Saturday, May 12, 2018

[Part Five] Hermetic Spellcraft: The Principle of Polarity

"Everything is Dual; everything has poles; everything has its pair of opposites; like and unlike are the same; opposites are identical in nature, but different in degree; extremes meet; all truths are but half-truths; all paradoxes may be reconciled."

In the first three principles, we defined our world as three realms - the physical, mental and spiritual/subconscious - and their position in relation to one another.  This in turn explained the concept of energy through vibration.  Today, we'll begin to look at the ways we can affect those realms through that energy by utilizing intent.

All Opposites are the Same

The easiest way to explain this principle is to relate it to temperature.  Scientifically, temperature is a description of the vibration of particles.  The faster the particles move, the hotter something is.  The slower, the cooler.  But where specifically on the thermometer does "cold" end and "hot" begin?  It's subjective, isn't it?  Even more so, hot and cold, or even boiling and freezing, are not at the extreme ends of that scale.  Instead, temperature is a spectrum with a variety of markers that we create based on our personal experiences.

The same can be said of all things we consider opposites.  The higher the vibration, the closer to one end of the spectrum we travel.  The lower, the closer to the other end.  But our definitions of those ends, those opposites, are entirely subjective.  We see and understand that vibration through our mental lens, a realm shaped by our surroundings, thoughts, actions and life events.  What may be a high vibration to us may have a low vibration to someone else.  There is no universal definition.  Without a that, the reality is that all opposites on any spectrum are actually interchangeable depending on our mental lens.

In this, the Principle of Polarity encourages us to see all sides of any argument, all angles of any problem, and requires us to analyse those various perspectives before pushing forward.

Dichotomies Do Not Exist

If no universal definition of opposites exist, dichotomies as a whole do not exist.  For this concept, think of east and west.  They seem like opposites but, in reality, once you go too far east, you're actually more west of your starting point.  The two are really one in the same.  Similarly, the spectrum we understand opposites to lie on is not a straight line.  Linear duality is too one-dimensional for our multidimensional reality.  Instead, think of it as a spherical surface, a moon on which we place little flags to mark our personal experiences and definitions.  Here is east, to me, and there is where west is.  Here is cold, there is hot and somewhere over there is just right.  Everyone's experiential spheres look different depending on their life events.

Good and Bad are Subjective and Interchangeable

If dichotomies do not exist, then what is good and bad?  Good and bad, virtue and evil, are subjective and interchangeable, mutable based on our experiences.  So when we describe vibrations as "low" or "high," what are we really saying?  Are we implying that one type of vibration is better than the other?  In fact, both high and low vibrations have their use and can be applicable to varying kinds of magic.  Sometimes we need things like anger and sadness, not just to fuel our spell work but to shape our perceptions of the world.  I see no need to overcome or transmute lower vibrations, burying them in some sort of shame, when they can be recognized and utilized - unless that's something you feel the need to transform in the first place.  Vibrations, like any other kind of wave, simply are.

While some see the Law of Polarity as a way to “rise above lower vibrational emotions,” hence “love and light,” I instead see it as a warning against rigid dichotomy hindering our ability to expand our work.  It’s easy to get stuck as viewing hate as bad and love as good rather than sliding on the same spherical spectrum of emotion.  By seeing the gray area between two ideas that seem black and white, we can transmute our spell work into something more refined and expansive.

The Visual Representation: Our Intent is a Sphere

In the previous principle, we established that the three realms inhabit the same space but just a degree off from one another, creating a vibration we know as energy.

In this principle, we defined our intentions and the way we affect those vibrations as a sphere with no extreme points.

When we cast our spell, we are aiming this sphere at these three planes, looking for a specific spot to hit where we feel we will enact the most change in our favor.

In Magic

The Law of Polarity requires critical thinking and responsibility in our work.  If we understand that rigid dichotomies do not exist and that all perceived opposites lie on a spectrum, we must analyse our intentions from all sides before making a commitment, creating a pathway of least resistance for our spell work to be most effective.  Try looking at the perceived opposite of whatever spell you're attempting to work and decide if that approach would be better suited to the situation.  Do you want to cause love or lessen disdain?  Bring healing or banish illness?  Is one way going to be easier than the other?  Is there an in-between, a gray area, where your spell would be even more effective?  Once we've decided on a concise intent, we must take responsibility for that intent, whether that means we must notify the target party or be willing to accept whatever universal backlash our spell may cause - or anything in between.

Part Six: The Principle of Rhythm
Part Seven: The Principle of Cause and Effect
Part Eight: The Principle of Gender

Part Nine: Putting it All Together

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