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The Kybalion: Centenary Edition

The Kybalion: Centenary Edition is a superb hardcover volume from TarcherPerigree which brings the Hermetic wisdom of the ‘Three Initiates’ to a brand new generation. Boasting a sumptuous vegan-leather binding, gold-foil page edges and a red ribbon marker, this edition is sure to look impressive on the shelf of even the most discerning magickian, but it is the remarkable content which made The Kybalion ‘the most popular occult work of the twentieth century’.

Whilst authorship of this classic work is attributed to the ‘Three Initiates’, it is likely that it was written by a single individual, as Richard Smoley explains in his Introduction to the Centenary Edition. ‘The origins of this book have mystified many,’ he writes. ‘Scholar Philip Deslippe argues, convincingly, I believe, that it was written by William Walker Atkinson, who operated the Yogi Publication Society (he is also thought to be “Swami Ramachakra”).

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Whoever authored it, The Kybalion has been valued, not just by students of magick and the occult, but also by students of Rosicrucian, Hermetic, New Thought and other traditions. A quick glance at the chapter headings should illustrate why:

1 – The Hermetic Philosophy
2 – The Seven Hermetic Principles
3 – Mental Transmutation
4 – The All
5 – The Mental Universe
6 – The Divine Paradox
7 – “The All” in All
8 – The Planes of Correspondence
9 – Vibration
10 – Polarity
11 – Rhythm
12 – Causation
13 – Gender
14 – Mental Gender
15 – Hermetic Axioms

The Kybalion explains that occult philosophy is based in seven basic principles, and not only defines those principles, but also explains them in such a way as to be of practical use to the reader. The fact that this book is now in its Centenary Edition is evidence that it is just as applicable to the modern magickal practitioner as it was when first published in 1908.

Key Quote:The majority of people are carried along like the falling stone . . . Moved like the pawns on the checkerboard of life, they play their parts and are laid aside after the game is over. But the Masters, knowing the rules of the game, rise above the plane of material life, and placing themselves in touch with the higher powers of their nature, dominate their own moods, characters, qualities, and polarity, as well as the environment surrounding them and thus become Movers in the game, instead of Pawns – Causes instead of Effects.

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