Thanks to InfoGalactic, I learned the other day a bit about Chaos Magic. I had searched on “egregor” – the Greek for “watcher,” a topic of some interest to me – and found out that it is a term of art in that discussion. In Chaos Magic, an egregor is an artificial spirit, created by a magician as at first a heuristic hypostatization, a “thought form,” devised for his own convenient internal usages, of some nexus of impulses within himself – sometimes nice, sometimes not so nice (as, say, a besetting temptation) – so as to identify and, above all, simply *notice it,* and thus address it more aptly; and then at some point publicly promulgated, so that it then engages the interest and attention of other practitioners, who find it useful and adopt it for their own internal operations, so that it then informs their activities. A meme, in other words, but a meme that has some intrinsic characteristics that lend it suasive and informative powers, so that it can seem to take on a life of its own, and become the apparent animating spirit of a whole group of people. Widely disparate people, not communicating with each other at all (so far as we can know), can evoke the response to current events of an egregor that has possessed them without any outward coordination, and in a unison of spirit and even of diction that is truly wonderful, even spooky.
There is much truth in this notion. Consider, e.g., anthropogenic global warming. Or transsexuality. Or Trump Derangement Syndrome. Or Communism. Or for that matter any fad or trend or notion, any ideology, that has little objective correlate or reason outside the merely social world.
So far as I can tell, Chaos Magicians are sheer nominalists. Honest, too. They don’t believe that memes signify anything actual, that have being all their own, quite apart from and prior to their invocations and instantiations in their advocates and victims. They believe rather that the memes they “create” are purely artificial, like computer programs or recipes for apple crisp.
I am a realist, so of course I disagree about that. Not just with respect to memes, egregores whether vicious or virtuous, but even computer programs and recipes (anything that contributes to the result of an apple crisp of the overpowering delectable sort that my wife routinely concocts is a Formidable Real: no real recipe of any sort, then no real possibility of such an apple crisp; apple crisp; QED). I think all those things must be real in the first place, somehow or other, if they are ever to find contingent concrete instantiation anywhere in some cosmos. I think, in other words, that any such mundane instantiation presupposes the prior actuality somewhere or other, somehow or other, of what it instantiates. With Aristotle, Plato, Philo, Israel, and her Church, in other words, I think the Forms are Real, Concrete, Actual; so that, when you call them (the way that computer programs call subroutines or objects) they do, really, come, and take up residence in your Central Nervous System, and there operate, deforming its material configuration and acts.
So it seems plain to me that the Chaos Magicians, like any of the Real, non-chaotic sorts of Magicians – the shaman and the alchemist, the sensei and the based psychotherapist, and the like, who take their arts seriously enough to understand that the objects thereof (their adversaries, and indeed their own personal components) have intrinsic being, nobility, power, wildness, and therefore *danger,* and who are therefore fitly *afraid* of what they do – are playing with fire.
Demonic fire, to be exact; the fire of Fallen seraphim – dragons – and cherubim – griffins, with their flaming swords – and all the Fallen choirs subject thereto, shining, beauteous, deadly, alluring, glorious.
The Real Mages have a shot at understanding the true stakes of the tremendous Game they play. The others do not. This is why there are hierarchies of initiation. It is to avoid disaster, and damnation.
Excursus: How many psychotherapists are contending with demons? That is to ask, how many psychotherapists are practicing? For, who is not contending with demons? Even God in Christ contends with demons. So then do we, all.
Excursus: This is why Scripture and Doctrine and the Magisterium condemn and abjure sorcery and mancy of all kinds in the strongest terms. They are false, and lead to falsehood, so that there is in them no possible good, mutatis mutandis; which is to say, that they do definitely *work,* but only toward terrific and bottomless evil. “Here be dragons” is no idle legend.
Excursus: The power that egregores exert is egregious. “Egregious” is from the Latin ex grege, “rising above the flock.” A watcher is a shepherd: an egregor.
Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, thou that leadest Joseph like a flock … Psalm 80:1
Excursus: Is Christianity coordinated by an egregor? To be sure. He is the Lógos, our Principal, Prince, and Head.
Indeed I doubt not that every human organism, whether individual or social, is animated by all manner of egregores, some rightful, some vicious.
Excursus: The Resurrection was a genius move on the part of the Lógos, because it was an utterly extrasocial – and, indeed, extracosmic – factor of egregious power. It was an irruption into the social world of First Century Palestine of something that simply could not be accommodated within that world, and thus shattered its Fallen egregious categories, thereby utterly and categorically defeating them. The Death and Resurrection of God scandalizes – indeed, utterly ruins – every project other than his.
This is one reason (among several others) why at the Death of God – in which his Resurrection was, obviously, logically implicit (for, since he is, you know, *God,* how could it be otherwise?) – the Veil of the Temple was rent in twain from top to bottom, the very earth quaked, there was darkness at noon, and the Earth gave up her dead – not just then and there, but everywhere, and everywhen.
The sea, too.
The incommensurability of the Resurrection to anything else of this world that had gone before was an unanswerable challenge to the Fallen Watchers, who had theretofore Ruined everything, more or less. It changed everything, permanently. It put the whole cosmic project on an entirely different footing.
Do not imagine that the effects of this change were contained within the bounds of First Century Palestinian society, or of humanity, or of Earth. A change this categorical is cosmic in scope, no matter where it occurs. I do not for a moment think that it happened only at Golgotha, and at the Sepulchre. If it happens anywhere in our world, it happens everywhere; this is Ernst Mach’s Effect, and on the coherence of the cosmos, in virtue of which it is in the first place a cosmos to begin with, it could not be otherwise; so that, if once it happens, and if it happens only once, then in a coherent cosmos all happenings reflect and echo and magnify it, willy nilly, and throughly – even should they repudiate it. For, even to repudiate is to reckon. The heavens declare the Glory of God; but so despite themselves do the demons.
The redemption and the eschaton – same thing, different aspects of the same event – happened at Golgotha and at the Sepulchre (Golgotha the input, the Empty Tomb the output: GIGO, a matter of mere logic: Glory In, Glory Out). So might it happen in you, now, or in me. So might it happen in our First Parents, and in any of their heirs, at any time. So might it happen for any creature, and at any occasion. I doubt not that the Resurrection is manifest and typified in minds throughout our cosmos, as their inmost and most characteristic, most essential crisis. For, on cosmic coherence, if it happens once, it happens once *for all.* So in effect it happens everywhere whatsoever, and everywhen. Everything is by it redeemed, without jot or tittle left out or left behind; unless, that is, some jot or tittle here or there, for reasons of his own, purblind and sore, does not want to join the train that leads heavenward and so to joy, and bids the rest of us an irritated peevish farewell and god riddance.
Excursus: The Fallen Watchers exert their egregious effects only by means of falsehoods; of lies. NB: lies are purely *social* instruments. Outside of societies, they have no meaning, and no effect, so no existence. Rocks know nothing of lies. This is why rocks so often defeat lies, as at the Valley of Elah. The waters – the fluxions of the Tao – know nothing of lies. This is why the waters wear down the lies, and erode them away, until the rough places are made plain.
Excursus: So, all you Gregories out there: do what you can to ensure that you were not named in vain. But, don’t feel as though your burden in that respect is particularly heavy. Consider my own predicament. Saint Clement and Saint Anselm, pray for me! And all Saint Gregories, pray for all of us fathers, husbands, and shepherds!
To be a man is, in the final analysis, to be called to the profession of shepherd. Everything of manhood is that, or an elaboration of that. To be a true Alpha is to be truly competent as a patriarch: a shepherd. And Virtue is its Way.
I learned also that egregores can be invoked by means of their sigils, which are glyphs that, by numerological procedures upon their names that are way over my head and far beneath my studied interest, can by the initiate be read off. In other words, if you know the lingo by which the sigil signifies, you can read the sigil, and know whom it denotes, and so calls. No different than the letters and sentences you now see before you, i.e.
Most of this stuff goes back thousands of years, of course. The Chaos Magicians have coopted it for their own purposes. Or vice versa. I bet on the latter.
A sigil is also a seal, or a signet (most of them seem to be circular, like the blazon of a signet ring or my Gravitas sigil, seen everywhere on WordPress adjacent to its links to all my posts, mentions, and comments). The seal is engraved upon the wax, and so deforms it, so that it reflects (and then in its own causal turn engraves) the character of the thing the sigil signifies. So when we pray in the Name of God, we pray that God shall engrave himself as a seal upon our hearts; we call him, and pray that he instantiate himself in us and conform our will and its operations in accordance with his Will, so that we may magnify his Name – his sigil, and its evocative causal power – in our own cosmic vicinity, ad maiorem dei gloriam.
What then is the sigil of the Orthosphere, that invokes our egregor, and is the point of this essay? I suggest that it is the chi rho; the sign in which we conquer:
There are a number of symbolic significations of this sigil. Indeed, one could expatiate upon its symbolic significations for many pages. But, of particular pertinence to the peculiarly human and therefore social mission of the Orthosphere, it should be noted that one of them is to construe the chi as denoting the limit of our parochial political world – which is a reflection and artefactual effect of our social and our cosmic environment. Along one dimension defined by the chi, there is as we might nowadays say the spectrum from what we now call the Left to what we now call the Right. Along the other, there is perhaps the spectrum from what we now call Libertarianism to what we now call Authoritarianism. I leave it to the reader to tell what we nowadays misconstrue about each of these delimitations of these two spectra. Other ages or climes might construe their dichotomies quite differently. However we decide to interpret the two dimensions denoted by the chi, it suffices to take them as dimensions of the merely mundane, and so unbaptized, ergo Fallen, political plane.
Through that plane the rho penetrates. Note that it is a sword; the hilt is at the top of it. It is Saint Michael’s Sword. A bit of its blade is seen in our banner.
That Sword is the Resurrection, with all that it entails, and consequends.
That Sword rends the Veil.
Enough said. All else follows troublessly.