Many chaotes consider a staunchly agnostic stance to be their default setting between magickal operations.
When belief is simply seen as a tool to be adopted and discarded as the need arises, there is little room for either worship or dogma unless a direct benefit can be derived from doing so.
But those who seem to experience direct contact with entities that resemble the gods and goddesses of classical folklore are left pondering a seemingly impossible question.
Exactly what, if anything, is invoked within the circle?
If we discard the accepted argument that the deities and demons of classical myth are venerated ancestors, fallen angels, omnipotent spirits or just the froth from some great cosmic egg, many alternative hypotheses present themselves.
Of these, two remain the most attractive for those who utilise memetics in their spell work.
The first involves internal processes that remain so, leading to something approaching a reductionist or nihilistic view of the unseen world.
The second takes those same godforms and flings them with intent forward into the material realm for all to see.
Under the first theory, we find the gods as sociological constructs appealing to some hidden aspect of our personal natures.
They are little better than internalised memes that the skilled mage or blind believer can call upon to adopt those aspects within themselves as and when required.
Such a system, which owes much to the Psychological model of magick, demands that said spirits have no finite existence of their own, simply forming one way among so very many that the human psyche defends itself against failure or adversity.
The second theory argues that the gods are projected thought forms, fed by those who are interested in them and gifted an odd, mechanical semblance of life by the continued interest of both believers and the uninitiated alike.
What makes this view uniquely memetic is the lack of distinction between followers and fanboys that it allows.
The mental attention, dreams and nightmares of every person who has ever stopped to think about a particular concept adds context to said information, not the purity of belief.
That their mind stuff oozes into the fabric of reality while focused on a given topic is enough. All books mentioning a certain entity become a Bible, every fan website apocrypha.
It is an extremely freeing worldview whereby internal archetypes can gain purchase in the supposedly real world.
As supporting evidence, we can call the many delightfully odd followers of Cthulhu to the witness stand. Few can argue against their success in working with a deity that has no actual existence outside of the writing of a shy and starving recluse, a man who fervently denied that his sleeping, squid faced ball of blubber had any basis in fact. Yet when they call on this spirit of madness, they get results.
Of course, the truly devoted followers of the Great Old Ones are nowhere near numerous enough to generate the mental energy required when empowering such a pantheon of gibbering nightmares about the prevailing normality of everyday life. But the externalised theory outlined above states that they do not need to be.
All they must do is become adept enough at crafting devotional and memetic practices that allow them to hijack the existing lakes of thought which are waiting untapped in the cultural zeitgeist. Thus each fandom becomes a potential magickal current, and every godform nothing more than a creation of the group mind.
There are thousands of potential pop culture properties to explore, and there is no need to restrict yourself to working with the gods that they provide alone.
If Magic the Gathering is your preferred hobby, Liliana Vess can be approached for aid in understanding the necromantic arts. If you like comic books, Constantine could be called forth to advise you on how to find a way out of a less than favourable deal. And of course, Grimlock is by far the most obvious Transformer to petition when all else fails and seething rage is the only option left.
The primary consideration is one of reach, however.
No matter how powerful within their personal narrative, a mortal hero will lack the omnipotence of a deity from the same realm. This weakness will be mimetically encoded into the zeitgeist by those who consume those stories with either relish or indifference.
Grimlock could never destroy Unicron, the closest thing to supreme evil as described in the Transformers universe, and Liliana Vess would never beat the dragon Nicol Bolas in a fair fight either. As such, those who wish to work with tulpas as godforms might as well use those that have already been encoded with the idea of divinity from the outset.
Ultimately, this process is more involved than simply using superheroes to replace the angels and demons named in existing grimoire rituals, as was the vogue among chaos magickians around the turn of the Century.
It goes beyond making lists of your favourite literary characters and slotting them into tables of accepted subconscious archetypes for future use.
The idea behind the memetic model of magick is to encode the very material of the universe with concepts that alter the zeitgeist in intriguing and unexpected ways, as well as recognising the benefits of taking those that have already been empowered by others and adapting them to fit your needs.
For occultists that dogmatically consider godhood to be something infinite and unknowable to the human mind, it may still be worth viewing such literary gods as potential archetypes or more general tulpas without the omnipotent trappings. Results can be gained in that way, though doing so falls far short of true memetic sorcery.
Ultimately, with magick, the continued evolution of technique and understanding of function are the only things that matter.
There are no sacred cows to protect and no priests worthy of praise. There is only the ever present march to greatness, one experiment at a time.