An egregore, or egregor, is a metaphysical term for a sort of group consciousness, like a Zeitgeist, or an archetype. It derives from the Hebrew word for "angel" and also for "city",and it has enjoyed many misadventures on its way to English. Like a servitor entity, an egregore is created - whether intentionally or otherwise - by people. But unlike a servitor, an egregore is shared by more than one person, and its power increases as it is invoked.
Modern group structures, like nations, corporations and websites, have their own egregores. They are invented thoughtforms, like conscious morphic fields, that are repeatedly invested in and invoked by the members of a group. Often the symbolism of that group is spread to others, and this strengthens the egregore as more people encounter it, develop awareness of recognition of it, and may eventually join the group and reinforce the egregore themselves. Corporations are very big on "branding", getting their logos out there and increasing public awareness of their company or products. This is even the case when a corporation like McDonalds is already widely-known, and they hardly expect anyone to suddenly discover them through their advertising. The marketing explanation seems to be that reinforcing the brand image in the minds of consumers as a dominant, almost omnipresent force, increases the likelihood that they will buy from that company in the future through familiarity alone. The metaphysical explanation is that companies, whether they know it or not, are promoting their corporate egregore by putting its identifying sigils and symbols out where a lot of people will encounter them. They also use product placement in television shows and movies to accomplish the same purpose, and the metaphysical explanation for them is the same. Nations have flags, songs and customs, social scenes have their own music, clothing style, "look" and trends, and even churches have their own ritualism. All of these feed into an egregore, like a magickal group ritual repeated many times.
Egregores often start as an intentional act of creating a servitor entity for someone's personal use. If others begin to work with the servitor, it can gather momentum - much like a kind of intelligent morphic field - and sentience, and start to act upon its own. As a sentient being sustained by the choices of others, it can find better ways to accomplish the agenda for which it was created. As its influence expands, it can take on bigger goals to accomplish its agenda in more powerful ways. Fotamecus, for example, was initially created to compress and expand time, but once his sigil was posted on the internet and more people began to work with him, he became much more powerful and began to take on Time itself.
Occasionally, egregores can be created unintentionally, by a strong desire or strong unformed tide of emotion, or even by a corporate marketing campaign. A lot of people working to accomplish a goal, or even a societal desire or need that isn't often expressed but resides just beneath the surface, will form egregores as well. If enough people want something enough, it will take on a life all its own, as they say. They're like a kind of Greco-Roman deity, a metaphysical entity created with a particular theme or purpose, whether this creation is focussed and intentionally established or not. When a website, for example, soars in popularity and renown, its egregore has gotten quite powerful. As sentient beings created by a collaborative choice, egregores can be considered "team spirit", in a very literal sense.
Egregores can often tie into each other, interacting. For example, HubPages' egregore would be under the dominion of the internet's own egregore - which demonstrated its significant power as far back as 1999.
Sometimes, servitors can become egregores if they're worked with enough, by enough people. As they grow, their power and their agendas expand, particularly as they get more input from those who work with them. Egregores get a certain sense of what's desired by those who work with them, and increasingly act upon more fundamental motivations than they may have been designed with. It's wonderful to think that as many people encounter an egregore, it gets an increased sense of where it should be in the grand scheme of things - for example, my experience leads me to think that what the egregore Fotamecus is actually after isn't so much to dissolve the confines of Time, but rather to loosen the binding chains of Causality itself - that "law" or perception that Event A causes Event B, which in turn causes Event C. Looking at Creation from a spiritual perspective, Love causes all things... and what wasn't caused by Love was never truly created in the first place, but rather just a joyless illusion. This is the only way to reconcile belief in an omnipotent, Loving, Perfect Creator with the world we see around us.
Egregores often start as an intentional act of creating a servitor entity for someone's personal use. If others begin to work with the servitor, it can gather momentum - much like a kind of intelligent morphic field - and sentience, and start to act upon its own.
Ghouls gone wild
When an egregore gets powerful enough, it often becomes difficult for its creator to control it anymore. Like any teenager, it's now old enough to accomplish its agenda as and how it sees fit. If the goals of an egregore were initially less than benevolent, it can easily go off the rails and become a very powerful force for a negative or selfish agenda in the world. The timeline is rife with this sort of thing happening, all over the world. From the cliched villains on Saturday morning cartoons making Faustian pacts with stronger, malign entities who eventually snack upon them, to Tibettan folklore of tulpas (living thoughtforms made real by holy men) going sinister and out of control, to Japanese mythology about kami (sentient nature spirits) who are worshipped inadequately or not at all cursing people and going violent and destructive, to Hebrew folklore about priests making golems who later went berserk. Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein, the first science-fiction novel ever, and in the 60's and 70's when computers were just emerging we had all sorts of computers and robots getting out of hand. Even The Simpsons had giant corporate mascots becoming animate, sentient and destructive in "Attack of the 50-Foot Eyesores". With computers becoming so commonplace and accepted, we seldom have stories like this today - we just live out that kind of science fiction on a daily basis with oppressive corporate and nationalistic agendas that nobody can seem to put a stop to. Society itself has become a powerful, strongheaded egregore, just like Frankenstein's creation. If only we hadn't used an abnormal brain.
A few small repairs
And that's just it, isn't it. An egregore is principally defined, individually at least, by the agenda it was given. The agenda was set by its creator, and when people work with it to accomplish that agenda, they're sharing in the choice that gives it its purpose. But the agenda and the choice is only as well-made as the person who made it in the first place. Let's face it, if someone designs an egregore and they're mentally incompetent, shortsighted, or just doing it unintentionally because they're extremely angry, it's not going to be pretty. We all encounter frustrations in our lives on an ongoing basis. When we share in that, and harbor vengeful feelings, what kind of an egregore are we creating together?
Egregores like notoriety. Of course they do. They enjoy it for the same reason that celebrities enjoy publicity - if they don't stay in the public eye, they fade away. They're fueled by our dreams, our hopes, our wishes and our desires. But in order to remain worthwhile and relevant, in order to gain positive notoriety and not behave destructively, they must pursue a benevolent agenda and they must do it benevolently. Because their agenda is created by someone who may not have thought it through all the way, the agenda that it pursues may be very goal-oriented and short-sighted. It may need some fine-tuning, to redefine its agenda in a way that is more in harmony with greater overall agendas.
In Marbles & Matchsticks, I outlined a map of superior states of Creation and of consciousness. The closer one is to a True State of Creation, the more leverage one has against lesser positionalities, because those lesser positionalities have less Creative force behind them - they're less real. This kind of High Magick seems to be the only effective approach to a situation like this, because the kind of leverage that kind of position affords can provide enough clout to overhaul the agendas of powerful but potentially miscast entities like destructive egregores. By reassessing the basic agenda and motives of an egregore from a superior state of consciousness, one can redefine it in a healthier, more positive way. This basic Light-dispelling-Darkness motif is prevalent throughout the cultural mythology of the world, and this kind of "egregore career counseling" is a peaceful approach that does not create friction because it is nonaggressive. And if for some reason the egregore should decide to resist or reject this "tuning up", one can take solace in the fact that a lower positionality (as described in Marbles & Matchsticks) necessarily results in a greater authority to leash the egregore once more, bringing it under more constructive control.
The implications of this are absolutely staggering. We know that egregores are not just created intentionally by occult practitioners, but that they also exist in large corporate and political agendas; indeed, nationalism itself has all the hallmarks of egregorehood. From a superior state of consciousness founded in Love, one can address, interact with, counsel, and if necessary bind entire corporations and nations as spirit-based entities. This is not new information.
"...[b]oth the ancient Romans, and quite recently the Chinese, have recognized the existence of guardian spirits set over cities. Indeed, one author reports as follows on the occult war waged on enemy cities by ancient Rome: `The Romans, when besieging a city, made a habit of carefully enquiring the name of the city and of its guardian spirit. When they knew these, they would summon the guardian spirit of the city and its inhabitants, and conquer it.'"
- Willy Schrodter, from: Commentaries on The Occult Philosophy of Agrippa
But it certainly demonstrates the power of egregores, and why magickal societies were so hush-hush about them in the early 1900s. That was before the internet was introduced and people learned that "security through obscurity" was a strategy that didn't work. With enough Love, one can bind the spirits of of corporations and entire countries to a constructive, Love-based agenda. Like anything else, it is unremarkable or inadvisable if it is not approached with Love - but approached with Love, any sufficiently competent occult practitioner could improve the world in staggering ways.
A mage attempting to realign an egregore with more fundamental values will have a much easier time of it than the Romans did. After all, the mage isn't attempting to "take over" or bind the egregore - it isn't a battle of Wills, and presumably the mage doesn't truly want control over the egregore. Rather, what the mage wants is to correct the aberrant approach of the egregore, getting down to the basics of what the egregore's purpose and nature is to a more refined degree. It's somewhat like a software patch, a purification, or assistance with self-actualization. Like an exorcism, the power of the mage to do this doesn't come from the mage alone, but from what the law refers to as "derivation of authority". In attempting to harmonize the egregore with more powerful Divine laws of Creation, one is working from a derivation of authority of Divine Love, like a priest exorcising in the name of a higher power. But unlike an exorcism, the mage is working in the interests of the egregore itself, to allow it to fulfil its potential in a more efficient and effective way. This means that there is no inherent conflict of interest between the mage and the egregore - although the egregore is of course free to disagree. Disagreement, however does not change the fact that the mage's motivation gives them a superior derivation of authority over the egregore, no matter how powerful that egregore otherwise is. This is simply due to the nature of Creation.
In its True State, everything is Perfect. It is only when something rejects an alignment with Love that it appears to mutate into something repulsive and warped. What the mage is seeking to do in realigning an egregore is merely to dispel this warped illusion through an agenda of Love, supplying the Love that was missing in the egregore's agenda, and applying a little spiritual insight and creativity to redefine the egregore's nature and agenda as something that is more in accordance with Divine Will, and its own True Nature. This apparent "change" is only a "change" on a manifest level - what the mage is seeking is to self-actualize the egregore, unlocking what the egregore's True Nature - or something much closer to it - is and always was. The mage is striving to better align the egregore more fully with its own inherent belevolent Purpose, whatever the mage who initially created it envisioned its Purpose to be. The Purpose should ideally be as close as possible to the egregore's predefined Purpose, and altered only inasmuch as its new Purpose is better aligned with Love. After all, just like a good parent the mage's goal isn't to tell the egregore what to be, but rather to enable it to live a healthy, functional, satisfying existence.
Propagating egregores typically involves spreading its sigil publicly, to increase its power. Some occult practitioners have found that spreading awareness and recognition of an egregore or servitor entity by spreading its sigil and description through the internet, or simply advertising its sigil offline, to be enormously powerful, but I'd like to propose a slightly more novel approach.
Basically, what's in a name? A rose is a rose, after all. If an egregore is to embody a certain approach, objective, purpose or agenda, surely it can be referenced by that agenda, rather than by its' name or sigil. Suppose, for example, you wanted to create an egregore whose purpose was to embody and enhance manifestations of benevolence in the world, and in people's lives. (This is admittedly high, spiritually-based magick, rather than low magick, but it's what I generally practice anyway.) So rather than promote your egregore by placing sigils around your neighborhood and the internet, you would promote it by making choices that were in accordance with benevolence. Egregores are collective choice, after all. How better to contribute to it? By making spiritually powerful choices, one can invest in great amounts of metaphysical strength, and use that potency to strengthen an egregore. Writing internet articles is a great way to propagate anything truly worthwhile, and combining it with an agenda of benevolence is very easy to do - in fact it's what I've been doing. Every act of Love or benevolence strengthens every other act of it, and it is my hope that the "spirit" of benevolence and Love will grow more powerful in its effects upon us all.
- Marbles and Matchsticks: Transcending a Shattered Reality
- The Devil IS the Details: The Illusion of Evil
George Poe from United Kingdom on April 05, 2010:
That's really useful content and good writing too.
cassie on December 16, 2008:
awesome article, Satori. I'm looking forward to reading more of your ideas.
Connecting to Bright_Sorcerer's mention of cynic 'expert' types, I've found that these people want to believe and are trying to entangle with others' more creative belief structures in order to model creativity -there is a subconscious aim to outgrow their own limiting beliefs. (I too was drawn to chaos magick as the first type of magick that made sense to me for it's freeform use of beliefs as tools)
A few years ago I found myself the target of seeming relentless negative attention in the form of gang stalking. Since I'd always tried to interact with others with my life-positive lessons and perspectives in place, I had trouble at first understanding why my positive responses to these people did nothing to stop the negative energies aimed at me. Though I could actually see them interacting with my thoughtforms, who helped to process some of these people's limitations... it seems that over the years of negative attention I took on some of the smaller neg bits when they overflowed from the thoughtform.
I am inspired by reading this article: I see now how this is the time for a more conscious reconnection with the thoughtform who has developed immensely from entanglement with all the stalker-critters' appeals for processing their limitations. Such that I can approach it and hand over that which it could not process before, thus releasing these bits left by others and, it seems, completing a cycle of evolution in the lives of myself and the egregore. Oh wow... *seeing the evolution of 'my' egregore and unfolding realm of new challenges where it can help in the processing of more complex interpersonal/group growth crises and such*
Thanks! ;) well, I'm off to play with these new ideas. I'll see you around. btw, the url is my biz contact form. feel free to connect w/ me.
bright_sorcerer from London, Canada on June 22, 2008:
Hey Satori! I dropped over to check out that link...quite fascinating. The power and energy of that would be incredible....and definitely exponenential. One of your readers commented there that they were purely fictional characters and personally, I sometimes want to almost scream at the ignorance....like, do a bit of reasearch on thought forms, already dude..you know what I mean? People don't comprehend the simple fact that any magick is only limited by our own imagination and creativity (the main reason I was drawn to chaos magick initially). Anf when it comes to working with servitors for a specific purpose or objective, I compare it to fiction writing...there are few if any boundaries or restrictions in creating a character and bringing it to life. Yes, I know I'm preaching to the choir here...lol. I don't mean to sound like a know-it-all but it astounds me how people rely on inaccurate and outright faulty information to base their "expert" opinions on. BTW, I did find your suggestion of spreading a sigil around so it is regularly seen, to increase its power and energy, quite fascinating. The latest aspect of my own learning is working with oracle cards and my guides, mainly my doctor teacher guide. I ran across a Tibetan Dumo and felt strongly urged to begin using it when I initiated my centering and grounding...if I had not experienced the power myself I might be a bit skeptical. Anyways, I'll be keeping in touch with you.
Satori (author) from California on June 09, 2008:
Thanks for the comment, bright_sorceror! It's great to hear what others have been doing. If you're interested in egregores with a political bent, you may want to have a look at something I've been working on recently:
bright_sorcerer from London, Canada on June 08, 2008:
Very informative and I thoroughly enjoyed this article. My sentiments are based on experiencing the effects of an egregore on a political campaign and a servitor that I use occasionally called Ivanhoe. In the first case, the candidate won by a huge margin and many of the volunteers, having worked on other campaigns, could not believe the incredible atmosphere that was prevalent. About the same time I was learning the basics of remote viewing, I ran across Phil Hine's site and read my first account of how to make and use a servitor...and that's following an exercise that Denning and Philips suggested in their practical guide to astral projection. Your alternative to spreading a sigil around to increase its strength is well made....displaying the light inside, with a kind word or deed, is extremely powerful. Really enjoyed this.
pgrundy on May 04, 2008:
This is so helpful. It gives me a framework much needed within which to understand certain events and consequences (of what I think you would term 'low magick') in my own life. I use this very sporadically when I am stuck, because it really works, but the effect is almost always what you would expect when something gets 'unstuck'--that is to say, a tidal rush of whatever it is that I was requesting that can be overwhelming and disorienting.
For example, back in November of 2007 I decided that I simply could not stand to serve the corporate entity that was helping to pay our bills, that it was making me ill and nuts and angry, and I had no clue how to get past that bondage. (Still working on it, but bear with me here...) So I called forth what amounts to (in the language you present here) a 'servitor' (I guess) that was designed to bring me writing work, with the stipulation that I would know the task had been accomplished when I had so much paid writing work I no longer would have time for my evil bank job. As you know, at this point (6 months later) I am freaking DROWNING in paid written work and am feeling a lot like Mickey in "The Sorcerer's Apprentice." I've cut back to half-time on the bank job, but am still clinging to it even though I know I need to let it go. So I can attest, yes, it's all true boys & girls. Seriously.
However, despite my research into magic in the past, it has been a long time since I have done anything personally except the occasional 'un-stick me' spell, and I see I don't know so many things... so much to learn here. It's very exciting. But I am enjoying writing these hubs enormously.
Thank you again for a great hub. I've bookmarked everything. (o:
MarketerX on May 04, 2008:
"Every act of Love or benevolence strengthens every other act of it, and it is my hope that the "spirit" of benevolence and Love will grow more powerful in its effects upon us all. "
That made me thinking... thanks Satore