Hermes Trismegistus

purported author of the Hermetic Corpus

Hermes Trismegistus is the purported author of the Hermetic Corpus, a series of sacred texts that are the basis of Hermeticism.

Hermes Trismegistus. 'Engraving of Mercurius Trismegistus from Pierre Mussard, Historia Deorum fatidicorum, Venice, 1675


Emerald Tablet of HermesEdit

Translation of Sir Issac Newton (c. 1680), Full text

  • That which is below is like that which is above and that which is above is like that which is below...
  • And as all things have been & arose from one by the mediation of one, so all things have their birth from this one thing by adaptation.
  • The Sun is its father, the Moon its mother, the wind has carried it in its belly, the earth is its Nurse.

The Prophecy of Hermes TrismegistusEdit

Excerpt from Asclepius III contained in the  Corpus Hermeticum, Full text

  • And in that day men will be weary of life, and they will cease to think the universe worthy of reverent wonder and of worship. And so religion, the greatest of all blessings, for there is nothing, nor has been, nor ever shall be, that can be deemed a greater boon, will be threatened with destruction; men will think it a burden, and will come to scorn it.
  • They will no longer love this world around us, this incomparable work of God, this glorious structure which He has built...
  • Darkness will be preferred to light, and death will be thought more profitable than life; no one will raise his eyes to heaven.
  • The pious will be deemed insane, and the impious wise; the madman will be thought a brave man, and the wicked will be esteemed as good.
  • No word of reverence or piety, no utterance worthy of heaven and of the Gods of heaven, will be heard or believed.
  • But when all this has befallen, Asclepius, then the Master and Father, God, the first before all, the maker of that God who first came into being, will look on that which has come to pass, and will stay the disorder by the counterworking of His will, which is the good.
  • He will call back to the right path those who have gone astray; He will cleanse the world from evil, now washing it away with water-floods, now burning it out with fiercest fire, or again expelling it by war and pestilence.
  • And thus He will bring back His world to its former aspect, so that the Cosmos will once more be deemed worthy of worship and wondering reverence, and God, the maker and restorer of the mighty fabric, will be adored by the men of that day with unceasing hymns of praise and blessing.
Hermes Mercurius Trismegistus Siena Cathedral, Italy (1480s)

The Hymns of Hermes (Echoes from the Gnosis)Edit

Translated by G. R. S. Mead, (1906), Full text

  • I, Mind, Myself am present with holy men and good, the pure and merciful, men who live piously. To such My Presence doth become an aid, and straightway they gain Gnosis of all things, and win the Father's love by their pure lives, and give Him thanks, invoking on Him blessings, and chanting hymns, intent on Him with ardent love (ii, 14).
  • But on the pious soul the Mind doth mount and guide it to the Gnosis' Light. And such a soul doth never tire in songs of praise to God and pouring blessing on all men, and doing good in word and deed to all, in imitation of its Sire (ii, 155).
  • He is Himself, both things that are and things that are not. The things that are He hath made manifest, he keepeth things that are not in Himself. He is the God beyond all name-He the unmanifest, he the most manifest; He whom the mind alone can contemplate, He visible unto the eyes as well. He is the one of no body, the one of many bodies, nay, rather, He of every body. Naught is there which He is not, for all are He, and He is all (ii, 104).
  • For naught is there of which He stands in need, in that He is all things and all are in Him. But let us worship, pouring forth our thanks. For this is the best incense in God's sight when thanks are given to Him by men. (ii, 388 ).
  • Let every nature of the world receive the utterance of my hymn! Open, thou Earth! Let every bolt of the Abyss be drawn for me! Stir not, ye Trees! I am about to hymn creation's Lord, both All and One. Ye Heavens open, and ye Winds stay still; and let God's Deathless Sphere receive my word! For I will sing the praise of Him who founded all; who fixed the Earth, and hung up Heaven, and gave command that Ocean should afford sweet water to the Earth, to both those parts that are inhabited, and those that are not, for the support and use of every man; who made the Fire to shine for gods and men for every act. Let us together all give praise to Him, sublime above the Heavens, of every nature Lord! 'Tis He who is the Eye of Mind; may He accept the praise of these my Powers! Ye Powers that are within me, hymn the One and All, sing with my Will, Powers all that are within me! (The Secret Hymnody)
  • We give Thee grace, Thou highest and most excellent! For by Thy Grace we have received the so great Light of Thy own Gnosis. O holy Name, fit Name to be adored, O Name unique, by which God only must be blest through worship of our Sire, of Thee who deignest to afford to all a Father's piety, and care, and love, and whatsoever virtue is more sweet than these, endowing us with sense, and reason, and intelligence;-with sense that we may feel Thee; with reason that we may track Thee out from appearances of things; with means of recognition that we may joy in knowing Thee. (A Hymn of Grace for Gnosis)
Hermes Trismegistus dressed in Arabic with turban and royal crown in the alchemistical manuscript Florence, Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana, Ashb. 1166 fol. 1v. Heading: Pater Hermes philosophorum (Hermes, father of the philosophers), (circa 1475)

Quotes about HermesEdit

  • Perhaps no character in history has formed the subject of so much and so varied study and speculation as that of Hermes Mercurius Trismegistus and we shall realize the truth of this statement as we individually seek light upon the sublime philosophy rightly attributed to this Avatar. At the very outset, we are confronted with a remarkable dearth of exact information regarding his person and life. A dearth all the more inexplicable when we realize that from the Rosicrucian standpoint Hermes may be justly regarded as one of the greatest of all Messiahs who have incarnated on this sphere.
  • Yet the very mythos, which apparently surrounds his existence, has a special value to occultists, for a similar obscurity and absence of specific data attaches to the characters of Melchisedek, King of Salem, Osiris, Attis, Confucius, and John the Baptist, of all of whom the origin is unknown.
  • There is no portion of the occult teachings possessed by the world which have been so closely guarded as the fragments of the Hermetic Teachings which have come down to us over the tens of centuries which have elapsed since the lifetime of its great founder, Hermes Trismegistus, the "scribe of the gods," who dwelt in old Egypt in the days when the present race of men was in its infancy. Contemporary with Abraham, and, if the legends be true, an instructor of that venerable sage, Hermes was, and is, the Great Central Sun of Occultism, whose rays have served to illumine the countless teachings which have been promulgated since his time. All the fundamental and basic teachings embedded in the esoteric teachings of every race may be traced back to Hermes. Even the most ancient teachings of India undoubtedly have their roots in the original Hermetic Teachings.
  • In ancient Egypt dwelt the great Adepts and Masters who have never been surpassed, and who seldom have been equaled, during the centuries that have taken their processional flight since the days of the Great Hermes. In Egypt was located the Great Lodge of Lodges of the Mystics... among these great Masters of Ancient Egypt there once dwelt one of whom Masters hailed as "The Master of Masters." This man, if "man" indeed he was, dwelt in Egypt in the earliest days. He was known as Hermes Trismegistus. He was the father of the Occult Wisdom; the founder of Astrology; the discoverer of Alchemy... The best authorities regard him as a contemporary of Abraham, and some of the Jewish traditions go so far as to claim that Abraham acquired a portion of his mystic knowledge from Hermes himself.
  • Come unto me, Lord Hermes, even as into women’s wombs [come] babes!
  • Come unto me, Lord Hermes, who dost collect the food of gods and men!
  • Lord Hermes, come to me, and give me grace, [and] food, [and] victory, [and] health and happiness, and cheerful countenance, beauty and powers in sight of all!
  • I know thy Name that shineth forth in heaven; I know thy forms as well; I know thy tree; I know thy wood as well.
  • I know thee, Hermes, who thou art, and whence thou art, and what thy city is.
  • I know thy names in the Egyptian tongue, and thy true name as it is written on the holy tablet in the holy place at Hermes’ city, where thou dost have thy birth.
  • I know thee, Hermes, and thou [knowest] me; [and] I am thou, and thou art I.
  • Come unto me; fulfil all that I crave; be favourable to me together with good fortune and the blessing of the Good.

External linksEdit

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:

Emerald Tablet