Was Hermes Trismegistus a living person or an archetype? Evidence points to an amalgamation of the Greek messenger God Hermes and the Egyptian scribe God Thoth. Trismegistus means ‘Thrice great’.

Many theories exists to how Hermes was tagged with this, including an epithet used for Thoth, ‘Greatest and Great God, Great Thoth’.

A mosaic depiction of Hermes Trismegistus is found on the floor of Siena Cathedral in Italy, which was completed in the Early 1200’s. It is labeled “Hermes Mercurius Trismegistus contemporary of Moses.”


Writings attributed to Hermes Trismegistus include The Emerald Tablet and the Corpus Hermeticum. Although the Emerald Tablet, bearing the noble phrase ‘As Above, So Below’  is lost to antiquity, the Corpus Hermeticum is with us still.

While these writings have been dated to the 2nd and 3rd centuries (a copy was found in the Nag Hammadi Library), copies appeared and were translated into Latin during the early Renaissance in Italy and went on to influence the Rosicrucian Enlightenment in Europe. The continued existence of these writings, and the knowledge, survived the European Inquisitions and witch hunts in a variety of ways. Many scholars found themselves protected by their wealth and education. Texts were transcribed with symbols and secret societies were formed.

Now we come to the present time, where we have the foundation of today’s practices of the magical arts.  From the most advanced and secretive Hermetic orders, to the act of  opening the morning paper to read your horoscope, or simply naming the stars in the night sky, no matter your religious persuasion, Western society is ingrained with the influence of the imagined Hermes Trismegistus.

Blessed Be.

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