Hermes & Morals, Good Night & Good Luck

I’ve learned from Hermes a set of morals. They are not good ethical practices. They are things to do and to avoid to become more akin to Hermes. In cultures world over, it is common for devotees of a Deity to take on pre- and pro-scriptions in the form of deeply committed promises. We know them as vows and oaths, some call them obligations. Keeping them accrues power, breaking them loses it… [Read more…]

Hermes, Ethics, and a dash of Thelema

Ethics are a contemporary question. How to build a system of ethics suitable for a polytheist Pagan? For me, the ethical center of my life is Thelema. But as a free-range thelemite, so to speak, I interpret Thelema in an idiosyncratic manner. First, I’m only interested in the ‘Class A’ documents and generally leave Crowley [Read More…]

Working Polytheism Part 2: Means

Polytheism is not a mere belief. To be real, it must be practiced, and then we meet the Gods face to face… [Read more…]

Working Polytheism

Polytheism is what happens when you know more than one God, or at least that’s how it happened to me. When I began meeting contemporary Pagans in the 1980s, I again found some people who took these many gods seriously. In the Fall of 1993 having just graduated seminary, I published this article in Gnosis magazine about the practical theology of the Many Gods. With some updates now 23 years later, I commend it to your attention… [Read more…]

Hermes and the Spirits

It the world alive? For most of the ancient world, the world itself was alive and everything in it was alive too, having a spirit with personality and agency. Hermes, as Herald, Guide of Souls, and consummate magic wielder is a friend to the spirits. But in the Pagan/Polytheist community there seems to be something of an argument about the nature, place, and character of Spirits… [Read more…]

Hermes in Service

As our community matures, we are inevitably producing priesthoods and with that, laity. This happens because commitment and investment are not the same for all individuals. Some can, even must, pour their lives into their dedication to the Gods or to a particular Deity or set of Deities. Others, even finding a divine relationship congenial or compelling, may not be called into deeper engagement for temperament, path, or resources. Just some make a life of it, and with that comes the knowledge, skills and experience that demands so much more while giving so deeply. [Read more…]

Hermes at War

Conflict is inevitable. How we deal with it is one of the greatest measures of our character and integrity. Hermes in myth, and experience, is often in the center of conflict and challenge yet is not known for battle. But the Guide of Souls is a sure hand in times of struggle… [Read more…]

Hermes in Action: Professional Life

A God is as a God does, and Hermes is no exception. How this applies to the Deity’s priest-folk can be subtle or evident, intimate or public. For those deeply dedicated to a Deity, this is likely to manifest in their professional life; it certainly did in mine… [Read more…]

The Mind of the God: the Power of the Question

To know Hermes is a lifelong task. Bounded approaches provide entry points and structures with which to grasp the fundamentally ineffable. Body, Speech, and Mind can be seen as the entry points. Thus far we have seen the form of Hermes’ body and explored the character of His speech. Now, we turn to His mind and examine one exemplary quality of that vastness: the Power of the Question. [Read more…]

The Speech of the God and The Value of Deliberation

Today our commentarial tradition is fast and furious. If a weakness can be seen in any statement, it is instantly pounced upon and used to flog the knowledge, the intelligence, or even the character, of the author. What a long way we have come… [Read more…]