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The serpent sheds its skins to become a flaming sword. The sword cuts through heaven and earth, until it becomes a flaming arrow through the bright. The arrow never hits a target; because although innumerable targets arise, none becomes an object that can stop it.
~ Quintessence of Secret Mercury

Another great piece by David Chaim Smith.

Frater 440.’.
93 93/93

Jewish Amulet: ‘the sun will not harm you by day nor the moon by night’

This amulet draws on Jewish verse, traditional art and mysticism. The text ‘the sun will not harm you by day nor the moon by night’ is taken from Psalm 121 (Shir Lamaalot). Inside the amulet are three mythical characters some believe to have protective powers: Sanvai, Sansanvai & Semangelof… These angels first appeared in a Kabbalistic text and have been around for hundreds of years. 

Designed by Meryl Urdang.

anonymous asked:

Hello. I am more of a student of High Magic, but I do have a significant knowledge of witchcraft mostly for green/healing purposes. I often find witches that "borrow" serious aspects of more "serious" paths, from Thelema to the Kabbalah and such, and they are extremely defensive when I try to point out the personal danger of misunderstanding knowledge as well as the disrespect for some of those traditions. Can you discuss that a bit more? Some witches just think their craft is the only right! S2

Forewarning, this is going to be a very long post. 

Many witches aren’t aware of the origins of their own craft. Unfortunately, trying to talk to them about it can make them defensive, as their teachers or sources might have once told them otherwise. 
A lot of the witchcraft that floats around today draws its lineage back to Wicca. The style of magic that they practice, often more ritualized than they know, does not consist merely of witchcraft. This is where people get defensive. 
Witchcraft, as it is known in folklore and history, is a kind of folk magic that often involves malefic intent. Even if one removes malefic intent from this, it is still majorly based in folk magic. 
When Wicca was created, Gardner (with a ton of help from Doreen Valiente) mixed folk magic with high magic. The major source that his high magic comes from is Solomonic in nature. His ritual tools, now known as the tools of Wicca, are interpretations of tools described in the Key of Solomon. A black handled knife, tempered with the blood of a black cat, would be used to draw circles and command spirits. This would change (and become much less macabre) in Wicca in becoming a general knife for magic and non-physical cutting. Though in Wicca, the white handled knife is for cutting, the Solomonic traditions hold it to be the knife to use in all other acts of magic, besides drawing a circle. Wands, swords, cups, and metal symbols are all commonly found in high magical traditions. But Gardner didn’t hide the origins of these things. He openly said that he borrowed from Sorcerers.
Another thing to keep in mind is that Gardner was, as many other high magicians at the time, a Freemason. Though Freemasonry itself has little involvement in magic, the Freemasons themselves often take it upon themselves to study the Geometry of the Universe.  When he left Freemasonry, he took the rituals and symbols with him, and neatly tucked them inside of Wicca. The rituals Gardner described and performed bear an uncanny resemblance to the rituals used by Freemasons. 
These things, over time, were forgotten by many who were drawn into the religion in search of witchcraft. The history behind it was lost, hidden, or forgotten. As time moved on, people left Wicca, but kept the style of magic it taught to them. Eventually, as it grew, more people pulled in more influences that were not originally associated with witches. Eastern spirituality, New Age beliefs, Kabbalistic and Thelemic techniques, etc. Now people are practicing a mixture of magical practices, ranging all from high magic to folk magic, but know it all as witchcraft. This unique combination birthed out of Wicca has come to be labeled Modern Witchcraft. 

As far as traditional witches go, it changes, depending on the tradition or lineage your talking about. Even the kind of ‘traditional’ matters. 
You have all the followers of the Cultus Sabbati, the most popular of traditional witchcrafts, who are essentially witches working high magic (often going by the term ‘sorcerer’). Their witch imagery comes from the same place that all traditional witches pull from, but their ecstatic techniques are often quite their own. What isn’t their own was pulled from old grimoires. 
Generally speaking, most traditional witches interested in working high magic will pull their knowledge from classic grimoires. Agrippa, Goetia, The Key of Solomon, The Grimoirium Verum, The Red Dragon, The Black Pullet, etc. 
Then you’ve got the other half of traditional witches. Their practices are mostly based in folk magic and the witch lore found in the Early Modern Period (mainly from Europe and America). High magic is sometimes included, but the majority of their practices are spells and charms, rather than complex rituals and long evocations. That isn’t to say that they may not dip into ceremonial magic from time to time. Nor does it exclude spirit work. Folk magic still offers a plethora of ways to do spirit work without dipping into high magic. 

Why is there such a sharp division between high magic and folk magic? It’s mainly due to the practitioners of both in the past and their relationship to wealth. High Magicians were the ones employed in the courts of kings, queens, and temples. They worked rituals with gods and spirits and stars to find prophecies, ensure a happy afterlife, appease forces, and generally work in the Universe in favor of the king or queen. Remember John Dee? These high magicians were wealthy, and their art costed a pretty penny. Their grimoires and objects of power were sold at extremely high prices, passed from hand to hand through time. That was though, after they had died. 
Folk magicians worked magic that the everyday person had to worry about. How does one stop and start storms, ensure good health, bring luck, curse enemies, make animals come home, etc? They worked their art to both harm and heal. Charms made of string, glass, bone, wood, parchment, and cloth were used to bring desired effects. Because witches were thought to be of lower wealth, the majority of witch workings described in folklore are of folk magic. Those folk magicians who had access to grimoires (which were very few) sometimes used them in concert with folk magic. 

I noticed your use of the word ‘serious’ when talking about high magic. Be very careful there. It is true that high magic often takes a much more solemn tone, but folk magic is not to be dismissed. The witches in Scotland, described as being able to destroy entire fields of crops with storms, were thought to do so with folk magic. The witches in the Ancient Near East who fed images of their enemies to dogs to do them harm were also practicing folk magic.
“High” and “Low” are not indicators of power. It is the relationship between Heaven and Earth. 

“Much has been said of the loneliness of wisdom, and how much the Truth seeker becomes a pilgrim wandering from star to star. To the ignorant, the wise man is lonely because he abides in distant heights of the mind. But the wise man himself does not feel lonely. Wisdom brings him nearer to life; closer to the heart of the world than the foolish man can ever be. Bookishness may lead to loneliness, and scholarship may end in a battle of beliefs, but the wise man gazing off into space sees not an emptiness, but a space full of life, truth, and law.”

— Manly P. Hall: Sacred Magic of the Qabbalah

Trans Mettaton = 100% canon

BUT!

Trans JEWISH Mettaton = 5000% canon

Mettaton is similar in spelling, cadence, and syllable to “METATRON”, the Kabbalistic angel that sits at the right hand of god in Jewish mysticism. This particular entity is often referred to as the “recording angel”. One of the possible representations of Metatron in Hebrew, when transliterated from ancient Greek is “MTT” (מטט).

Checklist before you study Kabbalah
  • Have you spent years upon years studying Torah?
  • Have you spent years upon years studying the Talmud?
  • Are you religiously Jewish?

If you answered no to any of these question, then you you are not allowed to go into Kabbalistic study.

2

“At the foot of the Tree of Life, we must pay the price demanded for the fruit of our previous Tree of Knowledge. It must be remembered that this was not the Tree of all Knowledge, but only a Knowledge of Good and Evil. In other words Man set himself up as an arbiter of Right and Wrong, blaming God for his own mistakes. This was in fact the worst thing Man did, and indeed it was the Original Sin, because sin had no existence till Man invented it. So Man "Fell", though a fall in any direction is obviously a rise in another one. Our “Fall from Heaven” marked the beginning of our rise through evolution.”

- Qabalah Renovata 

The Ouroboros or Uroboros (/jʊərɵˈbɒrəs/; /ɔːˈrɒbɔrəs/, from the Greek οὐροβόρος ὄφις tail-devouring snake) is an ancient symbol depicting a serpent or dragon eating its own tail.

According to the Teachings of H.P. Blavatsky the Ouroboros symbolizes:

(1) Eternity, such as in Hinduism where the great serpent Ananta-Shesha, who some portray as having seven heads and others as being thousand-headed, represents Eternity and Infinity itself.

(2) The never-ending cycle of evolution within the Eternity

(3) The “circle of necessity” of the Egyptians or the numerous reincarnations of the soul throughout its cyclic evolutionary journey, periodically casting off its temporary body just as the serpent periodically casts off its skin.

(4) Wisdom, the serpent having always been the chief symbol of wisdom in all nations throughout history and revered as such in all the religions and philosophies of the world except theological Christianity. Yet Christ himself is recorded as using the ancient symbolism, which was perfectly known throughout the Middle East, when saying “Be ye wise as serpents and harmless as doves.” In Sanskrit the word “naga,” meaning serpent, is also a synonym for “initiate,” one who has been initiated into the Mysteries of the Esoteric Wisdom.

(5) The circle is also the ancient symbol of perfection.

H.P. Blavatsky: The Secret Doctrine

Spiritual Alchemy :pt 4 Polarity

“The Sages do faithfully teach us
That two strong lions, to wit, male and female,
Lurk in a dark and rugged valley.
These the Master must catch,
Though they are swift and fierce,
And of terrible and savage aspect.
He who, by wisdom and cunning,
Can snare and bind them,
And lead them into the same forest,
Of him it may be said with justice and truth
That he has merited the meed of praise before all others,
And that his wisdom transcends that of the worldly wise.”

This represents the polarity of male and female. The lion was connected to the sun representing the strength and power. Here we see the male and female lion with paws raised. Taking from the Kabbalistic meaning the left side is the feminine aspect, right male aspect. The author is stating that the 2 must become 1, “leading them into the same forest.” It is the union of both energies. This is also true of the previous emblem of the Unicorn and the Stag.

Polarity is all around us. This is a basic foundation of our reality. Hot/cold, up/down, left/right. The Hermetic teachings state that when the Source of All things came into/created this reality, to have the ability to have experiences, the All must split its unity into duality. This is where we get the Holy Trinity. The 1 (Father) splits into the male (Son) and female (Holy Spirit) aspects of energy.

Jesus/Buddah was sent to help us understand how to join these polarities. Through the love of the heart. Not the worship of man made religions or dogma. The path to heaven is living every moment with love. Living the Golden Rule… treat others as you would like to be treated.

I know that I bounced from Alchemy to Hermetic to Kabbalistic teachings. I did this to illustrate that everything is intertwined. Jesus knew the Kabbalah. This was the Law of Abraham that he speaks of. These are the teachings that he spoke of to his disciples. “..for you I give the truth, to the other I give parables…”

The journey along the path of understanding must take all of these truths and meld them with personal experience to see the whole picture that dogma only provides a fraction.

I implore you to seek out the hidden knowledge that is right in front of you.

How else to keep occult knowledge from us…hide it in plain sight.

May the Great Creator guide you.

anonymous asked:

hello! i have a question that i've always been curious about but have never actually found and answer for. do you happen to know where the kabbalah bracelet concept came from? i've seen some people argue it comes from ancient texts and others say teenagers appropriated it from hinduism in the sixties. is there any concrete answer or is it just one of those things we don't know for sure?

Great question! I’m assuming you’re referring to the ‘red thread’ bracelet often sold as a ‘Kabbalistic’ accessory, and famously worn by Madonna.

There’s actually an excellent English academic study on this topic! Essentially, both the colour red and the act of tying a string are long-established customs of folk magic around the world… Scarlet threads appear a number of places in the Torah (e.g. tied to the wrist of Tamar’s son Zerah, and hung from Rahav’s window), where Elly Teman argues that “it is connected to situations of birthright, bloodshed, sacrifice, atonement, redemption, and protection, and it appears in situations where boundaries must be asserted between sacred and profane, forsaken and redeemed, those destined to live and those destined to die, those who belong to the Israelite nation and those who do not.” But nowhere in the Hebrew Bible does wearing a red thread appear as a practice, either for protection or for blessing.

The earliest reference I can find to the specific tradition of wearing a red thread as a Jewish magical practice is in the Tosefta, a collection of midrashim from the time of the Talmud, which lists “tying a ribbon to one’s thigh, or a red thread to one’s finger” as practices considered as pagan idolatry, “darkhei Emori” (T. Shabbat 7.1). Several commentators over subsequent centuries reference this passage — the 16th-century Qabbalist Eliyahu de Vidas, for example, quotes it in his book Reshit Hokhma (and thus seemingly registers his agreement that this practice is forbidden). So while on the one hand, rabbinic prohibitions usually are indications of popular practices, it doesn’t seem to have gained much traction in Qabbalistic circles.

It occasionally appears in traditional 19th- and 20th-century descriptions of amulets for childbirth or to protect newborns (an amusing example is that the Hassidic rabbi Yehudah Yudl Rosenberg mentions it in his 1907 book of segulot and amulets, noting that the Tosefta forbids it, but this is in a list of recommended amulets for children, so it’s a wink-wink sort of situation)… In a Hebrew article on the red thread, R. Levi Freund records a few late 19th- and early 20th-century Hassidic rabbis who approved of or practiced the custom for children in their communities, and I found a few other examples from the early 20th century that reference the use of red thread specifically from Rachel’s Tomb (outside Bethlehem) for protection during childbirth or for a newborn (e.g. the testimony of Sister Selma Mayer here, and Teman’s article also cites a few from the 1930s).

But it seems that wearing a red thread generally was not a common practice, whether in or out of Qabbalistic circles. As Teman demonstrates, it seems to have taken off in post-1967 Israel for a variety of socio-political reasons — this is when it began appearing in Jerusalem (at the Western Wall specifically) and became a general symbol of protection, rather than associated with fertility. From there it spread to Jewish communities in North America and elsewhere, and got picked up by the faux-‘Kabbalah’-peddling folks of Madonna et al.

tl;dr: the red thread is a Jewish folk practice, shared with other world cultures, that began in late antiquity, and was traditionally associated in Jewish magic with fertility and protection of children, but became popular in Israel over the last 50 years as a symbol of blessing. It has no association with Qabbala in the classical sense, nor can it be claimed to have been appropriated from Hinduism.

Hope that helps!

[Kafka] writes that if we call life by its right name, it comes forth, because “that is the essence of magic, which does not create but summons.” This definition agrees with the ancient tradition scrupulously followed by the kabbalists and necromancers according to which magic is essentially a science of secret names. Each thing, each being, has in addition to its manifest name another, hidden name to which it cannot fail to respond. To be a magus means to know and evolve these archi-names. Hence the interminable discussions of names (diabolical or angelic) through which the necromancer ensures his mastery over spiritual powers. For him, the secret name is only the seal of his power of life and death over the creature that bears it.

But according to another, more luminous tradition, the secret name is not so much the cipher of the thing’s subservience to the magus’s speech, as rather, the monograph that sanctions its liberation from language. The secret name was the name by which the creature was called in Eden. When it is pronounced, every manifest name– the entire Babel of names – is shattered That is why, according to this doctrine, magic is a call to happiness. The secret name is the gesture that restores the creature to the unexpressed. In the final instance, magic is not a knowledge of names, but a gesture, a breaking free from the name. That is why a child is never more content than when he invents a secret language. His sadness comes less from ignorance of magic names than from his own inability to free himself from the name that has been imposed on him. No sooner than he does succeed, no sooner does he invent a new name, than he holds in his hands the laissez-passer that grants him happiness. To have a name is to be guilty. And justice, like magic, is nameless. Happy, and without a name, the creature knocks at the gates of the land of the magi, who speak in gestures alone.

— Giorgio Agamben, Magic and Happiness in Profanations 

“Freemasonry is the continuation of very ancient secret societies and brotherhoods. 

The Masonic square was found in many temples, and also appears in the great pyramid. 

It is said that it was used symbolical­ly for squaring conduct, perfecting of the personality. To build on the square was to build for ever, according to the teachings of ancient Egypt; and in the Egyptian Hall of Judge­ment Osiris is seen seated on the square while judging the dead.

Thus in the macrocosm, the square came to symbolize the foundation of eternal law, that reflected in the four bodies of man; and the columns - were the symbols of the aspects of the law: Osiris, Father ; Isis - feminine aspect; and Horus - the as a star of Monad - at the culmination of the ladder.

The two pillars at initiation, there supposed to stand at the entrance to the other world, and the various experiences through which the candidate passed were intended to symbolize those which would come to him when he passed out of this physical world into the next stage. 

In the Lodge room is symbolized a temple of humanity, and as such it may be taken to symbolize a man lying upon his back.

In this position the three great supports correspond to important centers in the human body. : 1.head, two part of the brain; the sun and the moon are the symbols of divine, of origin - East.

All the western nations look to the east as the source of their wisdom. 

3 corresponds to the heart, anciently regarded as the seat of the affections.

Middle column 2 correspond to to the generative organs, symbols of strength and virility, the solar plexus.; reflection of deity in matter.

The three powers of consciousness appearing in man as the spiritual will, the intuitional love and the higher intelligence, which are the root of all human will, love and thought.

The three columns, as a divine aspects, representing wisdom, strength and beauty, were stated to stand round God’s throne, which was the altar itself, which signify love.

Divine Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Ghost, or Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma are one Universal God in whom everything exists, whether it be animate or inanimate, for there is nothing but That.

But in Their separate appearances, the Holy Ghost is the maker or builder of the outer world, - objectivity; and the Son is the life in all beings, the “light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world”- subjectivity.

The pillars also represent once more the two great laws of progress, karma and dharma, the former providing the environment or material world, and the latter the direction of the self within - ” the ladder"; by the union or harmonious working of these two laws a man may attain the stability and strength required for the occult path to become a blazing Star.“

- C. Leadbeater - The Hidden Life In Freemasonry

So, I took a sabbatical and played sonic adventure 2 through again for the first time since becoming attuned to the floews of majjyck, and it turns out that this game is a kabbalistic ascension metaphor and sega might be powerful reality wizards…

but hear me out.

The game makes heavy use of Tarot symbolism, specifically in the destruction of The Moon (representing illusions), and that the last image we see at the end of the game is Shadow, the ultimate lifeform, imposed over The World (representing perfect unity)

The story revolves around the collecting of 7 chaos emeralds, which have a 7 faceted cut.. These seven alchemical stones that turn our heros to gold. the seven tiers of the tree of life leading up to godhood. Even within the story itself, they clearly are metaphysical objects. Characters pull them out of thin air, the master emerald changes sizes, and is always in knuckles’ possession, but not always seen.

And consider–the prayer knuckles recites to turn the tide of the battle:

“The servers are, the seven Chaos. Chaos is power; power is enriched by the heart. The controller is the one that unifies the Chaos. Only you can do this; stop the Chaos Emeralds!”

It’s also worth noting how this relates to Sega, that is to say “SErvice GAmes”, Sega itself are the creators of the games which act as the service, read: mass/group ritual

Chaos is power. The controller is the one that unifies the Chaos. It’s literally chaos magic.

I think that the fact that sonic can use chaos control without a chaos emerald is worth of note. Especially with Shadow telling Sonic that he might actually be the ultimate life form. This implies so much about Sonic as a character in this game’s universe. And just as much, the choice to call one side “Dark” rather than “evil” frames the vying between these two factions in a more nuanced way, especially in that it’s a story where you have to see both sides to understand. And only when you understand boths sides of the story can they converge.

This brings to mind the Kabbalistic Tree of Life, which begins unified at Malkuth, the “Kingdom” (keeping in mind how Sonic begins by promising us he will lead us out of the city/kingdom), but then splits into two branches which cross paths at points before finally reuniting at the top where exists divine wisdom. The Tree’s split paths each are made up of 3 sephirot, which aligns with each side consisting of 3 playable characters. On the left side we have “Understanding”, “Severity”, and “Splendor” and on the right side we have “Wisdom”, “Kindness”, and “Eternity”.

The dichotomy of good/dark, instead of good/evil, brings to mind the notion of the left-handed and right-handed paths of magick and how it helps us to transpose the symbolism of the tree onto the cast of SA2. The Dark, left-hand path: Rouge the bat, who is obsessed with the splendor of gems, which in this universe are directly related to mystic enlightenment, Rogue represents the dogged pursuit of esoteric mysteries driven by their splendor, “Our unconscious desires come from [Eternity] (Knuckles’ Sephirot, which sees gems as metaphysical rather than material) , and are given form in the symbolic realm by [Splendor]”. Dr. Eggman is Severity, whose methods are at all times turned up to 11. He uses the power of knowledge to wield the power of the ARK in order to hold the world in his hands, “[Severity] is ‘the essence of judgment (DIN) and limitation, and corresponds to awe and the element of fire“. Shadow is represented by Understanding, which is the end goal of Shadow’s role, his mind is pure, but he is torn between the will of his creator and the promise he made to Maria, and his enlightenment comes when he grows to understand the world he was asked to protect.

Meanwhile, on the right-hand path we have Knuckles, represented by Eternity which, “communicates the idea of long-suffering, strength, endurance unto completion or patience.” reflecting Knuckles’ role as lone guardian of the Master Emerald. Tails represents Kindness, which needs little explanation. Finally Sonic represents Wisdom, the counterpart of Shadow’s Understanding, seemingly alike, but fundamentally both different yet reflections of one another.

In Escape from the City-the first song of the game from the hero story- the song is sung from sonic’s perspective. Even in the first verse, “Got places to go, gotta follow my rainbow!” 7 colors to a rainbow, heavy symbology of peace. There is even a literal ARC involved. “Trusting in what you can’t see, take my lead; I’ll set you free.” – “find the next stage no matter what that may be” – “trust me and we will escape from the city” – “Take my lead, I’ll set you free.” This makes no sense in relation to the story. Sonic is never helping anyone escape from the city… if you merely look at the plot!

Clearly the meaning lies elsewhere. Sonic is a godhead.  the penultimate step before the divine, still split in twain, guiding the player to enlightenment. 6 points on his literal head, even. The city he is leading us out of is not the one we see in the game, but the city of the mundane plane.

Live and Learn goes further. As the endcap of the series, the lyrics tie this all together.

“Can you feel life, movin’ through your mind?

Ooh, looks like it came back for more!

Yeah, yeah, yeah!

Can you feel time, slippin’ down your spine?

Oooh, you try and try to ignore!”

It starts, describing the pain of the human experience in. Talks about time slipping down your spine, the reverse from the flow up the spine to the divine, but rather back down into the mundane. It’s the creation of the universe, flowing from the top of the tree down.

“But you can hardly swallow

Your fears and pain!

When you can’t help but follow

It puts you right back where you came!”

This condition is unescapable without breaking away from following the past. It even says “when you can’t help”, really highlighting the coercive, entrapping nature of the mundane.

“Live and learn!//Hanging on the edge of tomorrow

Live and learn!//From the works of yesterday-ay

Live and learn!//If you beg or if you borrow

Live and learn!//You may never find your way”

The chorus reminds our tenuous grasp on the future, the ideal tomorrow. Our origins from the established real, and states that finding our way to the tomorrow, away from fears and pain, is impossible when we rely on just what we’re given on face value. Telling us to live and learn, to become the process of changing towards that ideal.

“Can you feel life, tangle you up inside?

Yeah! Now you’re face down on the floor!

But you can’t save your sorrow

You’ve paid in trade!

When you can’t help but follow

It puts you right back where you came!”

The second verse tells us that our pain in the mundane is because there is something we trade away, that because of this trade, we cannot be rid of it. What we get from the mundane world will never be enough to become untangled, un-split.

“There’s a face searching far, so far and wide

There’s a place where you dream you’d never find

Hold on to what if?

Hold on to what if?”

The final verse tells us to hold on to what if, to grasp dearly to our greatest desire to be free from a world of pain and second bests. It tells us that there is somewhere out there so fantastical that we cannot even imagine it as we are now. All of this in the background as our godhead(s) have transcended their previous forms, transformed to gold by the alchemist’s stone. The two twisting halves of the story twine together, like the tree of life.

Hermes Trismegistus (Greek for “Hermes the thrice-greatest” or Mercurius ter Maximus in Latin, is the syncretism of the Greek god Hermes and the Egyptian Thoth. In Hellenistic Egypt, the god Hermes was given as epithet the Greek name of Thoth. He has also been identified with Enoch. Other similar syncretized gods include Serapis and Hermanubis.

Hermes Trismegistus might also be explained in Euhemerist fashion as a man who was the son of the god, and in the Kabbalistic tradition that was inherited by the Renaissance, it could be imagined that such a personage had been contemporary with Moses, communicating to a line of adepts a parallel wisdom. A historian, however, would leave such speculation to the history of alchemy and the nineteenth-century history of occultism.

Both Thoth and Hermes were gods of writing and of magic in their respective cultures. Thus the Greek god of interpretive communication was combined with the Egyptian god of wisdom as a patron of astrology and alchemy. In addition, both gods were psychopomps, guiding souls to the afterlife.

The majority of Greeks, and later Romans, did not accept Hermes Trismegistus in the place of Hermes. The two gods remained distinct from one another.

The Hermetic literature added to the Egyptian concerns with conjuring spirits and animating statues that inform the oldest texts, Hellenistic writings of Greco-Babylonian astrology and the newly developed practice of alchemy. In a parallel tradition, Hermetic philosophy rationalized and systematized religious cult practices and offered the adept a method of personal ascension from the constraints of physical being, which has led to confusion of Hermeticism with Gnosticism, which was developing contemporaneously Dan Merkur, “Stages of Ascension in Hermetic Rebirth”.

As a divine fountain of writing, Hermes Trismegistus was credited with tens of thousands of writings of high standing, reputed to be of immense antiquity. Plato’s Timaeus and Critias state that in the temple of Neith at Sais, there were secret halls containing historical records which had been kept for 9,000 years. Clement of Alexandria was under the impression that the Egyptians had forty-two sacred writings by Hermes, encapsulating all the training of Egyptian priests. Siegfried Morenz has suggested (Egyptian Religion) “The reference to Thoth’s authorship…is based on ancient tradition; the figure forty-two probably stems from the number of Egyptian nomes, and thus conveys the notion of completeness.” The Neo-Platonic writers took up Clement’s “forty-two essential texts”.

The so-called “Hermetic literature”, the Hermetica, is a category of papyri containing spells and induction procedures. In the dialogue called the Asclepius (after the Greek god of healing) the art of imprisoning the souls of demons or of angels in statues with the help of herbs, gems and odors, is described, such that the statue could speak and prophesy. In other papyri, there are other recipes for constructing such images and animating them, such as when images are to be fashioned hollow so as to enclose a magic name inscribed on gold leaf.

During the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, the writings attributed to Hermes Trismegistus known as Hermetica enjoyed great credit and were popular among alchemists. The “hermetic tradition” therefore refers to alchemy, magic, astrology and related subjects. The texts are usually distinguished in two categories the “philosophical” and “technical” hermetica. The former deals mainly with issues of philosophy, and the latter with magic, potions and alchemy. Among other things there are spells to magically protect objects, hence the origin of the term “Hermetically sealed”.

The classical scholar Isaac Casaubon in De Rebus sacris et ecclesiaticis exercitiones XVI (1614) showed, by the character of the Greek, the texts that were traditionally written at the dawn of time, to be more recent: most of the “philosophical” Corpus Hermeticum can be dated to around AD 300. However, flaws in this identification were uncovered by the 17th century scholar Ralph Cudworth, who argued that Casaubon’s allegation of forgery could only be applied to three of the seventeen treatises contained within the Corpus Hermeticum. Moreover, Cudworth noted Casaubon’s failure to acknowledge the codification of these treatises as a late formulation of a pre-existing (possibly oral) tradition. According to Cudworth, the text must be viewed as a terminus ad quem and not a quo.

Modern occultists continue to suggest that some of these texts may be of Pharaonic origin, and that “the forty two essential texts” that contained the core work of his religious beliefs and his life philosophy remain hidden away in a secret library.

“In the ancient initiatory rituals of the Persian, Greek, and Egyptian Mysteries the priests disguised themselves as composite creatures, thereby symbolizing different aspects of human consciousness.”

- Manly P. Hall: The Secret Teachings of All Ages