The Seven Hermetic Principles (2024)

The seven principles are the foundation of Hermeticism, a branch of spiritual philosophy which comes out of Ancient Egypt. They are outlined in texts like the Emerald Tablet and the Corpus Hermeticum— attributed to the ancient sage Hermes Trismegistus— and are summarized in the nineteenth century text known as The Kybalion. These seven principles state the seven fundamental facts of reality.

1. Mentalism

“The All is Mind; the Universe is Mental.”

Everything in this Universe is alive and conscious, for it is all made of intelligent energy. We do not live in a physical world, but within the Divine Mind. As such, our thoughts affect the world “outside of” us, since that which appears to be outside of us is only an extension of the mind which we ourselves also are.

Because of this principle, we are able to communicate with any creature, plant, object or element. You may assume the consciousness of anyone or anything, and even of parts of your own body. This is known as channeling, and it is not a unique gift but indeed something that everyone is able to do.

2. Correspondence

“As above, so below; as below, so above.”

Everything which occurs on the physical level is a reflection of a spiritual occurrence at a higher level of reality. Thus from a close study of your circ*mstances, you can discern the thoughts, feelings and beliefs which predominate in your consciousness which are attracting those circ*mstances.

Conversely, you can predict future events by studying the spiritual influences which are currently predominating, and you can manifest events by focusing upon the frequencies which match your desire. Nothing that is happening on the physical level is without its vibrational, spiritual or mental precipitator, nor does anything happen in a vacuum without being surrounded by influences which match its essential nature.

3. Vibration

“Nothing rests; everything moves; everything vibrates.”

Modern science has caught up to the teachings of ancient spirituality in its conclusion that matter is not really matter at all, but energy. If we look at the microscopic level of a solid piece of oak wood, we will find nothing solid, but a whirling, dynamic dance of atoms in constant motion. The distance between a nucleus and its orbiting electrons is proportionate to the distance between the earth and the Sun; the wood is mostly empty space.

That which appears material is energy, and that which appears static is actually in constant transformation. Matter—and, indeed, emotion and thought— can only be fixed by the mind; if we bring pure, open awareness, we find that nothing remains the same, but is constantly in a state of flux.

4. 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.”

Everything on the physical plane exists within a continuum of positive and negative charges, as in electromagnetism. Within everything we can see either an active, transmissive, projective quality or a passive, receptive, potentiating quality, and wherever we find one, we will also find the other.

Every quality, thought, person, attribute, situation, object and creature is in a dynamic relationship at all times with its opposite, and any extremity will be counter-balanced by a compensatory function. Over time, if we wait long enough, we will see anything transform into its opposite.

5. 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.”

We have learned that everything is in flux, transforming into its opposite; rhythm is the principle which regulates this transformation. From the cycle of the seasons, the moon, the generation of cells and the ages of an individual’s life, we see there is a pattern of unfolding which belongs to Nature and lives in all beings.

6. 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.”

We live in an ordered Universe, not a chaotic one. Everything happens for a reason, and nothing that happens is random or meaningless. Synchronicity is the name given to the principle of supra-rational or supernatural causation; this principle puts forth the idea that two things or beings coinciding in place and time do so because of a shared essence, purpose or quality. There is often no way to rationally or practically account for those “happy accidents” or serendipitous turns of fortune which seem to have occurred under divine guidance— yet this is an incidence of causation all the same.

7. Gender

“Gender is in everything; everything has its masculine and feminine principles; gender manifests on all planes.”

Gender is not something merely biological; masculine and feminine are qualities which exist on spiritual planes. The sex organs, chromosomes and other biological features associated with gender are only manifestations of these principles, which are essential to creation itself and go far beyond the physical. Within any locale we may find manifestations of the feminine principle and manifestations of the masculine principle; this includes an individual consciousness, a group, a physical body, an eco-system, a city, a government, and so forth.

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