Tricky History Of The Hermetic Tradition

Tricky History Of The Hermetic Tradition Image
The basis for Hermetics and Hermeticism is the Greek god Hermes, also known by his Roman name Mercury. Hermes is one of the most interesting and diverse of the gods. He is also one of the trickiest and hardest to pin down. That's why I call him the liminal god. Since Hermes is, among many other things, the god of the crossroads -one of his symbols is a rock defining boundaries- liminal is an apt word to describe him.

Hermes is a messenger, a trickster, protector of travelers, a thief, a guide for souls after death and an orator. Many of these roles are related to the theme of boundaries. Connecting the living and the dead is an obvious example of this, as well as his association with travel and delivering messages for the other gods. He is also an expert at persuasion and oration, and his words are not necessarily true in the literal sense. In this regard he could be conceived as the god of lawyers. Or, to go back to the Platonic dialogues, where Socrates differentiates between true philosophy and sophistry, Hermes would seem to epitomize the latter.

What do we make of a god like Hermes, who seems to be morally ambiguous at best? Are tales about him meant to be mere entertainment -the ancient equivalent perhaps of contemporary soap operas, where some of the most interesting characters are borderline villains- or is there also a deeper meaning?

To answer this question, we can explore some of the teachings of the Hermetic Tradition. The very words "Hermetic Tradition" are almost as tricky and nebulous as Hermes himself. Many mystery schools, cults and modern day occult systems have sprung up over the ages claiming to be heirs to the "authentic" hermetic teachings. Some of these claim that their knowledge derives from the *real* Hermes, that is Hermes Trismegistus. This teacher is usually placed somewhere in distant antiquity, usually in Egypt (though sometimes Atlantis). He is sometimes referred to as the teacher of Moses. He is also equated with the Egyptian god Thoth.

In the early Christian era, some writings appeared that put down some Hermetic teachings. In later years, these documents were often said to be much older than they actually were. These writings, which are often referred to as Corpus Hermeticum reflected the syncretistic atmosphere of late antiquity in places like Alexandria. They were influenced by diverse sources, such as Christianity, NeoPlatonism, paganism and Gnosticism.

Over the years, Hermeticism has resurged, most notably in the Renaissance, when alchemy, the tarot and other esoteric teachings became popular. Then again, in the 19th Century, England, and to a lesser extent America, saw another wave of occult teachings surface with movements such as Rosicrucianism and Theosophy. Groups such as The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn popularized (at least to some extent; these were never mass movements) the belief that the Hermetic doctrine was an unbroken line that could be traced back to ancient times.

In the early 20th Century a small book called The Kybalion appeared, authored by someone (or several people) only identified as "Three Initiates." This book summarizes some mystical principles of Hermeticism, such as the most famous maxim of all, As Above, So Below. In this book we can also see an early version of doctrines such as The Law of Attraction.

Now, with the New Age movement, Hermeticism has found a new audience, though today people are more likely to combine it with the teachings of other traditions. In a way, this is fitting, as Hermeticism itself was born out of eclecticism.

If this (admittedly simplistic) summary of Hermeticism sounds a bit casual and perhaps skeptical, this is not entirely unintentional. I believe that there is great wisdom in the Hermetic Tradition, but that to gain the most from it requires a highly skeptical attitude towards all teachers, groups and dogmas. In this regard, we might see Hermeticism as the Taoism of the West. Anyone who has read the Tao Teh Ching probably recalls the first stanza, "The Tao that can be spoken is not the eternal Tao."

The wisdom of Hermeticism requires that you delve more deeply into the ambiguous nature of Hermes himself. You have to be able to come to terms with a world where truth and falsehood are often hopelessly mixed up. One of the "gurus" of the Hermetic Tradition, Aleister Crowley, certainly embodied this idea. With his controversial life and deliberately paradoxical teachings, you cannot take anything he says at face value. Yet you can't dismiss it as nonsense either. One of his books, in fact, was called The Book of Lies.

To borrow once again from the Chinese wisdom of Taoism, consider the Yin-Yang symbol. It is usually portrayed as a circle broken into halves, one black, one white, symbolizing the duality of Yin and Yang (or male and female, positive and negative, etc.). Yet the symbol has another quality; there is usually a black dot in the white half and a white dot in the black half. This is telling us that a thing always contains an element of its opposite. If you read The Kybalion, you will see that this is perfectly consistent with Hermetic Teachings.

There are tricksters in many traditions. The Norse god Loki and the Native American Coyote are two well known examples. These characters play important roles in the myths in which they reside. They seem to suggest that life itself is not always what it seems, and that the belief in purity, such as pure truth or pure falsehood is itself a myth. Hermes, or Mercury, is often associated with both The Fool and The Magician (both tricksters in their own ways) of the tarot.

So if you study the Hermetic Tradition, you need to be both skeptical and open-minded. Much of what you read may not be true at all. For example, there is no evidence that a man named Hermes Trismegistus ever lived. Yet his teachings may contain great wisdom all the same!

For more about the Hermes and the Hermetic Tradition, see Hermetic Wisdom [].

To further explore all things liminal, check out Liminal Worlds.

Source: Christopher

Labels: productions white phosphorus  fulminating first  out aqua  ahmad ibn  theological philosophical  palladium recovery computer  candle magic color meanings  simple love spells  black magic candles  how to use black magic  

Alchemy Scientific Basis

Alchemy Scientific Basis Image
"A version of this article was posted on my old blog. This a rewrite of the same concept rather than a repost."

Modern people often assume that individuals who lived during the Renaissance and Medieval periods were less intelligent than individuals living today. After all, they believed in all sorts of things that science has shown to be false or even ridiculous. Furthermore, some of these beliefs seem to defy the conventional notion of common sense and as a result it is unclear how they ever came about. What we know about evolution, though, tells us that we couldn't have evolved that much over even the last several thousand years. The ancients were just as smart as we are, but they did have a vastly more limited knowledge base in the physical sciences.

In the modern age we have solved the age-old problem of manufacturing gold from other elements. The trick is to use nuclear processes that alter the structure of atoms, and it can be done in nuclear reactors or particle accelerators. It turns out that making gold from lead, as the folklore suggests alchemists did, is not the way to go. Instead, you want to synthesize it from Mercury. As Mercury appears prominently in alchemical writings, I did some research to see if it might actually have been possible for ancient alchemists to have hit upon something similar to the modern method hundreds or even thousands of years ago. My academic background is in psychology rather than physics, so if I'm making some key error here feel free to let me know - but some of the evidence suggests that they might have been able to actually accomplish the synthesis of gold.

The ancients had no particle accelerators or nuclear reactors so some lower-technology method must have been employed. The only real option that a low-technology society would have is the exposure of base material to a highly radioactive element. Uranium wouldn't work because it doesn't give off a high enough level of radiation to come anywhere close to the energy requirements, and elements like plutonium do not occur in nature. A possible viable candidate, though, is radium. It is highly radioactive and can be found in small amounts in pitchblende, an ore that is found in central Europe. While the ancients had no mass spectrometry, radium is obviously different than the surrounding ore. It glows like the magical stones of ancient legends and also gives off heat.

Mercury is the only viable base material. It can be transformed into gold following this equation:

"Mercury 198 + 6.8MeV gamma ray -> 1 neutron + Mercury 197 (half-life 2.7 days -> Gold 197)"

Approximately 10% of naturally occuring mercury is of isotope 198, so it is plentiful enough to be useful. The decay of one atom of radium 226 releases 4.871 MeV of energy, so at least two would have to decay for each transformed atom of Mercury.

So here's the idea. Alchemy talks about the red tincture, the white tincture, and the Philosopher's Stone. We also know that lead was used in the process and at least some alchemists probably did believe that it was the lead which transformed.

The Red Tincture - cinnebar, the ore from which Mercury is produced.

The White Tincture - radium, which in its pure form is white.

The Philosopher's Stone - a smelted piece of radium. Radium's melting point is 1292 degrees Farenheit, well within the temperature range of even a bronze age forge.

The process might work something like this:

* Extract radium from pitchblende. This is the transformation from Nigredo to Albedo. Pitchblende ore is black and the extracted radium is white. The extracted radium is the alchemical "salt" due to its white appearance.

* Using a forge, melt the radium into some sort of mold to create a "stone."

* Extract the mercury from cinnebar. Cinnebar ore is red (Rubedo) and it during the extraction process it separates into Mercury and sulfur, which is yellow (Citrinitas). These are the alchemical sulphur and mercury - by this model the terms are literal.

* Place the liquid mercury into a lead vessel. Lead might have been arrived at simply because it offers some shielding from radioactivity. Needless to say, the entire process outlined here would be very dangerous to perform without modern safety equipment.

* Drop the radium "stone" into the mercury.

* Seal up the vessel and allow the mixture to "incubate" for a period of time. 40 days was commonly recommended, probably enough time for most of the mercury-198 isotope to transform.

* Open the vessel and remove the stone and mercury. The synthesized gold molecules would be deposited at the bottom of the vessel, which may have given rise to the idea that the lead was being transformed.

The stone would be reusable, so once you had accomplished (1) and (2) you wouldn't need to repeat the process. It's half-life would be about 1600 years so a stone could even be passed down from master to student over the course of centuries. You would need more mercury, though, to make more gold.

Whether or not this would work depends on two things. First off, the modern method of extracting radium from pitchblende uses electricity. Is there a lower-technology method that could have been applied in order to extract a small amount of the element? Second of all, would the radium actually produce enough concentrated decay energy to facilitate the transformation? One other issue is that to my knowledge we have never actually found one of these radium stones, which argues against the ancients ever coming up with this technology. However, they may have been regarded as so valuable and secret that they were never just left lying around. It might be interesting to sweep European alchemical labs with a detector and see if any buried sources of radiation can be found.

If I were a graduate student in physics and could get my hands on the materials, I would love to try it out. It could never have been developed to any practical level because the amounts of gold produced are tiny, and to this day it is cheaper to buy gold than it is to make it. Nevertheless, it intrigues me that this process does seem to match more features of the old accounts than you would expect due to chance alone, and the idea that the ancients could have managed a physical transformation is compelling and it would be interesting to know whether or not it is really possible.

Are there any physicists out there who might care to disabuse me of my ignorance? Fire away - I am by no means an expert and would love to hear why it can't work from someone who knows more about radioactive materials than I do.

Also try this free pdf e-books:

Reynold Nicholson - The Mystics Of Islam
Baron Tschoudy - Alchemical Catechism
Herbert Stanley Redgrove - Alchemy Ancient And Modern

Compte Saint Germain

Compte Saint Germain Image
Compte St. Germain (1710­1935) has been variously described as a courtier, adventurer, charlatan, inventor, alchemist, pianist, violinist and amateur composer, but is best known as a recurring figure in the stories of several strands of occultism ­ particularly those connected to Theosophy and the White Eagle Lodge, where he is also referred to as the Master Rakoczi or the Master R and as one of the Masters of the Ancient Wisdom, is credited with near god-like powers and longevity. Some sources write that his name is not familial, but was invented by him as a French version of the Latin Sanctus Germanus, meaning "Holy Brother." He was known as 'Der Wundermann' -- 'The Wonderman'. He was a man whose origin was unknown and who disappeared without leaving a trace.

Since his death, various occult organizations have adopted him as a model figure or even as a powerful deity. In recent years several people have claimed to be the Count of St. Germain. (Note that St Germain was never regarded as a saint by the Roman Catholic Church - the "st." before his name refers to his alleged home).

St. Germain never revealed his actual background and identity, leading to many speculations about him and his origin and ancestry. Some of these include the possibility that he was the son of Francis II Rakoczi, the Prince of Transylvania (who was in exile), or that he was the illegitimate son of Maria Anna of Pfalz-Neuburg, the widow of Charles II of Spain.

While he may have studied in Italy at Siena University, possibly as a protege of Grand Duke Gian Gastone (the last of the Medici line), St. Germain's first chronicled appearances were in London in 1743 and in Edinburgh in 1745, where he was apparently arrested for spying. He was released and soon acquired a reputation as a great violinist. He was ascetic and apparently celibate. During this time he met Jean-Jacques Rousseau.

In 1746 he disappeared. Horace Walpole, who knew him from about 1745 in London, described him thus: "He sings, plays the violin wonderfully, composes, is mad and not very sensible".

He reappeared in Versailles in 1758. He claimed to have had recipes for dyes and acquired quarters in the Chateau de Chambord. During this time in Paris he gave diamonds as gifts and reputedly hinted that he was centuries old. The old portrait of him dates from these years. He was an acquaintance of Louis XV and his mistress Madame de Pompadour. At the time a mime, Gower, began to mimic his mannerism in salons, joking that he would have advised Jesus.

In 1760 he left for England through Holland when the minister of State, Duke of Choiseul, tried to have him arrested.

After that the Count passed through the Netherlands into Russia and apparently was in St Petersburg when the Russian army put Catherine the Great on the throne. Later conspiracy theories credit him for causing it. The next year he turned up in Belgium, bought land and took the name Surmount. He tried to offer his processes ­ treatments of wood, leather, oil paint ­ to the state.

During his negotiations ­ that came to nothing ­ with Belgian minister Karl Cobenzl he hinted at a royal birth and turned iron into something resembling gold. He then disappeared for 11 years.

In 1774 he resurfaced, and apparently tried to present himself to a count in Bavaria as Freiherr Reinhard Gemmingen-Guttenberg, the count Tsarogy.

In 1776 the Count was in Germany, calling himself Count Welldone, and again offered recipes ­ cosmetics, wines, liqueurs, treatments of bone, paper and ivory. He alienated King Frederick's emissaries by his claims of transmutation of gold and reputedly compared himself to God. To Frederick he claimed to have been a Freemason. He settled in a house of Prince Karl of Hesse-Kassel, governor of Schleswig-Holstein and studied herbal remedies and chemistry to give to the poor. To him he claimed he was a Francis Rakoczy II, Prince of Transylvania.

In the Godfre Ray King books, and Law of Life books is said that St. Germain was Joseph the foster-father of Jesus, Merlin the magician of King Arthur's Court, Roger Bacon, Christian Rosenkreuz of Germany, Christopher Columbus, Francis Bacon and Prince Rakoczy of Transylvania, in previous reincarnations. These beliefs about his previous incarnations are also promulgated by the Church Universal and Triumphant, with the addition that he was also incarnated as the ancient Jewish Prophet Samuel, as Saint Alban, and as a high priest of the white magicians in Atlantis. Guy Ballard claimed his book The Magic Presence was channeled to him from St. Germain (The official I Am edition of The Magic Presence, regarded as a sacred scripture, is printed in a violet colored typeface on lavender paper.).

According to Elizabeth Clare Prophet, St. Germain ascended on May 1st 1684. Although Sir Francis Bacon is said to have died in 1626, Prophet claims that the body in the coffin at Sir Francis Bacon's funeral was not his own and that he attended his own funeral. Supposedly, he continued living until his ascension in 1684. Thus, according to Prophet, the historical St. Germain was already an ascended master.In the Church Universal and Triumphant St Germain is regarded as a deity outranked only in importance by Jesus Christ, Gautama Buddha, and Sanat Kumara (the "Lord of the World"), and in that church, he is the deity towards whom the most intense devotion is given. Guy Ballard, the founder of I Am, originated the meditation practice of invoking the "Violet Flame" from St. Germain in order to contact one's "I Am Presence" and revivify one's etheric body. This practice has been continued by the Church Universal and Triumphant.

Conspiracy theorists who believe in NESARA, a purported secret law that the US government denies the existence of (such as controversial evangelist Sherry Shriner), believe that St. Germain is still alive and is actively working with Jesus Christ and with benevolent space aliens to get the law enacted.

Also try this free pdf e-books:

Howard Phillips Lovecraft - The Disinterment
Simon - The Complete Simon Necronomicon
Hellmut Ritter - Picatrix In German

Labels: the enochian tarot  alchemical symbols  alchemical symbol of the red king  apollonius of tyana  john dee  michael maier  alchemical symbol of the red king  black voodoo magic