The following is a post from the Higher Magicks coven.
While I have written a few posts tackling some of the rudiments and basics of magical practice, I realized that I have not expanded upon them much. One of the things that I have been questioned about on occasion is the subject of thoughtforms and servitors, so I thought that I would discuss the concept of servitor creation, and provide you with an example of my first effort in this endeavor.
Thoughtform vs. Servitor
So, first of all, what is a thought form, and what is a servitor?
Let's go back to the basics for a minute to make sure some important concepts are understood. In magical practice, when we are partaking in a magical working we use visualization, will, intent, and similar concepts to shape energy into the influence that we wish to exert. For example, a basic use of this would be to cleanse a room with smudging. Certainly, when burning sage or some other material the smoke possesses its own cleansing properties, but alone this isn't typically enough. We also visualize the smoke at work, washing away the negative energy so to speak, and removing it from the area that we wish to purify. Will, intention, and visualization mingle with the properties of the sage to transform and move the energies in question, as a result.
A thoughtform is similar to this end result, but more complex. It is what occurs when energy is changed and transformed, but given the will to operate in some manner on its own to some extent. A blessing or a shield over a home that not only keeps negative influences from entering the home, but transforms them into a serene and positive aura is an example of this. The shield is not only performing a basic function, but is able to "think" to the extent that it is capable of considering what kind of influence it encounters and determining how to react to it. This, arguably, is a very basic thoughtform. But when most people consider a thoughtform, it is generally far more complex than this and capable of much more consideration, and many more interactions.
What's more, a thoughtform is not always a force created intentionally. Our subconscious minds do much with what we believe, hope, and imagine. Occasionally the subconscious mind can unknowingly create a thoughtform when we desire, believe, or otherwise subconsciously feel something intently. This manifestation of energy given will operates on its own, based on the sensations that resulted in its creation. In other circumstances, groups of people within very negative, or very positive, environments will sometimes subconsciously create such influences as well.
What is a Servitor?
A servitor, on the other hand, is essentially a much more complex version of a thoughtform. Where as a thoughtform is a magical construct possessed of some degree of independence and ability to reason or think, a servitor is in fact intentionally created as a being unto itself. It is effectively a spirit that you have created to do your will.
A servitor is given the ability to think, reason, and determine its course of action. More importantly, a servitor is given the ability to learn so that it can adapt to situations and carry out its instructions accordingly, to the will of its creator. They are generally considered to be dependent on their creator, requiring that the one who makes it continue to give it energy to sustain. However, I would contend that if a servitor is not capable of existing wholly independently then it is merely a very complex thoughtform. Energy, contrary to popular belief, is relatively infinite. Certainly we can become tired or otherwise impacted through using it, but that is not necessarily due to a lack of energy, but moreso the mental and physical stresses of working with such intense focus of thought and emotion. A servitor, similarly, might grow weary or have limitations on what emotion and thought it can sustain at length, but in the end it is an independent, sentient spirit, and as such it will not disperse so long as it has the Will to possess its own identity. And that this, combined with its ability to learn and adapt, is where the differences between thoughtform and serivtor reside.
So then how is a servitor created? In the simplest explanation, you create one by programming energy much like you would with any other magical working. Through your intentions, will, the exercise of visualization, and other such considerations, you shape imbue spiritual energy with sentience, or the ability to think for itself. When you have shaped your creation, and manifested it, you then cut it loose or set it free. Presto, you have a servitor.
Like with any magical working, you must begin with preparation and planning. And that means that questions must be answered.
How does one create a Servitor
First and foremost, are you ready for the responsibility of creating something such as this? A servitor is a sentient spirit, capable of independent thought and action. Like a dog, or any other pet, it must be given structure so as to ensure that it does not behave badly. And, if you fail in this, it can potentially become a "mad dog." Are you ready to guide your servitor in the direction you wish it to go? And if it becomes rabid, so to speak, would you be able to put it down? Both of these are necessary considerations. If one or the other seems like too much, you should not create a servitor.
What do you wish your servitor to be initially capable of? How do you picture it? Why are you creating such a being? Do you wish to impose any limitations to help keep it on the right track? These questions are important, and you must know the answers before you attempt the Servitor creation. Not knowing means that these factors will be decided by subconscious influences, and the servitor may display or learn behaviors that you would rather not encounter. If you possess doubt in your answers, or are uncertain of an answer, you should, again, not create a servitor.
Next, what method will you use for shaping and manifesting the energy to create your servitor? To be bluntly honest regarding this, if you are uncertain what I am speaking of then Servitor Creation is likely somewhat too advanced for you. I recommend going back to the basic concepts and exploring from there. Some people prefer to use Sigils to aid their subconscious in shaping and manifesting this energy. Some prefer more ritualistic approaches, using symbolic components alongside chanting, meditation, and the like. Any method that allows you to fully visualize and focus upon your work, and assists you in manifesting the Servitor, will work.
For my part, I have preferred to lean toward the ritualistic method. Here is an example of a successful effort I have made in Servitor creation. I have left out my some of the specifics of my purposes for the Servitor for the forums, as often such things are better left private.
My example of Servitor Creation
In the beginning, I spent several days in meditation upon a problem that I had encountered while helping others. There was a matter that I had wished to investigate further, but I did not want to offer my direct involvement, in part because I did not want the full impact of the situation to exert its influence upon me. In this contemplation, I came to decide that a servitor would provide the solution to this problem. It would be able to explore the situation, inform me of what it observed, and then act upon these findings as I instruct without leaving a direction impression of my presence in the matter. What's more, without much of a visualized form the servitor would be much more difficult to observe; it would be "slippery" to some extent, meaning that it would be somewhat more difficult to see its specifics and pick up upon any impression I left upon it, linking it to me, and that its influences as it assisted in solving the problem would be far more subtle.
Having fully decided this, as well as what limitations I wanted to place upon the Servitor, what degree of independence I wished it to possess, it was time to step into the actual ritual work.
With the meditative concepts still fresh in mind, I set about preparing. I first went about purifying myself for the ritual. The shower, I find, is a wonderful way to go about this. While the water rains down, it is easily to visualize all outside concerns being washed away. The heat and steam help ease awake aches and other physical concerns, while the whole experience is refreshing, energizing, and restorative. It is the perfect way to help make yourself a "blank slate," allowing yourself to focus entirely upon the ritual at hand.
Next, I set about purifying the area in which I would be creating the Servitor. To do this, I used my own version of the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram. This ritual is beautiful in and of itself. If you have never experienced it, I very much recommend exploring it. Below are the URLs for further information regarding this practice.
Once purified, I created a circle. Nothing fancy, no pentagram or other markings to lend the circle any further purpose. The circle itself was enough to offer a visual aid in containing the energy that I was seeking to manifest. I also made certain my tools were handy, and I set out a candle, a jar containing a pinch of sand, and made certain that the windows were open to allow in the summer breezes - the cooling air both a practical aid in staying comfortable during the working, and to represent the element of air, and the transference of Will through its medium.
With all ready, I lit the candle at the center of the circle. I also added a bit of my saliva to the sand within the jar, lending an aspect of myself to the working and a bit of the Element of Water to provide the glue to hold it all together.
Focusing intently upon the flame, I used it to center upon. Fire, the spark of life, provided warmth for the creation of the being of the Servitor. It also provided the vague image of changing, flickering shape that I wanted my Servitor to possess, while the smoke provided the subtlety that I required rather than the bright presence of flame. Using this visualization aid, I willed all of the intention and purpose I wished to craft into my Servitor into. To be honest, I am uncertain how much time I spent in this process. There is no well-defined point of completion that can be aptly described. There simply comes a moment when you realize that the all that you wish your Servitor to be has been made ready.
When I realized this point had come, I rather impulsively leaned forward and snuffed out the candle. Quickly, I picked up the jar and tilted it over the snuffed flame to capture the smoke while not spilling the sand. The sand, a visual representation of earth, aided me in visualizing the servitor obtaining a more concrete form, while the smoke provided the perfect representation of all of the energy I had manifested, and the amorphous Subtlety that I wished the Servitor to possess.
With my Servitor manifest, all was complete. I could now relax, and provide instruction to my creation. I broke the circle then, and grounded the energies that lingered from the process, though, admittedly, nearly everything had gone into the manifestation and there was little spiritual cleanup necessary.
So how then did I know that it worked? What made this anything other than an unverified, personal gnosis, so to speak? Ordinarily, I admit, that I am cynical of such things. I often seek some form of verification to confirm that what has happened is not merely imagination. For example, I might send the servitor out to a third party, to see if they could observe its presence for me and describe it without me influencing what they see with a prior explanation. However, in this case, while working with the candle the pets within my house walked over to the circle I had created. They remained around its edge, sniffing and curious, and did not move until I had finished. In that moment, as I snuffed the candle and made the Servitor manifest, the cat and dog immediately put their tails between their legs and fled the room without so much as a whimper. This, while still a vague clue, provides some indication that something had actually occurred.
So in the end, this pretty well confirms and explains the nature of a Servitor, and how it may be created. I hope it offers you something of use in your magical studies, and a deeper understanding.
Here are the links I promised, regarding the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram.
The ritual, and some notations upon it:
A video of the LBRP being performed: