The Fluid Continuum
From: Fenwick Rysen
What the f***'s an Egregore?
Subject: Re: one other question -- egregores
Date: 1 Sep 1999 16:10:35 GMT
Organization: Chaos Matrix (www.chaosmatrix.com)
lo eskis i
WOW! Two good questions in the same day! Is a.m.c. coming back from the
dead? No, it's probably just the statistical good day we're allowed after
a year of crap.
Quoth Jim Mooney (firstname.lastname@example.org):
> Of the three books I just got on Chaos Magic, they all mention
> egregores, but there is not much of a definition of the term, except
> by context. Could someone here give me a good definition
Well, the best place to look is any decent dictionary. I'd give you the
definition out of the copy of Webster's Ninth New Collegiate that I keep
on my desk, but it's not a good dictionary---it doesn't even have it in
there. Essentially, "egregore" is an older english word that seems to be
fading out of use. It refers to the "spirit of a thing", usually
referring to some organization humans create (clubs, states, fraternities,
countires, etc.) that summates its principles, beliefs, and goals, and
guides people in accomplishing them.
A good example of such an egregore is when someone say a project has
"taken on a life of its own".
That's a traditional egregore. In chaos magick, it's slightly different.
I consider it as part of a fluid continuum describing the strength of an
entity. You start out with dumb, unintelligent sigils---these just
represent something, but don't actually think. Charge a sigil long
enough, and you'll end up with a servitor, which is usually either
completely stupid but capable of doing complexe tasks, all the way up to
being able to think onits own and deduce things in its operation.
But when a servitor gets really big, what happens to it? The moment it
becomes more than one person can handle, I consider it an egregore. At
this point, it becomes capable of making some of its own demands, guiding
its own work (though usually along the lines of the original goal of the
people who created it) and in general "taking on a life of its own".
Once you get bigger than this, you get a godform: something that has grown
so strong that the people involved with it take up a subservient
relationship, often worshiping it, or appealing to it for help. (My
apologies to any gods not created in this fashion who may become offended
by such a simple explanation for their existence.)
So you get
SIGIL --> SERVITOR --> EGREGORE --> GODFORM
Or at least, that how it works in my own little twisted version of
reality. If it makes sense to yyou, use it, if not, scrap it and try
something else. Remember, chaos magick is about whatever works for *you*,
so you don't need to adopt any of my own explanations or the baggage that
comes with them unless you want to. Get a few other people's opinions, do
some reading, and formulate your own views.
Big Evil Corporations (or good ones, for that matter) can be considered a
kind of egregore. Hmm..... "Legal Entity"..... Might be something there
worth playing with.
Good luck to you.
In Life, Love, and Laughter
o | --Fenwick Rysen http://www.chaosmatrix.com
/ ICQ:3699476, Nick:"Fenwick"
| ___ | "The only prevalent characteristic of chaotes is their
/ ability to confuse you beyond all hope of rescue."
| ---Mathias Karlsson