Few axioms have become as identical with occultism as “as above so below” and various forms of the phrase. As a part of esoteric belief, there are many claims and specific versions of the phrase, but many general details can be given for the idiom.
“As above So below” is an occult phrase allied with holy geometry, hermeticism, & the Tarot. The phrase originates from a passage in the Emerald Tablet (variously attributed to Hermes Trismegistus or Pseudo-Apollonius of Tyana).
What is the meaning of the phrase “As above So below”?
The phrase “As above So below” is used by authors and oracles to explain why and how the realm works. The idea infers that visible stars in the sky are related to life on earth & that the microcosm and the macrocosm are linked. The human race is related to the superior universe.
The 16th-century scholar Chrysogonus Polydorus delivers the resulting version interpreted from the novel Arabic into Latin:
Quod est inferius est sicut quod est superius. Et quod est superius est sicut quod est inferius, ad perpetranda miracula rei unius.
The Message, proposed as a “version of the New Testament in a contemporary idiom”, uses the saying in its version of the Lord’s Prayer from Matthew 6:10.
(The prayer’s phrase is usually rendered “on earth, as it is in heaven”)
Our Father in heaven,
Reveal who you are.
Set the world right;
Do what’s best – as above so below.
In Hermeticism, the saying can be taken to specify that earthly matters imitate the action of the stellar plane, chiefly “by other means than mundane chains of cause and effect, such as Jungian synchronicities or correspondences.”
In a material situation, the saying can refer to the clue that the microcosm imitates the macrocosm.
For example, individual or local ills can result from greater social ills. Moreover, a quote from the mythical book Ascension of Isaiah has similar phrasing:
“there I saw Sammael and his hosts, and there was great fighting therein. As above, so on the earth [below]”
Explanations of the phrase “As above So below”
There exists a lot of explanations and defenses of the phrase “As above So below” which have been discussed below in detail;
1. The Oldest Copy of Emerald Tablet
The oldest copy we have of the Emerald Tablet is in Arabic, and that replica titles to be a version of Greek.
To read it in English requires conversion and deeply religious, ethical and obscure works are often hard to interpret. As such, different versions of the phrase line differently.
One such read, “That which is below is as that which is above, and that which is above is like that which is below, to perform the miracles of the one thing.”
2. Concept of Microcosm and Macrocosm
The occult explains the ideas of microcosm and macrocosm. It believes that the smaller systems such as the human body are just the small version of the complete universe.
If we are successful in understanding these smaller versions, then we might also understand the entire universe.
Studies such as palmistry linked diverse part of the hand to diverse cosmic bodies, and each heavenly body has its scope of impacts over things linked to it.
This also imitates the idea of the cosmos being made of several lands (such as the bodily and the divine) and that things that occur in one imitate upon the other.
To become more spiritual, you must purify your soul by doing great things in the physical world. This is the credence behind high magic.
3. Hermetic Text
The occult comes from a Hermetic text known as the Emerald Tablet. The Hermetic texts are almost 2000 years old and have been extremely powerful in the occult, logical and spiritual views of the world through that age.
In Western Europe, they grew fame in the Renaissance, when large numbers of academic works were presented and reinstated to the area after the Middle Ages.
Quick read: Hagstones in Magic Folklore
4. Levi’s Famous Image of Baphomet
There is a wide range of cyphers involved in Levi’s famous image of Baphomet, and much of it has to do with the opposition.
The hands aiming up and down imply “as above so below,” that in these two contraries there is still a merger. Other divisions comprise the light and dark moons, the male and female aspects of the figure, and the caduceus.
Read: Ophanim Angels Origin
5. The Hexagram
Hexagrams, shaped from the hitching of two triangles, is a shared symbol of the unity of reverses.
One triangle inclines from above, taking spirit to matter, while the other triangle bounces upward from below, matter moving into the divine world.
6. Eliphas Levi’s Symbol of Solomon
Here, Levi combined the hexagram into a tangled figure of 2 images of God: one of dainty, kindness, and holiness, and the other dark, physical, and revenge.
It is further joint by a domestic grasping its tail, the ouroboros. It is a sign of eternity, and it encircles the tangled figures.
Read: Angel of Death Name
God is everything, but to be all he must be the light and the dark.
7. Reflection of God
Robert Fludd’s Universe as a Reflection of God is the way by which one must see God. They are same yet opposite to one another.
To learn about the original, you must first understand the image reflected in the mirror.
8. The Practice of Alchemy
The practice of alchemy is explained in Hermetic values. Alchemists try to take mutual, uneven, solid things and alter them into divine, pure and obscure things.
Symbolically, this was often labelled as turning lead into gold, but the actual drive was divine change.
Read: 13 Roman Catholic Popes
This is the “miracles of the one thing” stated in the hermetic tablet: the great work or magnum opus, the full process of change that splits the physical from the divine and then unites them into a fully melodious whole.
What does the quote “As Above So Below; As Within So Without” mean?
The occult phrase “As Above So Below” can be understood as follows;
- Sky (As Above) denotes to hell or heaven.
- Earth (So Below) denotes the earth where you can present your perspectives of nature and environment.
Quick read: How to Write Your Own Magical Wiccan Spell?
The phrase “As within, so without” can be understood as follows;
- Inside of You (As within) denotes good or bad things found inside you.
- Outside of you (So without) denotes the events that happen outside the world.
“As above as within” indicates that all your deeds were decided by god and whether you will be going to hell or heaven. All your good thoughts and beliefs make a moral way of life.
It acts as a lesson for everyone that good things are important to make life better while all the bad feelings add up to the immoral ways of life.
“So below So without” indicates that the earth which is below along with other living beings and population are highly affected by the humans.
It will create a tremendous impact on the environment which means that criminal activities and diseases will start increasing.
Also, more technological power will be improved by the human mind.
On earth, human survival is completely impossible without any external things. The outside environment is critical to give strength to the human brain and mind.
All these events will help you further decide the next steps for the bright future.
So earth (Below) environment will decide whether a cemetery or flower garden and your outside (Without) the world decide you are going to a moral or immoral way of life.
For Example, a human going to eat soil instead of food when the natural items (rivers, trees) were destroyed.
“You can strength within and then set future as heaven above and You built the world without harm and you set a good environment in the earth below in present and also for future”
“As above So below” phrase (occultism) means what happens on one level of reality also happens on every other level; the microcosm and macrocosm behave alike.
The principle of correspondence is a vital concept in Wicca; it is often summed up in the phrase “as above so below.”
Accepting the meaning of this saying is vital to understanding Wiccan views and what they revolve around.
People Also Ask (FAQs)
Who said as above so below as within so without?
Hermes Trismegistus gave the quote “As above So below, As Within So Without, As the universe So the soul.”
Who is Hermes Trismegistus?
Hermes Trismegistus (Ancient Greek: Ἑρμῆς ὁ Τρισμέγιστος, “thrice-greatest Hermes”; Latin: Mercurius ter Maximus) is the alleged author of the Hermetic Corpus, a series of holy texts that are the basis of Hermeticism.
What does the Emerald Tablet mean?
The Emerald Tablet, also known as the Smaragdine Tablet, or Tabula Smaragdina, is a compact and cryptic piece of the Hermetica believed to contain the secret of the prima materia and its change. It was highly observed by European alchemists as the basis of their art and its Hermetic ritual.
What is within me is outside of me?
This is “As above So below.” That saying is said to be the key to all magic. It means that what is within me is outside of me. As it is on earth, so it is in heaven. As I am, so are my cells, so are my atoms, so is God.