NeoHermetics

It has been about three years I first read The Octavo, by Peter Carroll, and around ten since I first read The Kybalion, by “The Three Initiates” (but most likely by William Walker Atkinson). And despite a whole century separates these two works, they seem to have much in common; both works share a somewhat similar aim and method, and I hope Apophenia may help me in demonstrating it…. so, first of all, let’s invoke her blessings:

 

“XIQUAL UNGASCAB GESIZAL CHUWAKAGATHAZ CUDTEG. COYANIOC FODDAWITH POZATHOR GYCAPORUS GODON. CHAEQUAI NEKOZY CHAZITER EMUUL ETHENG. QYOPAL JOACHABIM DOHBLE THECJECHED DAHZOO. KABOTHEYA OFTALA AEPALAZAGE. CHOYOFAQUE!!”

 

Dear Muse, please help us in the following missive.

 

In short, both Octavo and Kybalion intend to map the Universe and synthesize its fundamental Laws. Atkinson actually outlined such laws in Kybalion’s predecessor, The Arcane Teachings, but they improved in Kybalion – so we would put The Arcane Teachings aside for a while. Both works, Octavo and Kybalion, have a strong Pantheistic approach and seem to consist essentially of a means for Mental Transmutation (or The Great Work, if you will). And of course Octavo counts on a much more advanced paradigm, full of equations and Quantum Physics, but it is also incredible how “advanced” Kybalion is for the time it was composed.

Neo-Hermetics

Ok, let’s cut to the chase. Kybalion posits there are Seven Principles, namely that of Mentalism, Correspondence, Vibration, Polarity, Rhythm, Cause&Effect, and Gender (its older brother, The Arcane Teachings, postulates instead Seven Laws: Orderly Trend, Analogy, Sequence, Rhythm, Balance, Cyclicity and Opposits). Now, in The Octavo, the Universal Principles are conveniently named Spells and consist of Eight complicated but very interesting equations, to which each chapter is devoted. Atkinson also dedicates one chapter for each of the Seven Principles (despite Kybalion has actually more chapters than that).

 

One could immediately dismiss any comparison for the numerical difference of postulates, but those who actually read The Octavo will realize that one of the spells, the Spell of Practical Magic (7th Chapter), rather describes a technique employed by magicians and not a Universal Law; and besides it, anybody acquainted with Carroll’s works may recall his preference for the number Eight. Number Seven, on the other hand, allows for much more correspondences due to its classical employment. Seven Planets, Seven Chakras, Seven Musical Notes, Seven Colors of the Rainbow, Seven Alchemical Stages, and so on…

 

Well, I spent some time trying to connect both Principles and Spells and submit the results below. Kabbalah, Liber 777 and Kaos Hieroglyphica have been very helpful in such endeavor.

 

I will write more about each Principle/Spell in future, along with the reasons that led me to relate them (apart from naturally being an Apophenic maniac) but, for now, here we go with the correspondences. As Principles and Spells don’t share a simultaneous order, here they are shown in Kybalion’s order.

 

THE KYBALION

THE OCTAVO

PRINCIPLE OF MENTALISM SPELL OF ILLUSION
PRINCIPLE OF CORRESPONDENCE SPELL OF BINDING
PRINCIPLE OF VIBRATION SPELL OF SPINNING
PRINCIPLE OF POLARITY SPELL OF LINKING
PRINCIPLE OF RHYTHM SPELL OF IMPRACTICAL MAGIC
PRINCIPLE OF CAUSE & EFFECT SPELL OF SUBTLE MAGIC
PRINCIPLE OF GENDER SPELL OF NARRATION

—————

SPELL OF PRACTICAL MAGIC

 

I’m also working on a draft which further expands this relationship to encompass the seven lower Sephiroth, the Planets and Magical Spheres by intent (the later I borrow from fiction that in turn was borrowed from History) with the objective of providing a more practical application for all of this craziness.

 

Finally, I would add three other Principles (borrowed from Mage: The Ascension) which, in my paradigm, stand for the three basic expressions of the Void: Dynamism, Stasis and Entropy. And then we have the Tree of Life.

2 Responses to “NeoHermetics”

  1. I find it interesting you mention the White Wolf role playing games. I briefly played a combined game of Vampire the Masquerade and Werewolf the apocalypse, but my character died and I moved away from Plymouth, where I was playing it, just as Mage the Ascension was being released. I was intrigued for sure, but never got to play it. That was the last time I’ve ever been part of a regular RPG group.

    Since then I’ve had brief periods of playing games such as Illuminati game of conspiracy, Munchkin, Bridge Troll, Elder Sign and even at one time Magic the Gathering.

    I find your work on this interesting, but I haven’t currently obtained a copy of either book, so have little to add at the moment. I guess that is two more books to add to my reading list…

    I’m glad KH was of assistance however.

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  2. Reilus says:

    Thank you for your contribution.

    If you haven’t already, I would recommend you consider applying Hogan’s presentment of the tree of life in the Novo Clavis Esoterika. It seems to work without all the forced interpretation of the classical schools. Hogan, himself, struggled with the findings that he came across in his work. You can see if his work might interest you by listening to this podcast: http://occultofpersonality.net/timothy-hogan/

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