Hermes Trismegistus is the purported author of the Hermetic Corpus, a series of sacred texts that are the basis of Hermeticism.
Hermes Trismegistus, His Second Book Called Asclepius (1657)
- Thou Asclepius, serves instead of a Sun unto me; for God hath brought thee to us, that thou mightest be present with us in thy divine Discourse, being such which may seem worthy to carry a greater lustre of Piety and Religion, than all the works before done of us, or any gifts inspired by divine Inspiration; which if understandingly thou shalt regard, thou shalt be richly filled with all good things throughout thy whole soul: If not withstanding there may be many good things, and not one generall, in which all things are, for the one is perceived to consent and agree with the other; all these things belong to that One, and that One is All; for the one so coheres to the other, that they can not be separated. Chapter I
- Thou Asclepius, the soul of every man is immortal, but not all alike; for there is a difference both in the time and manner.
- How quickly hast thou learned, by the very light of reason; for said I not this, that all things are one, and one all things? that all things were in the Creator, before he created all things; neither unworthily is he said to be All, whole parts are all things; therefore in this whole Discourse have a care to remember him, who being One, is All, even the very Creator of all things; all things descend from Heaven into Erath, into the Water, and into the Air.
- The Fire only, in that it is carried upward, is lively subservient to that which descends; for whatsoever descends from above is generating, and whatsoever ascends upward is nourishing; the earth alone abiding in it self is the receiver of all things, and the restorer of all things she receiveth.
- So the various equality of every shape being differenced, that the species of the qualities, by distance may be known to be infinite, yet so united to this, that the whole may seem one, and from that one, all to have their being; wherefore the whole World are the four Elements of which it is compounded, Fire, Water, Earth, Air; one World, one Soul, one God.
- Now be thou present with me, as much as thou art able I both in mind, and wisdom: for the reason of the Divinity which is to be known by the divine intention of the undemanding, is most like unto a Torrent running with a violent and swift stream from a high Rock, whereby it glides away from the understanding of such, who are either Hearers or Dealers in it.
Emerald Tablet of Hermes
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 to do the miracles of one only thing
- 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 Trismegistus
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.
The Hymns of Hermes (Echoes from the Gnosis)
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).
- A Hymn to All-Father God
WHO, then, may sing Thee praise of Thee, or praise to Thee?
WHITHER, again, am I to turn my eyes to sing Thy praise; above, below, within, without? There is no way, no place is there about Thee, nor any other thing of things that are.
All are in Thee; all are from Thee; O Thou Who givest all and takest naught, for Thou hast all and naught is there Thou hast not.
And WHEN, O Father, shall l hymn Thee? For none can seize Thy hour or time.
For WHAT, again, shall I sing hymn? For things that Thou hast made, or things Thou hast not? For things Thou hast made manifest, or things Thou hast concealed?
How, further, shall I hymn Thee? As being of myself? As having something of mine own? As being other?
For that Thou art whatever I may be; Thou art whatever I may do; Thou art whatever I may speak.
For Thou art all, and there is nothing else which Thou art not.
Thou art all that which doth exist, and Thou art what doth not exist,-Mind when Thou thinkest, and Father when Thou makest, and God when Thou dost energize, and Good and Maker of all things (i, 105).
- it is not quite as Tat supposes. There is no one Song of the Powers written in human speech and kept secret; no manuscript, no oral tradition, of some physically uttered hymn. The Shepherd, Mind of all masterhood, hath not passed on to me more than hath been writ down, for full well did He know that I should of myself be able to learn all, and see all things. He left to me the making of fair things. Wherefore the Powers within me, e'en as they are in all, break into song. The Song can be sung in many modes and many tongues, according to the inspiration of the illumined singer. The man who is reborn becomes a psalmist and a poet, for now is he tuned in harmony with the Great Harmony, and cannot do otherwise than sing God's praises. He becomes a maker of hymns and is no longer a repeater of the hymns of others. But Tat persists; his soul is filled with longing to hear some echo of the Great Song. "Father, I wish to hear; I long to know these things!"
- 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)
Quotes about Hermes
- 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.
- But, adds Hermes, it is not quite as Tat supposes. There is no one Song of the Powers written in human speech and kept secret; no manuscript, no oral tradition, of some physically uttered hymn. The Shepherd, Mind of all masterhood, hath not passed on to me more than hath been writ down, for full well did He know that I should of myself be able to learn all, and see all things. He left to me the making of fair things. Wherefore the Powers within me, e'en as they are in all, break into song. The Song can be sung in many modes and many tongues, according to the inspiration of the illumined singer. The man who is reborn becomes a psalmist and a poet, for now is he tuned in harmony with the Great Harmony, and cannot do otherwise than sing God's praises. He becomes a maker of hymns and is no longer a repeater of the hymns of others.
- 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.
- Introduction The Kybalion (A Study of The Hermetic Philosophy of Ancient Egypt and Greece) by Three Initiates, Yogi Publication Society, Chicago Masonic Temple, Chicago (1912)
- 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.
- The Kybalion (A Study of The Hermetic Philosophy of Ancient Egypt and Greece) by Three Initiates, Yogi Publication Society, Chicago Masonic Temple, Chicago (1912)
- 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.
- Encyclopedic article on Hermes Trismegistus on Wikipedia