The 12 Universal Laws & How To Practice Them
We've all heard of the law of attraction—but what about the law of polarity, the law of divine oneness, or the law of correspondence? That's right—the law of attraction is just one of the 12 universal laws, and getting familiar with the other 11 can help us unlock a more spiritually aligned life. Here, spiritual author Shannon Kaiser and social worker Vasavi Kumar, LMSW, MSEd, share their perspective on why these laws are important and how we can all put them into practice.
What are the 12 universal laws, and where do they come from?
The 12 universal laws are thought to be intrinsic, unchanging laws of our universe that ancient cultures have always intuitively known. The laws are often associated with Ho'oponopono, a meditation for freedom originating in ancient Hawaiian culture. Some of the laws, however, are also attributed to hermetic philosophy going back to ancient Egypt.
The list of ancient laws have withstood the test of time as both Kaiser, Kumar, and plenty of others around the world still work with them today. "All of the laws are about mastering your life with love and joy," Kaiser explains. Here's an introduction to the themes and underpinnings of each:
The 12 laws and how to use them.
1. Law of Divine Oneness:
The first and most foundational law of the universe is the Law of Divine Oneness, which highlights the interconnectedness of all things. It says that beyond our senses, every thought, action, and event is in some way connected to anything and everything else.
Kaiser notes this one can come off a bit heady, but applying it in real life entails "being compassionate with others. We are all created from divine source, with this in mind, we are all part of the same." She recommends working this law by asking questions like, "How can I show more compassion and acceptance toward those I don't understand?" or "What would love do?”
2. Law of Vibration:
At a microscopic level, everything is in constant motion, vibrating at a specific frequency. This applies to matter but also one's personal frequency as well. This law says that our vibrational frequency can inform our lived experience.
For example, "You may be able to receive money but perhaps you can't hold on to it," Kumar notes, "because vibrationally, you could be operating on a lower level." If you feel the need to elevate your frequency (good vibes, anyone?), there are lots of great practices to do so, including yoga, sound bathing, and chakra work.
3. Law of Correspondence:
This law states that patterns repeat throughout the universe, and on a personal level, our reality is a mirror of what's happening inside us at that moment. Think "As above, so below. As within, so without."
Kaiser's mantra for this law? It's happening for you, not to you. "If our life is chaotic and fearful," she says, "it's because there is chaos and fear within. If our life seems calm and grounded, it is because we feel peace within." In any troubling situation, she suggests asking what the situation can show you about yourself, and what requires healing within.
4. Law of Attraction:
Undoubtedly the most talked about universal law, the law of attraction is often used for manifestation. It says that like attracts like, and you get what you focus on. Not only that, but you have to believe what you're seeking is possible to obtain. It is similar to the law of vibration in this way; it's important to learn how to vibrate at a level that attracts what you're seeking.
If you want love but do not give love, for example, you're sending the universe a message about your priorities. If you repeat an affirmation but don't believe what you're saying, it's useless. "When we focus on what we want versus what we don't want, it will show up in our life," says Kaiser.
5. Law of Inspired Action:
Closely related to the law of attraction, the law of inspired action is all about taking those real, actionable steps to invite what we want into our lives. Often the inspiration comes from within. "Inspired action is that gentle, internal nudge," Kumar says. "It's not always a plan of action."
She adds that practicing this law is all about slowing down, getting quiet, and creating space for internal guidance. When we let go of our need to arrange and control how things will work out and are instead open to all possibilities, it makes room for new ways of achieving our goals that we might not have considered otherwise.
6. Law of Perpetual Transmutation of Energy:
This law states that on an energetic level, everything in the universe is constantly evolving or fluctuating. Every action is preceded by a thought, with thoughts themselves having the power to eventually manifest in our physical reality.
Ever been around a negative person and felt your own positivity depleting? That's one example—but it can also work the other way around: Higher frequencies transmute lower ones when applied with intention. Knowing this, we can actively seek to uplift negative energy around us with our thoughts and actions.
7. Law of Cause and Effect:
Relatively straightforward, this law highlights the direct relation between actions and events. What's important to note here, according to Kumar, is we often can't see the effects right away, but they will come back around.
"What you put out there may not come back to you in that moment, but that vibration, that energy you put out there, has a ripple effect. If you're coming from a place of anger or resentment, if you put that energy out there, you'll eventually be affected as a result."
8. Law of Compensation:
The law of compensation relates closely to the law of attraction and the law of correspondence. "You reap what you sow" is the main take-away, with the law stating your efforts will always come back to you positively. If you are seeking something, you must contribute in some way toward your goal.
To work with this law in a manner that attracts (or compensates for) love and support, for example, Kaiser suggests asking yourself, "Where am I being called to serve and support others today?"
9. Law of Relativity:
This law suggests that we are inclined to compare things in our world, but in reality, everything is neutral. Relativism exists in all things, and in the end, meaning comes down to our perspective and perception.
Applying this law can help us understand the tougher parts of our lives with greater compassion. For example, if we're feeling ungrateful for our living situation, it could be because we're comparing our arrangements with someone else's. Instead, we'd be better off appreciating what we have without needing to compare it to something else.
10. Law of Polarity:
This law says that everything in life has an opposite; good and evil, love and fear, warmth and cold. The key is understanding these are all two sides of the same coin.
Kaiser works with this law through the mantra All contrast brings more clarity. If you're facing a difficult situation like a breakup or a health challenge, for example, tune into what the opposite looks like, which can reveal a new perspective or lesson.
11. Law of Rhythm:
Cycles are a natural part of the universe. Physically, you can think about the seasons on Earth. In our own lives, we can remember that integration is just as important as growth. Kumar notes, "We expect ourselves to be one way all the time, whether we're thinking about our health or even productivity," but this is not sustainable.
Take note of your inner rhythms and try to work with them instead of fighting them. Feeling run down? Maybe it's better to give yourself some rest instead of powering through.
12. Law of Gender:
And lastly, the law of gender has to do with the masculine and feminine energy that exists in all things. Kaiser notes that much of our society has historically operated from a masculine, "hustle and do" mentality, which doesn't allow for much room to just be. Achieving your own balance between masculine and feminine energies can help you live more authentically.
And there you have it: the 12 universal laws. Before you get too overwhelmed, integrating them into your life is more about understanding and conceptualizing them in a way that makes sense to you. Kumar notes it doesn't have to be so analytical; "Understand the concept and keep it on the back burner in your mind," she says, to learn how to work with them in day-to-day scenarios. Now that you've been introduced to these laws, chances are they'll come up in your life again and again.
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