The 7 Hermetic Principles Explained – Understand Some Laws of the Universe

December 3, 2016 Siim Land

There are some universal laws that can be found across space and time – they’re a part of how the Universe works. The 7 hermetic principles are an example of this conduct and this article explains all of them.

The Kybalion:
A Study of
the Hermetic Philosophy of
Ancient Egypt and Greece

“The lips of wisdom are closed, except to the ears of understanding”

The Kybalion is a book published by someone(s) under the pseudonym “the Three Initiates.” It’s based on the teachings of a revered sage of the past – Hermes Trismegistus. The name translates to “thrice greatest;” referring to his mastery over the 3 planes of existence, as explained in hermetic philosophy – the physical, mental and spiritual. In Egypt he went under the name of Thoth and in Greece was known as Hermes.

Each chapter in The Kybalion is devoted to each of its seven principles or axioms that are considered universal laws. This school of thinking goes back thousands of years to the past. Let’s be honest, people were different and culture has changed but the world in its core has still stayed mostly the same.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that it’s just magic and fairytales – the book itself goes into quite a deep of a rabbit hole with archangels and shit, but you shouldn’t be misled by it. The 7 hermetic principles can be applied to a modern day scenario quite well. You just have to read it with an open mind and be willing to understand the core essence of its axioms from a universal point of view.

The 7 Hermetic Principles

“The vice of the soul is ignorance. The virtue of soul is knowledge; for one who knows is good and reverant and already divine.” – Hermes Trismegistus

Hermetic means “secret,” “esoteric” or “occult.” It refers to knowledge that’s in correspondence with the conduct of the Universe. Someone who understands these laws is wise and can use them to master all of the 3 planes of existence. In an everyday setting, these principles can help you come to terms with some of the fundamental aspects of the world and apply that to your life.

The book is said to appear in your life when the time is right and you’re ready to receive its teachings. If you want to truly understand the principles and apply them in the present, then you have to read it as if it was written in the 21st century – that is, from the perspective of the current day and age.

There are 7 principles in total, which are all interconnected with each other.

  1. The Principle of Mentalism
  2. The Principle of Correspondence
  3. The Principle of Vibration
  4. The Principle of Polarity
  5. The Principle of Rhythm
  6. The Principle of Causality
  7. The Principle of Gender

Let’s now go through all of them in closer detail.

The Principle of Mentalism

The all is mind; the universe is mental.”

Everything that exists is spirit. Matter is just densified spirit. Spirit is just refined matter. All is just energy. The ALL – the substantial reality underlying all the outward manifestations and appearances which we know under the Universe – is spirit. It’s undefinable but considered as a universal living mind.

“All is mind” embodies the idea that everything that happens has to be the result of a mental state that proceeds it. When you think about it in a common-sensical way, then it’s simply about creating things twice – that is, first having a thought or a design in your head, and then manifesting it into its actual physical form in reality.

The Principle of Correspondence

“As Above, So Below; As Within, So Without; As the Universe, So the Soul…”

This phrase is very common in Hermetic philosophy. It basically means that everything – all of the planes of existence – are connected and in correspondence. The macrocosm is found in the microcosm and vice versa – solar systems, societies and life on Earth reflects the same thing on the cellular and atomic level.

The 7 Hermetic Principles As Above So Below
The 7 Hermetic Principles As Above So Below

What this law means in an everyday setting is that whatever we do on the micro level so will we do on the macro level. Even the tiniest of habits influence the grand scheme of our behavior. As we do anything, so will we do everything. If you slack off in one area of your life, the others will also suffer.

Even more, the outer world is a reflection of our inner world. The thoughts and images we hold in our consciousness begin to subconsciously manifest themselves in our external circumstances. The mind takes everything as it is – it doesn’t distinguish the substantial from the real and begins to re-create exactly that which we focus on the most.

The Principle of Vibration

Nothing rests; Everything moves; Everything vibrates. 

This principle says that everything – starting from the largest of matter down to tiniest of particles – is at different degrees of vibration. Modern science can endorse that every atom and molecule is vibrating at certain motion, speed and frequency. The combination of this energy determines the physical or substantial form of any given object. Even something that seems to be still, for example a chair, is actually in a state of motion. Its electrons are still moving around and there is even space between them. Nothing is at rest.

The practical application to this is described as “mental transmutation” – change your mental state and you change your vibration. This is done by the power of Will – by deliberately concentrating on a more desirable state of mind. Whatever you focus on most in life grows. What’s more, because the Universe is mental and governed by the law of correspondence, changing your own mode of being influences the rest of the Universe as well.

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.

Polarity means that the extreme opposites are actually the different degrees of the same thing. Take temperature for an example – heat and cold aren’t distinct entities or phenomenon but the same thing. Their only difference lies in the matter of degree.

This same principle can also be found on the mental plane. Love and hate; fear and courage; greed and compassion are all but the varying degrees of the same thing. The difference between them gets determined by the law of vibration. Some emotions vibrate on a higher level whereas others on a lower.

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.

This principle explains that there is rhythm between every pair of opposites or poles. Rhythm is the force that enables transition from one pole to another. After every success there will eventually be some failures. For every action there is an opposite and equal reaction.

Remembering the law of rhythm is very important for your state of happiness and well-being. If you’re used to living in abundance constantly, then times of scarcity will have a much greater impact on you than on someone who hasn’t been as well off. Keep in mind that sh#t will hit the fan sooner or later. Using negative visualization and anti-positive thinking can help you prepare for that.

The key to not being negatively influenced by the harsh pendulum swing is to not get attached to anything in life and not base your happiness on external objects, people or circumstances that lie outside of your control. Most people can’t even control their own emotions and are riding the ups and downs of a roller coaster all day. You should strive towards a state of consciousness that’s indifferent, blissful and nonattached despite the conditions you may find yourself in.

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

There is no such thing as chance – chance is just a term we use when the exact causes of certain effects are not recognized or perceived. Every cause has its effect and there’s an underlying law that makes it happen. If you understand the consequences of your actions, then you can choose what actions you’re going to take. You can choose what actions to take, but, in so doing, you also choose the consequences that follow.

In principal, be the cause not the effect. Be proactive – act, or be acted upon. Being the cause means that you are the master, instead of the victim. This is the law of polarity. Change your polarity with the power of your mind and free will.

The Principle of Gender

Gender is in everything; Everything has its masculine and feminine principles;…

…Gender manifests on all planes.” 

Gender is manifested in everything. There are polar opposites – the yin and yang. Every person has a biological sex with a male of female physical body. However, psychologically, both qualities exist simultaneously in everyone. The same principle can be found in other things as well – even the brain has a left and right hemisphere that corresponds with respectful gender traits.

Gender is manifested as masculine and feminine principles alike across all planes.

  • The Masculine principle is in the direction of giving out and expanding. Masculinity embodies yang energy – the Sun and its flames that scorches the Earth but at the same time gives life to it. It’s the Will – the desire to achieve something and to take the necessary action.
  • The Feminine principle is directed towards receiving and absorbing. Femininity embodies yin energy – the Moon and the flow of water that restores and sooths the burning warrior. This is the trait of creativity, spontaneity, feeling and imagination.

“It is said that there must be a balance in these two forces. Without the Feminine, the Masculine is apt to act without restraint, order, or reason, resulting in chaos. The Feminine alone, on the other hand, is apt to constantly reflect and fail to actually do anything, resulting in stagnation. With both the Masculine and Feminine working in conjunction, there is thoughtful action that breeds success, which points out that both the Feminine and the Masculine fulfill each other” – (The Kybalion 203-204)

Understand the 7 Hermetic Principles,
Empower Your Life
and Master the Universe

These are all of the 7 hermetic principles as written in the Kybalion. You can definitely see a lot of overlap with a modern day setting. These are but a few of the universal laws that can be found in the structure of the world. Another one of them – albeit an unofficial one – which I would add is the Body Mine Empowerment Principle of Meta-Awareness:

Wherever you are in life whenever depends on your level of meta-awareness – how conscious you are of your own paradigms, what is your purpose and what are you doing to achieve it.

Keeping that in mind, you can be assured that you’ll accomplish what you desire and never stray away from the path that fulfils your life. That’s the philosophy of first achieving self-mastery – achieving inner greatness – and then manifesting it in the external world.

I would advise you to check out the book and read it because it’s indeed a very interesting piece of literature. Make sure to check out my YouTube channel as well for videos about Body Mind Empowerment and manifesting your greatness.

The 7 Hermetic Principles Kybalion
The 7 Hermetic Principles Kybalion