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Spellcraft: Level Three

Principles of Magick



DISCLAIMER

The theories shared here are not my theories and are not necessarily indicative of my beliefs nor is their inclusion here any indication of my approval or agreement.

 

The 7 Hermetic Principles

In studying Spellcraft and Magickal Theory, gaining exposure to varying beliefs, theories and doctrines of different occult traditions will go a long way to making you a more effective Witch. Below are the 7 Hermetic Principles. These are a specific tradition's ideas and beliefs about how magick works. With that said, these principles influence many other occult and magickal traditions and how they view or practice magick.


The goal here is to just absorb and learn and think. You aren't committing to anything or making any decisions. You don't have to agree with all the theories being presented. Some may offend, some may challenge you, some may resonate strongly.


You will see over the course of these lessons how many overlap and appear quite similar. While some stem from the same original source or belief, many are distinct and deserve their own analysis and consideration. Pay attention so you don't fall into thinking they're all the same.


The seven principles are the foundation of Hermeticism, a branch of spiritual philosophy dating back as early as the first century A.D. They were outlined by famed author Hermes Trismegistus, who is believed to have written the Emerald Tablet and the Corpus Hermeticum (two highly influential, ancient teachings).


His work would go on to influence both ancient Greek and Egyptian cultures, with both adopting him as a god of wisdom. (In Greece he was called Hermes; in Egypt, Thoth.) He was known in his time as a great master of the universe and is said to have lived for thousands of years.


Over time, the seven hermetic principles were passed down by word-of-mouth from teacher to student, and eventually, one day in the early 20th century, the teachings were compiled into a book called The Kybalion, written by "The Three Initiates." Today, they remain an occult source of wisdom, separate from any real religion but powerful nonetheless.


And while the seven principles are just one way of understanding the universe, they aren't so constricting that they cannot be studied alongside other spiritual philosophies. Here's what these principles are all about:


1. Mentalism

"The All is Mind; the Universe is Mental."


The principle of mentalism states that the universe is akin to a mental projection. This is like Law of Attraction, which is all about using your thoughts to shape your reality. For anything to be, a thought must precede it. Through this principle, it's believed that God is consciousness, or thought, and the universe is a manifestation of the mind of God.


2. Correspondence

"As above, so below; as below, so above."


We've all heard this quote before, but maybe you never knew it was Hermes who first coined it. It's closely related to the first principle of mentalism and states that what we hold in our thoughts and mind will become our reality. It explains the many planes of existence, including those of lower and higher vibrational frequencies and how they're connected.


3. Vibration

"Nothing rests; everything moves; everything vibrates."


Yes, believe it or not, the idea of "vibes" has been around a long, long time. The principle of vibration states that all things, both physical matter and spiritual energy, hold a certain vibration. Basic science tells us atoms are in constant motion, as is the universe itself. Even our hearts, as they beat, give off different vibrations depending on our emotional state. And when we're "vibing high," we're able to avoid low-level frequencies that don't serve us.


4. 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 principle of polarity explains that seemingly opposite things are actually one and the same at varying degrees. A simple example of this is hot and cold. Cold is just the absence of heat, and they're both one thing: temperature. Physical matter and spiritual energy are the same thing, with spiritual energy vibrating at a much higher level, such that it can't be perceived by our senses. Love and hate are two ways of experiencing the same thing, a relationship toward something. This is the foundation of alchemy, or the ability to "transmute" your experiences at will.


5. 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."


Closely related to the principle of polarity, the fifth principle states that between the opposing poles, there exists an inherent rhythm. The tides move in and out. We inhale and exhale.


Everything is in motion. Nature has its seasons and so, too, do we. Understanding this principle allows us to recognize our life's—and the universe's—natural rhythms, so we can actually work with them rather than having them working against us.


6. 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."


Everything is connected through the principle of cause and effect, for each cause of one thing is merely the effect of something else, going back to the very beginning.


Ask yourself, are you a cause? Or are you an effect? This principle is all about acknowledging the effects of our thoughts and behavior and how we may change them to bring about greater effects.


7. Gender

"Gender is in everything; everything has its masculine and feminine principles; gender manifests on all planes."


The seventh principle states that all things have masculine and feminine qualities. Yes, the two sexes can be thought of as a physical manifestation of this principle, but as we're all coming to understand, on an internal level, all of us hold both energies. (Think the left and right brain.)


Masculine and feminine energy exists in not only the physical plane but the mental and spiritual plane as well. The unity of these two energies is essential for creation, and when one has a balance of both, they're better able to apply all of the principles together for maximum benefit.



Principles of the Universe


Below is a list of 12 principles of the Universe, often associated with Ho'oponopono, a meditation for freedom originating in ancient Hawaiian culture. Some of the principles, or laws, however, are also attributed to hermetic philosophy going back to ancient Egypt and you will find some you are now familiar with listed here.


Remember these are part of our Magickal Theories, not Facts. Not everyone believes everything listed here or elsewhere in this course and it's important to not judge too much of it just yet. You're taking it all in for now and just thinking about it.



1

Law of Divine Oneness

The first and most foundational law of the universe is the Law of Divine Oneness, which highlights the interconnectedness of all things. It says that beyond our senses, every thought, action, and event is in some way connected to anything and everything else.


2

Law of Vibration

At a microscopic level, everything is in constant motion, vibrating at a specific frequency. This applies to matter but also one's personal frequency as well. This law says that our vibrational frequency can inform our lived experience.


For example, you may be able to receive money but perhaps you can't hold on to it, because vibrationally, you could be operating on a lower level.


3

Law of Correspondence

This law states that patterns repeat throughout the universe, and on a personal level, our reality is a mirror of what's happening inside us at that moment. Think "As above, so below. As within, so without."


4

Law of Attraction

Undoubtedly the most talked about universal law, the law of attraction is often used for manifestation. It says that like attracts like, and you get what you focus on. Not only that, but you have to believe what you're seeking is possible to obtain.


It is similar to the law of vibration in this way; it's important to learn how to vibrate at a level that attracts what you're seeking.


5

Law of Inspired Action

Closely related to the law of attraction, the law of inspired action is all about taking those real, actionable steps to invite what we want into our lives. Often the inspiration comes from within. Inspired action is that gentle, internal nudge, it's not always a plan of action.


6

Law of Perpetual Transmutation of Energy

This law states that on an energetic level, everything in the universe is constantly evolving or fluctuating. Every action is preceded by a thought, with thoughts themselves having the power to eventually manifest in our physical reality.


Ever been around a negative person and felt your own positivity depleting? That's one example—but it can also work the other way around: Higher frequencies transmute lower ones when applied with intention.


7

Law of Cause and Effect

Relatively straightforward, this law highlights the direct relation between actions and events. What's important to note here is we often can't see the effects right away, but they will come back around.


8

Law of Compensation

The law of compensation relates closely to the law of attraction and the law of correspondence. "You reap what you sow" is the main takeaway, with the law stating your efforts will always come back to you positively. If you are seeking something, you must contribute in some way toward your goal.


9

Law of Relativity

This law suggests that we are inclined to compare things in our world, but in reality, everything is neutral. Relativism exists in all things, and in the end, meaning comes down to our perspective and perception.


10

Law of Polarity

This law says that everything in life has an opposite; good and evil, love and fear, warmth and cold. The key is understanding these are all two sides of the same coin.


11

Law of Rhythm

Cycles are a natural part of the universe. Physically, you can think about the seasons on Earth. In our own lives, we can remember that integration is just as important as growth. We expect ourselves to be one way all the time, whether we're thinking about our health or even productivity, but this is not sustainable.


12

Law of Gender

And lastly, the law of gender has to do with the masculine and feminine energy that exists in all things. Much of our society has historically operated from a masculine, "hustle and do" mentality, which doesn't allow for much room to just be.



 


Exploring Mentalism


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 to identify 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, Hermetic teachings emphasize the power of reason and intelligence, cautioning us against impulsive choices.


Consider the initial thought that led you to be able to read this, on whatever device you're on. Or even the thought that is most influencing your mood right now.


When we recognize how much our thoughts manifest every day, whether internally as a physiological or emotional state, or externally, as the things we do or places we go, we see that when we can control our mind, we control our lives. We can get better at this through spiritual practices such as meditation, which help us train the mind.


Assignment:

  1. Research three different kinds of meditation.

  2. Try each one out for 5-minutes per day for one week.

  3. Log each day's practice in your journal.



 

Exploring Correspondence


Applying this principle is all about understanding your connection to the world around you and how you're showing up for yourself and the universe through your thoughts, and subsequently, your actions.


When we have a firm grasp on how we're interacting with life and how it's affecting us, we can recognize and break patterns, live in alignment with our highest good, and feel harmonious with everything there is.


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.


Assignment:

Download and complete the attached PDF: Daily Gratitude Ritual and Feelings Tracker