Hermeticism is a philosophical, psycho-spiritual, and magical tradition which sprang from that great era of intellectual and spiritual ferment brought on by the pacification of the entire Mediterranean basin by the Roman Empire over two thousand years ago. As a school of thought, Hermeticism draws its name from the Greco-Egyptian mythical figure Hermes Trismegistus – the Thrice-Great Hermes – an archetypal sage, scholar, and magician, the author of every wise book, and the patron saint of spiritual understanding.
Though many suspected he was the Hellenized (that is, anthropomorphized) version of Thoth, the Ibis-headed god of Egyptian ritual magic and scribe-craft, Hermes Trismegistus found himself revered even by the Christian Church Fathers of Late Antiquity. To them he was the only pagan prophet, a contemporary of Moses, and the only being to whom the prisca theologica, the theology given directly by God to primitive man, had been revealed. The Modern Hermeticist, therefore, is a devotee to the Philosopher-King Hermes, an explorer of this world seeking to reconceptualized and revive that prisca theologica toward living a healthy life amid the mass delusion of our modern world. His gospel? “Sit down. Shut up. Get out.”
Where the medieval alchemist worked on the transmutation of base metals by way of laboratory experimentation, the Modern Hermeticist works on the transmutation of his body/mind by way of travel, study, strenuous physical activity, diet, mindfulness and meditation, and experimentation with various material substances. Where the Renaissance astrologer poured over astrological charts and patiently mapped the heavens night after night, the Modern Hermeticist pours over the literature of contemporary theoretical physicians, nutritionists, doctors, astronomers, economists, Big Historians, and hyperspace explorers, mapping out for himself new cosmologies and living rightly in the shadow of their Truth. We are to remember always, however, that ‘the map is not the territory.’