The second verse of the Emerald Tablet in Hermetic philosophy (also called occult sciences or esoteric teachings) states that
“That which is above is like that which is below and that which is below is like that which is above to do the miracle of one only thing”
This is often abridged as “As above, so below” and we can quickly lose a good deal of meaning by believing it simply means that what’s going on down here on earth is happens in synchronicity with what’s going on with the planets above us.
“Above” has always been a symbol for the spiritual world. Those who pray look towards the heavens, or bow before it, but it is not at the physical height that we address our prayers when we do, but to the spiritual dimension.
I hope there is no controversy about this!
Understanding this, we can reformulate this second verse and say:
“what is spiritual is like what is material and what is material is like what is spiritual, because there is only one world
Which is absolutely great, because it means that all our experiences in the material world are valid as spiritual teachings.
This is also why we can use metaphors to understand psychic and spiritual realities.
The material is an extension of the spiritual world, it is part of it. It is the part we experience directly, and we oppose it to the invisible worlds but this distinction is only a question of what we can see and what we can’t, it’s doesn’t create a split which would divide the universe between two worlds, one material and one spiritual.
The second verse states it explicitly: “..to do the miracle of one only thing”. We are spiritual beings. Our current status is “incarnated” but this body of flesh is not a prison essentially different from who we are. It is a materialisation of who we are. As above, so below.
Nowadays, we have rediscover this old idea in a new lights. We are talking of living in a fractal universe, or holographic. The idea is that the whole can be seen in each of its parts. We can, Hallelujah, look at what is in front of us, below us, and see what is above, what we are a part of.
Similarly, in astrology, there are twelve signs and twelve houses.
The houses are a division in twelve of the space associated with a fundamental cycle of life down here: the day. In one day, the earth had completed a turn on itself.
Another fundamental cycle that we experience is the year. One turn around the sun, four seasons, twelve zodiacal signs.
It is not controversial in astrology to consider the “equivalence” (it would be better to say “analogy”) of one day for one year. When we look at progressions, we apply this system, the progressed planets for a certain year, for instance when we are 20 year old, are the position of these planet where were were the same amount of days old, in my example 20 days old. As above so below. As in big, so in small. As in one day, so in one year.
How could anyone deny the analogy between houses and signs then? They are both divisions in 12 of the most fundamental cycles of our lives. They are like body and spirit. with an understanding of their unity.
And this is the basis for what is called the “astrological alphabet”, if we understand it properly.
There is only one world. We understand it through 12 fundamental archetypes, which express, in fractal fashion, at different levels of the only one reality, along similar lines.