12 November 2010

Egregores and Perfect Love/Perfect Trust

For those experienced with group ritual magick, one of the more important aspects is the construction of the "group consciousness" or, to use a phrase that is probably more commonly associated with ceremonial magick than Wicca, "egregore".  In this use of the word, an egregore is that it is a "thought form" or "collective group mind" that is built up by the group as a whole through the use of disciplined focus and energy.  Another description of an egregore is that it is some kind of magickal entity that is specifically created by a group as an "encapsulation of the group's collective aspirations and ideals". 

The ability to create such an entity successfully can only be achieved when all members of the group are on the "same page".  That means, the level of discipline, focus and direction is equal, not to mention the direction and ideals behind such a creation is clearly formed.  This is no mean feat and can take a number of years of close, intimate workings within the group by all members involved.  Within Wicca, this can be perceived as the ultimate example of the Wiccan axiom "perfect love and perfect trust".
Phil Hine has a very interesting article on his web site on the whole concept of egregores.

Within Wicca there is another key demonstration of the axiom "perfect love and perfect trust" and that relates to what is actually taught within Wicca.  Like Mystery traditions of old, often a new comer to Wicca may not understand what is being taught or even asked of them until they actually advance to a certain level.  This can be their own understanding of Wiccan lore as it is taught within the coven or even tradition itself, the level of their own spiritual development and evolution, or even life experience itself. 

When working in a group, not fully understanding why things are insisted to do a certain way, not to mention the seeming lack of "freedom" may be perceived as restrictive.  From the perspective of a teacher, it can be difficult to explain a technique or reasoning to a student who has not reached a particular level of understand and/or development.  From a student's perspective, it can be a "big ask" to simply "trust" without fully understanding the reasoning why.  However, with the Wiccan axiom being that of "perfect love and perfect trust", the opportunity is presented to ascertain whether both the teacher and the student can align to such.  If not, then it is best to walk away.

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