The phrase has come to mean various things to different people, societies and religions. It has evolved on some stages and remained the same on others. But to understand the original concept of As Above, So Below, we need to know where it came from and how it was first used.
Who created the idea and why? How did they implement it and what did it stand for? These questions can help us understand the journey of the concept and perhaps even regain the importance behind the words and how they should still be applied to our lives today.
The History Of Above and Below
In the Pagan and Metaphysical communities, these words are often used and bandied about to show relation between spirit and physical realms. They are reported to have originated from the “Emerald Tablet of Hermes Trismegistus”, also know as the tablet of “The Secret of Hermes”. But this is a downsized version of the tablet’s verse. The original phrase stated “That which is Below corresponds to that which is Above, and that which is Above, corresponds to that which is Below, to accomplish the miracles of the One Thing”
According to Wikipedia there are several translations of this text, including Arabic, Latin, and even one from Isaac Newton. “The compact and cryptic text was highly regarded by European alchemists as the foundation of their art, in particular of its Hermetic tradition. Interpreting the layers of meanings of the Emerald Tablet, from individual words to the overall meaning, is fraught with possibilities, but certainly Alchemy’s Magnum opus and the ancient, classical, element system are the basis of any sound explanation, as they provide a key to the ideas of earth, fire, sun, moon, etc., common to all the translations.” This elemental approach strives to show the balance in all things or the circles of existence.
Over the centuries, many Occult organizations have put their own spin on “As above, so below”. But it’s not only in these realms of mysticism that the phrase can be found. It’s been accepted into almost every known religion today and is often associated with that religion’s history. All three non-pagan religions have laid claim to the phrase and put their own spin on its meaning as well. New Age and modern Metaphysics also have their claims on the concept and have given it their own interpretations.
But the Hermitic text originates in pagan history through the practices in honoring the Greek God Hermes and the Egyptian God Thoth. The Greeks living in Hellenistic Egypt noticed the similarities between their god Hermes and the Egyptian god Thoth. One of the earliest examples of mankind recognizing we all believe in the same thing, but we have different labels for what that ‘thing’ is. Both Hermes and Thoth were gods of writing and magik, so it makes sense that people would begin to realize they shared a common view and started to share in their celebrations and worship. Over time they began merging their practices to honor these two gods as one, culminating in the creation of shared temples such as the Temple of Thoth in Khemnu, which the Greeks called Hermopolis.
It is from this early combination of pagan mythology and religion that this phrase originates. And it’s here we begin the introspection of the phrase itself.
Accomplish The Miracles
In the original phrase Trismegistus is telling us that we do not work alone nor do we exist in one realm alone. We are part of a bigger picture that exists on all levels and at the same moment. You are not solely a physical being incarnated on this planet Earth. Your physical being is only half of who or what you are. You are also part spirit, part of the Divine Consciousness of the multi-verse of existence. As such, when you think or do things, you are affecting both parts of self; the Above spirit and the Below physical being. One of our first lessons of understanding the importance of balancing our natures and living in balance.
In order to accomplish the miracles in your life, you can’t sit back and wait for Divine Creation to manifest. Without your physical intervention to put action into motion, you are only working on one level of being. The Christians have an analogy for this “God helps those, who help themselves”. When you work toward merging your spiritual energy with physical action, you are giving form to your dreams and goals. Visualizations, prayers, magik spells, whatever your spiritual practice employs is not going to get the task completed without a little effort on your part to put those energies into physical action.
By the same token, constantly focusing your efforts solely on the physical tasks without infusing those actions with your spiritual energy could cause you to fall short of your goals or limit your ability to succeed. As part of the Divine Consciousness, you have the ability to empower your actions with that Divine Creative energy, which can help you to overcome unforeseen obstacles, or intuitively discover solutions to problems along the way. Again, living from the perspective of Balance. You need both selves to achieve goals, lessons and accomplishments.
The Meaning of Universal Balance
Above all else, Pagan faiths and certainly Pagan Metaphysics teaches that there is balance in all things. Without negative energy, the positive energy of the multi-verse cannot exist. When you put out energy of any kind, it will return to you on all levels. What many know as the 3-fold law can be summed up in the understanding that energy expressed returns to the mind, body and spirit of the whole being. Thus it’s called the 3-fold law because of the 3 aspects of self that are affected. Pagan Metaphysics calls this The Law of Accountability.
These actions put the concept of balance into motion and tries to explain that what we think and feel relates to what we do and what we attract. Like attracts like, or the type of energy you put out to the physical world, is the same energy you will attract back to the self. When you express negativity about yourself or your life, it’s like a terrible snowball effect rolling down hill that just keeps getting bigger. You attract more negativity which increases your negative thinking, which attracts more negative energy and manifests through more negative events, which attracts more negative thoughts. It’s a constant battle that keeps propagating the same thoughts and puts them into action.
As Above, So Below tries to explain to us that we have the ability of Divine Creation within ourselves. We create our day, which affects our week, which affects the month and years ahead. We create our path based on our thoughts, words, and actions. So it’s important to be conscious of how you start your day, express yourself and how you put those thoughts and actions into practice.
You can go around feeling poor and create a state of being. Or you can explain that you’re broke today, and establish a temporary situation that you will overcome. Especially if you put a limitation on that negative expression. Being poor is a state of mind that creates a state of living and struggle. Being broke today is a temporary condition that you are working on to resolve.
Remembering that everything in life is about balance helps us avoid harmful situations. Even too much of a good thing isn’t good for you. Vitamin C is a good thing, but take too much and you can create damage to your internal organs. Being compassionate to others is a good thing, unless you’re so compassionate you harm yourself by trying to take care of someone else. When we hold respect for ourselves, we also hold others accountable for their actions toward us. Good, bad or indifferent, their actions toward us is also part of that balance.
Always giving of yourself, at the expense of your own health or safety, is not living a balanced existence. Sometimes the express of tough love is part of the lesson of balance. Giving away your entire paycheck to others in need to the point where you are becoming what you care for, is not a life of balance and compassionate sacrifice. That’s not a good thing. You’ll do no one any good if you end up living on the street without an income that provides a roof over your head, food in you belly or electricity for heat. That’s not a sacrificed to be admired.
Sometimes living in balance means we have to take the tough road and accept that we are as important in the scheme of our life as everyone and everything else. No one has more or less value or importance. But we are selves are part of that “collective” force. We must balance our giving, compassion and respect for others, with giving, compassion and respect for ourselves. We are the Star of our own life and it’s necessary to treat yourself with respect first and foremost. When you respect yourself, others will respect you. When you love yourself, others will love you. When you give to yourself, others will give to you and then you have extra to share with those in need.
Putting As Above, So Below Into Action
Even little changes in thoughts can make a big difference in the world you create around you. When you put your spiritual approach and beliefs into Action you begin the process of Walking Your Talk©. There are three (3) easy steps to Walking Your Talk:
- Setting your day with positive energy.
– Each morning, before you get out of bed spend about 5 minutes creating the positive spiritual outlook for your day.
- Creating supports for your daily activities.
– The atmosphere you place yourself in during your day is also important. Take time to clear and cleanse the space around you, at home, in your car, or at work. And set some protective shields after your cleansing.
- Ending each day with thanks and gratitude.
– Each night before you lay down for sleep; close your eyes and connect with your Divine Self and give thanks to not only the Divine force in your life, but to your own higher Divine spirit. You worked hard, give yourself credit and some appreciation to and for you as well.
You can create what you want in life through your Divine Self and your connection to the Divine Spirit. Starting with your own Divine Path; Believe That, Acknowledge That, And Walk That! Create Above that which you excel at and want to accomplish in the Below.
You can read more about Walking Your Talk© on Spring’s Haven | Meditation, Energy and Action.