Fathered by Zeus, king of the gods and Maia the eldest daughter of the seven Pleiades, Hermes was one of the twelve Olympians. Hermes was attributed as being the interpreter, envoy and divine messenger of the gods. Hermes oversaw the process of transition and change. He was able to move freely between the worlds of the mortals and the divine, states that appear homologous to both consciousness and the unconscious. Hermes was a psychopomp, a spiritual guide that supposedly provided safe passage to the unknown, i.e. the underworld. Hermes was also the patron of invention, creativity, ingenuity and the god of prophetic dreams.
“What is a god? A god is a personification of a motivating power of a value system that functions in human life and in the universe.”
Qualities attributed to Hermes were as a translator and intermediary between the fields of the conscious and the unconscious. Some poets and authors considered his powers to be tricky, cunning, seeking and deceiving. He also shares the legacy of being the inventor of physical fire, which could be interpreted as a raising of awareness through friction, i.e. situations metaphorically created between contrasting qualities of both like and unlike kind.
In the Homeric hymn, "after he had fed the loud-bellowing cattle... he gathered much wood and sought the craft of fire. He also invented written music and many other things. He took a splendid laurel branch, gripped it in his palm, and twirled it in pomegranate wood" (lines 105, 108–10)
Hermes symbolizes the power of transitions and boundaries while also being the patron of athletes, literature and oratory. Hermes also symbolized not only the attributes of physical speed, but also the quick wittedness of mind.
Symbolically the power prescribed to Hermes describes the Life source that finds refuge in every human heart, the silent listener and communicator, i.e. the recognizer of the voice cognizant of the inner awareness of all things. Energy patterns, characteristic of the quantum field/s that form about the strands of DNA, are broadcast as patterns of light and information. Each gesture is the reflection of the imagination at work, an awareness seeking equilibrium that only the intimate attentiveness to one’s own inner utterances are capable of achieving. Design gives energy to ideas that are realized through the swift, timeless and Hermetic power of listening to one’s own veiled sense of the moment.
“Every myth is psychologically symbolic. Its narratives and images are to be read, therefore, not literally, but as metaphors.”
Hermes bridges the realities of humanity with that of the gods through the power of myth, a strategically designed process of learning through a mix of both the imagination and experience. Communications between divergent interests are made viable through experiences of a visceral nature, i.e. situations that allow for and often require, creative thinking and liberation. This methodology presents a special kind of access to knowledge that can only be facilitated by a personal interpretation of symbol and metaphor.
“Mythology is composed by poets out of their insights and realizations. Mythologies are not invented; they are found. You can no more tell us what your dream is going to be tonight than we can invent a myth. Myths come from the mystical region of essential experience.”
Hermes’ power rests with establishing, rejuvenating and maintaining a constant flow of energy, light and information between symbolic events and experiences that occur at all levels, dimensions and magnitudes of consciousness. Hermes attempts to inspire humanity by expanding awareness through symbolic means and metaphor thereby allowing for a greater sense of being and alignment with Life's unknown source. Hermes represents the process that intuitively nurtures and guides our awareness into an active transition between the realms of the known and the unknown.
Campbell, Joseph, “The Hero with a Thousand Faces”, Bollingen Series XVII, Princeton University Press, Princeton, N.J. 1949.
Schwab, Gustav, “Gods & Heroes of Ancient Greece”, Random House, New York, N.Y. 1974.
Cotterell, Arthur, “The Encyclopedia or Mythology”, Hermes House, London, 2005.
Edited: 09.26.2012, 10.23.12, 04.05.2017
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