Theosofy

It is said of Hermes

It is said of Hermes

THUNDER rolled, lightning flashed, the veil of the Temple was rent from top to bottom.
The venerable initiator, in his robes of blue and gold, slowly raised his jeweled wand and
pointed with it into the darkness revealed by the tearing of the silken curtain: “Behold the
Light of Egypt! ” The candidate, in his plain white robe, gazed into the utter blackness
framed by the two great Lotus-headed columns between which the veil had hung. As he
watched, a luminous haze distributed itself throughout the atmosphere until the air was a
mass of shining particles. The face of the neophyte was illumined by the soft glow as he
scanned the shimmering cloud for some tangible object. The initiator spoke again: “This
Light which ye behold is the secret luminance of the Mysteries. Whence it comes none
knoweth, save the ‘Master of the Light.’ Behold Him!” Suddenly, through the gleaming
mist a figure appeared, surrounded by a flickering greenish sheen. The initiator lowered
his wand and, bowing his head, placed one hand edgewise against his breast in humble
salutation. The neophyte stepped back in awe, partly blinded by the glory of the revealed
figure. Gaining courage, the youth gazed again at the Divine One. The Form before him
was considerably larger than that of a mortal man. The body seemed partly transparent
so that the heart and brain could be seen pulsating and radiant. As the candidate
watched, the heart changed into an ibis, and the brain into a flashing emerald. In Its
hand this mysterious Being bore a winged rod, entwined with serpents. The aged
initiator, raising his wand, cried out in a loud voice: “All hail Thee, Thoth Hermes,
Thrice Greatest; all hail Thee, Prince of Men; all hail Thee who standeth upon the head
of Typhon!” At the same instant a lurid writhing dragon appeared–a hideous monster,
part serpent, part crocodile, and part hog. From its mouth and nostrils poured sheets of
flame and horrible sounds echoed through the vaulted chambers. Suddenly Hermes
struck the advancing reptile with the serpent-wound staff and with snarling cry the
dragon fell over upon its side, while the flames about it slowly died away. Hermes placed
His foot upon the skull of the vanquished Typhon. The next instant, with a blaze of
unbearable glory that sent the neophyte staggering backward against a pillar, the
immortal Hermes, followed by streamers of greenish mist, passed through the chamber
and faded into nothingness.

In his Biographia Antiqua, Francis Barrett says of Hermes: “* * * if God ever appeared in
man, he appeared in him, as is evident both from his books and his Pymander; in which
works he has communicated the sum of the Abyss, and the divine knowledge to all
posterity; by which he has demonstrated himself to have been not only an inspired divine,
but also a deep philosopher, obtaining his wisdom from God and heavenly things, and not
from man.”

His transcendent learning caused Hermes to be identified with many of the early sages
and prophets. In his Ancient Mythology, Bryant writes: “I have mentioned that Cadmus
was the same as the Egyptian Thoth; and it is manifest from his being Hermes, and from
the invention of letters being attributed to him. ” (In the chapter on the theory of
Pythagorean Mathematics will be found the table of the original Cadmean letters.)
Investigators believe that it was Hermes who was known to the Jews as “Enoch,” called
by Kenealy the “Second Messenger of God.” Hermes was accepted into the mythology of
the Greeks, later becoming the Mercury of the Latins. He was revered through the form
of the planet Mercury because this body is nearest to the sun: Hermes of all creatures was
nearest to God, and became known as the Messenger of the Gods.

In the Egyptian drawings of him, Thoth carries a waxen writing tablet and serves as the
recorder during the weighing of the souls of the dead in the judgment Hall of Osiris–a
ritual of great significance. Hermes is of first importance to Masonic scholars, because he
was the author of the Masonic initiatory rituals, which were borrowed from the Mysteries
established by Hermes. Nearly all of the Masonic symbols are Hermetic in character.
Pythagoras studied mathematics with the Egyptians and from them gained his knowledge
of the symbolic geometric solids. Hermes is also revered for his reformation of the
calendar system. He increased the year from 360 to 365 days, thus establishing a
precedent which still prevails. The appellation “Thrice Greatest” was given to Hermes
because he was considered the greatest of all philosophers, the greatest of all priests, and
the greatest of all kings. It is worthy of note that the last poem of America’s beloved poet,
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, was a lyric ode to Hermes.

From: Secret teachings of all ages – Manly P. Hall

 

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