Chapter 2

The 7 Hermetic Principles Simplified

January 29, 2022
"The Principles of Truth are Seven. The knower of these has the Magic Key before whose touch all the Doors of the Temple fly open."—The Kybalion

The 7 Hermetic Principles which is the basis or the entire Hermetic Philosophy are:

1. The Principle of Mentalism

"THE ALL IS MIND; The Universe is Mental."—The Kybalion.

THE ALL is the Substantial Reality underlying all the outward manifestations of:

  • the Material Universe
  • Life
  • Matter
  • Energy
  • all that is apparent to our material senses

The All is SPIRIT which in itself is UNKNOWABLE and UNDEFINABLE. It is a UNIVERSAL, INFINITE, LIVING MIND.

All the phenomenal world or universe is simply a Mental Creation of THE ALL, subject to the Laws of Created Things.

The universe, as a whole, and in its parts or units, has its existence in the Mind of THE ALL, in which Mind we “live and move and have our being.”

This Principle, by establishing the Mental Nature of the Universe, easily explains all of the varied mental and psychic phenomena that occupy such a large portion of the public attention, and which, without such explanation, are non-understandable and defy scientific treatment.

An understanding of this great Hermetic Principle of Mentalism enables the individual to readily grasp the laws of the Mental Universe, and to apply the same to his well-being and advancement. The Hermetic Student is enabled to apply intelligently the great Mental Laws, instead of using them in a haphazard manner.

With the Master-Key in his possession, the student may unlock the many doors of the mental and psychic temple of knowledge and enter it freely and intelligently. This Principle explains the true nature of:

  • Energy
  • Power
  • Matter

It explains why and how all these are subordinate to the Mastery of Mind.

“He who grasps the truth of the Mental Nature of the Universe is well advanced on The Path to Mastery.”

Without this Master-Key, Mastery is impossible, and the student knocks in vain at the many doors of The Temple.

2. The Principle of Correspondence

"As above, so below; as below, so above."—The Kybalion.

There is always a Correspondence between the laws and phenomena of the various planes of Being and Life.

This lets us solve many dark paradoxes, and hidden secrets of Nature.

There are planes beyond our knowing, but when we apply the Principle of Correspondence to them we are able to understand much that would otherwise be unknowable to us. This Principle is of universal application and manifestation, on the various planes of the material, mental, and spiritual universe—it is an Universal Law.

The ancient Hermetists considered this Principle as one of the most important mental instruments by which man was able to pry aside the obstacles which hid from view the Unknown. Its use even tore aside the Veil of Isis to the extent that a glimpse of the face of the goddess might be caught.

Just as a knowledge of the Principles of Geometry enables man to measure distant suns and their movements, while seated in his observatory, so a knowledge of the Principle of Correspondence enables Man to reason intelligently from the Known to the Unknown. Studying the monad, he understands the archangel.

3. The Principle of Vibration

"Nothing rests; everything moves; everything vibrates."—The Kybalion.

This Principle states that:

  • everything is in motion
  • everything vibrates
  • nothing is at rest

Modern Science endorses these.

This principle says that the differences between different manifestations of Matter, Energy, Mind, and even Spirit, result largely from varying rates of Vibration.

From THE ALL, as Pure Spirit, down to the grossest form of Matter, all is in vibration. The higher the vibration, the higher the position in the scale.

The vibration of Spirit has an infinite rate of intensity and speed that it seems at rest, just as a rapidly-moving wheel seems to be motionless.

At the other end of the scale, there are gross forms of matter whose vibrations are so low as to seem at rest.

Between these poles, there are millions of varying degrees of vibration. From corpuscle and electron, atom and molecule, to worlds and universes, everything is in vibratory motion.

This is also true on the planes of:

  • energy and force (which are but varying degrees of vibration)
  • mentality (whose states depend upon vibrations)
  • spirituality.

With the appropriate formulas and the understanding of this Principle, Hermetic students can control their own mental vibrations and those of others.

The Masters also apply this Principle to the conquering of Natural phenomena.

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.

This Principle states that:

  • everything is dual
  • everything has two poles
  • everything has its pair of opposites

Moreover:

  • thesis and antithesis are identical in nature, but different in degree
  • opposites are the same, differing only in degree
  • the pairs of opposites may be reconciled
  • extremes meet
  • everything is and isn’t, at the same time
  • all truths are but half-truths
  • every truth is half-false
  • there are two sides to everything

This principle explains that:

  • there are two poles or opposite aspects in everything
  • “opposites” are really only the two extremes of the same thing, with many varying degrees between them.

For example, Heat and Cold are “opposites” but are really the same thing. Their differences consisting merely of degrees of the same thing. Look at your thermometer and see if you can discover where “heat” ends and “cold” begins!

There is no such thing as “absolute heat” or “absolute cold”. “Heat” and “cold” are merely varying degrees of the same thing. That “same thing” which manifests as “heat” and “cold” is merely a form, variety, and rate of Vibration.

So “heat” and “cold” are simply the “two poles” of that which we call “Heat”. This shows the Principle of Polarity.

Another example is “Light and Darkness”. These are the same thing, the difference consisting of varying degrees between the two poles of the phenomena.

  • Where does “darkness” leave off, and “light” begin?
  • What is the difference between “Large and Small”?

The Principle of Polarity explains these paradoxes, and no other Principle can supersede it.

The same Principle operates on the Mental Plane.

“Love and Hate” are 2 mental states apparently totally different. Yet there are degrees of Hate and degrees of Love. Its middle point we call “Like or Dislike”. These are simply degrees of the same thing.

It is possible to change the vibrations of Hate to the vibrations of Love in one’s own mind, and in the minds of others.

We have experiences of the involuntary rapid transition from Love to Hate, and the reverse.

This can be done by the Will, through the Hermetic formulas. “Good and Evil” are but the poles of the same thing. The Hermetist can transmute Evil into Good by using the Principle of Polarity.

In short, the “Art of Polarization” becomes a phase of “Mental Alchemy”. An understanding of the Principle will enable one to change his own Polarity, and those ofothers, if he will devote the time and study to master the art.

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.

In everything there is manifested a measured motion:

  • to and fro
  • a flow and inflow
  • a swing backward and forward
  • a pendulum-like movement
  • a tide-like ebb and flow
  • a high-tide and low-tide

Between the two poles which exist in accordance with the Principle of Polarity described a moment ago.

There is always:

  • an action and a reaction
  • an advance and a retreat
  • a rising and a sinking.

This is in the affairs of the Universe, suns, worlds, men, animals, mind, energy, and matter.

This law is manifest in:

  • the creation and destruction of worlds
  • the rise and fall of nations
  • the life of all things
  • the mental states of Man

The Hermetists apply the Mental Law of Neutralization. They cannot annul the Principle, but they have learned how to escape its effects on themselves depending on the Mastery of the Principle.

They have learned how to USE it, instead of being USED BY it. This forms the Art of the Hermetists.

The Master of Hermetics polarizes himself at the point at which he desires to rest, and then neutralizes the Rhythmic swing of the pendulum which would tend to carry him to the other pole.

All individuals who have attained any degree of Self-Mastery do this to a certain degree, more or less unconsciously, but the Master does this consciously, and by the use of his Will, and attains a degree of Poise and Mental Firmness almost impossible of belief on the part of the masses who are swung backward and forward like a pendulum.

This Principle and that of Polarity have been closely studied by the Hermetists, and the methods of counteracting, neutralizing, and USING them form an important part of the Hermetic Mental Alchemy.

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.

This Principle states that:

  • there is a Cause for every Effect
  • there is an Effect from every Cause.
  • everything Happens according to Law
  • nothing ever “merely happens”
  • there is no such thing as Chance
  • there are various planes of Cause and Effect, the higher dominating the lower planes, still nothing ever entirely escapes the Law.

The Hermetists rise above the ordinary plane of Cause and Effect and by mentally rising to a higher plane they become Causers instead of Effects.

The masses of people are carried along, obedient to:

  • environment
  • the wills and desires of others stronger than themselves
  • heredity
  • suggestion
  • other outward causes moving them about like pawns on the Chessboard of Life.

But the Masters, rising to the plane above, dominate their moods, characters, qualities, and powers, as well as the environment surrounding them, and become Movers instead of pawns. They help to PLAY THE GAME OF LIFE, instead of being played and moved about by other wills and environment.

They USE the Principle instead of being its tools. The Masters obey the Causation of the higher planes, but they help to RULE on their own plane. In this statement there is condensed a wealth of Hermetic knowledge—let him read who can.

7. The Principle of Gender

"Gender is in everything; everything has its Masculine and Feminine Principles; Gender manifests on all planes."—The Kybalion.

There is GENDER manifested in everything—the Masculine and Feminine Principles ever at work.

This is true for the Physical, Mental, and the Spiritual Planes.

On the Physical Plane, the Principle manifests as SEX.

on the higher planes it takes higher forms, but the Principle is ever the same.

No creation, physical, mental or spiritual, is possible without this Principle. An understanding of its laws will throw light on many a subject that has perplexed the minds of men.

The Principle of Gender works ever in the direction of generation, regeneration, and creation. Everything, and every person, contains the two Elements or Principles, or this great Principle, within it, him or her. Every Male thing has the Female Element also; every Female contains also the Male Principle.

If you would understand the philosophy of Mental and Spiritual Creation, Generation, and Re-generation, you must understand and study this Hermetic Principle.

  • It contains the solution of many mysteries of Life.

We caution you that this Principle has no reference to the many base, pernicious and degrading lustful theories, teachings and practices, which are:

  • taught under fanciful titles, and
  • are a prostitution of the great natural principle of Gender.

Such base revivals of the ancient infamous forms of Phallicism tend to ruin mind, body and soul. The Hermetic Philosophy has always warned against these degraded teachings which tend toward lust, licentiousness, and perversion of Nature’s principles.