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Introduction to Hermetic Principles

Fr. Reggie Freeman This discourse is intended to be a brief introduction to Hermetic philosophy and practice. Subsequent discourses will further explore the uses and workings of these principles. However, at this time, I feel that it is important to present a basic outline of certain ideas present in virtually every branch of both the Eastern and Western Mystery Traditions. These principles are of the greatest antiquity, and Im sure will be of interest and practical value to all seekers of the Arcane Truths regardless of what particular tradition you are working in. The term Hermetic refers to a body of knowledge attributed to Hermes Trismegistus, or Hermes the Thrice Great. Legend states that Hermes was a great Egyptian sage, in the time of Abraham, who has also been associated with Melchizidek and instructed Abraham in the mysteries of God and Nature. Known to the Greek as Hermes, the scribe of the gods was in Egypt called Thoth. The Hermetic principles are traditionally seven in number. While there are certainly a number of ways that these principles could be effectively subdivided, I will, for introductory purposes, use the seven traditional principles. The Hermetic principles are: Mind, Correspondence, Vibration, Polarity, Rhythm, Causation, and Generation.

The Principle of Mind

The Mind, in this sense, is not merely the perceived reality of the objective consciousness, but the Substantial Reality which is basis for the perceived manifest reality. This Infinite Living Mind is often referred to in Hermetic literature as the All. The All, being All, contains within it all potentials and possibilities. It is the pure Spirit which comprises all things material and non-material. The true essence of the All is unknown and unknowable. However, its myriad expressions can be made known to us through our senses and our intuitive, or psychic faculties. It is the goal of the mystic to attain a state of One-ness with the All. Through this union we may be made aware of an interconnectedness of all things. For, all things are of a common substance, differing only in form or expression. Another important concept concerning the nature of Mind is that the All is in All. There is no place nor thing in which the All is not since all things knowable are but expressions of that Primal Essence. The All is Mind. The Universe is Mental. - the Kybalion

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The Principles of Vibration and Correspondence

Everything that is, is in motion. All things are made known to us by their rate of vibration. The physical senses measure certain frequencies ranging from touch to light. Likewise, the Mind may perceive things which are not within the spectrum of physical perception. Possibly one of the best known Hermetic axioms is as above, so below. This Hermetic principle states that there are correspondences between the various levels of material, mental and spiritual expressions. In learning about the correspondences between various states of expression one may attain knowledge of higher states and affect change in both mind and matter through the application of this knowledge. Ceremonially, this is done through the use of certain sounds, colors, scents, movements, etc. which resonate with corresponding frequencies in the mental and spiritual octaves, or planes.

The Principle of Polarity

Everything is dual in nature... Throughout all of nature is found the principle of Polarity. In the material world this is found in the relationship between hot and cold, light and dark, hard and soft, positive charge and negative charge, and also at the most basic level of material expression known to us, in the relationship between sub-atomic particles. In all of these, the polar opposites are not two separate things, but rather higher and lower degrees of the same thing. The Mental Plane also behaves similarly, for there are love and hate, fear and courage, etc.. The Master, having knowledge of this principle, may by an act of Will align his or her consciousness to the desired pole of experience.

The Principle of Rhythm

Rhythm is closely associated with Vibration and Polarity. It is the measured, cyclical movement between two poles. There is always an inflow and an outflow, an advance and retreat, from birth to death to rebirth. In understanding the rhythms and cycles of nature one may learn which rhythms are fixed and which are changeable, thereby enabling one to change those conditions which are not beneficial or ones perception of those conditions. Rhythm may be neutralized by an application of the Art of Polarization. - the Kybalion

The Principle of Causation

This principle states that everything has a cause. Nothing happens by chance. For every event there is a cause or chain of causes leading up to the event. The principle of Cause and Effect states that nothing just happens. There are always a series of events leading up to and following all events. There is a relationship and continuity between all events, past, present and future. The Masters, while subject to the causes of the spiritual plane on which they serve, become causes on the physical plane instead of effects. Page 2

The principle of Generation or Gender is present on all planes. It is through the interaction between the Positive or Masculine principle and the negative or Feminine principle that all things are brought into being. The Masculine principle directs a particular energy toward the Feminine principle, thus initiating the generative process. It is the Feminine principle, however, that actually does the creative work, bringing all thins into manifestation. This principle also states that in the world of organisms everything manifests both genders. In other words, the Masculine principle exists in both the Masculine form and the Feminine form; and that the Feminine principle is to be found in both the Feminine and Masculine forms.

2002, Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica Hermetica This document was drafted and prepared for use by the clergy and congregation of the EGCH. For more information, please sign up for our Yahoo group at

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