"The Principles of Truth are Seven; he who knows these, understandingly, possesses the Magic Key before whose touch all the Doors of the Temple fly open."
The seven Hermetic Principles as detailed in The Kybalion are the foundation of the Hermetic teachings, which underpin all Western mystery schools, esoteric teachings and much New Age and spiritual thought today. Hermes Trismegistus was the great wisdom teacher of the Ancient Greek tradition, and is strongly connected to Thoth the Wisdom God of Ancient Egypt and before that Atlantis.
I find that these seven principles explain and underlie pretty much all the diverse spiritual teachings, healing and divination techniques I have studied, so I find them very helpful. You can read about them in the Kybalion, and I am giving a brief introduction to them here:
The Principle of Mentalism
The Principle of Correspondence
The Prinicple of Vibration
The Prinicple of Polarity
The Principle of Rhythm
The Principle of Cause and Effect
The Principle of Gender
1. The Principle of Mentalism. “The universe is Mental – All is Mind.” - The Kybalion.
Beyond matter, space and energy, what is the universe really made of? What is the stuff of existence? We know that atoms exist within the infinite creative Source energy, called the unified field by some. Hermetists believed there was a substance to the underlying foundation of our reality, however subtle and refined. This they called Mind.The whole of existence is said to be a play in the Mind of God – a dream in the Mind of the Creator – which is not a dream as we understand it, as this Mind / Source / Field is infinitely mysterious and unknowable. The idea is that all of the infinite universes, multiverses and realities that we know, all phenomena, are in essence something like a meditative vision in the Mind of the All. All is in The All and The All is in All. Nothing is separate from the Mind of the All, or could ever be. Once you can understand that all is Mind, then everything becomes possible. Magic, Alchemy, Levitation, Manifestation – these are simply transformations and permutations of the infinite energy of All That Is. Healing over time and distance is possible. Telepathy is possible. Remote viewing is possible. All techniques are simply ways of aligning our minds to the Great Mind so we can join with its power. It is said that this is the Master Key for all other teachings.
2. The Principle of Correspondence. “As above, so below. As below, so above.” - The Kybalion.
Everything in nature corresponds like the brushstrokes of a masterpiece, the notes of a symphony, or the subtleties of a great novel. The electrons spin around the atom. The planets spin around the sun. The microcosm mirrors the macrocosm, and this is known to be true. It is said that all of life can be found in one village, and likewise, village politics can be found playing out in governments and world institutions. This knowledge can allow us to see into realms of existence to which we have no access, by applying the principle of correspondence. The movements of the planets have a direct bearing on us by creating corresponding patterns and aspects within our lives. The solar flares, the weather, and the magnetic field of the earth affect our moods and emotions, and our bodies on a cellular level. We are one. Every part of the hologram contains the whole picture.
3. The Priniciple of Vibration. “Nothing rests, everything moves, everything vibrates.” - The Kybalion.
Everything moves, everything vibrates, and science has found this to be the case. Even when you get down to rocks, stones and crystals, the densest forms of matter, they are still moving but vibrating more slowly. Moving up through layers of vibration will take you through all the planes of existence. The earth, minerals, the plants and trees, humans and animals are just different vibrational levels. As the vibrations get higher, the levels of existence become more and more refined, through spiritual realms and pure frequency to the level of Mind. Nothing is separate; things are only distinguished through differing vibrations. Likewise, the physical body is just a slower vibration than the mental and spiritual bodies, the soul and spirit. They are not actually separate bodies; they are one body with varying levels of vibration in it. Through this principle, we can understand vibrational healing, with sound, colour and light. We can understand that tones do affect matter, as sound is vibration and all is vibration. We can also strengthen our own mental vibrations to render us less susceptible to outward vibrations such as chaos, stress, pollution, and electrosmog. Understanding this principle and controlling one’s own mental vibrations was likened to holding “the Sceptre of power”.
4. 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.
We exist in a world of polarity. The North and South Poles are connected via the Earth’s core. Summer and winter exist at the same time on the same planet, although seemingly opposite seasons. In the spring new life emerges, while autumn degeneration is happening on the other side of the world. Love and hate are two sides of the same coin. So it is that opposites are not really two different things, but united. The right and left “wings” of politics belong to the same bird. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. The light casts a shadow, however, at twilight it is neither light nor dark. Hot and cold are not two different things, but only different degrees of temperature. So we see the unity in opposites. The Hermetists taught that, through the “Art of Polarisation” and “Mental Alchemy” we can transform hate into love. If we are experiencing an emotion or a mental state that is not desirable, it is possible to transform it into the opposite state simply by focusing the mind.
5. 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.
All things in nature follow this principle, everything has its rise and fall, swinging to and fro between the two poles of the principle of polarity. The pendulum is in continual motion back and forth, and this manifests itself in our minds, in relationships, projects, businesses, careers, politics and religion, the fate of nations, civilisations, nature, the weather, and everything we see around us. In our relationships, we may fluctuate between harmony and disharmony, intimacy and aloneness. The fortunes of people, businesses and nations are known to rise and fall. The tide of thought flows in and out, left and right, and rhythm compensates the extremes. The Hermetists learned to work with the principles of polarity and rhythm, and by applying the Mental Law of Neutralisation were able to somewhat negate the affects of rhythm on their own minds. Nothing escapes this principle; but it is possible to strengthen your own mental state and thereby achieve a certain degree of stability, no longer a slave to the relentless rise and fall, the swinging of the pendulum this way and that. It is also possible to “go with the flow” of the swing, rather than be taken by surprise and overpowered by it.
6. 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.
Everything that happens has a cause and an effect. There is no such thing as chance, or coincidence. Beyond the laws of physics that we know of, there are higher laws of nature and existence. There are many planes of causation; higher and higher laws but everything moves according to the spiritual laws that govern existence. There is the Law of Karma, the Law of Compassion, the Law of Sacred Geometry, the Law of One, the Law of Truth and many others. Working with one of these higher laws, for example, may cause one to override the laws of physics we are familiar with. Hence spiritual masters gaining ‘Siddhis’ or spiritual powers. It is possible to learn how to work with these spiritual laws, tuning into the higher planes of existence, and by embodying your Soul self create powerfully positive ripples in this world.
7. The Principle of Gender. "Gender is in everything; everything has its Masculine and Feminine Principles; Gender manifests on all planes." - The Kybalion.
Everything that exists contains masculine and feminine principles, male and female energies. We each contain male and female energies, regardless of our actual gender. Even our thought processes have masculine and feminine qualities. The feminine energies are receptive and all encompassing. The male energies are dynamic, constantly giving forth. This is why they need to be in balance. In our patriarchal society, we can see the effects of male energy spiralling out of control. It needs the feminine to bring it back into balance. Likewise, with not enough male energy, the feminine tends towards passivity and non-action. Ideally these energies should be balanced, and this is the meaning of the Yin Yang symbol. The principle of gender is in operation on all planes, until non-duality.