Years ago I stumbled upon a book called The Kybalion.
While flipping through the pages I found myself both intrigued and slightly confused.
The Kybalion explained esoteric teachings from an ancient philosophy known as, Hermeticism.
At the time, the teachings seemed a little too mystical for my 19 year old, concrete mind.
However, for multiple years, I continued to re-read the book and each new time I discovered something new.
There is an old Hermetic axiom that goes…
“The lips of wisdom are closed, except to the ears of Understanding.”KYBALION
And, as it turns out, I needed more understanding, through personal experience, before I could fully accept the message of Hermeticism.
Hopefully, this writing helps you to do the same by summarizing the Hermetic Principles in a that can be easily accepted by the new seeker.
What is Hermeticism?
Most people would assume Hermeticism is a religion but this isn’t entirely the case.
The Judaeo-Christian religions are heavily influenced by the Hermetic teachings but Hermeticism could be seen more as a mystical philosophy than anything else.
Hermeticism has its origins in Greek Mythology which is based heavily on the beliefs of Ancient Egypt.
It is said that Hermetic principles were passed down from Thoth, the Egyptian God of Wisdom.
Later, Greek Mythology would refer to Thoth as Hermes Trismegistus (the “thrice” great) and he would be attributed with writing the original 7 Hermetic Laws.
There is much still unknown about Hermeticism but one thing is for sure, its principles have perpetuated through the thinking of multiple religions, philosophies, and science.
Due to the secret practices of Hermetic philosophy, many people have associated these esoteric teachings to the illuminati… causing questions of whether or not hermeticism is evil.
Yet, from my own experience, this is not the case.
Hermeticism teaches us to master our own realities. Of course, this can and will be misused for personal gain but as with all knowledge, it all depends on who holds it…
The 7 Universal Laws of Nature
Listed below are brief descriptions of each of The 7 Hermetic Principles.
Each section links out to more detailed guides on the particular law so use those to travel further down the rabbit hole.
The principle of mentalism is the first of the 7 Hermetic Principles because it lays the framework in which all other laws arise.
Mentalism is the belief that the Universe is a mental conception of God, or as the Hermetics called, THE ALL.
Teachers of Hermeticism relate the creative forces of THE ALL to that of an artist who imagines a creation in their mind before putting anything on paper.
In this sense, THE ALL is a creative force that is essentially dreaming the universe.
The principle of correspondence states that there are various Universal planes; Physical, Mental, and Spiritual.
Each plane is an arbitrary delineation between varying degrees of vibrational energy. Put another way, Spirit and Mind are but higher rates of vibration than Matter — the only difference between each plane is varying degrees of vibrational energy.
This fact continues to be confirmed by modern science, beginning with Einstein’s Theory of Relativity.
Since all planes of existence arise within the mind of THE ALL, each plane exhibits attributes of THE ALL.
Further, the Mental Plane is governed by the same laws of the Spiritual Plane. The same can be said for the Physical Plane which is governed by the same laws existing at the higher planes.
As the Hermetic axiom goes…
“As above, so below; As below, so above.”KYBALION
Essentially then, correspondence states that all 7 of the Hermetic Laws operate at EVERY level of existence.
As mentioned previously, the Universe is composed of varying degrees of vibration. Since there is correspondence among all planes, your Mind itself vibrates at a certain frequency.
The Law of Vibration has been a driving force for the new-age interest in topics such as the law of attraction. However, there is nothing new nor mystical about this principle.
It’s well accepted in the scientific community that all Matter and Energy is essentially the same thing, just varying rates of vibration.
However, the Hermetics takes this a bit further by suggesting that not only does the Physical Plane vibrate but so too does the Mental and Spiritual Planes. This phenomena continues all the way up to the Infinite vibration of THE ALL.
Vibration can be depicted as a wave function.
Since all things are a wave function, there exists a crest and a trough among all phenomena; a plus and a minus; hot, cold; good, and bad.
The Law of Polarity states that all Universal Phenomena consist of equal and seemingly opposite parts.
Take heat for example.
We call an object with more heat ‘Hot’ and another with less heat ‘Cold’.
However, with further observation, you’ll find that Hot and Cold are but arbitrary labels humans use to explain varying degrees of heat energy (kinetic, vibrating energy).
All natural phenomena follow the same pattern. The human mind sees opposites but the world is composed of but one thing, THE ALL.
Study a wave function once more and you’ll find that wave energy continually oscillates between crest and trough.
The law of rhythm states that all phenomena follow the very same oscillatory pattern.
Further, oscillation can happen in a circle. So too does life move in a circular fashion.
Look at the waves of the ocean, the changing of the seasons, the turning of the globe — all things follow have their own rhythm.
However, rhythm applies to far more than just physical phenomena. Once again, Hermetics take this a step further than modern science by stating (by correspondence) rhythm applies also to the Mind and Spirit.
Cause & Effect
There is a long string of causes and effects reaching all the way back to the creation of our Universe.
Trace back in time why you exist and each thing you believe to be a cause is really just the effect of another cause.
Like a line of dominos, all phenomena are intrinsically tied together.
You cannot move one particle on the outer recesses of the Universe without effecting (no matter how subtle) particles on the other side.
The Law of Cause and Effect is similar to that of Karma because it shows that we are completely connected to the rest of the Universe.
Not only does this apply to the present moment but any thought or action you make within your life will perpetuate infinitely into the future, causing more effects, which in turn, become the cause of other effects.
The Law of Gender is perhaps one of the more confusing Hermetic Principles because of its similarity to the Law of Polarity.
However, what I believe Gender is attempting to explain is not the fact the world exists with two poles, Masculine and Feminine, but the way in which the poles interact.
Hermetics use the example of electrical phenomena to explain how Gender manifests on the Physical Plane.
A battery consists of two poles, the positive and negative. Hermetic teachers relate the activities of Masculine energy to the positive pole while the activities of the Feminine energy are likened to that of the negative pole.
Many people struggle with the term, ‘negative’, assuming that this means something ‘bad’ or ‘weak’ but this couldn’t be further from the truth with electrical phenomena.
In fact, it is from the negative pole of the battery in which all electrical phenomena spring — the ions travel from the negative to the positive pole.
In the same way, Feminine energy is that of creative force.
However, without the positive pole, the ions have no direction in which to flow. In this way, Masculine energy can be seen as a directive force.
The Purpose of Life
Put simply, the Hermetics believed the purpose of all life is ascension.
They believe the laws of the Spiritual realm supersede the Mental and Physical. Further, the Mental Realm rules over the Physical.
It is impossible for humans to leave the Physical Plane but it seems we do have access to Mind and Spirit.
This being the case, humans must learn how to use Spiritual and Mental forces to affect the physical world.
Unlike Buddhism, Hermeticism believes one does not ascend by opting-out of the game but by mastering the game on the Physical Plane.
Although its principles are high-level, Hermeticism highly discourages having your head too high in the clouds as this will lead you to stumbling over your feet.