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The 12 Ancient Universal Laws & Principles Governing Life

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 has withstood the test of time and plenty of others around the world still work with it today. "All of the laws are about mastering your life with love and joy," 

 

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.  This Law one can come off a bit heady, but applying it in real life entails being compassionate with others, and recognizing that we are all one.   You can work 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, 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 yogasound 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."  This Law is happening for you, not to you. If our life is chaotic and fearful, 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, ask 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.

 

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 . It's not always a plan of action.  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 the 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 by maintaining positive 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 is we often can't see the effects right away, but they will come back around.  Trust that every action will have a reaction—good or bad. What you put out there may not come back to you at 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 takeaway, 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, 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.  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.  You can work 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.  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. Much of our society for the last 5000 years has historically operated from a masculine, "hustle and do" mentality, which doesn't allow for much room to just be.  Achieve your own balance between the divine masculine and divine feminine energies in order to 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. It doesn't have to be so analytical.  Understand the concept and keep it on the back burner in your mind to learn how to work with them in day-to-day scenarios.

Now that you are aware of them, chances are they'll come up in your life again and again.