I: The Egregore
The word egregore comes from the Greek, egregoros, which means “vigiliant”, from egeiro, “to watch”, and the root eger, “to stir”. One can find it in the Old Testament in various places, as well as in the Book of Enoch. In the Hebrew it is OYR, or Ayin Yod Resh, “Watcher”. One example in the Old Testament is in Daniel 4:13, which reads: “I saw in the visions of my head upon my bed and behold a watcher and an holy one came down from the heavens”.
In the preface to The History of Magic, Eliphas Levi writes:
“It is through this Force that all the nervous centres secretly communicate with each other; from it — that sympathy and antipathy are born; from it — that we have our dreams; and that the phenomena of second sight and extra-natural visions take place…It is directed by the Egregores, i.e. the chiefs of the souls who are the spirits of energy and action”.
In The Great Secret, Thorson Publishers Ltd., 1975, chapter 10, Levi again refers to these cosmic “chiefs” of praeternatural Mind:
“These colossal forces have sometimes taken a shape and have appeared in the guise of giants: these are the egregores of the Book of Enoch“.
Later in the same work, he writes of these powerful cosmic forces that rule over the energies symbolized by the planets:
“…governed by those genii which were termed the celestial watchers, or egregores, by the ancients”.
The word from which egregore comes, in Hebrew, i.e. OYR or Ir, refers to divine Watchers or Angels; but as ORYM, or Arim, it means “cities”. Compare, with these ideas of “watchers” and “cities”, the Watchtowers of Enochiana. Also, there is the symbolism of the “City of the Pyramids” of Thelemic doctrine, wherein each “pyramid” beyond the noumenal Abyss is a Master reflective of the Genius or Higher Intelligence of an Initiate.
In the doctrine of the Holy Thelemic Church, of course, there is no personal god. The Supernal Triunity of Nuit, Hadit and Heru-ra-ha — or Babalon, Beast and Baphomet (Babalon & Beast conjoined in a lofty Supernal Will of Love & Lust) — is the cosmic Mind — of an entirely impersonal nature — which crystallizes in so many metaphorical “stars”, each of which is the hidden Master at the core of a human mind yet at once beyond the circles of time and space, spanning all temporal and dimensional reality ad infinitum.
But the Egregore is something else entirely, in the doctrine of the Church. Yet it is not as it is commonly described, i.e. some sort of “hive mind” that supposedly obliterates individual will in favor of its own. Nor is it some kind of superior objective entity that enslaves the human minds to which it attaches to primitive worship, demanding propitiation through demeaning obedience and sacrifice. Rather, just as the triune cosmic Consciousness of the Thelemic cosmology is both indwelling our own consciousness and yet simultaneously outlying the cycles of time and space — vide L, 1:13: — so too is the Egregore which stems from it one with us yet beyond us, encompassing as it does all of our combined Genius and all of our being across the entire Church.
II: Previous Egregores
“Sacrifice to Priapus” (Goya)
While an Egregore is not a deity to be served, less evolved minds in more primitive times considered it to be so, and not only misunderstood the Gnosis transmitted to them by such, but carried out that misunderstanding in practice, founding religions and holy laws that deviated from Truth. Yet the Egregores with which they communed — in aspiration of Truth if not in Truth itself — tolerated their error, knowing that this communion would, after thousands of years, hasten their evolution toward Truth and eventually blossom in an era of Holy Will (Thelema) to come.
These early priests of bygone ages dealt with these Egregores not as the spiritual manifestations of their own Greater Being on a mass level, as they truly were, but as separate divine beings to be placated and served. They thought that they had to enter into a covenantal agreement of sacrifice as propitiation in exchange for eventual elevation to an afterlife existence with them in some spiritual reality somehow beyond and superior to the material existence that they considered to be inferior and weighed down with what they erroneously believed to be impure carnal nature. This sacrifice, they assumed, would be a ritual device whereby the “sinful” carnal weight would be purged so that they might be purified, and so made suitable (or so they thought) to enter into an afterlife relationship with their “god”.
After the passage of millennia, the priests refined their ritual device of sacrifice from one that was mundane and gross — which originally involved the destruction of one’s bestial “sin” by putting it upon the head of some beast and slaughtering it as an offering to their “god” — to one that was more subtle. With the new era of the “Slain God”, the sacrifice shifted to the “lamb” that was Christ, so that all one had to do — theoretically — was to devote oneself to him, and “sacrifice” one’s own natural desires in the form of abstinence, penitence, self-flagellation and fasting and the like. This religious routine, it was imagined, would be the new covenant that would purify the soul supposedly weighed down with carnal “sin” and so enable one’s afterlife to be apart from some hell of eternal damnation and one with the beloved deity of spiritual perfection apart from bestial cravings instead.
It was, of course, all a mistake of logic. Sacrifice was not necessary because the soul is not impure, carnal bliss and material happiness not sinful, and the Egregore that is the epiphany of one’s own Supernal Genius not god. Religion would have to be reconsidered and reformulated.
III: Therionic Egregores & Laying on of Hands
The work of Aiwass through Aleister Crowley and various Scarlet Women left behind a couple of Egregores, as have the orgia of certain praeterhuman Intelligences — including Aiwass — with others after them, such as Kenneth Grant, C.S. Jones and Michael Bertiaux — to name but a few. The Therionic Egregores, which convey the 93 Current to their respective communities and guide and assist their members to realize their own True Wills, are the A.’.A.’. and the O.T.O., which are vastly different in design and purpose. Both are fine organizations, with unique methods, dedicated to the promulgation of the holy Law of Thelema.
Crowley said that the Next Step for humanity is the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel. This is archaic language for the Gnosis and Communion of the Holy Supernal Will or the Supernal Genius — the Augoeides to which every genuine Egregore aims to lead its members. The most commonly held notion, with regard to Initiation into these Therionic Egregores, is that one must be physically led thereunto by one who has himself or herself been physically led by one who was led by Aleister Crowley himself. As far as the O.T.O. is concerned, this is most definitely the case, as its rituals require physical liturgical (i.e. group) interaction to work. However, the A.’.A.’. is another matter entirely.
While others may claim that it is necessary, in order to obtain membership in a valid chain to the Supernal Order of the A.’.A.’., to receive physical lineage, the statements of its main founder disprove this theory. First, there is the following excerpt from ch. LXXV of Magick Without Tears:
“…my special job was to preserve the Sacred Tradition, so that a new Renaissance might in due season rekindle the hidden Light. I was accordingly to make a Quintessence of the Ancient Wisdom, and publish it in as permanent a form as possible. This I did in The Equinox. I should perhaps have been strictly classical, and admitted only the “Publication in Class “A”, “A-B”, “B” and “D” material. But I had the idea that it would be a good plan to add all sorts of other stuff, so that people who were not in any way interested in the real Work might preserve their copies…”They”, not one person but a number acting in concert, not only foresaw a planet-wide catastrophe, but were agreed on measures calculated to assure the survival of the Wisdom worth saving until the time, perhaps three hundred or six hundred years later, when a new current should revive the shattered thought of mankind…The Equinox, in a word, was to be a sort of Rosetta Stone.”
If, as Crowley hypothesizes, there were to come to pass a “planet-wide catastrophe”, so as to shatter the Initiated lines to such an extent that the Wisdom would have to be rediscovered in the form he preserved it in The Equinox, as it were “a sort of Rosetta Stone”, then clearly physical lineage would not be possible.
But there is further, clearer proof of the invalidity of physical transference of the Supernal Current as a theory of genuine Initiation, in a passage from Aleister Crowley’s commentary on H.P. Blavatsky’s The Voice of the Silence, which reads:
“The Brothers of the A.’.A.’. refuse none. They have no objection to any one claiming to be one of Themselves. If he does so, let him abide by it.”
There is no ambiguity here whatsoever: anyone may claim to be a member of the Order, without any valid lineage; all that is required is that he or she abide by his or her claim, by adhering to the main lines of the Order and behaving in accord with the central tenets of its holy Law (see in particular, One Star in Sight). This passage makes it clear that it is possible to achieve a valid link with the Supernal Order on one’s own, simply by following the main lines of work set forth by Crowley in The Equinox. All that is necessary is that one find a successor to take one’s place in the Grade of Attainment vacated as one advances to the next, so as to not covet the reards of Attainment for oneself alone but share it with others, so that humanity may be enriched and the world made a better place to which to return.
Yet it is possible — according to Crowley himself — to achieve such Attainment without any involvement soever in this exact system. On p.657 of the original edition of The Confessions of Aleister Crowley, he writes:
“Many people may go through the ordeals and attain the degrees of the A.’.A.’. without ever hearing that such an Order exists”.
Note that he says “Many people”, not “some people”. In other words, one may go through all the same kinds of ordeals and attain all the same spiritual states — not just the Gnosis and Communion of the Augoeides but also the Abyssal Crisis itself — even unto the Supernal Realization of Samadhi, “without ever hearing that such an Order exists”, much less obtaining any so-called legitimate physical lineage. This is why such individuals as Eliphas Levi and Blavatsky — to cite just two out of many — who preceded the terrestrial foundation of the Order, were designated by its founder as holding Grades therein, the former in the Grade of Adeptus Exemptus and the latter in the Supernal Grade of Magister Templi. In fact, many who have achieved the loftiest Attainments of the Order have done so without any kind of occult involvement whatsoever; they are to be known by their extraordinary Wisdom and Genius.
There are, of course, other New Aeon Egregores beyond those manifested by the Prophet. The Typhonian Egregore, as established through the excellent work of Kenneth Grant and that aspect of the Current known as Lam, is very real and quite potent, with many creative members doing its Great Work. Such unique and ingenious individuals as Michael Bertiaux, Soror Nema, Zivorad Slavinski and numerous others past, present and to come, have enjoyed or will enjoy access to their own unique Egregores that in harmony with the Supernal Order and in pursuit of some or other important directive thereof.
IV: The Egregore of the Holy Thelemic Church
So, then, are we to conclude that the Egregore of the Church is equivalent to Aiwass, i.e. the 93 Current which flows as a Holy Spirit from Baphomet through every sentient mind? Not exactly. Actually, the Egregore is a kind of astral “magical child” or Dynasthai — i.e. a non-terrestrial manifestation of the Dynamis of that Current — a spiritual offspring of Aiwass, the Genius of all the Aeons. Our particular Egregore is but one of many possible such in any given Aeon.
“The Renascence of Alostrael” by Fra.’.121
The Egregore of the HTC is from the Dynamis of Aiwass and the Scarlet Woman Alostrael, or Leah Hirsig, with whom both the Apostolic Minister and the Oracle of the Church share a mystical connection. It is — as any Egregore — an astral or spiritual avatar of Aiwass itself, via the magical medium of Alostrael, the Ape of Tahuti, who was one of the more powerful of the manifestations of the Sakti-force of universal Babalon in the Thelemic Age. As Aiwass was at the core of not only all of the Scarlet Women but of the prince-priest, Aleister Crowley, as well, so too is the loftier Genius of the Prophet of Thelema also the spiritual father of the Egregore which encompasses our Church and guides each of its members to his or her own Holy Supernal Will or Higher Genius.
This Egregore of the Beast and the Whore and Aiwass at the heart of our holy Church of Baphomet was spawned out of the love of Aiwass and Alostrael, in a certain mystical manner, before her death, which came to pass at 6:15 am of February 22nd, 1975 Era Vulgari. The Egregore first communicated to the Apostolic Minister of the Church via the channeling of his first Oracle, one Soror Anadra, during an operation of spiritual magick that — by no mere chance yet without the knowledge of the participants — began on this very date — February 22nd — years ago, in 1992 E.V. This working culminated on the day of the Summer Solstice of the same year: a period of exactly 120 days, as predicted early on in the channeling. The Egregore was introduced first to Anadra by astral entities referring to themselves as the “five white brothers” — terminology that neither he nor she had heard of, but which was an expression used decades earlier, in Crowley’s own workings involving Soror Virakam, a.k.a. Mary Desti Sturges. These discarnate Masters with whom Anadra communicated referred to this entity as Akilnotuas, given in the Hebrew as AChILNOTVATz — spelled out letter by letter by her while in trance — the numeration of which, by Hebrew Gematria, is 666. It was, in other words, the Higher Genius of To Mega Therion, equivalent to the Supernal Beast itself. None of this was contrived; all of it was given by Anadra while she was very deep in trance, totally beyond her complete conscious knowledge.
After several days of such channeling, these five Masters concluded that Anadra was ready for the action for which they had prepared her: congress with the Beast. They guided her to meet face-to-face with the Egregore 666, at which time it copulated with her astrally — an event that brought convulsions to her unconscious body and left an enormous effect on her mind after it was concluded and she was again fully cognizant. The Current had transmitted its Aeonic power, and — through her ritual activity with the Apostolic Minister later on that night — succeeded in forging the link with the Supernal Order and the co-founder of the Church-to-be; and the force invoked by this act of hers with the Egregore would in time propel him into the Abyss, where he would remain for years thereafter, until he would come in time to meet up with his replacement well over ten years later. He had initiated this individual a short time before, but the two had become accidentally estranged until by an amazing coincidence their paths were again to cross. This individual immediately took his rightful place beneath his old teacher, enabling him to emerge from out of the Abyss into the next Grade; and after some time, he advanced beyond the veil of the Abyss himself.
It was this Egregore which was responsible for the gradual spiritual growth and elevation of the Apostolic Minister to his own Holy Supernal Will, and thence to the link with the Supernal Order that enabled the legitimate formation of this Holy Thelemic Church as a valid vehicle of the 93 Current many years later — one of several such links that exist, but the only one through the magical lineage of Alostrael. Soror Anadra drifted away soon after her channeling was done, precisely as predicted very early in the operation; but she was replaced by yet another priestess, who served for a time but was herself replaced with the current Oracle of the Church, Soror Aliana XCIII, a mystical daughter of Alostrael — not a reincarnation — who was born exactly ten months following the death of Leah Hirsig. And she too was predicted, in a remarkable manner — as was the Oracle who preceded her — all those years before, in the Akilnotuas Working. Such is the foreknowledge and praeterhuman ability of the Egregore to manipulate phenomenal reality in ways that our apish brains cannot even begin to fathom.
V: Astral Initiation via the Mechanism of the Egregore
“The Double” (Fini)
The forms of Initiation into advanced spiritual states of awareness vary dramatically from system to system, but the modus operandi of the HTC is astral Initiation. This propels the sincere, dedicated candidate from his or her profane state of mundane realization to a genuine connection to the 93 Current through the intermediary activity of the Egregore thereof. It is a state of Initiation that is actuated by the ceremonial devices of Dedication and Confirmation, as pursued by the candidate himself or herself and assisted by a corresponding ritual of the Chapel of Abominations (the inner Sanctuary of the Supernal Gnosis of the HTC) carried out by the Apostolic Minister and the Oracle of the Church.
It is important to note that this is not self-Initiation, in the strict technical sense, because of the very real intervention of the Egregore. Yet it is absolutely necessary, in order for the aspirant to gain any real Initiatory benefit from this system, that he or she be pure of heart, true to his or her “pure will, unassuaged of purpose, delivered from the lust of result” (L, 1:44); absolutely sincere in his or her approach, at all times; completely devoted to the Egregore of the Church, intimate with its Current and wholly willing to pursue his or her Holy Supernal Will, which is always where it directs one to go; unbothered by mundane difficulties and distractions, whether from tendencies of ill will or emotional burdens; always careful to live every aspect of one’s life by the Law of Thelema as set forth in The Book of the Law and comprehended at all points in a profound light and not by a strictly literal interpretation; and never led astray from its holy Communion in favor of petty interests or inferior pursuits contrary in whatever way and to whatever extent to the best interest of the Egregore and to one’s Holy Supernal Will.
As the dedicated and determined novice works his or her way, day in and day out, inching along through the rituals and practices of the Church — all of which can be found in the soon-to-be-released Breviary of the Beast — he or she gets gradually nearer to the heart of the Egregore. Through untiring effort with such rituals as Rite 93, he or she moves slowly forward along the path of the fourfold Grade system laid out by the Church. By so doing, he or she progresses slowly but surely toward the Augoeides and beyond, to the “City of the Pyramids” and to complete harmony with the Egregore itself — which is our own Holy Spirit of the 93 Current — and thus with the Trinity of Blasphemy (Babalon, Beast and their Baphometic Bliss) from which it comes.
The degree system delineated in the forthcoming Brevarium also offers the members of our Church a multifaceted set of options wherein to approach work within the veins of its Egregore. There is, in the Chapel of Abominations, something appropriate for just about adult. Such is the extraordinary diversity and wonderful quality of the system of the interior Clerkship of the Holy Thelemic Church. One may find joy in pursuing the work of any number of its degrees, as one so wills, without feeling the weight of obligation — for the system offers so many avenues that it is easy to find the routes that derive real passion for one’s own particular interests.
“Guardians of the Veil” (Fini)
As one progresses in the Chapel of Abominations, getting down to the meat and potatoes of the work of the Church, the Egregore opens one’s perception to more and more of its unimaginable vistas. Thread by thread, as one proves oneself time and again by overcoming ordeals and persevering through dry spells, not faltering or falling away from the work no matter what, the veils are stripped from before one’s eyes. Then — as at last one comes to fully embrace the Egregore, receiving the full flood of the inspiration, insight and millionfold joy of its holy Current — it will become clear that nothing could be more rewarding and no pursuit more worthy of pursuing.
Over the course of time, as one sheds the numerous tendencies and self-defeating urges that get in the way of the True Will — obstacles against the Egregore which assists one thereto — one benefits therefrom even more. As one gets rid of the emotional baggage and neurotic complexes, through application of the Law of Thelema and by disciplining oneself through strengthening the Will with the nourishing elements of the Current invoked in the rites, the Egregore becomes more capable of accelerating the evolution of the mundane mind toward harmonization with its overlying and indwelling occult Reality. It just takes incredible endurance, an unwillingness to ever give up, and an unswerving devotion to Oneself no matter what trouble oppresses or offends. It is through difficulty, after all, that one ascends to the stars — per ardua ad astra. And when failure becomes a learning experience, then it is no longer failure.
You will find great assistance in this fold of the Beast and the Whore, and wonderful gifts abound along the way; but not before you suffer tremendous toil and stumble into inevitable pitfalls. All of us suffer these hardships, and sometimes there is simply no way around them. But after all is said and done, you will find such happiness and joy as you never thought possible in your wildest imagination: for this is one of the few ways leading ultimately to the Summum Bonum, the True Wisdom and Perfect Happiness.
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