Hermetic Principles for Witches

Hermetic Principles for Witches

”Lovers and madmen have such seething brains.”

~A Midsummer Night’s Dream, William Shakespeare


”He who grasps the mental nature of the Universe is well advanced on the Path of Mystery”

~The Kybalion, The Three Initiates

If I were a betting woman, then I might be persuaded to wager a sum that you will  be familiar with some of the hermetic principles already. Many of them have been watered down for the masses, into easy to read self-help guides and many a middle-aged housewife, board with her lot has found power in the law of attraction (there is no shame in this comment, be sure, and I might add that it is she who is in need of their mystery the most, at least that’s the way it seems to me). Or how many memes are there that tell us as above, so below. So, so very many. And like me, some of you may have pondered the words momentarily, smiling at their poetic sound and the occult aesthetic it hints at before our attention must move on to the next task at hand.

Yes, in the beginning, I didn’t understand or know of the power contained in those short hermetic statements, but as they tell us  “When the ears of the student are ready to hear, then cometh the lips to fill them with Wisdom.”

It was only when a group I was in started an occult book club that I was first introduced to the hermetic principles as a serious occult study in the form of The Kybalion by The Three Initiates.

I think the biggest draw for me was the uniqueness of the book. For the first time in reading an occult book, it didn’t matter whether or not I had belief in a god or pantheon of gods. It was not important, was actually irrelevant, truth be told. At that time, I was unsure of my belief in any god and so any talk of gods within a book would turn me off. The Kybalion was different though. It didn’t argue the case for or against belief, but  instead asked students to consider the divine or creator force as the All.

Hermeticism gives us the knowledge to work change, to work with the rhythm of the world, indeed the universe. Hermeticism is simply another tool for the witch to utilise in his or her persuit of magic by learning the truth of the hermetic principles.

The Seven Hermetic Principles

The Principle of Mentalism – This principle explains that everything in creation, the universe and everything inside of it, is mental in nature because the essence of creation is mental. In a nutshell then, The Kybalion tells us that the All is mental. It argues the case that this must be so, and that if it is truly the All, as in everything, then nothing can exist outside of it. If nothing can exist outside of the All, then the All must have created mentally, and as such, the Universe and everything in it is mental.

If we  consider this  for a moment then, we should come to the conclusion that we can affect change mentally on the physical.

The Principle of Correspondence – This is where the classic ‘ as above ‘ quote comes from, but what does this actually mean? Let’s consider that everything, all matter, is made from the same thing. Everything is made up of atoms, and even atoms are made up of even smaller particles, but from the most distant stars to the mud on the ground, everything is composed of the same building blocks – as above, so below. What this principle really means  is that the macrocosm is reflected within the microcosm, the internal is reflected in the external, and so to solve a problem in one area, we can look for answers in another.

The Principle of Vibration – ‘Nothing rests, everything moves, everything vibrates.’ We know this to be true scientifically, that everything vibrates. If we view this vibration as energy, then we also know that energy never dies, it merely changes. By using the principle of vibration, we can control how we vibrate, the energy we put out, and in doing so, control our environment. As we raise our vibrations, so we raise ourselves.

The Principle of Polarity – This principle explains the fact that everything is dual in nature, that everything has its extremes. If we take the temperature for an example, we know that there is hot and cold and that these two things are at the opposite ends of the spectrum from one another. What is often overlooked however is that these poles, these polar opposites are really one and the same. So hot and cold are merely degrees upon a thermometer, they are measures of temperature, they are different only in degree. It is impossible to look at a thermometer and say where hot stops and cold begins and yet, both are the same thing.

The Principle of Rhythm – The principle of rhythm shows us how everything ebbs and flows. What swings forward must also swing back. This principle offers the knowledge of what it takes to neutralise the negative occurrences within our lives. It also tells us to enjoy the highs whilst they last, because nothing lasts forever, whilst also offering hope that the bad times will not last. How can they? Nothing lasts, everything ebbs and flows.

The Principle of Cause and Effect – This principle tells us that nothing happens for no reason, that there is no such thing as coincidence. Understanding of this principle will turn us into masters of our own destiny, as we cease being victims of other people’s effect and instead become the causers ourselves.

The Principle of Gender –  In everything there is the masculine energy and also the feminine energy. Do not misunderstand, this principle is not merely a principle of the sexes, for a woman will have masculine energies and vice versa. In this realm, the earthly realm, gender does manifest in the sexes as it does in all things, but on higher planes, this energy, this creative energy takes on different forms, including the power of our will and our creative force that comes from our will.

So there you have the hermetic principles. If we consider that these principles occur, not only here on the mundane and earthly level, but on all the higher levels as well, then the true embodiment of these principles, across all planes of existence will render the person who manages such a feat as a god unto themselves.

The Kybalion can be read for free (legally so too!) at

For me, witchcraft and hermeticism go hand in hand, and the latter will definitely benefit the former.

  • Author Posts
My name is Emma Kathryn, my path a mixture of non-Wiccan Traditional British Witchcraft and Obeah, a blend that represents my heritage. A Devotee of Hekate, my witchcraft is what is needed when needed. I live in the middle of England with my partner, two teenage sons and two crazy dogs.
My name is Emma Kathryn, my path a mixture of non-Wiccan Traditional British Witchcraft and Obeah, a blend that represents my heritage. A Devotee of Hekate, my witchcraft is what is needed when needed. I live in the middle of England with my partner, two teenage sons and two crazy dogs.
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