I have seen a number of people come to The Forty Sevants Facebook Group and ask for beginning methods of working with The Servants. I recently responded to such a post that outlined some practices for interacting with The Servants, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that there was no basic or simple format presented in any of the materials. There are elements of ritual presented, but no outline of a basic working.
So here's a quick one that you can use as is, adapt to your own needs, build on, reuse (but not reprint without permission), dissect, etc.
You will need some ritual implements:
- some representation of the Servant(s) (card, altar print, or seal)
- writing implement
- spring or purified water
- water receptacle (shot glass or similar)
- Incense (optional)
- oil to dress the candle(s) (optional)
Some notes on the above list. Have a candle (taper, chime, tea light) for each Servant involved in the operation. The paper should not be any old scrap paper, it should be specifically obtained with the intention of using it in magic and only used for that (find some nice stationary you like and reserve it); select a writing implement in the same way and use it only for magical purposes (a specific package of pens that you prefer are perfectly acceptable). The paper and pens are magical tools, treat them as such.
Have some spring or purified water on hand, along with a receptable into which you can pour the water during your ritual.
The warm up is going to be necessarily vague, because we all approach ritual differently. If you are a true beginner at this, might I recommend Tommie Kelly's Magic Primer? I have no interest in teaching and/or writing yet another Magic 101 or Chaos Magic for Beginners; better writers and teachers than I have already done so.
But before we even start talking about ritual, the practioner (that's you) needs to choose the Servant(s) that they are going to work with and what they want that Servant(s) to accomplish. Many people will involve multiple Servants on a single issue, but for the purposes of this presentation we will be considering a single goal or accomplishment for each Servant (though I won't complain if you can clearly delineate each aspect of a single issue that you want a discreet Sevant to work on).
For the purposes of this presentation, lets say we are looking to employ The Librarian to help us study for a test. So we spend some time with The Librarian, perhaps meditating with her image or seal, or simply reading about her and contemplating. Once you are comfortable with her, prepare your petition: a concise statement of what you want her to accomplish. This can be a simple statement, or it can be a direct petition to the particular servant (my choice), addressing them formally as Wizard Kelly does: "Oh great Servant n" (or something that feels/sounds right to you) and then proceeding with your petition asking for the Servant's aid. Formulate your petition before hand and write it down in a notebook, moleskin or on a scrap paper. The special paper or stationary is reserved for the ritual itself.
Once you have your petition and your other elements, you are ready to begin. Your altar or working space should be arranged appropriately; your candle(s) should be place directly in front of your representation of the Servant; your water receptacle should be centrally located to your arrangement of Servants. Have your paper, writing implement and water handy.
Here's the vague bit: prepare your space in your accustomed way (in other words, get your ritual off the ground the way you usually do). I would include some interaction with the Servant(s) you are working with. Wizard Kelly has his "Servants on a Train" method, I've described elsewhere my "gallery" method. Make a connection, in some way: whether that is through visualization, chanting, what have you.
The ordering of the next bit is up to you, but I am going to present it in the order I do things:
- Light the candle offering(s) in front of the Servant(s) and make it known the candles are an offering
- Inscribe your petition onto a piece of your "special" paper
- Read the petition aloud or silently, addressing your representation of the Servant
- Place the petition under the candle offering
- Repeat 1-4 as necessary
- Take a sip of, or pour yourself a measure of the water
- Pour some of the water into the receptacle you have prepared, make it known this is an offering
- If you have incense, cense the area around your working, again as offering
Back to vague: close the space in the way you are accustomed.
And the only thing left to do is to publicly acknowledge the Servants who helped you, after they come through!