Alchemy: The 7 Hermetic Principles

What are the 7 Hermetic Principles? They are a set of seven timeless and extremely important laws/functions of the universe; which have been famously outlined in the Kybalion; a famous hermetic text.

Let me give you a little background history….

In ancient Egypt there was a God named Tahuti; the god of writing; really the patron of scribes or “master architect”.  Tahuti or Thoth was one of the wise beings who shared knowledge and insight with the pre-pharaonic Egyptians.  Tahuti by the Greeks was known as Hermes because he was also a divine messenger and writer.  The Greeks called Tahuti “thought” and one of the meanings of Tahuti’s name is “3 times great”.

Hermes is considered by many to be the source and origin of the basic teachings which infused all intellectual and esoteric traditions of the Egyptians, Greeks, Jews, Muslims, Hindus and Christians.

A few learned initiates guarded the insights and passed them on discerningly over the centuries to those deemed ready.  At the time of the Inquisition and other periods of religious persecution, it was dangerous to reveal ones beliefs in an alternate reality, as a result most of the understanding was lost to the masses but also to the scholars and students of the era; that is of course at least until 1908; when the great book surfaced and was later on published.

The book was called the Kybalion, written by the 3 initiates or master scribes.  Its focus is on mental transmutation or mental alchemy; also described as the art of mental chemistry or the art of polarization.

What does mental transmutation mean?…It means the power of changing your vibration by means of will or the transformation of a weak soul into a strong one.  How you may ask? by the law of correspondence; which means the more one focuses and practices the Hermetic Principles the more the soul gets empowered; body and mind get transformed.

These principles are powerful, they can change your life and help you see the world in a completely different way.  Like anything else it requires consistency at its practice.  The result? well, for me, it has brought a different way of looking at life and its mysteries, within and outside of me.  I am not “there” yet but I can see the tremendous benefit to applying these principles in my life; although I grew up being taught about subjects such as this one, it was not until much later in life where I started to pay close attention to the lessons and their benefits.

Here are the 7 Principles:

1.Mentalism:  The ancients believed everything is mental, this principle is a reminder that everything is connected. Once we understand the power of the mind, we learn to validate/believe that all starts in the unseen realm before it manifests in the physical realms.

The Principle of Mentalism is reflected in the Biblical quotation “In the beginning was the Word”  This means all external reality is based on an idea or concept. In quantum physics, mentalism refers to  the physical world being reduced to patterns of potential connections among potential concentrations of matter and energy that might or might not come into form, depending upon the introduction of consciousness.

Modern physicists and consciousness researchers/students are on the edge of rediscovering the implications of mentalism which Hermetic initiates have known all along

2. Correspondence:  “As above so below” or “As within so without”.  This means everything inside our minds will reflect itself on our physical reality; keeping that in mind we need to be cautious knowing what we keep inside controls the experiences we will attract.

The more scientific way to explain it would be to understand one can deduce or conclude  the nature of distant realms from local experience.  A great example I found during my research said it so eloquently : “Just as a small laboratory or computer program can simulate the behavior of stars billions of light years away, the consciousness of an individual being can confer with the Ultimate Consciousness that existed when there was only the word.”

3. Vibration: Nothing is static.  Everything is moving at all times because everything is frequency; we should be careful on how we treat and talk to people, it is not the words we say that matters so much as to the energy behind them.

We can change our vibration by changing our life alignment or life style. Our universe is filled with frequencies; as the great Nikolai Tesla said “if you want to understand the universe think of sound and frequency”  in other words vibration.  This third principle is one of the basic tenets of science.

In some ways we have intuitively grasped the validity of this principle by the use of the saying “I got good vibes about this” or similar sayings.  When we are on different frequency with someone, we can wind down or increase the tension; thereby moving a situation to a congruent level of vibration. Two completely different frequencies/ energies cannot stay long in the same room without one overtaking the other.

4. Polarity: Everything is dual; everything has its opposites.  We usually see this when we look at the world and we see light/dark, hot/cold, high/low, good/evil.  Most of us tend to see them as separate in its entirety while the alchemist understands they are two sides of the same coin.  The hermetic masters understood this and they sought to turn evil into good, that is what alchemy is about!  This is not to be confused with meaning one should endure or seek to be mistreated in hopes to change someone, it means one has the power to let others affect you or not.

If one can learn to process the “bad” energy from others, then that negative energy can be turned into positive energy for self, without having to be affected by the original ill wish.  The important point here is that all such polarities are only different vibrations of the same continuum.

5. Rhythm: Everything manifests itself in a pattern of to and from, up and down, in and out. The movement in one direction is always compensated for by a return. For every action there is a reaction and for every advance there is a retreat.

Understanding this principle makes it possible to deal with some of its more extreme effects. We understand fatigue followed by rest leads to renewed energy, anger gives way to remorse and pain succumbs to release. Therefore by being aware of the rhythms, one is less likely to resist their flow, thereby reducing the buildup of extremes.

Rhythm is all about getting into alignment or as others would say divine alignment with the universe.  You can do this by moving into our bodies. We should be doing things which make us aware of our bodies, for they are the expression of our subconscious and when we move into our bodies we unconsciously practice mindfulness!

6. Cause and Effect: What your reap is what you saw.  The seeds you plant right now you will harvest.  So if you hurt others because you felt hurt don’t expect the universe to reward you; instead expect the same thing you delivered to come back.

In life many people will hurt us and is not about allowing them to do so, is learning to differentiate when to stand up and when to walk away; it should never be about retaliation.  

Personally, I choose to stand up for myself instead of retaliating because I have seen how this universe works. If others hurt us we have the choice to stand up openly or to let the universe take care of it; that is true believe or true faith; not taking “faulty justice” into your own hands.  To retaliate directly or manipulatively in a way that hurts the person whom you feel is the cause of your pain, will in time only bring  you more pain.

The Hindu belief on karma and its concept is an illustration of the principle of cause and effect, as is the Christian saying “as you sow, so shall you reap.”.
If one tries to maliciously hurt those by which we feel wronged then it is only a matter of time before real justice comes back to us.

7. Gender: Both energies (masculine and feminine) exists within one person. This last Hermetic principle has remained the most obscure because we tend to equate gender with primary physical sex characteristics yet what it means is something totally different. Every being and every plane in the cosmos contains the dual elements of Yin and yang; feminine and masculine. It does not matter if you are male of female; we exist within each other.  We can see this principle all throughout nature; the existence of the masculine and the feminine. Gender is an illusion because you are energy, yet it is also essential to experience the contrast which is needed for our expansion and growth.

How can the 7 Hermetic principles change your life?… They can if you focus and see the mind not just as a magnet and a filter.  The more we release the mind, the more we can become infinite. The mind is a powerful tool, but it is a tool, therefore focus is important.  Focus is what matters because whatever you focus on will manifest itself.  

We should be careful of what we read and/or watch.  Question whether or not what you are exposing yourself to is helping you or hindering you.  There will be things/concepts/ways of living you will be exposed to which you may not be accustomed to, however learn to take a step back and pay attention.  If what you are being presented with can help you grow then use it, if not discard it.  Do so in an intelligent way, this means don’t simply discard something without properly examining it, for it might be that it challenges obsolete paradigms or narrow beliefs you may have, but it doesn’t necessarily mean the information presented is bad; it simply pushes you out of your comfort zone.

So many of us expose ourselves to negative things such as toxic people, alcohol/drug abuse or other type of addictions, as well as spending way too much time wasting our energy watching TV; no offense but there isn’t really much to watch out there. We need to be careful not to believe the illusions TV or other media bring into our lives.  Technology can be used to help us or to hinder us. The choice is up to you!.

“The Lips of Wisdom are sealed except to the ears of understanding”

“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”


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By Sofia Falcone

I passionately believe one person can make a difference. I write from my own experiences and interests. It is my greatest hope that by writing about my own challenges, victories, hopes and learnings, others may feel inspired to believe more in their inner power and to fully embrace themselves!


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