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.

The Kybalion

Just as a knowledge of the Principles of Geometry enables man to measure distant suns (…) 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.

The Kybalion

The Hermetic principle, or law, of correspondence states that there is a correspondence between all the different manifestations of life — ranging from gross matter to spirit — in the universe.

Why? Because not only does everything that exists originate from the same source, it is also subject to the same exact laws, forces, movements, and cycles.

The concept of correspondence, as well as many other concepts regarding occult wisdom, originated in ancient Egypt, the land of “the great Adepts and Masters, who have never been surpassed”.

Master of the Masters was Hermes Trismegistus (three times great), who was eventually deified under the name of Thoth. He was the father of Occult wisdom including Alchemy.

According to Hermetic philosophy, there are seven main principles, or truths, that pervade and define the whole universe. He who understands these principles understands the universe.

The seven Hermetic Laws

  • 1) Mentalism. The physical, tangible, material world appears real to us human beings, but is merely a reflection of the immutable, infinite world, which is intangible and unknowable, and which can be imagined as a mind. Everything that exists can then be imagined as a creation of such mind.
  • 2) Correspondence. Because everything originates from the same source, and is subject to the same laws, there is always a correspondence between all the different manifestations of life; there is always a correspondence between the physical, mental, and spiritual planes.
  • 3) Vibration. “Nothing rests; everything moves; everything vibrates”. Vibration can be imagined as a state, or condition, whose frequency (rate of vibration) determines the quality or structure of something, be it mental or material. Much like colors and musical notes, everything in the universe has its own frequency.
  • 4) Polarity. Good and evil, light and darkness, pleasant and unpleasant, heat and cold, superior and inferior — everything has two extremes, or poles, and we human beings perceive them depending on how close they are to each pole; however, nothing can be the pole itself because the “range” is infinite.
  • 5) Rhythm. Much like daytime and nighttime, everything in the universe follows specific cycles where a high is followed by a low and vice versa. This can be imagined as a pendulum that swings, back and forth, from a pole, or extreme (see the previous principle), to the other, endlessly.
  • 6) Causality. Everything has a cause and an effect. But because there are many different Planes of Causation, one may choose to become the cause rather than the effect in what they do, mentally and physically. For example, one may choose to act following external influences (and be the effect), or act consciously, and be the cause.
  • 7) Gender. Everything has a gender: masculine or feminine. Again, this is true for the physical as well as the mental world, and it even applies to the spiritual world. Understanding the law of gender, one understands that gender permeates the process through which, for example, molecules attract each other; or the creative process of artists.

The planes of Manifestation


The great Second Hermetic Principle embodies the truth that there is a harmony, agreement, and correspondence between the several planes Manifestation, Life, and Being.

The Kybalion

This truth is a truth because all that is included in the Universe emanates from the same source, and the same laws, principles, and characteristics apply to each unit, or combinations of units, of activity, as each manifests its own phenomena upon its own plane.

The Kybalion

The planes of manifestation are nothing but “ascending degrees of the great scale of Life, the lowest point of which is undifferentiated Matter, and the highest point that of Spirit”.

In the Kybalion, the authors state that there are three main planes, namely:

  • The Great Physical Plane
  • The Great Mental Plane
  • The Great Spiritual Plane

However, it is also stated that this distinction exists purely for the purpose of understanding; and that, in reality, there are infinite planes, each representing a different vibration on the scale.

Moreover, there is never a clear distinction between consecutive planes, so that one shades into the other. Again, the example of the color scale is a simple but powerful analogy.

Law of Correspondence: examples

1. The brain and the universe

Perhaps one of the most fascinating confirmations that the incredibly small corresponds to the incredibly vast is the structure of our brain and that of the universe.

There have been studies on this, too, the most famous being this one. In its paper, it is written: “the tantalizing degree of similarity (…) suggests that the self-organization of both complex systems is likely being shaped by similar principles (…)”.

2. Life cycle of things

Our own life cycle as human beings is quite similar, if not the same, to that of other animals. Nothing particularly interesting. However, by extension, you can say that it resembles the life cycle of everything in the universe.

The birth, development, and death of everything in the universe — each made of different phases that follow each other, without exception — is, in a way, more or less the same. In other words, their life cycles correspond.

3. Food and body parts

Ever noticed that many natural foods (we won’t consider artificial, highly processed foods) are surprisingly similar to the body parts that they benefit?

Carrots and eyes; tomatoes and the heart; walnuts and the brain; and so on. To those who know the Law of Correspondence, this isn’t really a surprise, but more like a manifestation of the Law.

4. Physical/mental energy

Fervent materialists argue that energy can only be physical, whereas spiritual people suggest that energy can be exchanged, increased, moved, etc. spiritually as well.

And once you pay attention to your own feelings and emotions, and notice how a certain person or environment has the ability to transform it, you’ll find that the processes of material energy tend to correspond to those of psychic energy.

5. Chakras and colors

If you are familiar with chakras — energy centers in the human body — then you know that each of the seven chakras has its own corresponding color and mantras.

Not only that, the color of the chakras changes from the lowest to highest point just like they change in the color scale: from bright red to violet. Again, there is a correspondence between two seemingly unrelated things.

Using the Law of Correspondence

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.

The Kybalion

Anything that has to do with occult knowledge and Hermetic philosophy (or any other philosophical system, for that matter) can be used for both practical purposes and understanding.

Understanding the Law of Correspondence, one understands the essence of things, and how things work.

Although knowledge itself is sufficient to e.g. satisfy one’s curiosity, or make them grow and evolve, it can also be used in everyday life — just like mathematics, psychology, and many other disciplines.

There are many different interpretations of the Law of Correspondence, and because the law is so broad and because it applies to so many things, one could say almost all interpretations are correct.

Correspondence between the inner and the outer world, the infinite and the infinitesimal, matter and pure spirit… the more you think of the law, the more you see it around you.