By Mary Montgomery
An interesting thing happened to me on the way to ringing in the New Year. I was invited to join three other friends on a Puerto Rican adventure. As they say in Spanish; “¡El viaje fue fabuloso!” “The trip was fabulous!”
By now, most of my readers know that I love to have spiritual adventures when I travel. Let’s be frank; accomplishing this is often a bit harder to do when you are traveling in a group. However, it is not impossible. I’ll be writing about this in more detail on my new blog, SpiritualTravelerGuides.com. Here is one example of what worked for me in Puerto Rico: Open your mind to the spiritual possibilities.
This is exactly what happened to me when we attended the New Year’s Eve gala in the ballroom at Wyndham Garden at Palmas del Mar. My expectation was that we would be surrounded by a bunch of adults like ourselves visiting from the 50 states or other parts of the world. The reality was that we were surrounded by Puerto Rican families—toddlers, moms and dads, aunts and uncles, grandmas and grandpas. As I sat at our table, watching the little kids on the dance floor playing with complete joy and abandon as they tossed large balloons in the air, I suddenly realized that I was having a spiritual experience. I was embraced, not only by the pure joy these children found in such a simple pursuit and by the warmth and joy of their families. It was a warmth and joy that embraced me throughout the evening, as I joined in the conga dance line in the lobby, sang Spanish karaoke, and toasted the New Year with my friends.
There was one spiritual adventure, however, that our entire group shared. On Sunday, January 3rd, we were invited to the San Juan home of Ines Bocanegra. Ines, a long-time member of Church of the Spirit in Logan Square had moved back to her family home after retiring from the City Colleges of Chicago. She was very excited to be hosting our group, especially our Spiritualist Pastor, the Rev. Marrice Coverson who had organized our adventure. Rev. Coverson had been instrumental in Ines’s spiritual growth, and now Ines wanted Marrice to share the Spiritualist philosophy with her new spiritual group that practices Hermeticism.
The beautiful thing about both Spiritualism and Hermeticism is the ability to embrace and focus on the similarities rather than the differences of each other’s spiritual paths. Both Spiritualism and Hermeticism are tolerant of the spiritual paths of others. One of the reasons I was attracted to Spiritualism as my community of faith (nsac.org) was that religion’s recognition that there is Divine inspiration in all sacred texts, yet that this Divine inspiration must be tempered by the fact that it is being interpreted by humans. My research turned up this quote about Hermeticism from Tobias Churton, Professor of Western Esotericism at the University of Exeter: “The Hermetic tradition was both moderate and flexible, offering a tolerant philosophical religion, a religion of the (omnipresent) mind, a purified perception of God, the cosmos, and the self, and much positive encouragement for the spiritual seeker, all of which the student could take anywhere.”
The similarities between Spiritualism and Hermeticism include some definite parallels between what Spiritualists call Natural Laws, and Hermeticists call Principles. Rev. Marrice spoke to the group about Spiritualist beliefs, including our use of mediumship to prove the continuation of life after death. She then treated the Puerto Rican group to personal messages from their loved ones in spirit. Arturo, the head of the Hermetic group, explained the Seven Hermetic Principles: Mentalism, Correspondence, Vibration, Polarity, Rhythm, Cause and Effect, and Gender. The parallels between some of these principles and our Natural Laws of Mind, Vibration, Cause and Effect, and Balance/Polarity had the Spiritualists on Ines’s spacious veranda shaking our heads in agreement.
Delicious Puerto Rican delicacies and warm conversations completed the adventure. Back in Chicago, I decided to continue the experience with my own exploration of Hermeticism. Some of the information I’m finding will definitely contribute to my own spiritual growth. I hope it will contribute to yours as well.
At first, the task seemed daunting. Ines had shared the book her group followed, El Kybalión. I took a photo of it with my iPhone and was able to download the English version, The Kybalion, to my Kindle app. There were also a number of websites with information on Hermeticism including the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn (golden-dawn.com), The Gnosis Archive (gnosis.org/hermes.htm),The Roots of Consciousness: History, Hermeticism (williamjames.com), The Hermetic Library (hermetic.com), and the Hermetic Fellowship (hermeticfellowship.org). I have to admit, though, that the language was often dense, and a bit confusing for a newbie like me.
Then I discovered Doreen Virtue’s wonderful little book, Divine Magic: The Seven Sacred Secrets of Manifestation; A New Interpretation of the Classic Hermetic Manual, The Kybalion. What a relief! A blog post at Doreen’s website (angeltherapy.com) explains her intent in writing this book:
“…Most students of metaphysics understand that thoughts create reality. Yet, how do you control and focus your thoughts so that manifestations are at the highest and best level? I found the answer to that question within a book from 1908 called The Kybalion. It taught me a method that keeps my thoughts, and therefore my moods, health, relationships, finances, and such at a consistently high level. Yet, the book was also written in an archaic manner which made it difficult to read and understand. Because The Kybalion’s language is now dated and sometimes cryptic, I was guided to edit the manuscript into modern language and add my comments and practical application tools. The result is my new book, Divine Magic: The Seven Sacred Secrets of Manifestation.”
This column is far too short to go into great depth about Hermeticism and how it can positively impact your life. Here are a few insights from Doreen’s book and from the CD, which accompanies the paperback. The CD didn’t come with my Kindle purchase, yet I did find it at Disclose TV: (disclose.tv/action/viewvideo/147082/Doreen_Virtue__Divine_Magic__Hermetic_Philosophy/) —This is a free listen! The insights:
MENTALISM: If the Universe is mental in nature, then mental transmutation must be the art of changing the conditions of the Universe along the lines of matter, force, and mind. So mental transmutation is really the “magic” that ancient writers discussed in their mystical works, and about which they gave so few practical instructions. If everything is mental, then transmutation can not only change conditions ordinarily thought of as “mental,” but also material conditions.
THE UNIVERSE, THE ALL: The Universe and everything in it is continuously growing, moving, and changing. Nothing is permanent and enduring but change. The underlying power fueling this constant creation is called The All. It is all that is, and therefore infinite and eternal. The All is living mind consisting of an immortal life force and Divine wisdom. The All is Spirit. The All occupies every space in the Universe. Spirit permeates your body, home, office, and automobile. There is no place where Spirit is not. Unlike the Universe, which it powers and infinitely inhabits, The All is unchangeable. This paradox is reconciled through the Hermetic teaching that the Universe is contained within the Mind of The All. The container (The All) is unchangeable, but what’s inside (The Universe) is forever changing.
CREATION: Following the Principle of Correspondence (“As above, so below”), we can deduce that The All creates the Universe mentally, in the same manner humans create mental images. Such was the teaching of Hermes: The All can create in no other way except mentally, without either using material (and there is nothing outside of itself to use), or else reproducing itself (since one times one equals one). Just as you may create a Universe of your own in your mind, so does The All create Universes in its own Mentality. Your Universe is the mental creation of a finite mind, whereas that of The All is the creation of an Infinite. The two are similar, but infinitely different in degree.
DO NOT DENY MATTER: Hermetics teaches that it’s a mistake to go through life as if everything is an illusion. They call this practice “sleepwalking through life.” Ignoring or denying matter doesn’t help us live effectively. While we live in human bodies on Earth, it’s important to acknowledge that matter is real to us. And yet, we can change our relationship with matter by elevating our thoughts about it. This is how we practice Divine magic to heal bodies, attract prosperity, and complete important projects. We can gain control over our material existence first by acknowledging matter’s existence within the illusion, and then by applying the higher forces of transmutation and Mental Creation… Remember The Kybalion’s wise words: “Mastery consists not in abnormal dreams, visions and fantastic imaginings or living, but in using the higher forces against the lower—escaping the pains of the lower planes by vibrating on the higher.”
VIBRATION: …the Principle of Vibration underlies the wonderful phenomena and power manifested by masters and adepts who set aside natural laws. In reality, they are simply using one law against another to accomplish their results. They have learned to change the vibrations of material objects and other forms of energy, and perform “miracles.” Remember the Hermetic axiom: “He who understands the Principle of Vibration has grasped the scepter of Power."
Theory is all well and good, yet how can we actually use Hermetics to improve the quality of our lives? According to Doreen, that’s where the Principle of Polarity comes in. She states:
“The Principle of Polarity could also be called ‘The Principle of Practicality,’ since it offers a profoundly practical tool for living, manifesting, healing, and practicing Divine magic… [It] states that everything has two polarities or extremes. These seeming opposites are part of the same pole, and they’re just situated at different ends. For example, hot and cold are extremes of the pole called “temperature.”
This is where Hermetics and Doreen’s book, Divine Magic, can start generating “miracles” in our own lives (and, as it turns out, in the lives of others). Doreen gives two examples of how Polarity can work for us:
Prosperity: Imagine a pole with “Prosperity” at the top and “Poverty” at the bottom. In between are many gradations ranging from poor all the way up to greater and greater prosperity. Now imagine a lever sliding up and down your Money Pole. To attract more money, you can adjust your vibration upward by visualizing that the lever is at the highest possible location along the pole. Since this pole is in your mind, it’s your personal Money Pole. Even if you’re worried about money, you can mentally will the lever to move up higher.
Relationships: Say you’ve had an argument with a loved one and desire a peaceful resolution. Image that relationship as a pole with “Peaceful Resolution” at the top. Mentally move the lever alongside the pole to the top position of “Peaceful Relationship with [name of person].” Every time you think about this person, check to make sure that the lever is still at the top of the pole.
And for your whole life? This is Doreen’s suggestion:
“Everything that you desire has a pole assigned to it, whether it’s health, a happy marriage, inner peace, or any other topic. Image this whole series of poles with sliding levers, similar to a sound mixing board in a recording studio, or like an airplane’s control panel. Each of those levers controls your finances, relationships, health, and other life areas. Take a moment to visualize your inner control panel. Where are the levers positioned along the poles? To improve any situation, mentally move the lever higher up the pole (and to the top, ideally). Check your poles regularly, or if you ever feel upset, to ensure that they haven’t slid downward.”
Hmm…I don’t know about you, I’m going to start working on my own control panel right now!
My Advice: If I were you, I’d download both The Kybalion (it’s only 99 cents), and Doreen’s book, Divine Magic ($9.99 from Amazon.com). I didn’t have space to get into Doreen’s technique of using the Hermetic Principle of Polarity to help others, yet that alone is worth the price of admission. If anyone knows of a Hermetic group here in the Chicago area, please let me know. PS: Yes, I know that some secret societies like the Rosicrucians and Freemasons incorporate a lot of Hermetic principles. I’m not trying to step on anyone’s iron-clad toes here. The Hermetics I met in Puerto Rico were open-hearted and not at all secretive; and so am I.
Mary Montgomery’s company, Montgomery Media Enterprises, specializes in public relations, writing projects, and social media development, especially in the non-profit sector. Ms. Montgomery has a Master’s Degree in Religious Studies from Chicago Theological Seminary (CTS). She has completed the coursework in doctoral studies with a focus on Altruism and Unconditional Love. Contact her via email at Monty764@sbcglobal.net. Please use Cyberweave in the subject line. You can also visit her on her new blog, SpiritualTravelerGuides.com.