Ancient Wisdom

The 7 Hermetic Principles And Teachings of Hermes Trismegistus

“The lips of wisdom are closed, except to the ears of understanding”

– The Kybalion

It has been some time since I first learned of Hermes Trismegistus, but this year I have taken a deeper interest in studying Hermetic Philosophy.

If you are interested in learning about The Kybalion, or Hermetic Philosophy, you’ve come to the right place!

The secrets teachings of Hermeticism are here to benefit all those who are willing, and ready to apply its principles.

The Occult

Many people shy away from ‘Occultism’, or the ‘Occult’. Unfortunately, like many things, it is misunderstood. This association of black magic with the occult is quite deterring. Perhaps this is why many are still in the dark about ancient wisdom. But, as you will see, the occult has much to offer, and remains the key to unlocking the inner doors.

Egypt was the birthplace of hidden wisdom and Mystic teachings. These teachings strongly influenced philosophies of all nations and races.

Hermeticism was regarded as secret, kept alive by the Initiates of each generation. Even today, the word ‘hermetic’ is used in regards to something secret.

The Kybalion contains a compilation of the basic Hermetic doctrines. It is a collection of axioms, maxims, and precepts, as explained to by the Initiates to the Neophytes. Though this teaching has been handed down through generations by mouth to ear.

The Path To Mastery

Founder, Hermes Trismegistus (known as the ‘Scribe of the Gods’, or the ‘Great Central Sun of Occultism’) held the Master-Key, which many obtained from him. Thus establishing the Secret Doctrine.

The Egyptians bestowed upon him the name, ‘Trismegistus’, meaning ‘the thrice-great’. Hermes was deified and made one of the Egyptian Gods after his passing. To the Egyptians he was Thoth, to the Ancient Greeks he was, ‘Hermes, the god of wisdom.’

The 7 Hermetic Principles:

1. The Principle of Mentalism

“The All is mind; The Universe is mental.”– The Kybalion

This principle explains that the All (the Material Universe) is Spirit, which is unknowable and undefinable. The All is considered a universal, infinite, living mind. It explains that the Material World is simply a mental creation of the living mind.

Through this principle one can grasp the laws of the Mental Universe. Understanding the truth about energy, matter, and power, and how they are affected by Mastery of Mind, “He who grasps the truth of the Mental Nature of the Universe is well advanced on the path to mastery.”

You’ve probably heard of the Law of Attraction, or come across ‘The Secret’, by Rhonda Byrne. These are based on the principles of Hermetic Philosophy. ‘The Secret’ is referring to the Secret Doctrine, made more appealing to the masses by its focus upon material gain and wealth. In fact, the Law of Attraction has become so mainstream in the past few years, it’s considered ‘New Age’. But there is nothing new about manifestation, or vibration, or creation. It is simply ancient wisdom reaching people in a new way.

2. The Principle of Correspondence

“As above, so below; as below, so above.”– The Kybalion

This principle explains the correspondence between Being and Life. To grasp this principle is to solve the hidden secret of Nature. The Hermetists considered this principle as crucial in removing mental obstacles, which hid the truth of the Unknown from them. As within, so without. What you contain on the inside, will be made manifest on the outside. The external world is a reflection of your inner world – it is not the world which changes, it’s you.

“Studying the monad, he understands the archangel.”

3. The Principle of Vibration

“Nothing rests; everything moves; everything vibrates.”– The Kybalion

This principle explains that everything is in motion, ALL of the time. From atom to molecule, worlds and universes, everything is in vibratory motion. Even mental and spiritual planes. The understanding of this principle enables students to change their mental vibrations, and also influence others.

The All never rests. There are no idle thoughts, thought always manifests on some level, “He who understands the Principle of Vibration, has grasped the sceptre of power.

4. 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

This principle, and one of my favourites, embodies the truth of duality. That everything has two poles, its pair of opposites. Old paradoxes are explained by this principle, “everything is and isn’t, at the same time”, “there are two sides to everything”.

For example, “hot and cold”, “dark and light”, “up and down”, are really two extremes of the same thing. They are merely different degrees. “Hot and cold” are varieties in form, and rate, of vibration. A radical example is “love and hate”. Seemingly opposite mental states, and yet there are degrees of both love, and hate. We even have a middle ground, “like and dislike”, which are sometimes so indistinguishable that we are unsure whether we feel, “like”, “dislike”, or “neither”.

We can experience a rapid transition between love, and hate. And when you apply The Principle of Vibration here, you will begin to understand how Mental Alchemy works. When you change the vibration of hate, to the vibration of love in your mind, you are Transmuting the energy. Transmutation is Alchemy.

5. 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

Another of my favourite principles, The Principle of Rhythm explains the ebb and flow of life. High-tide, low-tide, backward, forward. There is measured motion between the two poles. This is in accordance with The Principle of Polarity.

There is always an action and a reaction, a rising and falling. Remember, all things have their pair of opposites.

Hermetists learned how to use this principle, they mastered it, so they were no longer used by it. Mastery of Mind is achieved by Hermetists who polarise themselves at the point of rest, the centre. Thus neutralising the rhythm of the swing, which would always carry him back and forth between the two poles. This process is the crux of mastering Hermetic Mental Alchemy.

6. The Principle 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 recognised; there are many planes of causation, but nothing escapes the Law.”– The Kybalion

This principle explains there is a cause for every effect. That there is no such thing as Chance, and although there are “various planes of Cause and Effect”, nothing escapes the Law.

The Kybalion explains it like this, “The masses of people are carried along, obedient to environment; the wills and desires of others stronger than themselves; heredity; suggestion; and other outward causes.” These people are moved around on the chessboard of life. Hermetists master their dominate thoughts and feelings, helping to play the game of life. Remember, they learned how to use The Principle of Rhythm, instead of being used by it.

7. The Principle of Gender

“Gender is in everything; everything has its Masculine and Feminine Principles; Gender manifests on all planes.”– The Kybalion

Gender is manifest in everything. Masculine and Feminine energies are present everywhere. We all have both Masculine and Feminine within us. This principle applies to everything in life.

Creation, physical, mental, or spiritual, is not possible without this Principle. It explains the many mysteries of Life. On the physical plane this manifests as sex. On the mental plane it is made manifest through the Mind, which is, in accordance with The Principle of Mentalism, the All.

“To the pure, all things are pure; to the base, all things are base.”

If you’d like to study Hermetic Philosophy for yourself, or get a copy of The Kybalion, here are the books I recommend,



If you enjoyed this post, please let me know in the comments – I’d love to hear your thoughts on the 7 Hermetic Principles!

Until next time,