This is an excerpt from my new, soon to be published book on necromancy. You can subscribe to the Occultist Newsletter to be informed of the book’s release via email and to receive other important announcements.
Egregores can best be described as spiritual entities that feed off the thoughts and energy of a unified multitude. Sports clubs are egregores that feed off their fans’ energy. Nations, religions and ideologies function in the same manner. A famous person, or his public persona, can also function as an egregore that excites the emotions of the multitudes and holds more or less power over their lives.
From a necromantic perspective the most interesting thing about egregores is their potential to rise from the ashes, to be born anew. Being that egregores are immaterial, they are in some ways eternal. So whenever a set of ingredients that is required for their manifestation is properly utilized, they can be resurrected.
The Imperial Egregores
The best examples are provided by the egregores of large empires such as the Roman and the Persian Empire. The (Western) Roman Empire was undone by barbarian migrations and invasions. Its death was dated by later historians to 476 AD. But the idea of the Roman Empire was larger than life, and it transcended and outlived its physical destruction at the arms of the Germanic warlords. The conquerors were so impressed by the high culture of the Empire that they took many of its customs, and rather than subjugating it with their own cultural customs they were instead assimilated by the Empire to a large extent. The Eastern Roman Empire continued to exist until 1458 AD.
Throughout this period the Western “Holy Roman Empire”, now run by the conquerors, and the Eastern “Byzantine Empire” were at each other’s throats on the question of which of these was the ancient Rome’s true successor, both in the manner of imperial glory and religious primacy. When the Byzantine Empire was conquered by the Ottomans and Constantinople was renamed Istanbul, the sultans considered their new empire to be the true spiritual successor to Rome, despite of never having conquered the city of Rome and belonging to a different religion and culture.
In modern times an attempt at resurrecting the Roman Empire was conducted by Mussolini and the Italian Fascists. Mussolini’s long-term plan was to expand the borders of Italy into the Mediterranean region, so that the Mediterranean Sea would once more become Mare Nostrum as it was known during the peak of the Roman Empire. In fact, there are direct testimonies from some magicians, most notably Julius Evola and the UR Group, that magical rituals were performed in Rome to evoke the egregore of the Roman Empire and influence Mussolini’s decisions to this very end.
We can trace the same egregoric survival mechanism with the Persian Empire. Throughout its long and tumultuous succession of dynasties, political and religious upheavals as well as many foreign invasions, it was considered as the Persian Empire throughout all of it. Whether the Achaemenid, the Parthian or the Sassanid dynasty ruled and whether Zoroastrianism, Mithraism or Islam were the official religion never changed the fact that they all belonged to an inner development of the glorious Persian Empire. Today’s Iran is the inheritor of that tradition. Despite of its overwhelmingly Islamic population there are still to this day some notable Persian identitarians, most notably Jason Reza Jorjani, the author of “Iranian Leviathan”, who wants Iran to take up the challenge of ruling the Middle Eastern region as did Persian Empire in ages past. There is no doubt in his mind that spiritually the Empire is alive as ever, and if that is not apparent on the material plane, it is the fault of the current regime in Iran that is unwilling to live up to its historical and spiritual duty to humanity. Attempting to resurrect a fallen Empire is a necromantic activity.
The same would hold true if one wished to resurrect an old religion. That was, and continues to be, the goal of Wicca and other neo-pagan movements. Following this logic, if one wished to bring their ruined noble family line back to its former glory, wouldn’t that be an attempt at resurrecting an ancestral egregore, one that is perhaps influencing the protagonist from beyond the grave? I’m not overly impressed by Jordan Peterson’s Jungian approach to spiritual matters, but he had an interesting remark about the power of ideas in one of his lectures, that got him near the edge of true occultism. He said that it’s unclear whether we are in control of ideas, or ideas are in control of us. For him, this observation ties neatly into the Jungian “collective unconscious” paradigm, which although highly limited by its biological determinism, does have some merit. But when we speak of egregores, we are speaking of a level beyond biology and ideas.
An egregore isn’t limited by evolutionary biology and psychology. It can possess lawyers, priests, soldiers and accountants to take up the sword and fight for a symbolic representation of a spiritual reality which has no bearing on their personal well-being, and is in fact often detrimental to it. Christian martyrs didn’t sacrifice themselves in the Colosseum to earn a job promotion, but because they were eager to see the egregore of Christianity triumph over the supposed sins and darkness of the pagan world. The Japanese kamikaze pilots sacrificed themselves for the glory of their Empire, knowing full well it would lead to their personal destruction.
Like all spirits that can be summoned, egregores can assume different appearances. Here, as in other places, we must distinguish between the egregore in its true form that contains all of its inherent possibilities, with the manifested form that is in essence only one of those possibilities. We see that all of the resurrections of the imperial egregores are conditioned by environmental circumstances. The Holy Roman Empire and Mussolini’s Roman Empire are two versions of the same egregore, but they contain a myriad of differences. The HRE had its centers of power in what are today’s Germany and Austria, and only on rare occasions, as in the case of Frederick the Great and his Sicilian center, on the periphery of the Empire. Its emperors were of Germanic descent and the goal of the HRE was to unite the entire Christendom under its banner. It was a highly decentralized conglomerate of feudal lands, where it was common that high feudal lords had larger armies and more power than the Emperor himself. For this, among other reasons, Voltaire famously stated that “this body which was called and which still calls itself the Holy Roman Empire was in no way holy, nor Roman, nor an empire.”
In comparison, Mussolini’s Roman Empire was meant to be a Mediterranean power ruled by Italians, with a centralized fascist government and spiritual ideals that were not wholly Catholic (although Mussolini eventually bent the knee to the Pope in exchange for Church’s political support). Yet despite of these differences, both Empires were vitalized by the Roman spirit and it was their intention to once again plant its flag high above the world.
The Occult Egregores
It is said that “history repeats itself”. If that’s the case, there must be an underlying reason, a cause-and-effect that can be uncovered if we look at the patterns. Marxists claim that these are economic cycles, while Hindus elevate the mystery to cosmic proportions that are entirely out of our control. Both ideas could be true, as there exist different cycles in time, both in duration and scope. But when an abstract spiritual reality disappears only to be revived time and time again through extreme personal and collective efforts, then we are witnessing a powerful egregore that is determined to remain part of the great historical play.
Egregores don’t have to be dashing extroverts. They can act more covertly like the secret societies, cults and esoteric Orders that scheme and plot below the surface. Freemasons, Illuminati, Rosicrucians, Thelemites, Theosophists and many others belong to the category of occult egregores since they operate underground. These egregores are quantitatively inferior but qualitatively superior to the surface level egregores, for despite having a smaller number of followers, the followers are selected on the basis of their superior abilities, ideological unity and the willingness to obey the group’s strict rules. However, I don’t believe that each of these occult groups is a separate egregore. Instead, there are three egregores that are constantly present in occult circles, and these are their potential manifestations.
The first egregore manifests as esoteric, initiatory and theurgical Orders that are in alignment with the public religion or at least neutral to it. The second egregore are the spiritual and political revolutionary Orders and secret societies that wish to overthrow the rulers of their day, often with motives that are conveniently both idealistic and self serving. The third egregore has under its wing all the occult groups that practice magick for the purposes of self-aggrandizement, hedonism and personal power. Based on their attributes, the first egregore could fall under the label of Theurgy, the second under the label of Prometheanism, and the third under Luciferianism. I am using these terms loosely and only because they best describe the methods and goals of these yet unnamed egregores.
Theurgy is primarily known as divine magic, and it was almost synonymous with philosophy, mysticism and magic during late antiquity. Theurgists, unlike Luciferians and Prometheans, are interested in becoming reunited with God. Depending on their religious background, they might phrase this as becoming God, for instance in yogic practices, or as banishing the ego, as in Buddhism. I am oversimplifying of course, but that’s the gist of it. For Christian monks the goal is to enter the glorious unio mystica with God, the Creator. In all such cases, there is a desire to embody the solar principle, to become one with the Spirit and destroy all individualistic limitations of the flesh. I am of the opinion that the Golden Dawn was a deeply theurgical organization, despite of its controversial reputation, as were the Rosicrucians.
The same could not be said about the Freemasons and the Illuminati. The main purpose of these organizations was, and continues to be, social engagement. These organizations were from their very beginnings oriented against the Church and all formal religious authority. The goal of these organizations is to create a new man, a new dawn for humanity. They are Promethean in their yearning to free humanity of the shackles of religious belief, to usher humanity in a prosperous age where science and reason will reign supreme. Because they are working against centuries old, powerful institutions and equally powerful convictions held by the majority of human population, they’ve had to remain private and at the very least semi-secret.
Their influence is rarely voiced in public, and they prefer using their carefully selected, powerful members to put pressure on governments and corporations to do their bidding instead. Their initiatory structure serves as a way to purify its membership so that the finest, most capable and devout members climb to the top of their respective hierarchies. In some sense, they act like the Catholic Church, but with an opposing ideology. Prometheus is the arch-enemy of the Olympian gods, the rebel who brought fire to humanity. Symbolically, the Freemasons wish to bring this same fire of reason and scientific progress to the indoctrinated masses that worship the Olympian God of today.
However, it would be foolish to view the Prometheans with rose-eyed glasses, for they are not without sin. However noble their goals might be, they are willing to throw under the bus anyone that stands in the way of their fulfillment. They are willing to sacrifice millions of people for what they consider to be the greater good for the future of humanity. With amazing power and riches comes the challenge of corruption. They’ve proven to be very much alike all religious organizations – corrupt, back-stabbing and willing to destroy anyone to strengthen their grip on society.
The third egregore, that of Luciferianism, unites at least in spirit, all those occultists that are narrowly concerned with their personal well-being, power and knowledge. Such occultists are libertarian by nature. Though they might have grandiose dreams and ambitions of ruling the world like the Prometheans or perhaps even like theological Satanists, they are unwilling to enter large organizations and toil away for a collective goal that may or may not become reality in their lifetime. Instead, they use magical and esoteric methods to elevate their consciousness, and they summon spirits to provide them with wealth, knowledge and pleasure. Some use spells and hypnosis to dominate other people as well.
Despite of their methods, they are self-centered, and this self-centeredness is highly egotistical. Unlike the Theurgists whose end goal is to destroy the ego, Luciferians identify with their ego and wish to dominate their environment instead of submitting to it in compassionate love. To let go of the ego and identify as a drop in the cosmic ocean means to die to ones individualism. A proper Luciferian wills the cosmic ocean to submit to the drop. It is a very heroic, though often futile approach, since it is enormously harder to conquer the world than it is to submit to it in spirit. Nonetheless, the Luciferians would have it no other way.
Obviously, there are overlaps between these three egregores, which is why they all fall within the occult category. Theurgists consider their groups to be the only proper initiatory organizations and they will often criticize the Prometheans for being counter-initiatory, i.e. Satanic or Luciferian. According to their logic, Prometheans are the orchestrators of chaos, from which Luciferian currents emerge. This genealogy is unfounded, and the exact opposite is true. Luciferians exist in every epoch and every society as individuals that are unwilling to submit to the dominant way of thinking and collectivism that ignores their individuality. They erect their own statues and worship their own gods or convictions. When they manage to create a group with a serious goal of overthrowing the dominant regime, they sometimes transform into Prometheans.
The Promethean egregore is the only one capable of battling with the egregores of exoteric religion, which has at its core esoteric theurgical elements. The Luciferians are the ones that provide a solid foundation for the constant resurrection and rejuvenation of the Promethean egregore, fueling it with new members and new creative impulses.
Finally we arrive at the role of necromancy in this great battle between the occult egregores. History, since the advent of civilization is witness to the rise and fall of occult groups and secret societies. Their teachings turned to ash when their followers and sacred texts were burned at the stake by the pious followers of the true god/s. Yet there is an unending reemergence of these occult groups nonetheless, and there is a clear connection between them, leading from the ancient world to the modern times.
Despite the greatest efforts of the eternal Inquisition to destroy all remnants of competing egregores, there are eternal Necromancers bringing them back to life. Each epoch is equally blessed and cursed with a new wave of occultism, each wave being a combination of new and old teachings. It is the same situation as that of the imperial egregores that transform with each new manifestation but carry the same, immutable essence that reveals their true nature to those with proper understanding.
The Inquisitors are not the servants of God, nor are the Necromancers servants of Satan or Lucifer. That is a simplification that cannot be true because it reduces all civilizations and cultures to a polarity that is purely Christian, and Christianity is much too young to uphold such an esteemed position. Egregores are much older, immaterial, resembling Plato’s eternal Ideas, but having a more active, influencing character. Egregores are Ideas, but they are also Spirits. They conquer human hearts and minds and they strike mutually beneficial alliances with their followers.
In the Bible, Christians are repeatedly called “the body of Christ”. Christ(ianity) is an egregore, Christians are its followers. Christianity went through thousands of transformations, inner conflicts and turmoil, none of which came close to destroying it. These events merely gave way to new interpretations that in the larger scheme of things strengthened the egregore by spreading its influence to new recruits. The Church certainly lost a lot of members as a result of the 1054. schism, and with the later Lutheran Reformation. But both events strengthened the egregore of Christianity by decentralizing its power so that new centers could more aptly spread over their respective areas. The same holds true for the smaller schisms between occult groups, the tensions between Northern and Southern Masonic lodges and so on. As long as there is tension and passion, an egregore will continue to live and thrive.
The greatest danger to an egregore is human indifference. If a sports team performs poorly, the fans get angry at the players and the club’s leadership. But their passion proves that they care for the club. The real danger is that they will become indifferent, because at that point the club ceases to exist as there is no more fire to sustain it. All fans are like Vestal virgins. If they stop feeding the flame, Rome will surely die. Likewise, no religion is harmed by inner conflicts and tensions, not even by the wrath of the atheists, and not in the least by the spiritual opposition in the form of Prometheans and Luciferians. Without Hell, there can be no Christianity.
The greatest danger to a religion is posed by the lukewarm agnostics who are completely indifferent to all spiritual questions and instead focus entirely on the world of phenomena. But let’s not concern ourselves with those who are unable to or unwilling to raise themselves to the spiritual domain and reap the benefits of an elevated existence. Let us instead examine some ways in which a necromancer could go about resurrecting an egregore if he made it his goal for whatever reason.
Resurrecting an Egregore
I don’t think it’s necessary to explain any further why egregores are difficult to work with. They are the largest spirits, requiring collective effort and energy to thrive. If they are dead, a truly intense effort on the part of a dedicated group of magicians is necessary to resurrect them. Indeed, that is the first step – assembling a loyal, dedicated and passionate group of occultists who are able and willing to perform rituals together with the sole aim of energizing and resurrecting the egregore.
It is vital to have everyone on the same page. The members should be in agreement on what the egregore represents, why they want to resurrect it and to what end. Thirdly, an effort should be made to collect valuable artifacts and symbols of the egregore and incorporate them in the rituals or at least keep them as part of the ritual space and/or the group’s secret meeting place. Such items are valuable because they contain an energetic imprint of the egregore.
A basic example is a national flag, or a weapon that was used by a significant historical figure. Roman legions carried the Aquila (eagle) as their standard. If the enemy stole the eagle the legionnaires were willing to sacrifice their lives to retrieve it, and they would grievously punish the offenders. Burning a national flag is treated as a serious crime in many countries. Christians treasure the cross, and Muslims treasure the image of Muhammad. Symbols are a visual and/or auditory representation of the egregore, so the more you are able to incorporate them into the ritual setting and into the lives of the group members the better. Demonolators often carry jewelry or wear tattoos of demonic sigils. Sometimes magicians who perform summoning magic do this as well, at least on a temporary basis to connect more deeply with a spirit they are working with.
The fourth consideration has to do with worldly activity. The group should have a plan that goes beyond their ritual activities. Rituals are a stepping stone, a necessary foundation to unify the group, raise the egregore’s energy and get things underway. Rituals are also helpful for bringing new people into the group and getting them on the same page. But relying solely on rituals is not a sound strategy. It is equally necessary to find like-minded people and expand the group beyond its esoteric core. If the egregore requires military, political or financial allies, you’d actively look for those people and see if they’re willing to join your cause.
This may require cunning and negotiating skills on top of high levels of persuasiveness and charisma. Some egregores are also easier to resurrect then others because there is already a significant interest in them among ordinary people. Timing is important. Trying to resurrect an egregore of a nation at a time when nationalism is deeply unpopular would almost certainly end in failure. As a magician and a necromancer, you need to sharpen your intuition so that it supports your magical endeavors by providing you with an honest assessment of the conditions you’re dealing with. If the conditions are poor, retreat and patiently wait for a better opportunity or devise a strategy to circumvent the identified difficulties.
There is a common misconception among beginners in occultism that if you’re doing magick nothing else matters, so the rest of your brain can go to sleep. Don’t be foolish and believe such preposterous exaggerations. Magick is a tool for manifesting an idea or a spiritual entity in the material reality, but in order to do this the circumstances provided by the material reality are also important. This is why some rituals have very specific requirements in terms of required ritual items, time and place, incantations etc. This is precisely in order to create the right environment so that the desired spirit can manifest. When dealing with egregores, not only the ritual environment, but the larger external environment must be taken deeply into consideration.
To be continued..