Hermes, messenger of the gods…

…A thief, a traveller, a shepherd, a merchant, a magician and a swift messenger, the Greek god Hermes had many roles. In Egypt he was known as Thoth or Tehuti, an ibis god or sometimes an ape or baboon who invented writing and helped weigh the souls of the dead. He is the three times great Trismegistus who is the source of Hermeticism and alchemy. He taught Isis magic and protected Osiris. He was a mediator between enemies and extremes and the Romans called him Mercury, god of commerce. He is perhaps the god of the internet age. The hermetic writings such as the Corpus Hermeticum had a great influence on the renaissance but they were always suspect as the death of Giordano Bruno at the hands of the Catholic Church in 1600 shows. The rationalists of the 18th century also had no time for “superstition.” Quod est inferius est sicut quod est superius, et quod est superius est sicut quod est inferius, ad perpetranda miracula rei unius, which in Sir Isaac Newton’s translation reads, “That which is below is like that which is above & that which is above is like that which is below to do the miracles of one only thing.” is a core principle of Hermeticism. Hermes, both in his Greek and Egyptian manifestations, stands as an archetype of transformation through reconciliation of the opposites. We are living in a time badly in need of such reconciliation and perhaps we need to invest nature with magic again. The first tarot card, the Magician, started out as a juggler and a trickster who became wise and mastered the elements. This card is associated with Hermes. Anyone opening their phone bill knows there is an element of theft in the art of communication. Hermes grew wise and used his caduceus as the primal power which can heal or harm and only the wise know how to use it for good and the quest for enlightenment.


About Leighton Cooke

The Original Cookiemouse
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One Response to Hermes, messenger of the gods…

  1. Pauli says:

    Cool post. Alchemy should be going through a revival soon once everyone realizes that it is the key to understanding the Harry Potter books as well as the reason for their popularity.

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