Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Nature of the Egregore in Ritual Magick

In a recent previous article I mentioned the term “egregore”, which I defined as a group-mind or group spirit of an assembly of individuals. Specifically, the egregore is properly defined as “an autonomous psychic entity made up of, and influencing, the thoughts of a group of people.” The word is derived from the Greek “egregoroi,” which means “watchers.” Scientific aspects of this phenomenon are found in the psychological studies of “group think” and the phenomenon of “risky shift”, where a group of people are more prone to take risks when addressing them collectively than they would individually. From the perspective of scientific psychology, a group appears to influence the functioning of individuals who are a part of it, even if they are unaware of that influence. So there appears to be a scientific basis to the concept of the egregore.

The term egregore is in general usage amongst occultists to describe the essential nature of groups or organizations, but has a very specific application in the practices of ritual magick. An egregore is related to a thought form, since they are basically derived from the same  psychic material that forms the foundation of conscious sentience. Egregores differ from thought forms because they are generated from the dynamic and intense interactions of groups of people, and they are usually not deliberately created. Magicians sometimes confuse the two, thinking that one can conjure up an egregore in a similar manner that a thought form can be generated. Making contact with an egregore is a tricky and difficult task, especially if one is outside or not a member of the group. Yet there are tall tales of certain magicians conjuring corporate egregores and attempting to contact and manipulate them in order to manipulate the corporation itself in an indirect manner.

Whether one can actually manipulate a corporate egregore indirectly and from the outside is subject to debate. I am of the mind that while one may be able to contact such an entity, attempting to manipulate it without directly engaging the principle decision makers may accomplish nothing. From my perspective, one would be better served performing a spell against the CEO of some company rather attempting to control it through it’s egregore. Of course, putting a spell on the head of a corporation, especially if that person is a complete stranger, is probably futile as well as absurd.

Still, a corporate egregore would be identified by the corporate logo, motto, advertising slogans and other identifying qualities. Certainly, if one were going to attempt to psychically access a corporate egregore, all of the materials needed would be easily available, since corporate branding does unwittingly establish a kind of collective identity that a magician may access. Establishing magickal access to a corporate egregore would probably produce information of a questionable value and usefulness. I will leave the question of how useful such information would be to others. Though I can well imagine that secret manipulations, acquiring confidential information and determining future stock prices might be something that an enterprising magician with a business knack might consider doing once access to the egregore was established. However, I am deeply skeptical that anyone could obtain accurate and useful information by performing this kind of magick unless they were one of the principle decision makers already inside the company. Perhaps if this ever becomes a viable magickal methodology, there may yet be born a kind of corporate sorcery.

As absurd as the notion of accessing the corporate egregore seems to be, the idea itself is quite sound when used on occult organizations and groups practicing magick. One would assume that an occult organization, which collectively performs ceremonies and engages in meditation or magickal practices, would produce a powerful egregore that one could tap into and engage in a manner similar to performing an invocation. Whether this methodology could be used to steal the secret teachings and knowledge of an organization or manipulate that organization is debatable, probably for the same reasons sited above about corporate egregores.

However, it’s quite possible to obtain and acquire useful personal information or even full immersion by connecting to the egregore of an occult organization or group. This can be accomplished even if the group or organization is no longer active or functioning, and even if the one performing the magick is neither initiated nor affiliated with that group. Of course, the knowledge gained is very subjective and personal, which means that its over-all usefulness is determined by the effectiveness, intuition and insightfulness of the practitioner. It also helps if one extensively researches the target occult organization, building up a foundation of historical and practical information about that group.

As stated previously, a practitioner must possess a body of information to work with, such as the logo, motto, doctrines, beliefs, teachings, principle members and whatever else one might be able to find. Of course, the more knowledge that one has about a given group, the greater the clarity and accuracy of the derived egregore, once it’s invoked. Having less knowledge and information about a group will produce a very nebulous and insubstantial access to the egregore, so it’s important to do as much research and information gathering as possible before attempting to contact an egregore. This is perhaps why it would be quite difficult to obtain a substantive egregore access to an ancient organization, particularly if there is little information about that group and all practicing members are long dead. The Templars come to mind, as well as many of the mystery cults of antiquity, like Orphism, Pythagorianism, Rites of Eleusis or Mithraicism.

It’s also possible to reverse the process and generate an egregore of a fictitious organization. What is required is for the magician to produce the lore and other materials necessary, which would done exactly as if what was being researched was a real organization. With all of this fake lore being instilled with a serious “As If” approach by the magician, the fictional group would become “real” when he or she summoned and invoked the egregore of that group. In such a magickal process, reality becomes something that the magician subjectively experiences, even if the masters and secret chiefs are fictional (and they usually are).

A magician needs to use discretion and a certain amount of objectivity to retain a balanced perspective when performing any kind of egregore invocation, whether the organization is real, legendary or completely fictitious. This is because it is all too easy to become obsessed and paranoid with the notion of secret societies plotting against the world and oneself. 

How does one contact an egregore? The mechanism that I use is the same one used to perform a simple invocation exercise. The key components consist of the following list.

  • Determining the symbolic logo,
  • Find a possible spirit name,
  • Draw a sigil and consecrate it,
  • Build up a descriptive imago,
  • Perform a simple invocation ritual with the above elements.
The simple invocation rite consists of the following steps:

1. Determine the quality of the base (an element, planet, zodiacal sign, sephirah, etc.) - set this to the four watchtowers. Derive a four letter formula that describes the base. Use this formula to qualify the four watchtowers. A description of that formula part may also be developed and used.

2. Draw the four watchtowers together into the center of the circle. Generate a vortex with a widdershins circuit of the circle - three times. Standing in the center of the circle, define the base formula as a word of power, and summon and invoke the egregore for the first time.

3. Establish a Western oriented gateway. Use Tarot trumps to qualify the three gate nodes. Charge the gate nodes with a trapezoidal cross and invoking spiral. Draw the three nodes together through the ultra-point, forming a tetrahedral gate structure. Perform the opening portal gesture facing the West and then intone the invocation of the egregore and summon it a second time.

4. Draw an internal circle and step into it, expanding it to the periphery of the magick circle. Place a charged sigil of the egregore in the center of the circle, draw an invoking spiral around it. Sit before the sigil and light an offering of incense. (An offering of consecrated bread and wine can also be given.) Intone the descriptive imago of the egregore, and then intone the third and final invocation. Call and summon the egregore to you again and again, then meditate deeply, assume a trance state and contact the egregore, note everything that is seen and heard.

5. Once the working is ended, perform the closing portal gesture to the West, and then a sealing spiral to the three gate nodes and the four watchtowers - the rite is ended.

If a magician uses the above simple rite of summoning to contact an egregore, and all of the required components are thoroughly developed, then I am certain that some kind of contact will be made. However, this is not a single action that is done just once (perhaps to test the hypothesis), it is done repeatedly over time, so that the contact is built up and matured until it is a tangible and reliable source of occult teachings and extended lore. Remember, the more information that one possesses about a given organization, the more detailed and defined the contact with the egregore will be. This is a critical point that the magician must carefully understand.

The kinds of occult organizations or egregores that the magician may tap is endless, yet I would be remiss if I didn’t identify a few for the sake of making some recommendations.

Possible Occult Egregores to Access:

The Secret and Invisible Rosicrucian Order of High Adepts

The Original Golden Dawn, circa 1890's.

Inner Esoteric Order of the Theosophical Society (including the Mahatmas), circa 1880's

Pre-Crowley German Ordo Templi Orientis

Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor, circa 1870's

Grand Lodge of Egyptian Masonry, circa 1780's

Bavarian Brotherhood of Illuminati

Knights of the Holy Grail (Modern Adaption of the Templars)

Sacred High Order of Druid Masters

Elders of the Secret Society of Stregheria

Ascended Masters of the Western Mystery Tradition

Guild Masters of Goetic Magick


The list is only as infinite as the imagination.

Frater Barrabbas


  1. "Perhaps if this ever becomes a viable magickal methodology, there may yet be born a kind of corporate sorcery."

    I hate to say it, my friend, but there already is. We call it "advertising." And if one considers Crowley's definition of magick, "the art and science of causing change in conformity through will," then they're even better at magick than we are.

  2. Jack -

    This article isn't about "media magick", a completely separate but no less compelling topic, it's just about egregores. As far as I am aware, no one is working this kind of magick in the corporate arena, at least not just yet.

    Advertising, as well as movies, TV series, and internet games and features are just a part of what may one day be dominated by occultists and magicians who use their practice and knowledge to create new realities for the consumer world to purchase.

    Fr. Barrabbas