Esoteric Encyclopedia

Esoteric Encyclopedia Entry of the Week: The Principle of Correspondence

“As above, so below” is one of the essential keys of Hermetic wisdom – these powerful words originate from The Emerald Tablet of Hermes Trismegistus, which (as legend states) were found by Alexander the Great in ancient times. The words were further defined by researcher Dennis W. Hauck – with his interpretation translating to: “That which is Below corresponds to that which is Above, and that which is Above corresponds to that which is Below, to accomplish the miracle of the One Thing.Β Thus, whatever happens on any level of reality (physical, emotional, or mental) also happens on every other level.”

In our last Esoteric Encylopedia Entry, we discussed a more recent text (from 1912) called The Kybalion, which elaborates on the keys of Hermetic wisdom, and in the chapter on the Principle of Correspondence – the axiom of “as above, so below” is articulated as follows…


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

This Principle embodies the truth that there is always a Correspondence between the laws and phenomena of the various planes of Being and Life. The old Hermetic axiom ran in these words: “As above, so below; as below, so above.” And the grasping of this Principle gives one the means of solving many a dark paradox, and hidden secret of Nature. There are planes beyond our knowing, but when we apply the Principle of Correspondence to them we are able to understand much that would otherwise be unknowable to us. This Principle is of universal application and manifestation, on the various planes of the material, mental, and spiritual universe β€” it is an Universal Law. The ancient Hermetists considered this Principle as one of the most important mental instruments by which man was able to pry aside the obstacles which hid from view the Unknown. Its use even tore aside the Veil of Isis to the extent that a glimpse of the face of the goddess might be caught. Just as a knowledge of the Principles of Geometry enables man to measure distant suns and their movements, while seated in his observatory, so a knowledge of the Principle of Correspondence enables Man to reason intelligently from the Known to the Unknown. Studying the monad, he understands the archangel.

To better comprehend these concepts, we put together the video below (as part of an ongoing 7 part series) to communicate how this principle relates to our relationship with nature and the universe.

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