How do you tell an actual spirit from an egregore and how do they differ?
An egregore is an energized astral form produced consciously or unconsciously by human minds.
In particular, they are a strongly characterized form, usually an archetypal image, produced by the imaginative and emotional energies of a religious or magical group collectively, or they can be in an astral shape of any kind, deliberately formulated by a magician to carry a specific force.
For some magicians all spirits are considered egregores created by the human mind. So there’s no a real difference. For example even there is or not a real LVCFER, we have a still a Lucifer as a collective entity which is created by humans by our mind especially and they are the result of the continuous will that creates them, and this will also sustains them. Theodore Rose for instance claims in his book Lucifer and Hidden Demons that the famous Lucifer sigil is the one of the egregor. On the other hand EA and many other magicians and even Crowley to a degree claims that they are all simply creation of our subtle minds and hence egregore (" watcher" it means in Greek )
However for some egregores are just a psychic entity, existing between the material and the spiritual, in contact with both. The egregore is not self aware, and is not a Djin, according to Guénon that an egregore is a manifestation of psychic energy, as opposed to a spiritual force as the occultists would define it
So as you may see, there is o a consensus regarding to egregores, so we may nıot clearly see the "real " difference. We may differentiate though temporary ones and continuous ones. Generally the term refers to at least in usage, the temporary ones.
In general when you create an egregore, some says that you should never give a name to it, so these types for me can only be a temporary psychic form similar to a psychic ball in a way. But with a name or group collaboration IMHO they may gain consciousness in time.
To me, we are all some kind of egregore if we accept that Lucifer or King Paimon is simply an egregore. We are no more than the dream of ALL and hence the spirits too. But having said so, even their existence rely on different planes they are as “real” as we are. or put in other way, I believe that the difference is on the connection to the Divine force, direct or indirect. So an egregore is not divine and connected thorugh us or group to that divine energy whereas Lucifer Raphael King Paimon have their own connection to the Divine force like we do independent of our thoughts.
Egregores are advanced thoughtforms. Soulless programming. Real divine deities, demons, angels etc have their own personalities, souls, families. Egregores have an aspect personality of their creator, can’t reproduce unless it’s through multiplying itself, and only can mimic emotions not have them itself.
There’s the real entities then there’s egregore versions of them created by occultists who couldn’t tell the difference either by scanning or by projection. However, some created by people’s fears and desires.