From the Book: Practical Kabbalah, by R. Ambelain, trans. Piers A. Vaughan

We give the name Egregore to a Force generated by a powerful spiritual current and later fed at regular intervals, conforming to a rhythm in harmony with the Universal Life of the Cosmos, or to a meeting of Entities united by a common characteristic.

In the Invisible, outside of the physical perception of Man, there exist artificial beings, generated by devotion, enthusiasm or fanaticism, which we call egregores. These are the hearts of the great spiritual currents, good or evil. The Mystical Church, Celestial Jerusalem, the Body of Christ, and all such titles, are the qualifications, which give communion to the egregore of Catholicism. Freemasonry, Protestantism, Islam, and Buddhism have egregores. Great political ideologies have them too.

Psychically integrated through ritual initiation or through an intellectual adherence to these currents, the affiliate becomes one of its constitutive cells. He augments the power of the egregore through the qualities or faults which he possesses, and in exchange, the egregore isolates him from the external forces of the physical world, and with the collective force it had previously stored, greatly enhances the feeble means of activity of the man who joins with it. Instinctively, popular language gives the name of “circle” to an egregore, thus intuitively expressing the idea of a circuit. Between the constitutive cell and the egregore – that is to say, between the affiliate and the group – a sort of inner psychic circulation is thereby established.

This explains why opponents of such a concept, on studying the origin, nature and life of this concept, often end by joining with it or at least by espousing a part of the theories, even without their knowledge. They are connected to a current, which, as it is more powerful than those who are primitively linked to it, carries them unknowingly away from the road that they imagined they were following. If they were free of any affiliation (*), this action would only be the more brutal and strong.

(This works on both a physical and psychic level: any scientific writer proposing a radically different theory to the norm will find him- or herself ostracized by the scientific community, as well as feeling the force of going against its egregore (for right or wrong), if he or she does not belong to another powerful egregore (perhaps a scientist trying to introduce astrological theory into astronomy will to some extent be shielded by the egregore of astrologers?) in the first place – PV.)

This rule holds for all great currents of ideas: philosophical, religious and political.

But a spiritual current cannot become alive in the occult sense of the word, unless rituals vitalize it. Egregores are vitalized concepts. This explains why only human associations having a ritual character (Catholic religion, Masonry, Martinism, etc) can expect to generate an egregore, and consequently, for it to endure for a long time.

The destruction of an egregore can only be rapidly achieved through the death by fire of its living members, the destruction of the symbols which concretize it or which are linked to it, as well as all the writings connected with it (rituals, archives, etc).
The egregore will be slowly destroyed when it is abandoned to itself, with no rituals, no spiritual current being generated through precise occult rules, which would perpetuate its existence.
The incineration of its living members and the writings connected with it, alone assure the destruction of the physical body and of the double of all beings or all things. A simple, ordinary death (without the total destruction of the image), while it removes material life, is not an obstacle to astral life. Moreover, a death accompanied by the shedding of blood will only strengthen the occult vitality of an egregore, by virtue of the mysterious power of blood when it is liberated under a sacrificial form.
This explains why the pagan persecutions against Christianity in fact only served to increase its abundance; equally, the fact that heretics and their writings were often destroyed by fire. Here one can see that the Catholic Church surmised the secret of the life of egregores.

The reactions of the egregore towards an expelled cell are often very dangerous, although always affecting a perfectly natural demeanor. Most often this rejection will considerably modify the destiny of the “excommunicated”, a destiny already modified once before through the affiliation. When quitting an egregore, he would be prudent to integrate himself, even if only for a moment, with the idea of an equivalent but opposite power.

Just as the constitutive cells of an egregore are drawn from humanity itself, form the material plane, so other constitutive cells of this egregore are extracted form the world of entities. Thus the egregore lives on the physical plane (where it acts through the intermediary of Man) and on the higher plane (where it acts through the intermediary of the Entities). It thus possesses a body, a double, a soul.
This has its equivalent in the triple Church: militant (terrestrial), suffering (astral), and triumphant (celestial).
The rhythm of life of the egregore being assured through ritual, one may easily understand that the least disturbance of this ritual brings with it an identical disturbance in the vital rhythm of the concept (*). It is a little like a human organ which starts to function abnormally.

(From this arises the certain occult efficacy of a profanation, which consists of a revelation or public exposition of that which should remain hidden. (the French says: “d’ou l’efficience occulte certaine d’une profanation, laquelle peut ne consister qu’en une divulgation ou une exposition publique de ce qui devait demeurer caché.) – PV)

Once established and perpetuated through usage and time, a ritual cannot be modified without causing a weakening of the egregore. This explains why this secret is of particular importance in rituals of Initiation.
Just as Divine Names, Words of Power, etc (that is to say, ritual definitions hallowed by custom), concurrently allow formulae, prayers and invocations (also hallowed by custom) to establish a spiritual rapport between Man and God, so also special and secret names, words and formulae are used to awaken and establish the egregore.
But if the passive life of this “vitalized concept” is assured through the mass of the faithful, its active life can only be assured by those certain members who are the most constant and the most qualified.
This implies that there is, of necessity, a hierarchal structure in all Associations. Equality, if one must have equality, can only be set up for the “inner circle” placed in charge of the egregore.

Finally, the great cosmic laws and most particularly those relating to time, epochs, duration, must collaborate in the life of the egregore.
This explains why all great ceremonial rituals, be they religious or philosophical, are held at the equinoxes and the solstices, or on dates corresponding with these four great annual divisions, and their flows. Equally, the progression of the Stars is observed, as well as the influence, which can be obtained from a location, and orientation, etc…

(We need look no further than the Catholic Church for an example of the astronomical observations necessary to determine Easter, the Eastward orientation, etc – PV.)

The conventional image of an egregore, its mental representation, equate to a reality in the astral plane or immediate hyperphysical world. Republic, Country, Justice, War and Famine are images of egregores. Man, in visualizing these concepts, necessarily anthropomorphizes them. In the Divine Plane, where everything is equated to a numeration, to a divine number, it is the “sign” or seal (sigillum), which concretizes the egregore.
Such are, successively, the Seal of Solomon or Hexagram, the Pentagram or Star of David (*), the Latin Cross, the Masonic Triangle and the innumerable signs and seals, representing Entities, which are transmitted to us in the books of Magic and Kabbalah.

(Note that Ambelain calls the Hexagram (Macrocosm) the Seal of Solomon and the Pentagram (Microcosm) the Star of David, contrary to the usual modern usage of the six-pointed star as the Star of David – PV.)

All egregores must therefore possess a sign, characteristic of its nature, its ends, its means. Regarding the affiliate, this sign is both a protection, a support and a point of contact. It thereby becomes a true Pentacle.
(The Shield of a very old family is its Pentacle, the Genealogical Tree its “magical” chain. “Suddenly the descendants form but one Being”, said Maurice Barres.)

When an egregore has lived for a long time, it acquires a relatively independent existence. Then it no longer obeys the impulses, which the masters of the sect transmit to it through the intermediary of ritual, and, no longer a docile slave, it often becomes a fierce tyrant. This explains why, quite often, a movement later deviates far from its originally declared goals. Also, the egregore can affect the material. The secret of conquering an egregore through evoking it was a secret known to the priests of Rome.

The psychic formation of egregores had long been described in many works of occultism. The rules of yoga form part of them. The “Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius”, a work known to all the disciples of the Jesuits, is also a part of this body of work.
The occult life of egregores is assured through processes identical to those used by Magic to vivify those forces called elementaries. The blood of victims (holocausts of adoration or expiation), aromatic resins, frankincense, myrrh, etc., (the blood of vegetables), the visualization of a concretizing image, mental currents, chains of union, etc., form part of this animating and preserving ritual book of egregores.
The material life of egregores is assured through the number of their members, their discipline, their spiritual union, their strict observance of the vivifying and preserving rituals.
Equally assured is the life of currents of sympathy or antipathy, generated in the profane world, and extremely harmful to the vitalization of concepts as well as their actions. All the more reason that the processes of occult action through traditional Magic and Theurgy are powerful means of application or combat regarding egregores, so long as their power is in harmony with the aforementioned concepts. This explains why sacrilege and profanation have, in all times, been considered to be religious crimes.

We now come to explain the role and purpose of the Masonic “Chain of Union”. Generator and animator of the Egregore of the Order, it has no other purpose than that of sending into the “spiritual realms” closed to carnal senses and to their action, currents of power to generate a metaphysical being, free from all anthropomorphism. Issuing from this human assembly, born from its will and its ideal substance, this being of another world becomes the God-leader. A reproduction of the directing principle of Freemasonry and desiring the power born from the majority, it will only become the authority when it has extracted it from them. Then it becomes the Masonic “spirit”, the true egregore of the Order.

Addendum by R. R.

Ambelain had given a very good description of the main function of Egregore. However lots of subtle keys were not disclosed. The thing is that deeper insights into the subtle spiritual fields of the subject are Arcanas in which the transmission belongs only to oral tradition.
As we have seen Egregore could be energy fields round up on some cultural or political idea. So not always very spiritual in its nature. But there is a second layer of function of Egregore that Ambelain didn’t speak of.
Only thing that as Editor of the Portal I am willing to disclose is this…
When higher Adepts, through complex Theurgic rituals, erect Egregore and connect him with Heaven, then we have Spiritual Channel.
So, Spiritual Channel = Egregore + Connection to highest Spiritual realm + Guardians (Angels).
In Ancient egypt, Spiritual Channels waere connected with various Constellations, and their spiritual source.