At first glance, nature is seemingly chaotic. But whether we are conscious of it or not, we, and everything around us, operate according to certain spiritual laws that are as consistent as gravity. These laws are known as the 7 Hermetic Principles.
The Hermetic Principles, compiled in The Kybalion, are all at once eye-opening and enigmatic. Published under the pseudonym Hermes Trismegistus, whose last name translates to ‘thrice greatest’ from ancient Egyptian, it remains a mystery where the wisdom came from. As it turns out, there are stories of a Trismegistus in ancient writings and he is hailed as the ‘Master of Masters’.
We may never know if the Hermes who established these principles was a real person or a collective, but the indisputable wisdom of the 7 Hermetic Principles still rings true. They are:
The Principle of Mentalism
“THE ALL IS MIND; the Universe is Mental.” -The Kybalion
In this first principle, we acknowledge we are all connected with a divine or universal mind and this mind is first cause. Everything in this world begins with a thought; the world itself began with a thought. To understand the principle of mentalism is to understand how the manifestation of energy, power, and matter on the physical plane are all first subject to what the mind is focused on. This, it is said, is the master key.
The Principle of Correspondence
“As above, so below; as below, so above.” -The Kybalion
Not unlike the principle of cause and effect, which we’ll touch on later, this law pushes us to acknowledge that our external experience is always a direct reflection of our inner world. We may not always recognize the cause but this does not negate the fact that one exists. Through this principle, we can come to reason with the relationship between the known and the unknown and understand there is a distinct harmony in all that occurs.
The Principle of Vibration
“Nothing rests; everything moves; everything vibrates.” -The Kybalion
Everything is in motion. If you were to take a look at each blanket, tree, or person at an atomic level, you would see their respective atoms in constant motion. This ancient principle embraces this scientific fact but moves beyond it to explain that each “manifestation of Matter, Energy, Mind and even Spirit, result largely from varying rates of vibration. From THE ALL, which is Pure Spirit, down to the grossest form of matter, all is in vibration(...).” With deeper understanding of this principle (and some practice), we can learn to gauge and alter our mental vibrations to create what we want on the physical plane.
The Principle of Polarity
“Everything is Dual; everything has poles; everything has its pair of opposites; like and unlike are the same; opposites are identical in nature, but different in degree; extremes meet; all truths are but half-truths; all paradoxes may be reconciled.” -The Kybalion
Though all principles are interconnected, you’ll find the principle of polarity is very closely tied to the principle of vibration. For each thing, there is a polar opposite; these opposites are actually the same thing but are different in degree. For example, love and hate measure caring for a given thing but take on opposite poles of caring. Embracing this indisputable fact allows us to understand paradoxes of thought or feeling and mastery can allow us to do things like transmuting hate into love.
The Principle of Rhythm
“Everything flows, out and in; everything has its tides; all things rise and fall; the pendulum-swing manifests in everything; the measure of the swing to the right is the measure of the swing to the left; rhythm compensates.” -The Kybalion
This principle comes down to a sense of harmony; it embodies Newton’s Third Law of Motion in a way he never imagined. We are in a constant state of ebb and flow, rise and fall, action and reaction. Understanding this principle will allow us to use it instead of been used by it. Or, in other words, we can learn to neutralize the ebb and flow through willpower and mental mastery.
The Principle of Cause and Effect
“Every cause has its effect; every effect has its cause; everything happens according to law; chance is but a name for law not recognized; there are many planes of causation, but nothing escapes the law.” -The Kybalion
Quite simply, for every cause, there is an effect and for every effect, there is a cause. Free will is the ultimate power lying within this principle; by choosing where you place your awareness, instead of falling prey to the ebb and flow of life, embracing this principle allows you to move instead of be moved by the circumstances of life.
The Principle of Gender
“Gender is in everything; everything has its masculine and feminine principles; gender manifests on all planes.” -The Kybalion
Each thing possesses both masculine and feminine energy. Though gender often manifests as sex in the physical realm, “on the higher planes it takes higher forms (...).” These energies work to balance each other. Recognizing this principle will help you reconcile and leverage both masculine and feminine energy at will.
Even in the modern world, these principles ring true. In fact, it seems contemporary science is slowly but surely supporting the ancient laws. If the Hermetic Principles resonate with you, we encourage you to read and learn more about them.
Share your thoughts, feelings and experiences about the Hermetic Principles in the comments below!
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