Thursday, April 16, 2015

Hermetic Principle 7: "Gender is in everything"

The final principle of Hermetisim is the Principle of Gender or "Gender is in everything." As you have probably deduced, this principle states everything has a masculine and feminine side on all planes of existence. On the physical plane this manifests as sex, male versus female (although not everything has a sex or one sex). On higher planes, such as those of the Spirit, the principle manifests in a higher form.

Mastering this principle allows us to comprehend information we wouldn't otherwise be able to. For example, we cannot completely create a new thing. When we make up something new, we are using bits and pieces of other things we have seen and piecing them together. The Gods and Goddesses, unicorns, dragons, and fairies are all things we have created in the image of other things. The Deities, if you believe in their literal existence, don't actually look like us. However, we can't comprehend infinities, so giving them human qualities makes them understandable. This is actually a technique I have used to teach protein synthesis in biology.

This principle is not affiliated with the sexual nature of things so if you are looking for that, this is the wrong place.

It is pretty self-explanatory where this shows up in science. We have males and females; men and women; boys and girls. Sex is biological, but gender is a social construct. Because masculine and feminine aspects show up in all things, you can be born a male but identify as a woman or born a female and identify as a man. It just depends on which traits are dominate. It's not always what is down below. Animals, specifically female frogs, are known for changing sex when males are scarce. On a more literal ground, males carry both sexes within them. Kind of interesting to think about if you ask me.

And where in the craft does this show up? Well, all the deities are masculine or feminine, even herbs, tools, gems, and elements are given a gender. This helps us in spell work to identify which objects are best suited for certain purposes. In general, feminine things tend to be more docile, while masculine tend to be more aggressive. However, there are always exceptions so make sure to look at other aspects of the objects as well.

Where does this principle manifest in the craft for you? Do you find you work with one aspect more often or better than the other? I find myself often drawn to more masculine things, but I tend to be pretty aggressive in my work as well. Just some food for thought.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Hermetic Principle 6: "Every Cause has its Effect"

We are down to the last two principles of Hermeticism. The sixth Hermetic Principle is The Principle of Cause and Effect. According to this principle nothing "merely happens" and there is no such thing as chance. Instead chance is a name for a law we don't recognize, meaning we don't recognize the cause or effect.

Most people are carried along through life, allowing the effects of the world around them to sweep them along. They are obedient to their environment, heredity, suggestions, and the wills and desires of others stronger than their own. By mastering this principle, one can rise above the effects and become the causer; you can stop allowing others to influence your decisions and instead make the change in your life you wish to see.

There are some very obvious places this principle shows up in science. Cause and effect are the center of all scientific study. We know that lightning causes thunder; that the rotation of the earth in relation to the moon causes waves and tides; that a fever is caused by an immune response to a pathogen.

But where does this show up in the craft? Magic, of course. When we practice witchcraft, we become the causer every time we cast a spell. The effect is the desired outcome. Magic embodies this principle to the fullest and requires you to master it before you can be an effective practitioner. This is why primal language is so important. One slip up and you can mess up your entire spell.

Where else do you believe this principle shows up in the craft?

Monday, April 6, 2015

Hermetic Principle 5: "Everything flows, out and in"

by  Gabriel Harding
The fifth principle of Hermetisim is The Principle of Rhythm or "Everything flows, out and in." This principle states that everything manifests a measure of motion, to and fro, between the two poles which exist according to the Principle of Polarity. Of course we find this in all aspects of our lives, from the rise and fall of empires to the rise and fall of the ocean's waves. Masters of this principle are able to polarize themselves at one pole and remain there, despite the rhythmic pull of the pendulum, to attain a greater degree of poise and mental firmness. This allows them to control their moods and feelings, instead of being overcome by them. People who have attained any degree of self mastery do this as well, although to varying degrees and unconsciously.

This principle is well understood in modern science and is considered a universal law. Apart from the tides and waves, this principle applies to the coming and going of seasons and night and day as well as how atoms, molecules, and all types of matter function. Consider your heart beat as well. Even in times of stress it beats rhythmically. If it isn't, this is generally a sign something is wrong.

Nothing reaches absolute rest, a cessation of all movement. Instead, all objects move, as stated by the Principle of Vibration, but all objects move in a rhythmic pattern. Even our day to day lives play out in a similar rhythmic patterns. If you keep a journal, you will likely pick up on these patterns. For example, periods of high enthusiasm are often followed by the opposite, depression. I know I have experienced these highs and lows, and I am currently working on mastering this principle to prevent the deep rooted depression. I think most of us will agree we like to remain happy.

I use this principle often in my craft and find it incredibly useful. When I clear my home of negative energy I walk, smudge, and chant in a very rhythmic pattern. I find it helps me stay focused on my intent instead of my mind wandering off on its own. How do you incorporate this principle into your craft?