This alchemical dragon diagram, from “Hermaphrodite Child of the Sun and Moon” by Johann Augustin Brunnhofer (1752), gives clues on how to transmute solids to liquids to gasses, using the elements of fire and air. The 7 indentations on the wings represent the 7 steps of the process. Source: The Embassy of the Free Mind
This image, from “Hermaphrodite Child of the Sun and Moon” by Johann Augustin Brunnhofer (1752), represents an alchemical process, with seven planetary figures in an order relating to its ingredients, actions and elements. It also references a poem, Trevisan’s Fountain, and the many layers of the earth. Source: Embassy of the Free Mind
Alchemical Imagery and tools from “Magia divina oder gründ”, 1745. Source: Embassy of the Free Mind
Art with alchemical symbolism from the book “Au seuil du mystère” by Guy Bechtel’s “Essais de sciences maudites” series, 1915. The title and series name translates to “On the Threshold of Mystery (Essays of the damned sciences 1)”. Source: Embassy of the Free Mind.
“Cabala, speculum artis et naturae, in alchymia” by Stephan Michelspacher, 1616, is a short pamphlet about hidden secrets in 4 works of art. The book claims that only masters of alchemy will fully understand them, but gives hints to their meanings relating to: chemistry, astrology, philosophy, art, virtues, and the natural elements.
Image with alchemical symbolism from the title page of Aufschlüsse zur Magie by Karl Von Eckartshausen, 1791. The title roughly translates to “Insights into Magic.” Eckartshausen is also the author of The Cloud upon the Sanctuary, an important book to the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. Source: The Embassy of the Freemind
“The Mirror of Art and Nature” a diagram from Cabala, Speculum Artis et Naturae, in Alchymia by Stephan Michelspacher, 1616
Depiction of the four humors, the chemical systems believed to regulate human behaviors. According to Hippocrates, who is credited as the first to apply the principle to medicine, the humors were blood, phlegm, yellow bile and black bile. Image: Bartholomaeus Anglicus, mid-15th C⠀
The Kybalion and Hermetic Philosophy
Hermeticism was founded by the ancient Egyptian Hermes Trismegistrus, known as the “scribe of the gods.” According to The Kybalion (1908) he was source of astrology & much knowledge that spread to occult traditions around the world. For this snack, I’ll be outlining the seven Hermetic Principles.
Hermeticism, like science, asserts that reality has laws that cannot be broken. The laws taught under Hermeticism preceded and align with modern science but go beyond it. I’ve tried to distill each principle from The Kybalion into a short paragraph.
“The All is Mind; The Universe is Mental.” ~ The Kybalion
Our universe is a Mental Creation of The All and all that we can perceive is the unknowable, undefinable Spirit, best understood as An Universal, Infinite Living Mind. Accepting this is the first step mastering its laws.
“As above, so below; as below, so above.” ~ The Kybalion
There are 3 corresponding planes of the Mental Creation: The Great Physical Plane, The Great Mental Plane & The Great Spiritual Plane & sub-planes as well. The planes are not places, but degrees of Vibration.
“Nothing rest… everything vibrates.” ~ The Kybalion
Though this principle is thousands of years old, modern science only confirmed it in regards to the material world in the past two centuries. It applies to mental states as well, which Hermeticists pay special attention to.
“Everything is Dual; everything has poles…” ~ The Kybalion
This principle asserts all opposites (E.g. “love and hate”) are two extremes of the same thing, with degrees between. Hermetic Masters can alter their mind Vibrations, shifting their mental state from one pole to another
“Everything flows, out and in… has its tides; all things rise and fall…” ~ The Kybalion
Rhythm builds on Polarity, it’s the swing between poles in all things: Universes, suns, minds, energy, systems, matter etc. Hermeticists can neutralize the effects of this swing on themselves.
VI. Cause and Effect
“…everything happens according to Law; Chance is but a name for Law not recognized…” ~ The Kybalion
Understanding the nature of this principle and learning how the higher planes affect our lower plane, can empower Hermeticists to go from pawns to players in the game of life
“…everything has its Masculine and Feminine Principles; Gender manifests on all planes.” ~ The Kybalion
The key to understanding this principle is the word “generation”. Like how Rhythm explores the swinging between poles, Gender explores how merging poles together cause creation.
The Kybalion presents itself as a primer and master key to open the doors to these Hermetic principles for further study, a baby step on the path to becoming a Hermetic master. If this snack peaked your interest, it’s well worth a read.