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The 7 Hermetic Principles
Some of the principles present in the Universe
8 minutes of reading
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Those most interested in occultism, alchemy, and esotericism have probably heard about the seven hermetic principles of the universe, also called the 7 Hermetic Laws. However, those who are still unfamiliar with the subject can read the word "hermetic" and immediately associate it with the expression "hermetically closed" without making any connection with its origin.
In fact, these two uses of this word originate from the same figure, very important for occult studies: Hermes Trismegistus.
Also called "thrice-great" Hermes (meaning "Trismegistus" in Latin), the writings attributed to Hermes are both philosophical, such as those that seek the essence of all religions, and technical, such as the description of procedures related to alchemy. This is precisely where the expression hermetically closed comes from: practices associated with Hermes include "magic" to "close" the energy of objects, in addition to having at their core a set of principles that aim to close together all the laws that govern the universe and its manifestation.
In the case of astrology, the philosophical writings of Hermes are of greater interest, which are scattered in various works that deal with the search for the great Truth, that unites all religions. It is in them that the greatest impact Hermes has on humanity, since many religions, ancient or current, Eastern or Western, drank from its source.
Because it was born - or is directly associated with Egypt, a place of great cultural exchange in the ancient world, Hermetic thought ended up easily spreading to other regions and its influence can be seen in various religions and approaches to spirituality - from the Muslim religion to the Christian, through astrology and important philosophers such as Socrates and Plato.
The book The Kybalion and Hermetic Principles
Among the most important works associated with Hermes are also the texts compiled in the Corpus Hermeticum and the Emerald Tablet, which exerted a great influence on third-century Greek philosophy and which resurfaced during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance times when experiments of alchemy in Vogue, Italy.
In 1908, the principles that govern all things were gathered in the book The Kybalion, written by the Three Initiates from the books of Hermes. The authorship of the Three has never been confirmed. The title of the book derives from the same root that led to the term "kabbalah" in Hebrew, which means "reception". In it, there are descriptions of the 7 Hermetic Laws that govern the entire universe and which will be summarized below.
The Seven Hermetic Laws
1 - The Principle of MENTALISM: "The whole is Mind; the universe is mental."
The first and most important hermetic law basically talks about the power of the mind. The universe we live in and everything we believe to be reality is mental in nature: nature, our actions, our bodies, and all the rest. We are what we think. If we think good things, good things will come; if we think bad things, they will come closer to us in a thought-form structure. The universe is a mental energy field in particular dimensions.
2 - The Principle of CORRESPONDENCE: "What is above is like what is below. What is inside is like what is outside."
In the second hermetic law, we understand that for everything there is a correspondence in the universe, whether in the microcosm or in the macrocosm. Using the Bible as an example, this principle is reflected in the analogy of when "God created men in his own image and likeness". So, to understand all that surrounds us, we have to look for its correspondence and pattern in other places.
3 - The Principle of VIBRATION: "Nothing is still, everything moves, everything vibrates."
The Hermetic Third Law is widely accepted by modern science and deals with the inherent motion of the universe. Everything moves because everything vibrates. Everything is composed of atoms in constant vibration. Movement is what leads to changes and vibrations occur in different degrees. Through vibrations, we can be closer to chaos or harmony, and this can be controlled. In the higher frequencies is that which is unseen; at the lowest frequencies are the vibrations of matter.
4 - The Principle of POLARITY: "Everything is double, everything has two poles, and everything has its opposite. Equal and unequal are the same thing. Extremes touch. All truths are half-truths. All paradoxes can be reconcilable."
In the fourth hermetic law, we understand that we live in a polarized world. Everything has a duality: hot and cold, light and dark, left and right, good and evil... When we associate the principle of polarity with that of vibration, however, we understand that dualities are two sides of the same coin. - to different degrees. Darkness is nothing but absent light; health is the absence of disease. Duality is also unity.
5 - The Principle of RHYTHM: "Everything ebbs and flows, everything has its tides, everything rises and falls, rhythm is the compensation."
In the fifth hermetic law, we understand that we live in a dynamic of cycles. Everything that goes around comes around, and we live in an eternal vibration of attraction and repulsion, of inspiration and expiration. Just as we can be on top, we will certainly go back down, and that goes for both physical movements and the stars, mental frequencies, and relationship patterns. Through Neutralization, it is possible to achieve greater stability of rhythms.
6 - The Principle of CAUSE AND EFFECT: "Every cause has its effect, every effect has its cause, there are many planes of causality, but nothing escapes the Law."
In the sixth hermetic law, we understand that coincidences are nothing more than events in which the causes have not yet been clarified. Every action has a reaction and nothing is by chance. By mastering the principles of this law, it is possible to be the causative agent and not just feel the effects, so that we can propagate good. When such a mechanism is mastered, we become masters of ourselves.
7 - The Principle of GENDER: "Gender is in everything: everything has its Masculine and Feminine principles, and gender manifests itself in all planes of creation."
In the last hermetic principle, we understand that gender is not only in what is reproduced physically but is also in mental, natural, and spiritual planes. All creation derives from a masculine and feminine force. Everything that exists can have gender: human beings, planets, and trees. Knowing and internalizing this fact, we can live in greater fullness.
Hermes Trismegistus: Man or divinity?
Legend has it that in ancient Hellenistic Alexandria, the Egyptian god Thoth, god of magic, enlightenment, and words of power, was fused with the Greek god Hermes, of communication and wisdom. In Egyptian texts, the name Thoth had a triple title, something like "Great, Great, Most Great God".
In Greek, Thoth's name was translated to Hermes, but, in order not to lose the association with the Egyptian god, the title Trismegistus was added to form Hermes Trismegistus. His followers were known as Hermetists and believed that Hermes and his teachings were the true sources of their wisdom.
In recognition of this fact, their works were signed with His name rather than their own authorship. Such works became known as Hermetic texts, including several works on alchemy, magic, astrology, and philosophy. Philosophical texts were gathered into a collection of about twenty texts, called the Hermetica.
Another story says that Hermes was a great Egyptian scholar and philosopher who lived between 1500 BC and 2500 BC. Considered the first alchemist in history, Hermes would be able to transform rock into metal (which the steel industry does today), extract life from plants (phytotherapy), and modify matter (as chemists do).
Although it was written in the first centuries after the birth of Christ, the Hermetica presented itself as an older work, written by an ancient type of magician called Hermes, who through mystical practices reached a higher state of consciousness and became a God. In the Hermetica, the Greek word gnosis (meaning "knowledge") was used to describe the highest state of consciousness. This same word was used by other mystics, including early Christian sects (known as Gnostics), some Jewish sects such as the Essenes, and Sabean Gnostics.
Hermetica had a mystical and astrological worldview. The planets were each named after a god and, in the Hellenistic period, their order was determined by speed, in the following order: Moon, Mercury, Venus, Sun, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. They also believed that the planets formed a kind of "ladder between Earth and Heaven" where the energy of each planet received certain qualities from that god, being associated with the four elements: Earth, Water, Air, and Fire.
The 7 planets were also understood as centers of the soul of the Cosmos and their corresponding link could also be found ascending through the vertebral column, from the base to the top of the head, in the microcosm of the human body. Pythagoras, the most ancient of mystical philosophers, developed the seven-note diatonic musical scale marked by the seven vowels of the Greek alphabet to capture the sound each planet would make as it orbited the Earth.
This harmony was called at the time "music of the spheres". Pythagoras used this scale in a musical treatment to harmonize the human soul centers with the planets. These notes worked as virtues that would heal imbalances or addictions located in each center of the soul.
Each planet was seen as a two-way street and when evolving, we should leave behind the seven gifts conferred by the planets and, in a more purified state, enter a new world beyond matter, with a new consciousness. This process involved abandoning or curing the seven Vices assigned to each of the 7 planets:
The too much oscillation of the Moon; the cunning and sagacity of Mercury; the lust and greed of Venus; the arrogance and selfishness of the Sun; the audacity and wrath of Mars; the greed of Jupiter and the falsehood and taciturn action of Saturn.
Such a process would lead to gnosis and consequently to the understanding that we are made of "something beyond matter, spiritual beings of light and vibration".
Anyway... there are many stories, facts, teachings, and legends about Hermes Trismegistus. The existence of a wise man is not ruled out, however, the way in which the Hermetic philosophy evolved and was passed from generation to generation makes Hermes a figure that represents more than a human being who lived here, but a set of ideas and ways of looking at life that collaborate immensely with our self-knowledge