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As above, so below meaning, origin and significance of the quote
The definition and the meaning of the phrase as above so below comes from the beginning of The Emerald Tablet. It embraces the entire system of traditional and modern magic which was inscribed upon the tablet in cryptic wording by Hermes Trismegistus
The meaning and significance of this phrase is that it holds the key to all mysteries. All systems of magic function with this formula. “‘That which is above is the same as that which is below‘…Macrocosmos is the same as microcosmos.
The universe is the same as God.
God is the same as man.
Man is the same as the cell.
The cell is the same as the atom.
The atom is the same as…and so on, ad infinitum.”
This message theorizes that man is the counterpart of God on earth. As God is man’s counterpart in heaven.
Thus, it is a statement of an ancient belief that man’s actions on earth parallel the actions of God in heaven.
This pivots on the belief that “all things have their birth from this One Thing by adaptation”.
The next expression of the message is:
“As within, So Without, as the universe so the soul”. It is also a principle of Hermes Trismegistus.
The Magic meanings, Macrocosmos and microcosmos
The magical act is causing a transformation to a thing or things without any physical contact. It is done by an imaginative act accompanied by the will that the wanted change will occur.
The magical act and imaginative act becomes one and the same. The magician knows with certainty that for the change to occur he must will it to happen. And also believe it will happen.
Here it may be noted that magic and religion are akin. Both need belief that a miracle will occur. To bring about such a change the magician uses the conception of “dynamic interconnectedness”.
It describes the physical world as the sort of thing that imagination and desire can effect. The magician’s world is an independent whole. A web of which no strand is autonomous.
Mind and body, galaxy and atom, sensation and stimulus, have a strong relation.
Witchcraft imbues the view that all things are independent and interrelated.
These concepts pivot on the belief that all things come from the One Thing, or First Cause. And “Its power is integrating, if it be turned into earth.”
Rituals about above and below union
The purpose and meaning of all rituals in ceremonial magic is to unite the microcosm with the macrocosm. This is to join God, or gods when invoked, with the human consciousness.
When such a supreme union is achieved the subject and object becomes one.
This is because the magician feels that he is in touch with all elements of the universe.
Thus, he can control them. The magician feels connected with the universe. This feeling intensifies the more the magician practices his skills.
Whenever he experiences a failure he knows that the ritual was not performed well. When feeling unison with the universe, the magician knows he has reached his Higher or True Self. It is because he has attained mastery of himself and the universe. Thus he feels his “skillful work ascends from earth to heaven and descends to earth again. And receives the power of the superiors and of the inferiors.”
Thus, he “hast the glory of the whole world so let all obscurity flee from thee.” Now the miracles are possible. Some magicians, like Aleister Crowley, claimed this.
When the magician reaches this ultimate peak of altered consciousness the miracles are no longer important. The extreme goal becomes the direct union with God.
Video of the quote significance from this article
The Movie As Above, so Below
There is a movie about the quote. The film name is As Above, so Below. More information of the movie here.