There are certain laws that govern the Universe. When we learn to understand these laws, we can use them to our advantage. Hermes Trismegistus sought to explain these laws and how they could be applied to our lives. This need to understand birthed the seven hermetic principles – the foundational principles of our reality. Here’s a look at these laws and how they can be applied:


What are the Seven Hermetic Principles?

In short, the seven principles were based on the hermetic tradition that dates back to the 1st and 2nd centuries A.D. They were drafted by the famed Hellenistic master, Hermes Trismegistus, who composed a series of letters that became known as the Corpus Hermetica. He was also the author of the Emerald Tablet.

He is often associated with the god of wisdom in both Greek and Egyptian cultures (the Greek god Hermes and the Egyptian god Thoth), and his work went on to influence both ancient cultures. Whether Trismegistus actually existed is still up for debate, but he is said to have lived for thousands of years and is considered a great master of the Universe.

As the years went by, the seven hermetic principles were passed down by word-of-mouth before it was assembled into a book called The Kybalion, which was written by “The Three Initiates.” These powerful laws are some of the oldest and influential systems of thinking and help understand the Universe. It can broaden your horizons and create a more meaningful life. Here is a deeper look at the seven principles:


The Principle of Mentalism


“The All is Mind; the Universe is Mental.”


—The Kybalion

The premise for the first principle is that “all is mind”, and that includes the Universe. If you believe that God or Source is consciousness, then the Universe is a manifestation of God’s thoughts and is, therefore, a projection of his mind. If you’re a big believer in manifestation, then you would know that this idea is exactly the same as the “our thoughts create our reality” concept. Through this principle, we can utilize the power of our minds, manifesting our desires and shaping our lives.


Applying this principle:

Take a moment to notice your thoughts. How does it influence your emotional or mental state? When we begin to understand that our thoughts control how we feel, the meals that we decide to eat, or the places we choose to visit, we realize the impact that it has on our lives. Learning to control your thoughts is essential to harnessing the power of this principle, and meditation is an excellent way to train your mind.


The Principle of Correspondence


“As above, so below; as below, so above.”


—The Kybalion

The second principle is closely interlinked with the principle of mentalism and reiterates that what happens in our minds and thoughts will manifest into our reality. It describes the various planes of existence and learning to understand this principle allows you to find solutions to problems by considering the layer above and below the situation. Through this examination, you can determine the pattern and shadow of what lies between “above” and “below.”


Applying this principle:

To apply this principle, you will first need to fully grasp the connection between the physical plane, ourselves, the Universe, our thoughts, and actions. Until you understand that this is all interwoven, like a beautiful cosmic tapestry, you will not be able to recognize and break patterns that hold us back from our full potential. However, once we learn that how we interact with life and the Universe does affect us, we can start living in alignment with our highest good and feel connected to everything around us.


The Principle of Vibration


“Nothing rests; Everything moves; Everything vibrates.”


—The Kybalion

Have you ever felt a bad “vibe” from someone? That’s because everything in the universe moves at a certain frequency. This principle embraces the concept that “everything vibrates” and is constantly in motion – an idea that has been backed up by Science. Our energy and spirit are in varying degrees of vibration, and once you begin to understand the power of this frequency or vibration, you will have influence over your world.


Applying this principle:

The aim is to vibrate at a higher frequency, which may look different to everyone. When taking advantage of this principle, you’ll need to flow into a state of ease by thinking and doing things that leave you feeling amazing. This will allow you to vibrate at a higher frequency, which is what you want.


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

The fourth principle teaches us that everything is in a state of duality and that “everything has two poles.” According to this principle, there are two poles in everything. Opposites are essentially just two extremes of the same thing/ For example, hot and cold are both the same – temperature. Spiritual energy vibrates at a higher frequency, so much so that our physical senses cannot observe it. However, physical matter and spiritual energies are the same things.


Applying this principle:

In Hermeticism, this principle is important as it proposes that we can change the degree of our emotion to one that best suits our needs. However, this is easier said than done, and it takes considerable willpower. Low vibrational emotions, such as anger’s only objective is to pull us down. Acknowledge this emotion, sit with it, and transform it into an emotion that better serves you, such as love and understanding.


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

The principle of Polarity teaches us that there are always two poles, but through the fifth principle, we begin to understand that there is movement between these poles. There is an ebb and flow, a flow that is constant and always changing. Nothing stands still. Once we acknowledge that there is a rhythm within our life and the Universe, we can begin to work with this motion instead of against it.


Applying this principle:

The Universe and our world are always changing, and nothing stays the same. When we grasp this, we can create dramatic shifts when it comes to our emotional well-being. While the ultimate goal within Hermetism is to transcend duality, the baby step version of this is simply becoming aware of our emotional state while using polarity and rhythm. By doing this, we can create a comfortable flow or rhythm that allows us to enjoy the natural changes that exist in life.


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

The basis of this principle is simple – “nothing happens without a reason” or by chance. Every cause has an effect, and every effect has its cause. A great question to ask yourself is this: are you the cause or the effect? At the root of this powerful teaching is the understanding that we need to acknowledge the effects of our thoughts and behavior and what we can do to change them in order to bring about greater effects in our lives. It is your choice to consciously rise above and become your own Cause, liberating yourself from the Effect of others and the situations you find yourself in.


Applying this principle:

The ideal question to ask when you find yourself stuck in a situation you’re unhappy with is: “what was the cause?” We are often reactionary beings. We cannot help but react to people and things around us, but what if we could? Take a moment to notice what you’re reacting to. Can you change the circumstances? When we step off this reactionary path and create what it is we would like to experience, we feel less like a victim and more like an empowered badass. For example, if you’d like to be a better writer, what are the steps you should take to achieve this desire?


The Principle of Gender


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


—The Kybalion

According to the seventh principle, the masculine and feminine exist in all things, and we as spiritual beings embody both these energies. This means that the masculine and feminine not only exist in the physical plane but the mental and spiritual as well. There can be no creation without these two energies (as within the physical plane), and when both of these are balanced, applying all seven principles becomes a lot easier.


Applying this principle:

A balance needs to be achieved between these two energies. While it’s never easy, our goal is to find the middle ground between the future-driven masculine and the present feminine. When we learn to find balance within ourselves, we are better equipped to harness the power of these principles.

These principles have the power to transform your life, allowing you to master your mind in the process. However, this takes time and patience before you can fully understand and integrate them into your daily life.