Category Archives: hermetism

Preface from the book ‘The way of Hermes’ by Gilles Quispel

In the year 1460 a monk brought a Greek manuscript to Florence. The monk, Leonardeo of Pistoia , was one of the agents that the city ruler, Cosimo de’ Medici, had sent to scour Europe’s monasteries for gotten writings of the ancients, and what he now brought his patron was a codex containing fourteen treatesis attributed to Hermes Trismegistus, an ancient Egyptian sage. This work’s arrival caused a great stir, because Hermes, identified with the Ibis god Thoth, was held to be older than Plato and Moses and the underlying inspiration of all philosophy and religion that followed him. Cosimo immediately instructed his scholar Marsilio Ficino to suspend his project of translating the dialogues of the divine Plato so that he might undertake a traqnslation of this even more significant work.  Continue reading

Long quotations from ‘The admonition of the soul’ by Hermes Trismegistus’

You ought, o soul, to get sure knowledge
of your own being, and of its forms and aspects.
Do not think that any one of the things
of which you must seek to get knowledge
is outside of you;
no, all things that you ought to get knowledge of
are in your possession, and within you.
Beware then of being led into error
by seeking elsewhere the things which are in your possession.
Many men forget where these things are to be found,
and look for them outside themselves,
and are thereby led into error,
but afterwards remember, and become aware that these things are within them, and not outside of them.
The things of which you have to get knowledge exist Continue reading

The brazen and the fiery serpents of the staff of Mercury or the Caduceus replaced by the golden serpents of the tree of life

Each of you carries a serpent within your being. This serpent coils in and around your tree of life. The head of the beast is clearly visible to the ordinary physical vision. In the Holy Language the serpent is designated symbolically as ‘the brazen serpent’. It is your soul being, the radiation of your consciousness, the soul-potential filling your entire serpent-fire system, that is your head-spinal system. It is this brazen serpent that creeps over the earth with a deadly venom in its head.

Why is it referred to as a brazen serpent? The hebrew word ‘copper’ may also be translated as ‘serpent’. Then we must realize that copper — ergo the serpent — is a female principle. The Venus metal is copper. The generating principle, the female principle, lies in the soul, in the serpent-fire potential.

But the creative principle, the male soul-aspect lies in the same system. In every soul system, in every serpent-fire system there are two aspects, the brazen serpent and the fiery serpent, or respectively the female and the male aspect within us. Continue reading