“As Above, So Below”

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The phrase “As Above, So Below” is sometimes used by Satanists as a rallying cry, in reference of the reign of Satan in Hell and His presence on Earth.

The phrase is an ancient one, however, with many meanings and usages. It originates from The Emerald Tablet, or the Smaragdine Table, which claims its roots in antiquity through its author, Hermes Trismegistus (Hermes the Thrice-Greatest). Scholars suspect it is Arabic in origin and was written between the sixth and eighth centuries. Isaac Newton, an alchemist as well as a mathematician, translated the Emerald Tablet among his notes:

“Tis true without lying, certain & most true.
That which is below is like that which is above & that which is above is like that which is below to do the miracles of one only thing
And as all things have been & arose from one by the mediation of one: so all things have their birth from this one thing by adaptation.
The Sun is its father, the moon its mother, the wind hath carried it in its belly, the earth is its nourse.
The father of all perfection in the whole world is here.
Its force or power is entire if it be converted into earth.
Separate thou the earth from the fire, the subtile from the gross sweetly with great indoustry.
It ascends from the earth to the heaven & again it descends to the earth & receives the force of things superior & inferior.
By this means you shall have the glory of the whole world
& thereby all obscurity shall fly from you.
Its force is above all force. For it vanquishes every subtile thing & penetrates every solid thing.
So was the world created.
From this are & do come admirable adaptations whereof the means (or process) is here in this. Hence I am called Hermes Trismegist, having the three parts of the philosophy of the whole world
That which I have said of the operation of the Sun is accomplished & ended.”

“As Above, So Below” remains the second of the seven Hermetic Principles: The Principle of Correspondence. As explained in The Kybalion:

2. The Principle of Correspondence

“As above, so below; as below, so above.”–The Kybalion.

This Principle embodies the truth that there is always a Correspondence between the laws and phenomena of the various planes of Being and Life. The old Hermetic axiom ran in these words: “As above, so below; as below, so above.” And the grasping of this Principle gives one the means of solving many a dark paradox, and hidden secret of Nature. There are planes beyond our knowing, but when we apply the Principle of Correspondence to them we are able to understand much that would otherwise be unknowable to us. This Principle is of universal application and manifestation, on the various planes of the material, mental, and spiritual universe–it is an Universal Law. The ancient Hermetists considered this Principle as one of the most important mental instruments by which man was able to pry aside the obstacles which hid from view the Unknown. Its use even tore aside the Veil of Isis to the extent that a glimpse of the face of the goddess might be caught. Just as a knowledge of the Principles of Geometry enables man to measure distant suns and their movements, while seated in his observatory, so a knowledge of the Principle of Correspondence enables Man to reason intelligently from the Known to the Unknown. Studying the monad, he understands the archangel.

It is also the basic alchemical formula for the transmutation of matter, ie. lead to gold.

There is also a verse in Exodus resembling the phrase:

“Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth” – Exodus 20:4

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