As Above So Below Meaning and interpretation – Full Quote Origin and Phrase Significance

What is the Meaning of As above so below as within so without quote

The significance of the 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 (as above) is the same as microcosmos (so below).

The definition, origin and the spiritual interpretation of the phrase as above so below comes from the beginning of The Emerald Tablet and the hermetic principle. It is related with wicca tradition and occult. Some think it has a relation with the illuminati.

The quote is about what is in the spiritual plane (AS ABOVE, as it is above) and what is in the physical plane (SO BELOW, so it is below).

The explanation embraces the entire system of traditional and modern magic which was inscribed upon the tablet in cryptic wording by Hermes Trismegistus

Who said as Above so Below? Trismegistus in the hermetic text,  Hermetica book, the 7 hermetic above, so below



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, there is a correspondence.

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 within, So Without, as the universe so the soul“. It is also a principle of Hermes Trismegistus.

The significance and explanation of As Above, So below


The Magic Macrocosmos and microcosmos

This is the magic relation to the quote.

The magical act is causing a transformation like alchemy 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 union of spiritual and physical realm

The purpose 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 explanation of the quote significance


The Movie As Above, so Below

There is a horror movie about the quote from the director john erick dowdle. It is a found footage horror film. The release date is 2014.

It is based on the search of the philosopher’s stone which provide eternal live in the paris catacombs.

You can find more information about the movie here.


Frequently asked questions

What does as above so below mean in the Bible?

It doesn’t appear in the bible. But, a meaning related to the Bible is that what we do on earth will be reflected in heaven.

Where does it come from and who wrote it?

It comes from the emerald tablet and it was wrote by Hermes Trismegistus.

Which is the spiritual definition?

There is a connection between the individual and the universe. Understanding and using this connection, one can become more spiritually aware and enlightened.

What does it mean in Wicca?

In wiccan and witchcraft traditions the idea of “as above, so below” suggests that the individual is connected to the divine and the natural world. The forces and energies of the universe can be used to help a person grow spiritually.

Does it mean inversion?

Not inversion but reflection. Some kind of relation between earth and sky.



Sources: 29, 45, 66.