Servitor (chaos magic)
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Within chaos magic, a servitor is a psychological complex, deliberately created by the magician for a specific purpose, that appears to operate autonomously from the magician's consciousness; i.e., as if it were an independently existing being.
A servitor is an entity "specifically created by the magician to perform a set range of tasks". Phil Hine writes that servitors are created "by deliberately budding off portions of our psyche and identifying them by means of a name, trait, symbol", after which "we can come to work with them (and understand how they affect us) at a conscious level."
Servitors can be created to perform a wide range of tasks, from the specific to the general, and may be considered as expert systems which are able to modify themselves to take into account new factors that are likely to arise whilst they are performing their tasks. They can be programmed to work within specific circumstances, or to be operating continually.
Servitors form part of a thoughtform continuum: from sigils, to servitors, to egregores, to godforms. At the start of the continuum are "dumb, unintelligent sigils", which represent a particular desire or intention. When a complex of thoughts, desires and intentions gains such a level of sophistication that it appears to operate autonomously from the magician's consciousness, as if it were an independent being, then such a complex is referred to as a servitor. When such a being becomes large enough that it exists independently of any one individual, as a form of "group mind", then it is referred to as an egregore.
Alternatively, a magician may choose to create servitors from negative aspects of his/her psyche, such as "habits, shortcomings, faults, revulsions", rather than positive desires or intentions. In doing so, he/she can interact with those traits as personal demons, and bind or banish them to eradicate them from the psyche.
The complex has a sort of body, a certain amount of its own physiology. It can upset the stomach. It upsets the breathing, it disturbs the heart - in short, it behaves like a partial personality.
According to Jung, the conscious ego itself is such a complex.
Austin Osman Spare stated that such complexes could be deliberately created through his sigil technique, referring to sigils as "sentient symbols". According to Spare, feeding sigils with free belief incubates "obsessions", which in turn gives rise to complexes.
Peter J. Carroll writes: "These beings have a legion of names drawn from the demonology of many cultures: elementals, familiars, incubi, succubi, bud-wills, demons, atavisms, wraiths, spirits, and so on." Hine, in turn, compares the servitor the Tibetan Buddhist concept of the tulpa.
- Hine, Phil (1998). Prime Chaos: Adventures in Chaos Magic. New Falcon Publications. ISBN 9781609255299.
- Marik (1998). "Servitors: Part Two of Sigils, Servitors, and Godforms". Chaos Matrix. Retrieved June 7, 2018.
- Rysen, Fenwick (1999). "The Fluid Continuum --or-- What the f***'s an Egregore?". Chaos Matrix. Retrieved June 7, 2018.
- Emerson, Gabriel (1997). "Egregore Definition Compilation". Chaos Matrix. Retrieved June 7, 2018.
- Hine, Phil (1998). Aspects of Evocation.
- Stein, Murray. Jungian Psychoanalysis: Working in the Spirit of Carl Jung.
- Jung, C.G. (1971) . Psychological Types. Collected Works. 6. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-01813-8.
- Grant, Kenneth. Austin Osman Spare: An introduction to his psycho-magical philosophy.
- Spare, Austin Osman (2013). The Book of Pleasure: The Psychology of Ecstasy. Lulu Press. ISBN 9781105502996.