What Is Hermeticism?
Hermeticism, also called Hermetism, is a religious, philosophical, and esoteric tradition based primarily upon writings attributed to Hermes Trismegistus ("thrice-greatest Hermes"). These writings have greatly influenced the Western esoteric tradition and were considered to be of great importance during both the Renaissance and the Reformation.
Hermeticism is a tradition that dates back as far as the 1st and 2nd centuries AD. It is one of the oldest non-Christian belief systems that is still practiced today. The major teachings associated with Hermeticism were preserved. They can be found in Byzantine collections of writings and letters called the Corpus Hermetica, in which the key tenets of this world view are explained.
The documents were translated into Latin during the 15th century. They're widely thought to have inspired and influenced a great many philosophers and artists during the Italian Renaissance.
Their modern popularity derives from the Freemasons, who rediscovered the Hermetic Principles and spread their wisdom. One of the main reasons why Hermeticism has endured is that it purports to explain the basic fabric of reality in a timeless, elegant way. They speak to questions that our species has posed since its infancy. It outlines the interconnectedness of every part of our Universe and underlining our unique power to create positive change.
In addition, the doctrines of Hermeticism are compatible with much of modern science. Plus, these laws of the universe can be seamlessly integrated into a wide range of different religions (as well as being compatible with atheistic perspectives).
About Hermes Trismegistus
Hermes Trismegistus is viewed as the father of Hermeticism. He is also credited as the writer of the Corpus Hermeticum (as well as the Emerald Tablets).
However, he isn't thought to have been any one individual person. Rather, it is widely suspected that he is a blend of a few distinct "so called" mythological figures; among them the Hellenistic god Hermes and the Egyptian god Thoth. That said, it is worth noting that some scholars do hold that he was a real person. Some people even argue that there were two distinct figures known as Hermes Trismegistus. In this way, both of these figures played a role in creating the hermetic philosophy.
Many who live according to the Hermetic Principles view Hermes Trismegistus's real identity to be inconsequential, focusing instead on the Hermetic teachings themselves and on their surprising applicability to modern times. Regardless of his precise identity, he has come to symbolize magic, mysticism, interconnectedness, and alchemy.
Meanwhile, the Corpus Hermeticum has been incredibly influential and deeply valuable for ancient cultures and continues to be so.
The Kybalion And The Hermetic Principles
Much of Hermeticism has been condensed into The Kybalion. The Kybalion is a book that was published by a mysterious individual (or individuals) named “the Three Initiates”. The book's name refers to the three planes of existence: the physical, the mental and the spiritual. It also is linked to Hermes' mastery of these three domains.
According to the Kybalion, 7 Hermetic Principles should guide our understanding of the Universe. Each chapter of the book is devoted to explaining and illustrating one of the Principles. You can think of these Principles as universal laws or doctrines. On the first read, it can seem as though the Kybalion is based on fantasy and has little relevance for everyday scenarios or contemporary people. However, once you take the time to interpret and consider the core meaning of each Principle, it becomes apparent that they have broad and powerful applicability.
The Planes Of Existence And The Law Of Attraction
As noted above, in Hermetic traditions the three planes of existence are the mental, physical and spiritual. Hermeticism posits deep connections between all three of these planes and emphasizes that each is constantly influencing the others. This aspect of Hermetic philosophy is in harmony with what the Law of Attraction teaches us; namely, that our thoughts (which are on the mental plane) can directly impact on the world around us (the physical plane). Similarly, the emotional and spiritual world has very real ramifications for how our lives develop.
Planes of existence are intimately related to vibrational frequency. Crucially, your environment (the physical plane) will shift its vibration so that it is in tune with the mental vibration of your thoughts.
Meanwhile, the mental plane's vibration is partially determined by your spiritual vibration. So, as the Law of Attraction tells us, increasing our spiritual vibration is the path to creating a better and more fulfilling material life.
The Laws Of The Universe: 7 Hermetic Principles
Now that you have basic knowledge of the nature and origins of Hermeticism, we can turn to a more in-depth exploration of the Hermetic Principles themselves. Each of the 7 Hermetic laws can help you both understand the universe. Plus, it may help you make practical decisions that lead you towards your true purpose. Throughout, we’ll contemplate some of the main ways in which you may connect their lessons with manifestation work you can undertake using the Law of Attraction.
As noted above, there are profound, significant links between the teachings of the Law of Attraction and the wisdom contained in the Hermetic Principles.
1. The Principle of Mentalism
“The all is mind; the universe is mental.”
Firstly, the Principle of Mentalism stresses that on the most foundational level, everything in the universe is mental. In a certain sense, the Universe is itself a living mind; one that is connected to all other minds. As such, every action you take and every thought you take is an interaction between different aspects of the mental.
This important Hermetic Principle tells us that we are all one and that our surroundings are an inherent part of us. Once you understand the truth of Mentalism, you begin to grasp how it is that we are capable of shaping our reality using just our thoughts.
Another important lesson drawn from the Principle of Mentalism is that if we think the right thoughts, the right actions will follow. This is a reminder that it is vital to plan carefully, to spend time reflecting on your true passions and identifying your life's purpose. Once you have done so, your thoughts will be aligned with the Universe in such a way as to create the reality you desire.
While there is an important place for intuition (as we will see below), Hermetic teachings emphasize the power of reason and intelligence, cautioning us against impulsive choices.
2. The Principle of Correspondence
“As above, so below, as below, so above. As within, so without, as without, so within.”
At the heart of the Principle of Correspondence is the idea that there are constant links between the mental, physical and spiritual planes. Consequently, if we want to understand the patterns we see in our lives then we must look at all of these aspects.
Implicit in this Principle is the acceptance that we cannot access all planes of existence. However, Hermetic practitioners tend to believe that a keenly honed sense of intuition can help us tap into aspects of the higher and lower planes. Paying attention to gut feelings (such as a seemingly unexplained “pull” towards a person or an event) can help you make more sense of links between your everyday experiences and the higher, spiritual plane.
The Principle of Correspondence is also linked to the idea of repeating patterns, small and large. It is a reminder to consider the repeating themes in your own life and to reflect on the interconnected nature of your mental, physical and spiritual aspects.
For example, low energy in your spiritual life can manifest itself in physical lethargy in your body. On the positive side, practicing daily gratitude rituals can rejuvenate your spiritual side and lead to noticeable improvements in your physical well-being.
3. The Principle of Vibration
“Nothing rests; Everything moves; Everything vibrates.”
Those who are experienced in working with the Law of Attraction will likely already be very familiar with something like the Principle of Vibration. To put it simply, all things carry their own unique energy, on all planes of existence. In fact, even the smallest particle in the universe has a vibrational frequency that impacts on things around it. Crucially, this Principle tells us that high energy things are magnetically drawn towards one another, and are attuned to them on a basic level.
Meanwhile, low energy particles gravitate towards other sources of low energy. So, in order to have a happy, fulfilling life, you will benefit from aiming to become a source of high energy.
It is this understanding of vibration that underlies the Law of Attraction idea that “like attracts like”. If you can increase your own vibrational frequency, you can attract more positive, high energy events, people and possessions into your life. On the other hand, if you get dragged into negativity, it will be hard to attract what you desire. Both expert manifesters and Hermeticists believe that all of our thoughts can be fine-tuned. In this way, we can make our vibrational frequency progressively higher in a way that changes our lives.
4. The Principle of Polarity
“Everything is dual, everything has poles and 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 Hermetic Principle of Polarity tells us that all things in our lives have an opposite and that the resulting contrast is part of what gives our narratives meaning. For example, without knowing what lack feels like, it is difficult to focus on and appreciate abundance; the polarity of life's experiences helps us to avoid taking things for granted.
This Principle is also often taken to mean that everything has a dual nature. So, we all contain love and hate, positivity and negativity, sadness and joy. It is up to us to recognize these contrasts and reflect on what they mean to us. We should use our willpower to align ourselves with the pole that is more helpful in our given situation.
One way to use the Principle of Polarity in your everyday life is to prompt yourself to reflect on contrasts that boost your vibration. For example, for every bad or difficult thing you go through, challenge yourself to remember at least one good thing. Then, notice how your appreciation of the latter is made more potent by having faced previous challenges. In addition, realize that everything that doesn't work well for you helps to point the way towards its opposite; the thing that will work for you.
5. The Principle of Rhythm
“Everything flows, out and in; Everything has its tides; All things rise and fall.”
One of the major things we can learn from the Principle of Rhythm is that everything is in constant motion. There is a pattern to the changes we experience. Everything goes through cycles that move from birth to death and then rebirth. This Principle applies just as much to the Earth's seasons as it does to our bodies. The core idea here can be illustrative with an image of a pendulum. Imagine it constantly swinging back and forth and repeatedly reaching both great highs and great lows. There is a sense of predictability and inevitability attached to this idea. In addition, there is a message that nothing in life is ever still.
The Principle of Rhythm can help you with mindfulness practices that support your Law of Attraction work. In particular, it stresses that nothing is permanent, whether it is good or bad. All that you have is the present moment; fully immersing yourself in each part of your cycle will ensure that you learn and experience the most you possibly can. Focusing on this idea as part of a meditative exercise then helps to distract your mind from ruminations on the past or anxieties about the future.