As Above So Below (Meaning and Use)

According to experts, the English phrase “as above so below” can be interpreted in a variety of ways. The most basic definition is that everything that occurs on Earth also happens in a spirit world. This is regarded as the most literal meaning. The phrase can also imply that microcosms are reflections of microcosms of the individual’s world, which is also the world of society at large, or that what is reflected in small groups is also reflected in large groups.

Continue reading further to learn more about this quirky phrase, where it first appeared, and how and when to use it properly within a sentence.

Origin of As Above So Below

The phrase “as above, so below” has deep roots in Hermeticism, a primitive religion, and philosophy. This religion was founded by Hermes Trismegistus and was very significant during the Renaissance and Reformation periods. The religion can be traced back to Prisca Thrologia.

First Appearance of the Phrase

Hermeticism adherents claim that the Emerald Tablet, also known as the Smaragdine Tablet or Tabula Smaragdina, is a part of the Hermetic texts. This tablet is also important in alchemy because it focuses on prima materia, or the starting point for all other substances. While no one knows where the Emerald Tablet came from, and Hermes is widely regarded as the tablet’s author, the text on the tablet was first seen in Arabic script from the 6th to 8th centuries.

The expression “as above, so below” was first seen on Hermes Trismegistus’ Emerald Tablet, which explains its close ties to Hermeticism. According to Isaac Newton’s translation of the Emerald Tablet, “as above, so below” means that whatever happens in nature is mirrored within the alchemist’s lab and the body itself.

How to Use ‘As Above So Below’

There are a few different ways that you can use this phrase in references throughout sentences. The most common way, however, is to represent that something worldly and otherworldly is balanced and equal. Here are a few examples of how to use this phrase within a sentence.

  • Astrology is a neat concept, as above so below.
  • You cannot control his response, as above so below.
  • As above, so below, we are at God’s mercy now.

The Phrase in Pop Culture

Recently, the phrase ‘as above so below’ has been popularized by a movie title. The movie, a “Dante’s Inferno” inspired film, follows an alchemist and archeologist through a series of underground lairs to explore nature in a graphic and suspenseful way.