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Egregore (also egregor) is an occult concept representing a "thoughtform" or "collective group mind", an autonomous psychic entity made up of, and influencing, the thoughts of a group of people. The symbiotic relationship between an egregore and its group has been compared to the more recent, non-occult concepts of the corporation (as a legal entity) and the meme.


The word "egregore" derives from the Greek word, ἐγρήγοροι (egrḗgoroi), meaning "watchers" (also transliterated "grigori"). The word appears in the Septuagint translation of the Book of Lamentations,[1] as well as the Book of Jubilees and the Book of Enoch.

Eliphas Lévi, in Le Grand Arcane ("The Great Mystery", 1868) identifies "egregors" (sic) with the tradition concerning the fathers of the nephilim, describing them as "terrible beings" that "crush us without pity because they are unaware of our existence." [2]

The concept of the egregore as a group thoughtform was developed in works of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn and the Rosicrucians[3] and has been referenced by writers such as Valentin Tomberg.

A well known concept of the egregore is the GOTOS of the Fraternitas Saturni.[4]

Contemporary usage

Gaetan Delaforge, in Gnosis magazine in 1987, defines an egregore as a kind of group mind which is created when people consciously come together for a common purpose." [5]

The concept has enjoyed renewed popularity among practitioners of Chaos Magic, following the Corporate Metabolism series of articles by Paco Xander Nathan, which were published in 2001.

The result of a synergy of thought could be the most concise description of this state of mind.

The notion of "egregor" also appears in Daniil Andreyev's Roza Mira, where it represents the shining cloud-like spirit associated with the Church. It is a common belief in Russia that the word "egregor" originated from this spiritual book.

The Russian occult movement DEIR, led by Dmitry Verischchagin, also employs this concept.

The book "The Art of Memetics" [6] provides a detailed and multi-faceted explication of what an egregore is, including instructions for how to cultivate them.


Companies, political parties, religions, prayer groups, states, and clubs all can be said to have egregores. When a project "takes on a life of its own," an egregore might be said to be present. Symbolic characters such as Santa Claus and Uncle Sam could be described as egregores. Stephen King's concept of Ka-tet in The Dark Tower series could be compared to an egregore, as well as Kurt Vonnegut's concept of a karass in Cat's Cradle.

Academic psychology

There was some debate early in the history of social psychology over whether groups could be construed as having an autonomous group mind. Today, psychologists recognize a number of more localized processes by which a group of people can make decisions that no individual would endorse on their own. In "Groupthink," a group can stifle internal disagreement and rush people to a poor decision, without any individual group member attempting to do so. In the "risky shift" phenomenon, a group can agree on a course of action that is riskier (or, in some circumstances, more conservative) than any individual in the group wanted.

Evidence of the compliance of individuals with the intentions of a group despite individual misgivings was evidenced in the Milgram Experiment and the Stanford Prison Experiment.

When these situations arise, trying to understand the group by understanding its members in isolation fails. The group can be understood by modeling the members' interactions, but the human tendency to anthropomorphize may make it more intuitive to see the group itself as having preferences for a certain outcome, regardless of its members' wishes.


  1. Septuagint: Lamentations, Chapter 4, Verse 14
  2. Lévi, Eliphas, "The Great Mystery" (1868) p.127-130, 133, 136
  3. ,Fama Fraternitatis Rosae Crucis.(1614) Manifesto: Positio. Epilogue page 25
  4. Stephen Flowers, Fire & Ice - The Brotherhood of Saturn. (Llewellyn Publ. 1994), p. 36-38
  5. Delaforge, Gaeten, "The Templar Tradition: Yesterday and Today", Gnosis Magazine, #6, 1987.
  6. Unruh, Wes; Edward Wilson "The Art of Memetics: The Magic of Applying Memetics, Marketing, Masterminding, and & Cybernetic Theory", Website/ebook 2008


See also

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