Master The Seven Hermetic Principles from a Perspective of Chaos Magic

It may seem strange, or even antithetical, to combine the Seven Hermetic Principles of old with modern Chaos Magic. Surely these ideas attributed to Hermes Trismegistus or the Egyptian god Djehuti, are seen as Universal Laws. They are held as immutable structures of Ritual Magic.

How could a Chaos Magician entertain immutable laws?

What is a Chaos Magic Perspective?

Chaos Magic is as much a philosophy as it is a magical system. In it, each practitioner works independently with whatever type of magic he chooses. If there’s one unifying idea within Chaos Magic, it was coined by Peter J. Carroll in his book Liber Null and Psychonaut. It is that:

“Nothing is real and everything is permissible.”

Inevitably then, there’s no real school or structure in Chaos Magic, just a similarity in thinking between different magicians. There’s no real right and wrong or rules about what you can do, it’s all an illusion. (Including my thoughts about it and practice of it.) For as the raw material of reality is chaos, I am chaos personified, the magician creating reality anew.

Unlock Sigils and Servitors – Chaos Magic for Beginners:

So if everything is illusion, including magical or universal law, then the Seven Hermetic Principles have no more basis in reality than anything else. However, because something is illusory doesn’t mean that it isn’t useful. Indeed, the art of the Chaos Magician is precisely that he can borrow from different magical traditions, or from anywhere else he chooses. He can weave his sorcery his own way according to his own taste and still experience the outcome of great magic. From this perspective, or wearing this mask, we can use the Seven Hermetic Principles as a way of understanding magic itself.

(read more on Chaos Magic and Masks of Belief when we write that blog)

The seven hermetic principles definition. Law of mentalism. Law of polarity.

Chaos Magic and the Seven Hermetic Principles

The origin of hermetic philosophy has been obscured by time. Some accounts credit the Greek god Hermes, others the prophet Hermes Trismegistus, and others still the ancient Egyptian god Djehuti or Thoth. There is also the possibility that they were all the same being, or thought form. There’s a coherent view that a Chaos Magician could hold – at least for the duration of a spell or ritual – that:

Djehuti, Thoth or Hermes represent a god or archetype, a powerful egregore…[a thoughtform created collectively by many people]…a master of knowledge, alchemy and magic

-Unlock Sigils and Servitors – Chaos Magic For Beginners

A magician’s thought game: It seems to be the case that my whole reality, indeed all of reality, is created in my mind. Then the master of reality, god or the archetype, is me at one level. Thus, the Seven Hermetic Principles as I perceive them, are a composition of my own genius… let’s continue.

In the Kybalion, Hermes Trismegistus whose name means master of masters was said to introduce the seven magical principles or secrets of the Universe. In Ancient Egypt, it was the neter Djehuti in the Book of Thoth. There it says that if anyone were to read these works they would become the greatest Mage ever known. But he would be cursed by this knowledge. The curse itself, however, can be read metaphorically as, with great power comes great weakness, it is the dual nature of the Universe. As the One, the Universe, becomes Two, Experience, duality is created.

I ask you, how could any Mage worth his salt resist?

Suddenly it dawned on him:

“Wait!” he shouted. “That was flying! We were flying!”

The Hermit nodded.

“I know,” he said. “The truth is simpler than you can imagine.”

Victor Pelevin – Hermit and Six Toes.

The first of the seven hermetic principles: the principle of mentalism

First Hermetic Principle –The Law of Mentalism

Everything there is or may become is essentially mind.

If all is mind then everything is nothing, no one thing, no-thing. It is the sleeping void, completely unconscious and if it had a preference it would remain so. The void, the everything, and nothing concurrently is the great potential, everything and nothing is possible. When as a Chaos Magician you imprint your magical intention on the void, then you will create form. As your magic is an act of the mind, your intention will take shape in the same mind which is the void. There is no distinction between my mind and the great mind.

According to the Principle of Mentalism two things happen:

  1. A representation of your magical intention is created in the void. It can’t help but do so because your magical intention came from your mind, and your mind is the great mind itself. By the Law of Mentalism, it has to act on your intention, it is the law!
  2. A representation of the void itself is also awakened. Destructive to its core, its only will is to return everything to nothingness, that is its nature. This is the will of the unconscious, to remain unconscious.

As the magician, you are the magic, and you are the void.

Whether your intention manifests in physical reality or is swallowed back by the void, depends upon you, the Mage. You imprint your will upon the great mind and fix your beliefs as tools to magnetize the magical outcome you intend. Permitting doubt, at this point, feeds the creation of the destructive aspect of the void and thus collapses everything back into nothingness – nothing changes.

The ability to fix your beliefs while drawing your intention to you is the key to being successful in your magic. In this way, the mage uses belief to order his reality into some congruent experience.

The second of the seven hermetic principles: the principle of correspondence

Second Hermetic Principle – The Law of Correspondence

As Above So Below, As Within So Without.

The Law of Correspondence is the knowledge of your magic and your reality. What’s external is a reflection of what’s internal, I project everything into reality. Mastering this law leads us down the spiritual and magical path, illuminates and defines the nature of our magic…everything I experience is me.

Unlock Sigils and Servitors – Chaos Magic For Beginners
Stephen Wilkes and April Morgalis

Everything and everyone is you, there’s nothing outside of you that is possible for you to experience. The heavens, the universe, gods, angels, demons, etc are all parts of you with powers that you can exploit for your magic. Your experiences are merely stories that you tell yourself about yourself. The spirit beings I’ve just mentioned are examples of those stories you’ve weaved in a way we call mythology. You are the great universal mind which is why everything corresponds perfectly.

Is any of this 100% perfectly true?

No of course not, it’s illusion, it’s just one way you tell your stories as you empower yourself.

Using the Principle of Correspondence allows the Chaos Magician (me) to view all that there is as a representation of myself. I have complete authority to make changes to me as I see fit. As the everything is really nothing, everything truly is illusion, all is most certainly permissible and there’s no one to state otherwise.

The third of the seven hermetic principles: the principle of Vibration

Third Principle –The Law of Vibration

Everything is constantly in motion, the All is vibration, nothing ever stays still. Manifestation, at every level, is a result of vibration, aligning where the applicable movement presents itself on the physical, mental, or spiritual planes. This is e-motion, energy in motion, the experience of reality itself in this moment only, for nothing ever rests.

From the ultimate to the physical everything vibrates and changes. The past can’t equal the future, the All and physical matter reality has already moved on the moment this reality manifested itself.

Unlock Sigils and Servitors – Chaos Magic For Beginners
Stephen Wilkes and April Morgalis

If you magnify anything from a flower to a star, to a human being to a mountain, so you can see it down to its tiniest detail, you’ll see everything is just energy vibrating. There’s really nothing there, it’s all illusion. The one constant is that energy by its definition doesn’t stay still. It phases in and out of existence or transforms itself into another expression, it’s both something and nothing at once like the great void. Every moment is unique, nothing stays the same.

Energy is just energy, not good or bad, right or wrong unless you say so, you see everything really is permissible, and everything vibrates.

The forth of the seven hermetic principles: the principle of polarity

Fourth Principle – The Law of Polarity

Everything is polarity and duality, everything expresses itself as a pair of opposites. Good, bad, right and wrong, like and unlike are the same. The nature of opposites is that they’re identical in how they function and different by degree. Extremes meet in a circle, yin and yang define each other, everything that’s true is only half true, it’s all a matter of degree.

Everything is and isn’t concurrently, all is illusion, so all is real, everything has two sides. These opposite aspects give us access to the All of any situation or magic, everything works logically, thus your magic can manifest from illogical actions and beliefs too. For opposites are really the two extremes of the same thing. Truth and untruth are really the same thing, can you distinguish where the falsehoods vanish and the truth begins? Truth and untruth, illusion and reality are merely the two poles, the heads and the tails of the same coin.

Unlock Sigils and Servitors – Chaos Magic For Beginners
Stephen Wilkes and April Morgalis

Every pair of opposites we assign, good, bad, right, wrong, are components of a story, the raw material of storytelling. These are your beliefs in the moment. The beliefs themselves are wonderful magical tools or chains that bind you. They are the mental instrument that creates the colors and hues of your story. They are the structures of your magic that create the reality you experience. 

If you assign meaning or belief to the manifesting experience you also have access to its opposite. This is why gratitude in all kinds of magic is such a powerful tool, as you use it to lock your perception to the pole you desire. 

The Principle of Polarity and the Power of Meaning

When we give names to energies we claim them, give them meaning, and gravity to attract more of the same into our lives. When we don’t acknowledge them and do not claim them, they will return to the void. We have chosen not to align our energy with that emotion and the pull of its pole. Digging into reasons where none have to exist simply engrains the negative energy into our being.

I had a conversation with a friend the other day, she was telling me that she’d had a terrible day. She’d been tearful, anxious, and even a little depressed, and she wanted to know why and what it meant. We reached a conclusion together that it didn’t really mean anything. We borrowed from the Christian Bible the phrase, and it came to pass. The purpose of this decision was if we refrained from giving meaning or name to the emotion it didn’t exist. 

That’s not serving you, let it pass.

A further magical technique we used was to create a new belief that served her goals: 

  • The fact that she had been feeling tearful all day was evidence that unhelpful emotions were clearing from her body. 
  • We used this as proof that her goals were manifesting, reframing the situation in her favor.

Nothing intrinsically means anything else, we are the meaning givers as everything is ultimately illusion. Because of the Law of Polarity if something is illusion it’s also true, but we can decide what that truth is. 

The fifth of the seven hermetic principals: the principal of mentalism

Fifth Principle – The Law of Rhythm

The Law of Polarity defines the poles, the Law of Rhythm, the tide that flows between them. This law of rising, and falling, in, and out, applies to every level of reality as the Law of Correspondence demands.

This will manifest in your life but also in the growth and destruction of countries and political ideologies, the birth and death of worlds, the expansion from the Big Bang and the great return, all is subject to the law. Yet, at its greatest, this law is realized in our mental states and its application empowers our magic and our mastery as we learn to use the law as opposed to become its victim.

Unlock Sigils and Servitors – Chaos Magic For Beginners

Stephen Wilkes and April Morgalis

The default position of the universe is to flow back and forth from one pole to the other, out and in like the tides. Remember that external reality is but an illusion and all beliefs are just stories we tell ourselves.

You are the Chaos Magician, your will is law. You can magnetize your will to remain connected to the positive pole with mental discipline. The illusion of the outside world may appear to be moving in the opposite direction. But you can remain, firmly planted where you chose by using your magical intention. By understanding the Principle of Rhythm from a chaos perspective, you can rise above the tides.

As the Kybalion (the latest rendition of these Seven Hermetic Principles) states:

…there are many planes of causation, and one may use the laws of the higher to overcome the laws of the lower.

The sixth of the seven hermetic principles: the principle of cause and effect

Sixth Principle -The Law of Cause and Effect

Everything is caused, each effect occurs due to a cause. Causation can happen on any plane of reality, this is the law. There’s no such thing as chance, nothing just happens, no such thing as a mere coincidence. The magical art is to rise above the ordinary plane of cause and effect. By mastering your mind you can become the cause, and if you so choose, the effect as well. 

Unlock Sigils and Servitors – Chaos Magic For Beginners

Stephen Wilkes and April Morgalis 

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As a Chaos Magician, I can use this law in at least two ways. I can decide that if I do X then Y will occur, literally, X is the cause and Y is the effect. Mastering this law, however, is a move away from a prominent belief of the Hive Mind which assigns responsibilities, and rights, and wrongs. The Principle of Cause and Effect does not have to be a moral factor that limits my magic. It’s only that way if I consider something external to me, to be more powerful than I am. 

The Law of Cause and Effect is often interpreted as Karma. It assumes linear time, which is a belief, a story and illusion. The Chaos Mage can experience time as linear, cyclic, and chaotic. Knowing his mind is the great mind which lacks any universal definition of reality, the causes and effects can be changed at any point. I do not allow this Law to undermine anything that I choose to do because to me everything is permissible.

The mage dominates his emotion, thought, and concentration, he plays the game of life instead of lying victim to it, it’s all illusion anyway. He heals or resolves the challenges in his psyche and becomes the cause of all he experiences. This law is a statement of spiritual and magical power. We take responsibility for all we experience, and because all is mind we know that we created it all on one plane of reality. Mastery chooses each obstacle, has gratitude for every one of them, and owns its power when rising above them and creating anew.

Wilkes and Morgalis

The seventh of the seven hermetic principles: the principle of gender

Seventh Principle –The Law of Gender

Everything has its masculine and feminine principle, it manifests on every plane. The two interconnected and interrelated principles are forever at work. All creation happens because of this law, it’s the energy of generation, regeneration and creation and functions on the physical, mental and spiritual experiences of life.

Wilkes and Morgalis

Working as a Chaos Mage I choose which tools, and beliefs I create or borrow that are suitable for the task. I divide myself into two: the mind of my intent and the mind to receive it. The mind of my intent is the masculine part of my mind. It imprints the magic onto the void, the feminine receiving mind, as an act of procreation, and from the void, my intention is born.

Is this true, of course, I’ve just created it, it is my story, my magic, my belief that is the seed.

The Principle of Gender also refers to gestation, everything is born after a period of time. A Mage can know this yet not be tied by it for ultimately all is illusion. The speed of gestation depends on the amount of energy the Mage can conduct and the level of resolve in his belief. By standing in the present moment with emotions and beliefs held firm, it’s possible that gestation can happen in a second. Truth or Illusion, it doesn’t matter, it’s just a story in the great mind, a stirring of the void.

Applying the Seven Hermetic Principles

The Seven Hermetic Principals provide us with an empowering framework for our magical practice. They support the independent practitioner to take full responsibility for their lives and step into the place of power. As “the universe be mental,” through the application of the will we can change the world around us. We have full control of our own growth, it’s a matter of practicing these hermetic principles to master our reality.