𝐒𝐄𝐕𝐄𝐍 𝐇𝐄𝐑𝐌𝐄𝐓𝐈𝐂 𝐂𝐎𝐍𝐂𝐄𝐏𝐓𝐒
𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝘄𝗼𝗿𝗹𝗱 𝗶𝘀 𝗮 𝗹𝗶𝘃𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗯𝗲𝗶𝗻𝗴: To the Hermeticists, all of the world, including rocks and streams, is alive and possesses a soul. The physical world was believed to be made of four physical elements: earth, air, fire, and water. The elements would scatter, however, and the entire world would fall apart if they were not held together by the mysterious fifth element, the world soul, or Anima Mundi. This is in contrast with the modern scientific, materialist philosophy, which views the world as composed of nonliving matter.
𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗺𝗶𝗻𝗱 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗽𝗵𝘆𝘀𝗶𝗰𝗮𝗹 𝗿𝗲𝗮𝗹𝗶𝘁𝘆 𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝗰𝗼𝗻𝗻𝗲𝗰𝘁𝗲𝗱: Modern science is based on the assumption that there is no connection between the mind and physical reality. To the Hermeticist it is evident that they are connected. The mind, therefore, can cause physical changes and physical objects, such as talismans, can change the mind.
𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝘃𝗮𝗹𝘂𝗲 𝗼𝗳 𝗶𝗺𝗮𝗴𝗶𝗻𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻: In scientific reasoning, the imagination may be useful for inspiration but once an experiment has begun it is considered a contaminant to be weeded out. It takes one out of reality. To the Hermeticist, the imagination is real. It is the door for entering the reality of the soul. Without imagination the soul is not perceptible. The skill at focusing the imagination is gained through the practice of meditation.
𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗶𝗱𝗲𝗮 𝗼𝗳 𝗰𝗼𝗿𝗿𝗲𝘀𝗽𝗼𝗻𝗱𝗲𝗻𝗰𝗲: This is the Hermetic view that there is more than a symbolic connection between celestial and terrestrial objects or the Macrocosm and Microcosm. This is often stated as, “as above, so below.” To the Hermeticist the planets are gods or angels and they are also alive in animals, minerals, and plants as well as in the heavens. The magician can use correspondences to harness the celestial powers in his or her ritual. For example, by including tin or yellow objects in his or her ritual and conducting it on Thursday, the magician can bring the energy of the god Jupiter to the action.
𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗯𝗲𝗹𝗶𝗲𝗳 𝗶𝗻 𝘁𝗿𝗮𝗻𝘀𝗺𝘂𝘁𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻: To the Hermeticist the world is alive and the goal of all life is to grow and change to become a new and better being. Lead can be turned into gold and a common man into a sage. Ultimately, the goal of life and the greatest good is gnosis, or enlightenment, a mystical transformation that awakes one to the truth of spiritual oneness. The emanations are a spiritual ladder composed of stages or rungs that a magician can make use of to ascend to this goal.
𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗣𝗲𝗿𝗲𝗻𝗻𝗶𝗮𝗹 𝗣𝗵𝗶𝗹𝗼𝘀𝗼𝗽𝗵𝘆: This is the belief that all cultures and religions share common traits or patterns. In its simplest form, it is the belief that all cultures stem from one culture which existed in an ancient golden age or that culture was taught to humans by the gods. In its most sophisticated form, it is the Jungian observation of archetypal patterns in all cultures.
𝗦𝗽𝗶𝗿𝗶𝘁𝘂𝗮𝗹 𝘁𝗿𝘂𝘁𝗵 𝗶𝘀 𝗴𝗮𝗶𝗻𝗲𝗱 𝘁𝗵𝗿𝗼𝘂𝗴𝗵 𝘁𝗿𝗮𝗻𝘀𝗺𝗶𝘀𝘀𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗼𝗿 𝗶𝗻𝗶𝘁𝗶𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻: This idea stems from the ancient mystery tradition in which one received gnosis by undergoing a ritual initiation. As the initiates in the mysteries were sworn to secrecy, the idea that magical truths must only be shared with others on the same path is also part of this idea.