The 7 Hermetic Principles as a key to life, the Universe & everything

The 7 Hermetic principles are stepping stones on the path of self-discovery, offering an insightful map of how it all works. Here's what they can tell us...

By: The College of Psychic Studies.   Posted

If you are a student at The College of Psychic Studies, you are, by default, on the path of self-discovery. As we venture beyond the superficial, beyond the physical plane, we are invited to consider who we REALLY are, beyond our physical body, beyond our name and credentials, our behaviours, passions and peeves. We begin to consider what our life is REALLY all about. This door of self-discovery opens into wild and expansive terrain. Fortunately, we have a road map in the form of the 7 Hermetic principles. 

The 7 Hermetic principles are a set of ancient aphorisms that were first printed in 1908 in The Kybalion, which is based on the esoteric teachings of Hermes Trismegistus. These aphorisms offer us profound insights into life, the universe and everything, enabling us to understand the nature of reality and, more importantly, our Self. Each of the seven principles can be unpacked in many ways, and applied to a myriad of scenarios. They are too rich and multilayered to explore in their full depth here - for that, you will need a teacher. However, to get you started, here is a brief summary of the 7 Hermetic principles:

The Principle of Mentalism

The Kybalion says: "The All is Mind; the Universe is Mental." 

The journey of self-discovery begins with the recognition that everything comes from the mind. Our external world is a reflection of our internal one, which means our mind is the fundamental reality. Our thoughts, judgements, conditioning and beliefs inform what we experience 'out there'. Understanding that our reality is a projection of our mind enables us to examine our internal landscapes, uncovering the core beliefs that influence our perceptions and behaviours. This first of the 7 Hermetic principles recognises our innate power and potential as human beings.

The Principle of Correspondence

The Kybalion says: "As above, so below; as below, so above."

Those who have studied with our witchcraft tutor Rachel Patterson will be familiar with the aphorism: As above, so below; as below, so above. You may also have come across chaos theory's Butterfly Effect, where a butterfly fluttering its wings on one side of the planet has immense repercussions for the weather systems on the other. This principle of correspondence underscores the interconnectedness of all planes of existence. What is held in the microcosm is also held in the macrocosm; our internal states correspond to external experiences. By recognising these correspondences, we gain insight into the subtle influences that are shaping our lives and the lives of others.

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The Principle of Vibration

The Kybalion says: "Nothing rests; everything moves; everything vibrates."

 Everything is in constant motion and vibration underscores the dynamic nature of the self. This becomes interesting when we examine the quality of vibration. When we vibrate at a high frequency in joy, love and compassion, we draw similar vibrations towards us. The same is true of the lower vibrations such as resentment or jealousy. Walking the path of self-discovery means recognising our ever-changing rhythms, acknowledging emotional and mental fluctuations, and considering how these manifest or vibrate into being. We learn to apply the Buddha's essential truth: 'This, too, shall pass.'

The Principle of Polarity

The Kybalion says: "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."

To truly know ourself means to explore the inherent duality of our human nature. With our left and right hemispheres of the brain, we are essentially dual. This reflects in our tendency to judge things as 'right' or 'wrong', 'hot' or 'cold', 'love' or 'hate'. The interplay of light and darkness, joy and sorrow, and other polarities within the self informs the rich tapestry of human experience. However, when we expand our awareness, we realise these polarities are essentially the same thing upon the spectrum of experience. Recognising and transmuting these opposites is a fundamental alchemical process on our path of self-discovery. Again, it connects us with our power as human beings.

The Principle of Rhythm

The Kybalion says: "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."

What goes up must come down. The pendulum swing manifests in everything; the rise and fall of the breath, the surge and ebb of the tides, the systole and diastole of the heart. As we venture along the path of self-discovery, we become increasingly aware of microcosmic and macrocosmic rhythms and cycles. We appreciate the natural rhythm of our life, understanding that challenges and triumphs are part of a larger, cyclical pattern.

The Principle of Cause and Effect

The Kybalion says: "Every cause has its effect; every effect has its cause; everything happens according to law; chance is but a name for law not recognised; there are many planes of causation, but nothing escapes the law."

Karma, otherwise known as the law of cause and effect, reminds us that our actions have consequences. This Hermetic principle invites us to reflect on our personal choices and consider their repercussions. By understanding the chain of causation in our life, we gain the power to shape our destiny consciously.

The Principle of Gender

The Kybalion says: "Gender is in everything; everything has its masculine and feminine principles; gender manifests on all planes."

Whatever gender we identify with, the divine masculine and the divine feminine are present in all, and we honour the presence of masculine and feminine principles within each of us. We understand the balance of the masculine and feminine energies, appreciating the unique qualities each brings to our personality and decision-making process. 

The 7 Hermetic principles provide a transformative framework for those on the journey of self-discovery. By embracing the wisdom of the 7 Hermetic principles, we gain the tools to explore the depths of our consciousness, unravel the intricacies of our existence, and ultimately foster a harmonious union with our true self. As we navigate the labyrinth of our inner worlds, the Hermetic principles illuminate the path, guiding us towards a profound and timeless understanding of 'Know Thyself.'

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