We all have our secrets. Each and every one of us…
Remember that secret family recipe that perhaps your mother shared with your family or even with no one?
Well… Those of us who practice Magick eventually also have our secret formulae or at the very least, some experiments that have proven to be fruitful that we chose to include in our personal ritual repertoire. These are the personal rituals that we either eventually share and teach to others, or keep them utterly private. This is much like Mom’s secret ingredients she used in her chicken noodle soup that not only made it exceptional to the taste, but stood out from all the others. It was her original “signature” creation and when she passed it to me. When she did this, it became not only mine, but my family’s as well. Thus, the soup is analogous somewhat to an egregore.
So, what exactly is an egregore?
“Egregore” is a word derived from the Greek word “egrégoroi” This word literally means “watchers”, which also transliterates as “grigori”. This word appears in the Septuagint translation of the biblical Book of Lamentations, the Book of Jubilees and the Book of Enoch. Even being derived from the word Grigori, which acquired a somewhat negative expression over the time, is contingent upon what beliefs we hold regarding the lore of the Watchers. However, the general concept of egregore itself is certainly not a negative one.
Egregore is typically a collective of unseen thoughtforms and/or representative, common feelings that seems to originate from personality, particularly of a group working towards a same purpose. i.e. “group mind”. This is common in occult orders where magickal practitioners are engaged in the Great Work as we all have the common purpose to become self-actualized human beings and thus become spiritually liberated.
The concept of egregore however does not delineate cult behavior. I am compelled to highlight this in an attempt to diffuse false impressions that may arise from the use of reference to “group mind” or “collective. This is a different term altogether and is not synonymous with egregore. Any group can develop an egregore and not even be conscious of it. Occultists however, tend to be consciously attuned to egregore and even strive to develop it in order to build energetic strength and continuity within a group as well as distinguish it from other groups. Even those individual temples and lodges that are part of much broader Traditions tend to have what are called “local variations” in one or more organization-wide rituals which are very subtle, yet hold special meaning to the local body. This energetically has an imprint that is unique.
So what then is a “personal” magickal egregore?
Personal Magickal Egregore is a term I use to represent those rituals, manner of doing them and energy that are individual to yourself, as well as personal experiences that shape your core beliefs. Not everyone experiences the same spiritual traditions the same way nor perceive and assimilate energy the same way. Often enough, we may gather inspiration from them as our knowledge increases, to create our own manner of doing rituals and meditations. However, the more deliberate formulations tend to happen once some basic ritual magick frameworks have been assimilated and practiced for a long time.
Your Guardians, your Deities/Daemons and yourself working together in collaboration create an egregore and it becomes a personal magickal signature. This can be flavored with different beliefs, traditions and practices. This is your main template of composite beliefs and systems. It colors all the magick you do. It includes your ancestry, family culture and religion(s) also. We all approach the Great Work in different ways.
For example- After many years of being engaged in various magickal and cultural Traditions and groups, I started to create variations of rites that encompass all or some of those things. I have since incorporated that into some of my personal workings as well. I use structure and philosophies and teachings mixed with my own Gnosis to create something new. This is sometimes done deliberately and sometimes given as “transmissions” by my spiritual guardians. My ancestral background also lends much to my own egregore. I strongly encourage any occultist to delve into their past. For it is in the roots of our own DNA where we can tap into our personal power.
We all have beings we can get into contact with. They do however tend to reveal themselves only when the Magician is ready. We all have our own type of astral versions of “secret chiefs” and are our own Holy Authority unto ourselves, ultimately. Some beings contact people they know will be able to influence others as spiritual psychopomps in groups, those individuals having a mission to serve Humankind at-large. Some beings contact individuals as personal guides only, and some do both.
I am sure you have your own private rites too. Most Magicians and certainly all practicing Witches I know of have their own corpus of personal practice. Magickal journals and Books of Shadows are very valuable in recording these. I admit that I do the majority of my personal rites by memory and have just started to record the specifics of some such rituals in recent years. Not for public consumption however… unless I decide to publish a book on ritual magick, which I may do in the future. The market is just so saturated. Most everything has been done already, at some time, by someone or many, that it is requires a hearty helping of hubris to think that anyone of us in modern time has the capability that the original founders of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, the famous Aleister Crowley, Dion Fortune and Andrew Chumbley did… just to name a few.
You will never see me putting my personal rituals out in public, just as I do not announce exactly what I am doing in any of the Traditions I have taken oaths in to keep inviolate the secrets therein. I teach in an Order as part of my job being one of it’s founders and do not cross-pollinate. I do however have certain rites I do of my own devise that were developed from “transmissions” received by my deities, and guardian spirits. Some of these are dispersed being meant for sharing and others are not. They are utterly private.
Don’t ever allow anyone to convince you that you need to be some hot-shot to be in touch with prater-intelligent spiritual beings. And no, they do not come down in space-ships or other such nonsense. Instead, they reside (or at least come to communicate with us) in more-or-less a higher dimension, yet it is parallel to ours. In the occult this is considered the higher astral realms of the Briatic World on the Tree of Life. In order to receive we also must make our own efforts of Accessibility with which to receive such transmissions. This is done via any multiple means in the Great Work.
Secrecy plays a big role in personal egregore as well as that of a group. Divulging one’s most secret formulae publicly also tends to be an invitation for others into your personal egregore or that of any Tradition being worked by the uninitiated and by those who may not appreciate it’s currents. I stand by using the veil of secrecy in all that I do. Just because I may mention that I work Traditions and/or rites that of a theurgistic, devotional, thaumaturgic or alchemical nature divulges absolutely nothing!
Remember that there are ways to get messages across and to let people know you are active in your practices and not just some armchair” Magician without muddying your own egregore or that of any Order, circle, coven or group you are in!
Also, I believe it is very bad luck to announce when one is doing important rituals for the first 24 hours to 3 days afterwards as one’s magick is making its way into manifestation. Also, keeping secret one’s rituals is also important. Bragging exactly what one does only waters down mojo and invites others into your energy ( and thus possibly tainting your personal egregore) that may be unwanted. It is also way of handing over one’s own magickal power to someone else whether one knows it or not. It is one thing to discuss a tradition with like-minded individuals or a group. Quite another to open up regarding one’s own sacred egregore to the world. There are just some things that hold special meaning and are meant for the individual, or a select group and not the public-at -large.
It is not wise to ever hand over your personal power to anyone else and only share that which you are real comfortable sharing after careful, deliberate consideration. Afterall, it is your choice as to what you reveal about yourself according to your Will. No one can make that decision but you!
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