Practical Magic

I recently traveled to the beautiful city of Detroit, MI for a Setian Gathering over a long weekend. After a fantastic three days of magical Exchange with a wonderful group of people, exploring a new city, I returned home eager to integrate what I had learned and experienced into my daily life.

Michigan Theater

My trip back to Austin was delayed, then rerouted, due to lightning storms in Houston, which in my highly charged and sensitive post-Gathering state seemed a beautiful synchronicity.  I arrived home to find that my luggage had been sent a different route, and, over the next 24 hours, my suitcase failed to turn up on my porch as promised.

I followed all the usual steps – phone calls to the airline and emails to their courier service. I mentally catalogued the items that were in the suitcase, including an irreplaceable gift from Magister James Kirby, who passed from this life last October. My black pentagrams of Set. An (extremely) antique ring given to me by my husband. The suitcase itself was a gift from my late mother.


After I lit some candles for Santa Muerte (because why the hell not?) I remembered a recent conversation I’d had with Lechuza Mundo, another Austin Setian, when she’d told me about a servitor that she and her husband had created, specifically for finding things. I sent her a text message, asking if XXXXX (name redacted) worked only for them, or could they ask on behalf of other people. She said she’d give it a try, so I sent her some photos of things that were in the suitcase.

45 minutes later, my luggage was dropped off on the porch.


Photo by Jason Eppink

I’ve been asked before about practical applications for magic. It’s super great to achieve a godlike state of being, striving for self-knowledge and refinement of the will. But what about the day-to-day life stuff? I feel it’s vital to remember and apply magical principles to everyday problems – not as a replacement for hands-on work, but to tip the scales of the universe in our favor. Magic can not only amplify who you are, it can strengthen the effects of what you do. It can make your hard work do more for you.

After my great results with requesting assistance from XXXXX (name redacted), Don Webb was kind enough to send me the following essay, with instructions for creating a servitor for my own household. I publish it here with his gracious permission.


The practice of creating servitors is pretty old – the first record we have is in Lucian’s short story, “The Lover of Lies” in 150 AD.  That story, via Goethe’s poem, “Der Zauberlehrling”  eventually became the story of Mickey Mouse and the magic broom in Fantasia. The basic ideas are there – programmed magic works and is therefore dangerous.  I love telling I*’s about Servitors – they get results and, since they’re so damn easy to screw up, will teach a lot of lessons.

Servitors are well represented in HooDoo and English cunning man magic, but became popular in the 80s in Chaos Magic  — and since we know that white guys invented everything, we’ll just go with that.

Like most methods, everyone has his or her way.  I’m going to share mine – your mileage may vary. However, the warnings should be noted, so that when you cross the line and screw up you can think how smart I am.  

Some people like to give the servitor a place to live – like a doll or a painting.  That’s ok, but NEVER use a living thing. Servitors should enjoy their lives, don’t make them robots.  DON’T leave them turned on all the time. They will do exactly what you tell them, so don’t chide them if you don’t like the results. I don’t tell everybody how to summon it.  Groups can create them as well.

Here is my 5 step system.  To illustrate I am going to make an entity to help me throw parties.  I’m going to call him Hardi (as in “Party Hardi!”). I like simple names that are similar to purpose.  You can use any name you like, but DON’T use departed relatives because you will confuse your intent.

  1. I obtain a sheet of symbolic paper – it could be papyrus, parchment, or even a grocery bag—it should be resonate with the purpose.  For Hardi I’m going to take a little piece of white cardboard that came from a packet that held birthday candles. I lay the card in front of me and I talk to it. “In a little while you are going to have your birthday Hardi.  You will have blissful sleep like a cat in a sunbeam until I call you. I’ll call you by making the Horns with my left hand and saying, “Party Hardi” Here is what you can do: Help find me great food, drinks and party supplies for cheap, make the right people want to come to my parties, make sure they arrive and depart safely, keep everybody chill while they’re partying, and help them get any secret messages I’m trying to send. Every time you do a deed you will feel pleasure and you will be fed by the doing.  Later when the party’s over I’ll light a candle and thank you. Then you will grow in power and intelligence as you dream about what you’ve done.” Note I used general terms like “right people” or “chill.”
  2. I will take a red sharpie and make a sigil out of the letters HARDI  — I’ll connect them together and add flourishes like pentagrams or tridents.  It should look magickal. When I’m done, I’ll have a spoken formula – it could be anything from a phrase from the Greek Magical Papyri to a simple, “I Setnakt call you into being Now!”  In this case I’m going to sing the Happy Birthday song.
  3. I launch the sigil.  This is the process of emotional and physical charging.  I could light a candle flame and stick my finger in it, ride a roller-coaster and scream out Hardi’s name, wait a really long time to pee and then say Hardi’s name when I got relief, or let the world choose a moment for me like yell Hardi’s name after a jerk cuts me off on I35.  Orgasm is most people’s preferred method – when the inevitable moment occurs stare at the sigil and shout the name.
  4. I transfer the Sigil into the Hidden realm.  Shortly after launching. I light the black flame, say the Invocation of Set, and then say a simple formula like, “Hardi with this Fire I send you into the magickal realm where you will sleep until I call you.”  I burn the sigil and later toss the ashes into the air.
  5. The first time I summon HARDI I am very deliberate – doing it at night, making the devil’s Horns with my left hand and I call him three times.  I will have a red candle in front of me that I will light to honor him after the party is done – and I make sure that I use that candle for no other purpose.  After the party – unless it was an unmitigated disaster –  I light the candle and tell him what a great job he did. Then I tell him to have pleasant dreams until I call him next.  If it was an unmitigated disaster, I light the candle, thank him and then tell him to have pleasant dreams. Then I throw that candle away. I do not make another servitor for this purpose.  After the first time I am more casual in my summoning, but I am always very deliberate in my thanks afterward.

Because people have good results with servitors, they make too many.  Go easy with it.