I have been thinking alot about egregores lately. How they effect me. What happens externally and internally when one taps into the egregore. It must have its advantages and disadvantages. I am always constantly wondering if I am spelling "egregore" correctly?
The best definition of an egregore that I have found is that it is a collective group mind. The primary advantage seems to be the ability to harness something different than your own perspective, something that one normally would not have the opportunity to tap into. A perspective that one could learn from. A disadvantage would seem to be a deference to the majority or whatever the primary intent of the group is. Deference would not necessarily be a good thing, especially if the way a person does things that already works for them. Additionally, the issue of deference does not necessarily imply a group of weak minded individuals headed by a charismatic leader... or shall I bring up the recent debacle of a certain individual with the initials "RZ". Each egregore would have a definite energy, like the difference between walking into a biker club versus a MENSA meeting held at a local coffee shop. I have personally been to both and the MENSA meeting was quite a bit more brutal psychologically.
My primary concern about egregores is I have been wondering how does one choose an appropriate egregore? If the idea of tapping into one is to access a different perspective, how does one choose accordingly if one does not have experience with that particular perspective. Through my observations of other people, I have come to the realization that the process is largely trial and error. What works for one person may be a complete failure for another, potential adept or not. Some people also tap into a particular egregore for a duration of time, invoke a certain amount of change and then move on.
Here in Central California, my selection of an egregore was very limited. Most groups were either in the Los Angeles or the San Francisco area. Not very accessible for a single professional working mom. As an aside, it appears many of my magickal friends either have no children, live in these areas and/or have the means/resources available to them to travel. Distance was a challenge for me so I made the most of what I was given, joined a couple of local groups and waited to see what happened. For the most part, I am satisfied with my choices.
In a perfect world, I would have chosen an egregore like I picked my university. I looked for reputation, the strength of the curriculum and the experience of the professors. Since traveling was easier back during college, my choices were not severely limited. Another factor in my choice was the written works done by the professors of that particular university. Highly regarded universities expect their professors to, well, write about their chosen specialty. Writing exhibits the expertise AND an ability to communicate that expertise effectively enough to have a coherent and scholarly body of work. I went one further step when I chose my university, I spoke to the professors outside of their mucky-muck black tied Open House events. I went to see their laboratories, where they worked during their normal 40 hour weeks to see what they did and the type of hands-on experience they had.
Since the metaphor of choosing a university in the context of picking an egregore did not translate quite readily, I had to determine my own parameters. What I decided was that I would examine the personalities within the egregore. As an aside, I really do not care for judging people and my biggest hero is/was a poor migrant farm worker with a 3rd grade education. Pretentiousness, decrees, degrees and official documents do not impress me entirely. I asked myself. What type of people were they? Did they appear to be balanced, therein, exhibiting the a certain mastery of going thru the Great Work? Are they respected by their associates? Did they have a body of Work that I could examine, understand and see as truth? Were they able to quote from and use in context the body of Work that their egregore was based on? Were they merely "armchair magicians"? And most of all, what I looked for, was an underlying tension. I looked for a person who has struggled. I cannot describe it fully but I came to the assumption that since Life is a constant challenge, a person has to have LIVED in order to have done the Work. I know, there was a fallacy in my assumption since people may be on different karmic levels but give me a little credit, I had a hard enough time getting to people in LA, 120 miles away, there was no way I could get on to some Tibetan mountain somewhere to visit a Master of that calibre!
What I found were some severe disappointments and some pleasantly surprising treasures of personalities. People who I formerly despised and distrusted who I now love and trust. People who I once loved so greatly but now I wonder if they even care about me at all. People who I have adored from the very beginning that I relish their insight and presence to this day. I was offered this bit of advice that has been ringing in my ears for quite sometime that, "seeking guidance in darkness, is not a sign of weakness, but a sign of strength" My response to that is I have been seeking guidance and there are no coincidences about whom have come to provide me with guidance and whom have simply shrunk further into the darkness themselves. I may not understand the egregore and I may not be able to see in the darkness but I can sense who is there at my side.
Tapping into the egregore and the resulting experience is another blog post, in and of itself.