Anyone who doubts the existence of magic has never looked at the trees in fall or noticed how the silent dormancy of winter suddenly erupts with life in spring.
A witch understands that nature- at once cruel and kind- is energy, and the transference of energy is represented in the seasons, in photosynthesis, and in the stellar life cycles. For there to be winter, there must first be summer and for the moon to be full, it must have waned. Nature, like all creation, is patterned with the foreseeable. Actions lead to reactions, darkness leads to light, life leads to death.
Traditionally, the ancient art of witchcraft is described as the exercise or invocation of supernatural powers to control people or events. Witches carefully select a cocktail of tools and techniques for their incantations. Some ring bells and burn incense, others stir herbs in a cauldron, and some call on no more than the wind. Her talismans, which in and of themselves hold no power, serve as reminders of the intentions she sets.
But the only component a witch truly needs to create magick is her mind. The mind, a witch knows, holds the power to create change in her personal life and the world around her. Regardless of her background or belief systems, and regardless of who she invokes while casting a spell; through witchcraft she marries the patterns of the natural world with the invisible forces of the universe, connecting her thoughts and her intuition to nature- as within, so without.
The Seven Hermetic Principles and their Relationship to the Law of Attraction
At the foundation of witchcraft is Hermetic Philosophy- a perennial wisdom dating back to second or third BCE when Hermes Trismegistus is thought to have composed The Salmeschoiniaka, a text that deals with the configurations of the stars. It is thought that the hermetic philosophies form the root of all religious and spiritual understanding in the world.
In 1908, The Kybalion was published by “The Three Initiates” to convey the teachings of Hermes Trismegistus. Among its central concepts, the text posits 7 hermetic principles, each elucidating upon the interconnectivity of mental, physical, and spiritual planes. These planes are constantly influencing one another; as our thoughts traverse the mental plane, they directly impact the physical world around us. Likewise, if our thoughts and actions are dampened by a weakness of spirit, then our ability to manifest a more fulfilling life will be weak as well.
Witches have long looked to the seven hermetic principles as guides to achieving balance and mastering their craft. But these principles are central to the Law of Attraction as well, and are as relevant to witches and everyday alchemists as they were to the ancients. Let’s examine these principles more closely…
The Principle of Mentalism
The first hermetic principle tells us that “The All is Mind; The Universe is Mental.” While each of our thoughts appear separate, they are one and the same with the source. The physical realm is a manifestation of the universal living mind. You, me, a rose, and a gust of wind are all but atoms in the mind of a cosmic creator- the same cosmic creator who looks out through our eyes. Thus, we should be careful what we set our inner sights upon, and strive to attract abundance by dwelling on all things positive.
The Principle of Correspondence
The second hermetic principle reminds us, “As above, so below; as below, so above.” All three planes of creation- the mental, the spiritual, and the physical- are in constant correspondence, and everything we do in our human form is done in agreement with our spiritual selves. Where you place your mind and the limitations you set for yourself manifest in the existence you create. And because that existence is a reflection of our inner world, we can change its expression by embodying peace and abundance from within.
The Principle of Vibration
“Nothing rests; everything moves; everything vibrates,” the third hermetic principle provides. A wave of energy vibrates through the tiniest molecules to the highest mountains. This is a fact endorsed by modern science; just as people, trees, and sounds vibrate, so too do thoughts and feelings. At the top of the vibrational scale are enlightenment, peace, and joy, and at the opposite end are apathy, guilt, and shame. To change your mental state is to change your vibration, and the stronger we vibrate, the more prolifically we manifest.
The Principle of Polarity
The Principle of Polarity tells us that, “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.” Ancient alchemists understood that there are no absolutes in existence, only polarities which compliment one another. Just as there is no absolute cold or hot, there is no absolute good or evil. This principle teaches us to reframe our minds so that we see failure as success and death as life. Through this lens, there is always something to be grateful for.
The Principle of Rhythm
The fifth hermetic principle reminds us that, “Everything flows, out and in; everything has its tides; all things rise and fall; the pendulum-swing manifests in everything.” In all things there is an action and a reaction, and this is evident in the creation and destruction of worlds, in the life and death of beings, and in the mental states of man. She who achieves self-mastery neutralizes the pendulum of her experience before it carries her to the next pole. She is poised and grounded in mental firmness, unswayed by the external world, and in complete control of herself and the reality she manifests as guided by the source alone.
The Principle of Cause and Effect
“Every cause has its effect; every effect has its cause; everything happens according to the Law. Chance is but a name for Law not recognized; there are many planes of causation, but nothing escapes the Law.” Nothing happens for no reason, and there is no such thing as chance. One who masters this principle understands the art of mentally rising to a higher plane wherein they are “causers” instead of “effects.” She is a player rather than a pawn in the chessboard of life, and she controls all aspects of her reality- from her mood, to her thoughts, to her environment.
The Principle of Gender
The seventh principle asserts that, “Gender is in everything; everything has its masculine and feminine principles; gender manifests on all planes.” Across all planes of existence, in higher forms and those incarnate, two genders coexist as one. The female element is creative and the masculine element takes action. The word “gender” comes from the latin word, “to generate.” And when the Yin and Yang of creation unite as a balanced force, the process of manifestation is completed.
"The Universe is your home, and you shall explore its farthest recesses before the end of Time. You are dwelling in the Infinite Mind of THE ALL, and your possibilities and opportunities are infinite, both in time and Space." - The Kybalion.
In many ways, ancient civilizations were more sophisticated in their understandings of astronomy and chemistry than we are. In our modern age, we have become entirely disconnected from the nature of the universe as it dwells within us all. But to the ancients, scientific disciplines concerned more than physical properties. The esoteric and spiritual dimensions were regarded as equally important to our understanding of the physical realm, if not more.
A witch does not simply wake up one day, decide she is a witch, then pull a book from a shelf with no more than her eyes. To attain the divine, she aspires to the divine, and such an aspiration requires human effort. Only once the energy she gives to these three planes aligns will she manifest. This is precisely why witchcraft is regarded as a craft. Whether she chooses to manifest with a journal or with apothecaries and herbs, she must place great time and practice into honing her craft, which is at once a science, an art, and a spiritual practice.
In today’s world, spirituality is viewed as the enemy of science. But to a witch, nothing proves the oneness of science and spirit like nature herself. A witch sees how there is oneness in polarity. She is in an endless dance with nature, synchronously patterned and unpredictable, gentle and destructive, dead and alive, moving and still. In nothing she sees everything, and from nothing she manifests.