The Hermetic Principles

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Witchcraft can be said to employ the Law of Attraction in a sense, though magic can be much more complex than simply focusing one’s thoughts on the desired outcome. It might be more accurate to say that Witches employ rituals, tools, words, and gifts from the natural world to enhance and expand their work with the Hermetic Principles, which are where the Law of Attraction comes from. The Hermetic Principles date back to late antiquity and have informed Western religious, philosophical, esoteric and scientific thought. They have interesting parallels in modern physics, including quantum mechanics and string theory, and describe the way reality operates on a subatomic level, where all material things are composed of energy and radiate energy. Many Witches have been watching excitedly as the scientific understanding of the makeup of the Universe unfolds to confirm what ancient observers knew. There are seven Hermetic Principles (also known as “Hermetic Laws”), which are often referred to in discussions of magic. One of the most emphasized is the Law of Correspondence, which states that what is true on the macrocosm is also true on the microcosm. This means that every particle of matter contains all others—and that linear time on the physical plane represents only one dimension in the ultimately spaceless and timeless overall Universe. Another way of stating the principle is “as above, so below; as below, so above.” The higher planes of existence influence the lower planes of existence, and vice versa. As microcosms of the Universe, we are able to glean information from the distant past, view images of the future through divination, and change our reality. A recent and widely-reported study found that the laws governing the growth of the Universe share significant similarities to the growth of both the human brain and the Internet. This is an interesting illustration of the Law of Correspondence, and also provides a window into the Law of Mentalism, another important principle of Witchcraft. Just as every particle of matter contains all others, matter and energy all contain information at their most basic level. The Universe, ultimately, is mental at its highest level, which is the underlying creative force of all things. We know that all the inventions, developments, and adaptations in our human history began as ideas. Witches also know that thoughts can influence the Universal mind, and this is part of why focused intention in ritual is important. The Law of Vibration holds that everything is in constant motion and that nothing is at rest. This applies even to seemingly sturdy physical objects such as chairs and tables—they have vibrations than we simply can’t perceive with the human mind. The matter is composed of energy, which is essentially a force moving at a certain vibration. The parallel with animism is worth noting here, as animists believe that everything is alive. If a characteristic of being “alive” is to be in motion, then the animists have been correct all along. The nature of colours as light moving at different rates of vibration is particularly useful in Witchcraft, as each colour’s frequency has particular characteristics suitable for specific purposes. We often associate love with the colours red and pink, for example, and it turns out that these colours resonate with energies in the body that promote loving feelings. Therefore, these colours, when used in spellwork to bring love into one’s life, both communicate that information to the Universe and connect it to the Witch’s energy field. Of course, like allthings, colours can have their downsides. The intense vibration of red can also overstimulate and trigger unpleasant feelings. Colortherapies using the Chakra system and meditation techniques often seek to balance out-of-whack vibrations in the body, and colours can

be used magically in much the same way. Understanding systems like the Hermetic Principles and the Law of Attraction can be helpful in increasing one’s success in magic, but a thorough grounding in them is not entirely necessary. And it’s helpful to remember that no matter how powerful the intentions for magic maybe, results may be limited by the endless unknown realities of the physical and higher planes—sometimes we’re just not meant to get exactly what we want at a particular time. It may be that someone else would be harmed in some way, or that something else is already around the corner that will take care of our needs in a different way. In fact, Witches can learn a lot about the nature of the Universe by observing which of their magical workings succeed, and which do not. The study of the Craft is considered by most to be a lifelong pursuit, with ongoing learning and refining of practices. The wisdom of ongoing study makes even more sense when considering the parallels between the growth of the Universe and the growth of the human brain. As more learning occurs, more magical techniques are invented and developed, and there’s all the more to catch up on