These non-living entities are all around you. I’ll give you some examples, and hopefully you’ll be able to start spotting them in your own life.
Let’s consider a marriage. Two people join together toward a common intention and create an entity called The Marriage, or The Relationship. The Marriage is an egregore, it is its own entity. It has two adherents, who need to feed it energy to keep it alive.
In this structured reality, there is a man and a woman (or whatever) and something called The Marriage — it has become an actual entity. The spouses will refer to it as such, without even thinking about it. Our marriage is dying, our marriage is thriving, our marriage is happy, we need to nurture our marriage, you’ve ruined our marriage, you’ve killed our marriage, let’s save our marriage, let’s fight for our marriage, our marriage is in trouble.
This isn’t just semantics. The Marriage is an entity, created by these two people around the shared intention to live in this particular way. A “marriage” isn’t a living thing. In fact, what is it at all? Yet it needs to be fed energy, it needs to be nurtured, prioritized, defended and adhered to. There’s a template, a grid — of beliefs, standards, actions — that must be adhered to.
It has its own separate identity. And it’s different than simply giving energy to your spouse, nurturing your spouse, prioritizing your spouse directly — can you spot the difference? It may seem very subtle, but once you grasp it, the difference is very distinct. There are things that you do directly for your spouse and things that you do, or give, or refrain from doing, or traits you take on or a type of person you become — for The Marriage.
The Marriage is an entity. It has its own identity, rules, standards, beliefs, values. It needs energy to live, it needs adherents to live, it organizes and shapes reality for its two constituents, it defines a level of their reality. It extends to people and society around them, expecting to be recognized: by the government, society, friends, family, even strangers.
The egregore defines what the spouses can do, what they should do, what they shouldn’t do, what they should feel and even changes the adherents’ identities. You give up some of your individuality and independent agency to maintain the egregore.
It’s possible to love someone and not create an egregore between you. I’m not saying it’s better or worse to do this, I’m just saying it’s possible (though very rare). But that would be different than loving someone through a shared egregore. Even if a couple chooses not to marry, they usually still create an egregore — called The Relationship.
So why do it? As you can see, this particular egregore requires a lot. This man and this woman, who love each other, create an egregore between them because they get a whole list of things out of it, though most of those things have little or nothing to do with unconditional love.
Egregores always have something to offer – they contain an exchange, a transaction. Depending on the level of awareness and the emotional health of the parties, what they get from maintaining the egregore will vary. A marriage egregore isn’t inherently negative or positive, it depends on the awareness of the people involved.
Now let’s bump it up a level. Let’s consider the larger egregore of Marriage. Not a specific marriage, but Marriage itself. Marriage has a lot of adherents, it’s a global egregore. Marriage shapes reality at a cultural level. This global egregore gobbles up energy, throws out all kinds of hooks and inserts programmed beliefs, standards and values, into billions of people.
Consider the unmarried women in China and Japan in their late 20s — these young women are devalued and shamed. They are called leftover women.
Consider the campaign against same sex marriage. People who oppose same sex marriage passionately claim they are defending Marriage.
Even if you had a wonderful childhood, you were programmed with the standards, values, beliefs and rules of this particular egregore. It’s not any old generic Family, it’s This Family — how things are done in this family, what it means to be a member (such an illustrative expression) of this particular family. There’s something called Family Time, where you ritually feed the Family egregore a specific kind of energy. You’re assigned a specific role in the Family, depending on your birth order and gender.
The egregore structures the reality of all its members. This is what we do, this is how we do it, when we do it, what we believe, how we see the world. These are our Family secrets, our wealth or poverty, these are the sacrifices we make for the Family, this is how we defend the Family. The Family has its own politics, mythology, legends, religion, dress code, soundtrack and menu. The Family has its own fate and karma and gravitational pull.
If one member falls out of orbit, the others will work to restore them back into the prescribed orbit.
Even my daughter and I have a Family egregore. We call it Team Strand. We have our own mottos, our mascots and a very detailed and rich mythology. If you know how to use an egregore intentionally, and from a fully lucid state, it can be positive and serve your purpose. But the Family egregore I grew up in was destructive, so I’ve experienced both expressions of this kind of egregore.
Also, like all egregores, Team Strand is always trying to get stronger, bigger, have more influence, more weight and control. I must always remain aware of this tendency, and intentionally keep it pruned and in check so that it serves us. I’m always aware that the tendency is for the egregore to flip that dynamic so that we end up serving it. Even when you create a very lightweight egregore in full awareness, they always pull in one direction: more.
I’m awake, and I manage my reality.
Have you ever started your own company? If so, you’ve created an egregore.
This is a separate entity. In most cases, it is even a separate legal entity. It has a name, a logo or symbol, bank accounts, credit, a reputation. You created an entity around an idea, a purpose, a set of intentions.
If you are or have known many entrepreneurs, you will notice they often speak of their business, and the idea that underpins it, like a child, like their baby. They pour energy into their vision, they defend it, they expand it.
The business wants to live and grow. It competes with other businesses. Over time, it would be consumed by entropy so it avoids this by continually gathering energy from people in order to push back against that entropy, or death, through growth and expansion.
Again, this is neither good nor bad. It’s just describing the creation and mechanism of a common egregore. I’m describing a lightweight company egregore, but there are ones that have become enormous, hoovering up energy and adherents. They’ve become so powerful and dense that they are able to sway governments and laws, define our culture and impact lives on a global scale.
Political parties and groups
Social identities: single mom, black man, priest, healer, police officer, wealthy person, poor person, old person, rape victim, disabled person, teacher, guru, husband, boss.
Your persona level self, your avatar — yes, YOU are an egregore.
I’m presenting this information about egregores to expand your perception of hooks and energy exchange. We mostly think of people as the ones who hook us, but a lot of the time, the people throwing out hooks are actually doing it on behalf of, and under the thrall of, an egregore. They are an adherent or member or subscriber to some egregore, often without knowing it. They can be recruited to act as an agent of the egregore.
As I described, adherents to an egregore will feel compelled to either defend it or propagate it by enlisting more people to subscribe to it. If you are not aligned with their egregore or are in some way opposing it, they can be compelled by the egregore’s programming to attack you, provoke you, argue with you, judge you, dismiss you, ensnare you energetically. Or, they will be unconsciously enlisted by the egregore to try to manipulate you into giving in and going along with the egregore’s script.
If you are unconsciously an adherent, member, subscriber to an egregore, you can also be conscripted to do the same. You can be turned into an egregore’s enforcer, missionary, champion or bully. It’s hard to fathom, but it’s true.
Remember, the egregore wants to organize some aspect of your reality. To do that you need to do what it says to do, in the way it says to do it. It wants you to believe a certain way, and get others to have the same beliefs and values. And it wants your energy.
Egregores could work for us, but they are so powerful and we are so unaware that mostly, we end up working for them. Egregores need our energy, and they can use either positive or negative energy. You can give it energy by subscribing to it or by fighting it.
Is this a completely foreign concept to you, or are you able to assess your own experience and see that sometimes the people putting hooks into you are unwitting agents of an egregore?