Back in the old days, in the first century, A.D., lived a famous author and spiritual teacher called Hermes Trismegistus.
He was considered the Master of Masters and the Egyptians were so amazed by this man that they defied him under the name Thoth, and he became one of their Gods.
Trismegistus believed that the laws of our universe could be explained by 7 hermetic laws. These laws are the foundations of hermeticism, a spiritual philosophy that not only influenced the Egyptians and Greeks but also shaped the Renaissance and the scientific revolution.
In the early 20th century, Trismegistus’ teachings were compiled into a book known as the Kybalion, written by ‘The Three Initiatives’.
The hermetic principles are a powerful source of occult wisdom, and today I would like to show how you can use them to improve your life.
Principle 1: Mentalism
According to the first hermetic law, all things in the universe were created from a ‘universal consciousness’. What this means is that before anything came to exist on planet Earth, it was an idea in someone’s mind.
We can see this principle in action with almost all inventions. But perhaps the clearest example of mentalism is how the helicopter came about.
For centuries, the desire to fly existed only in myths such as Daedalus and Icarus, but in 1481, the scientist and engineer Leonardo da Vinci drew detailed sketches for a water-lifting device that required and Archimedes screw.
While it was only in 1936 that the first operational helicopter was developed, we can clearly see that the desire to fly and potential designs of helicopters existed in the collective consciousness way before.
The thoughts of many people eventually made it possible to change reality – from aviation as a pipe dream to making jet travel accessible to almost anyone today.
But how can you apply the principle of mentalism in YOUR LIFE?
It’s quite simple:
First, ask yourself what you want in life.
Then, change your thoughts to change your reality.
Because when you change the way you see the world around you, the world begins to change. If you’ve ever thought couldn’t do something, but then changed your thinking, stepped out of your comfort zone and did it anyway, you have seen this principle in action.
It’s an understanding of mentalism that separates the most successful and confident people from the rest of us. These people defy all odds to make their dreams happen. Think of Elon Musk, who believes he can launch rockets and take people to Mars.
It is this vision that allows him to make important discoveries for future space travel.
But coming back to you, what thoughts can you change today, or what limiting beliefs do you want to overcome, to improve how you experience your life?
ACTION STEP: Make a list of three negative thoughts – and then, challenge them. Convert your beliefs into positive, helpful affirmations.
Principle 2: Correspondence
The second principle states that everything in this universe follows the same patterns. Every plant, every animal, every human being.
A practical example of this is the golden ratio, a mathematical relationship which you can find almost everywhere: in nature, in architecture, painting and music.
If we abstract one level deeper, and look beyond the material world, the law of correspondence tells us that the outer world is a reflection of our inner world. For example, someone who feels anxious inside will usually exhibit some behaviours like fidgeting or pacing around, that show the outside world how nervous they are.
Even when we do find a way to mask our feelings, our true thoughts and emotions will eventually reveal themselves. Everything single thing we see around us is a projection of our self.
ACTION STEP: Whenever you experience something ‘bad’, use the principle of correspondence to uncover the thoughts and emotions that led to such a negative experience. Then, change your thoughts and you’ll see that your experiences begin to change too.
Principle 3: Vibration
The third Hermetic law suggests that the world is always motion, constantly changing and transforming.
When we think of moving objects like cars, trains and people, this is pretty easy to see. But even at the levels where can’t see motion with our own eyes, it still happens. At the smaller levels of life, atoms constantly move around in space – even though the atoms in your table are not perceived by the human eye.
At the highest and lowest rates of vibration, objects may seem to be motionless, like a spinning wheel appearing stable. But according to this law, there is no such as thing as complete stagnation. Particles may be low or high in energy, and they vibrate at various different rates.
ACTION STEP: Think about one area in your life where you feel stuck. Then ask yourself what ideas or possession you are clinging to. What is stopping you from transforming this area of your life and inviting change?
Principle 4: Polarity
According to the fourth Hermetic principle:
“Everything has its opposite, and opposites are the same”.
Black is the opposite of white, warm is the opposite of cold and wet is the opposite of dry.
Black and white are different shades of colour. Warm and cold are different degrees of temperature. Wet and dry are different levels of humidity.
On both a material and emotional level, our world is made up contrast that is waiting to be reconciled.
Instead of judging the world around us, we can learn to appreciate its dual nature. For every time we feel sad, we can seek out happiness. Every time we blame others, we can look at our own responsibilities.
And when we go through a crisis, we don’t need to dwell in our misery. Instead, we can learn to appreciate the strength and fortitude that we develop when we struggle.
The more we let go of our tendency to judge, the more fulfilled we feel and the more we become one with the people around us.
Rather than seeing the people in the world as divided and distinct groups, we appreciate that we are part of one human family.
ACTION STEP: Pick one thing in your life that makes you miserable. This can be anything from a bad relationship to a micromanaging boss or something you dislike about yourself. Then write down 5 things you appreciate about the current state of affairs, and see how it changes your perspective.
For example, if you are frustrated because of how the lockdown impacts your life, using the principles of polarity, you can also see the benefits of the current crisis:
- The lockdown gives me time to figure out what I want from life, without being influenced by others
- The lockdown has redirected me and challenged me to find new paths in life that I would not usually have dared to take.
- The lockdown has shown me who my really close friends are vs. which people are just acquaintances.
- Thanks to the lockdown, I have become much more resilient and adaptable than I ever thought.
- Now that we’ve been in lockdown for a while, I am much more grateful for the little things – and I take time to appreciate how lucky I am to have a safe place to live, with fresh running water, plenty of food and enough financial support.
Now it’s over to you – think of a ‘bad’ situation or person in your life and write down 5 positive things about them.
Principle 5: Rhythm
The fifth principle suggests that everything has a certain rhythm. Like day and night, like eb and flow – life has its ups and downs. And it’s cyclical in nature.
We have days where we are in a good mood, and days where we are in a bad mood. There are phases in which the economy expands and phases in which it contracts. Periods of high energy and low energy.
This rhythm of expansion and contraction, these different waves, they’re everywhere.
We can use calm times to recover, rest and prepare for the next high-energy cycle. We can use them to reflect and develop ideas that we put into action when we have enough energy to manifest them.
Collectively, we’re in a phase right now where there is limited action in the world around – as shown by the lockdown, restrictions and closures in many countries. We don’t need condemn this or feel guilty for the fact that we’re not ‘doing anything’ or ‘being productive’. Instead, we can see this time as a period of renewal and rest for when the world reopens.
ACTION STEP: Reflect on how well you follow the rhythms in your life. Do live in harmony with nature, adapting to all the seasons, working at day and resting at night. Or are there any parts of life where you are out of sync? If so, what can you do find that natural rhythm again?
Are you in tune with the principles of birth and death? Can you embrace the transition of people from one phase to the next, or do you get upset when people die because it scares you to be reminded of your own mortality?
Principle 6: Cause and effect
Everything we do in life, every thought and every action, has an effect, no matter how small.
For example, if you put a seed in the ground, a plant can begin to grow. Or if you push a car down the street, it can crash into a wall and create a lot of damage to a house.
Most of the effects we cause in life are less obvious than planting a tree or destroying the wall of a house. But the principle of cause and effect, no matter how subtle, can explain all events – event those that seemingly happened by chance.
If you have been manifesting more money, it wouldn’t be surprising if you won the lottery, got promoted at work or unexpectedly inherited a fortune years later. We reap what we sow, but we often forget what we sowed by the time we reap it.
Action Step: To benefit from the principle of causation, begin by planting seeds for yourself. By now, you know what you value and cherish, so make a conscious effort to manifest fulfilment by planting and cultivating the seeds that you enjoy.
Principle 7: Gender
According to the law of gender, there are two types of energy: masculine energy and feminine energy.
The masculine energy (also known as Yang) is associated with our willpower. It is an outgoing energy that drives us to take action, initiate new projects and manifest change. The feminine energy (also known as Yin) is more nurturing, creative and welcoming. It embraces new ideas, protects us, and allows to reflect and connect with our motions.
Both masculine and feminine energy work in harmony, as they are symbiotically designed to compliment each other.
For us, the challenge is to balance these energies. To know when we can take action and when we need to rest. An excess of either energy can lower our wellbeing and lead to poor life decisions.
For example, too much masculine energy may lead to recklessness, and a loss of perspective. On the other hand, too much feminine energy may be correlated with inaction.
Action Step: Choose one area of your life, like your career or your relationship. Then, reflect on where you are striking a balance between action and passivity. Are there any topics where you rely on one of these energies more than on another? For example, do you apply to 100s of jobs without stepping back and checking if you are getting the results you want? If so, how can you restore a much-needed balance?