, they will continue to subsist off the life energies of the magician, which may, over a period of time, debilitate the sorcerer. Jaq. D. Hawkins, in her book, “Spirits of the Earth” has the following, fairly typical admonition about thought-form elementals (her name for servitors):
“these artificial entities have survival instincts. Once a thought form is created, it will generally continue to take spiritual energy from its creator until it is dissipated or reabsorbed, which is something which should be kept in mind when deciding to do this in the first place. The energy to sustain a single thought form may go unnoticed, but sending streams of thought forms off to do one’s bidding could sap one’s energy to depletion and lead to illness. It is always prudent to have a plan in place to reabsorb the entity, and therefore one’s own energy, once the purpose is accomplished.”
Again, the validity of this admonition has more to do with the magickal model to which the magician subscribes rather than natural law. Certainly magicians using the Spirit Model, the Energy Model, and even the Psychological Model to an extent, might agree. Magicians using the Information Model, in which the servitor is essentially self-replicating code programming energy, might disagree, since this Model does not require the magician to use his or her own life force, except perhaps to launch the servitor. Readers of this essay are advised to determine which paradigm, or which combination of paradigms they are using in a particular operation, and act accordingly in determining whether to reabsorb or dissipate the servitor.
Binding Demons, Elementals, and Other Entities
As stated above, this essay is primarily concerned with creating semi-independent entities out of the mind of the magician. However, it is possible to use the vast variety of independent entities that populate the Spirit Model as servitors. As indicated earlier, these entities tend to be less manageable for a variety of reasons. They are products of the group consciousness of Planet Earth, tend to be more self-willed (and consequently require more energy to be controlled) and are often contaminated by conflicting instructions placed upon them by prior sorcerers. However they may be used, particularly if the magician has a personal bond with the entity, through memory, propinquity, or a recognition of psychological characteristics within the magician that the entity in question also possesses. Some of these entities, however, are really godforms, or extrusions of such, and need to be handled in a quite different manner, but that’s a topic for another essay. I would encourage magicians wishing to use these entities to use lesser demons, minor elementals.
I do not intend to go into detail on the methods the magician can use to evoke and control these entities. The annals of magick are already full of extremely detailed instructions.
However, the question posed earlier, whether one can use a bound demon’s energy to reinforce personality elements that the magician wants to strengthen, should be answered.
Traditional ceremonial magicians, of course, habitually do this, summoning, for example, a demon of lust and charging it with the task of causing an object of his or her amorous attentions to fall in love with the sorcerer. In this case, from the viewpoint of the theory of servitor dynamics outlined in this essay, the magician has bound the demon of his own lust and converted it into a type of glamour attractive to the object of his infatuation.
The question was asked, however, by someone who wanted to use a personality defect as the energy source for a personality asset. To give an example, resentment towards one’s parents, if fed frequently enough (and isn’t it usually) creates demonic energy that can crystallize into a thought form. Can this demon can be bound and its energy then used to charge a servitor whose function is to increase the personality asset of, say, self-confidence? The process this would occur would be whereby, every time the magician feels resentment towards his or her parents, the energy from this resentment is directed towards the servitor whose task is to increase the magician’s self-confidence. The answer is that the energy from the resentment must be clarified, or filtered, as it were, before it can be of use to the character enhancing servitor. An effective method for doing this would be the Free Belief technique outlined above. Thus the energy would not be contaminated by the emotional charge of resentment, but be pure psychic material, suitable for feeding a servitor.
A final word about the therapeutic techniques of psychodynamic theory would be useful here since the above technique would be more properly classified as the use of servitors as a form of magickal psychotherapy.
Magick and Psychotherapy
Modern magick and psychotherapy share a number of commonalties. Both attempt to empower the individual, both attempt to discern the relationship of the individual to the universe, both attempt to make that relationship as functional, in terms of the individual’s goals, as possible. Although many magicians might disagree, magick is also an attempt by the magician to integrate disparate elements of his or her personality into a unified whole, which is, of course, a primary goal in psychotherapy. This is not to say that magick is psychotherapy. Magick is clearly a quite different field of human endeavor. Psychotherapy generally has a sociological goal, that is the development of personality assets that allow the individual to function within society in an easy and comfortable manner. Magicians generally could care less about social approval, although they might well seek the approval of their magickal peers.
Psychodynamic approaches to psychotherapy (also known as psychoanalysis) seek to overcome defenses so that repressed materials can be uncovered, insight into personal motivation can be achieved, and unresolved childhood issues can be controlled. Psychoanalysis, probably because of its dismal success rate and enormous expense, has now pretty much given way to psychopharmacological interventions among psychiatrists. However, servitor creation and deployment certainly uses psychoanalytic techniques, to the extent that the magician attempts to discover obsessional thought patterns, tries to find out exactly what it is that he or she wants, and uses the material of his or her own psychological history as part of the material in the development of the servitor. The primary difference is that psychoanalysis seeks to bring repressed materials to the surface so that they can dissipate (if, in fact they do), while chaos magicians mine their own repressions and obsessions for energy to empower creations of their own imaginations, a goal that many psychiatrists might regard as being quite contrary to mental health.
Rather than looking at chaos magick in terms of its therapeutic uses as a psychodynamic form of therapy it may be more accurate to define it as a modality that looks remarkably similar to that adopted by situationalist or contextual psychologists. Situationalism, a view of personality championed by Walter Mischel argues that whatever consistency of behavior that is observable is largely determined by the characteristics of the situation rather than any internal personality types or traits. From this somewhat radical perspective it is arguable that personality does not actually exist, but is a construct placed by an observer on responses that an individual has to his or her environment. In other words, personality is contained in those behavior patterns the observer chooses to regard. Similarities in patterns of behavior result from similarities in the situation the individual encounters rather than any underlying traits or characteristics the individual might contain. This fluid conception of personality is integral to Chaos Magic which argues that it is not so much any internal validity (or consistency!) of belief structures that a magician may adopt that are important, but rather the tenacity with which the a magician can hold a belief during the period contained by the magical rite. Chaos magicians tend to be results oriented, more concerned, that is, with whether a magical rite works than with its consistency with any encompassing belief structures. Consequently the Chaos magician is quite content with adopting radically different personality characteristic than those with which he or she may find comfortable outside the space and period of the magical rite. Phil Hine, for example, cites a magician, who, wishing to pass a test in mathematics at college adopted the personality (to the best of his ability) of Mr. Spock from Star Trek for three days before the exam, and then passed the test with no problems. The magical practice of invocation, in which the practitioner adopts the personality characteristics of the deity or entity he or she invokes, also suggests that possession rituals are primarily situationist in underlying theory. The situation here is the expectation that the invoked God, demon, or entity will act in certain ways. Jan Fries, one of the clearest writers on magic derived from A.O.Spare, writes of the nearly epileptic seizures of contemporary Japanese spirit mediums
“Dramatic healings have much to do with play acting and giving the audience the entertainment it desires. The medium or shaman pretends the eternal ‘as if’ which becomes the ‘as is’ in the act of doing.”
To summarize, then, Chaos Magick is distinguished by its empirical approach to magic (techniques that do not actualize the magician’s desires are discarded), by an assertion that personality is a construct comprised of belief structures the individual chooses to regard as containing consistent and constant elements, and by the idea that the primary obstacle to the actualization of a desire through a magical rite is the interference of the conscious mind. The underlying concept here is that there exists an unconscious, perhaps even a collective unconscious, termed by Jan Fries “the Deep Mind” and by A.O.Spare “Kia”, but an acceptance of this idea, because of the situationalist approach of Chaos magicians, not necessary to the successful fulfillment of desires through magical rituals. It is, rather, part of the argument, a method to persuade Chaos magicians that the techniques may actually work, but the primary function is rhetorical, not substantive. This is, of course, a radical approach to magic, not to mention psychology, but it can be substantiated as an effective approach among certain individuals. To be sure, chaos magicians routinely use chaos magickal techniques for personal psychotherapeutic goals.
Phil Hine recognized this in his User’s Guide:
“A purely psychodynamic model of Servitor operation would state that our psyche is made up of a very large cluster of forces which can be projected as intelligences, complexes, or subpersonalities (whether you’re into magick, NLP, Jungian Psychotherapy, etc). These mental forces enable us to do some things but prevent us from doing others. By consciously realigning and redirecting these energies we can create Servitors which will enable us to do things which we couldn’t do before, such as refrain from compulsive behaviors, thoughts, or emotions. In these terms, a Servitor is a conscious form of redirecting these largely unconscious entities so that they work for us.”
I believe that chaos magickal techniques would actually prove quite valuable to psychotherapists in the treatment of abnormal behavior, but that, I’m afraid, is a topic for an entirely different essay.
Authors Details: By Marik (MarkDeFrates, marik[at]aol.com) Unknown Web Site