October 2020 Hiatus

I guess that if I need a break, then I need one, and boy howdy do I need one, and a more dedicated break than what I gave myself last time.

It’s been a crazy time, as y’all know, for one reason or another, and I need a bit of a break.  I already pulled a bit of a break earlier this year to focus on my Salem presentation, which went great, but this time, I need some time to just do nothing at all except relax and enjoy myself.  Between a busy year of writing, translating, teaching, the Reign of the Lady of Crowns, taking an online Sahidic Coptic course (and several other courses, including Jack Grayle’s excellent PGM Praxis course to buff out my own stuff), and just the usual day-to-day stuff of full-time software engineering to pay the bills and household management to make the most out of it all, I’m gonna be taking a bit of a vacation for the month of October for my birthday.  I won’t be taking on any client work or consultations during this time, and though I’ll still be replying to emails for access to the Red Work Course and Geomancy in the Reign of the Lady of Crowns courses I administer as well as PayPal purchases directly through my website for my ebooks, but any requests for readings, consultations, geomancy chart reviews, coaching sessions, or the like will be on hold until after November gets here, at which point I’ll pick up on those emails and requests again.  My Etsy page also has an announcement to the same effect; although all ebooks and divination tickets through Etsy will be sent automatically to your account/email as normal, I won’t get back to requests until after my vacation.  So, if you request a reading or another service between now and then, then I humbly ask for and will sincerely appreciate your patience until I get back to such work.  Although I’ll still be semi-available by email, those who are a member of my Red Work Course or Geomancy in the Lady of Crowns class mailing lists are encouraged, when and as possible, to ask questions and discussion topics to those forums rather than to me directly in case a more urgent answer is desired from your colleagues.  If there are any big updates or newsworthy things that come up for this blog between now and then, you can be sure I’ll post them, but otherwise, I plan on giving my (excellent) keyboard a bit of a break from writing, editing, teaching, and consulting, and instead will just relax for a well-deserved staycation of my own.

We’ll pick up again soon after I’ve caught up on naps and enjoying myself.  Taking time to rest and recuperate, after all, is as much a sacrament as anything else, and even Hermēs Trismegistos in SH V.4—7 notes that sleep is a blessed thing that keeps us fair, fit, and fine (Litwa’s translation):

Since our bodies are weak, they are in need of much assistance. To be sure, how would the connecting link of our bodies resist even occasional harm if it did not maintain the ingestion of foodstuffs made from the same elements which daily reinforce our bodies? Indeed, an influx of earth, water, fire, and air flows into us which renews our bodies and holds together this tent. Consequently, in the face of commotions, we are incredibly frail and cannot bear them for a single day.

You well know, my child, that if we did not rest our bodies at night, we could not withstand a single day. For this reason, the good Craftsman who foreknows all things, created sleep for the continuance of living creatures, which is the greatest cessation from the fatigue of motion. Moreover, he ordered an equal measure of time for each state—or rather, he allotted more time to repose.

Understand, my child, the magnificent activity of sleep; it is opposed to the activity of the soul, but not inferior to it. Just as the soul is an activity of motion, in the same way, too, bodies cannot live without sleep; for there is a relaxing and loosening of the connected limbs. Sleep operates within, making ingested matter into bodies, distributing the proper elements to each bodily part: water to blood, earth to bones and marrow, air to nerves and veins, and fire to vision. Accordingly, the body intensely enjoys sleep since it activates this pleasure of the body’s reconstitution.

With that, I hope you all have a blessed October in every which way, whether you have a birthday this month or not (but especially if you do, too)!

The Mixing-Bowl of Mind

The usual way I’ve seen to refer to a particular book and section of the Corpus Hermeticum is CH A.B, with “A” being the book number in Roman numerals and B being a section of that book in Arabic numerals (such that CH X.15 is section 15 of the tenth book of the Corpus Hermeticum).  It’s a system I like using to cite particular extracts of Hermetic doctrine from the Corpus Hermeticum as well as the Stobaean Fragments (SH), the Definitions of Hermēs to Asclepius (DH), and other Hermetic texts, but I should also note that a number of the various books of the Corpus Hermeticum sometimes have a title of their own.  CH I, for instance, is often called “Poimandrēs” (which is why Marsilio Ficino entitled his entire translation of the Corpus Hermeticum “The Divine Pymander”, though that’s like calling the entirety of the Old Testament “The Book of Geneisis”), CH X is called “The Key”, CH III is called “The Sacred Sermon”, and so forth.

CH IV, specifically, is called “The Mixing-Bowl”.  It’s also sometimes called just “(A Discourse of) Hermēs to Tat” or “The Monad”,  with the former indicating that this is a dialogue between Hermēs and Tat and the latter bringing up the discussion of the Monad at the end of the book, but it gets the name “Mixing-Bowl” from the dialogue in CH IV.3—6 in a discussion about Mind (Νους) (Copenhaver translation, here and below):

“God shared reason among all people, O Tat, but not mind, though he begrudged it to none. Grudging envy comes not from on high; it forms below in the souls of people who do not possess mind.”

“For what reason, then, did god not share mind with all of them, my father?”

“He wanted it put between souls, my child, as a prize for them to contest.”

“And where did he put it?”

“He filled a great mixing bowl with it and sent it below, appointing a herald whom he commanded to make the following proclamation to human hearts: ‘Immerse yourself in the mixing bowl if your heart has the strength, if it believes you will rise up again to the one who sent the mixing bowl below, if it recognizes the purpose of your coming to be.’  All those who heeded the proclamation and immersed themselves in mind participated in knowledge and became perfect people because they received mind.

“But those who missed the point of the proclamation are people of reason because they did not receive (the gift of) mind as well and do not know the purpose or the agents of their coming to be.  These people have sensations much like those of unreasoning animals, and, since their temperament is willful and angry, they feel no awe of things that deserve to be admired; they divert their attention to the pleasures and appetites of their bodies; and they believe that mankind came to be for such purposes.

“But those who participate in the gift that comes from god, O Tat, are immortal rather than mortal if one compares their deeds, for in a mind of their own they have comprehended all—things on earth, things in heaven and even what lies beyond heaven. Having raised themselves so far, they have seen the good and, having seen it, they have come to regard the wasting of time here below as a calamity. They have scorned every corporeal and incorporeal thing, and they hasten toward the one and only.

“This, Tat, is the way to learn about mind, to {resolve perplexities} in divinity and to understand god. For the mixing bowl is divine.”

This is an interesting metaphor Hermēs decided to use, and it’s one that’s given me some pause for thought.  Some scholars interpret this notion of “immersing yourself in the mixing-bowl of Mind” to be evidence of a ritual baptism practiced among the classical Hermeticists, but not everyone buys it.  I like the idea of it, but it’s not a lot of evidence to go on to indicate that baptism was actually a thing for the followers of Hermēs.  One might draw parallels to early forms of Christian baptism or Jewish tvilah upon which Christian baptism was based which, given the influence Judaism had on the early development of Hermeticism, isn’t too far a stretch, but there’s little else to go on besides this reference to immersion.  Neither CH XIII, which is Tat’s rebirth and initiation into the Hymns of Silence, nor “Discourse on the Eighth and Ninth”, which is another story of Tat’s initiation and elevation into the higher spheres of the cosmos, bring up a notion of baptism or ritual immersion, and those are our strongest texts indicating such ritual works performed by the early Hermeticists from the Hermetic corpora themselves.  It’s an idea I don’t not like, at any rate, though one with not a lot of firm foundation to stand upon.

What strikes me more oddly is the use of the word “mixing-bowl” (κρατήρ).  There were obviously words for “basins” or “fonts” or “pools” or “baths” in Koiné Greek, but this text specifically uses “mixing-bowl”.  It’s not like a mixing bowl one might use for cooking, though; a kratēr was a specific type of large vessel used in Greek sumposia for mixing wine that was to be served.  A Greek sumposion (or symposium, as we’d better know it in its Latin form) was a kind of formal drinking party and a key institution to Hellenic civilization for men, sometimes to revel, sometimes to discuss and debate, sometimes to initiate boys into adulthood.  Sometimes there was entertainment, sometimes philosophy, sometimes orgiastic mystery rites reserved for initiates, but every symposium had two things in common: a kratēr—the mixing-bowl in question—and a symposiarch who oversaw its use.  The symposiarch, the “leader of the symposium”, was basically the master of ceremonies and director of the symposium, ordaining what was to be the order of the event, what sorts of activities were to be engaged in, and (most importantly) decided how strong the wine was to be.  This last aspect was the crucial and fundamental job of the symposiarch.

Wine back in ancient times was most likely different from our times, and was probably much stronger (though not necessarily fortified), so while we nowadays would just drink wine straight from the bottle, drinking undiluted wine back in ancient times was seen as a massive error in behavior, and something that was suited only for barbarians and those who were drunkards to the point of insanity.  Wine was to be diluted to an acceptable strength, and determining the proper dilution for a symposium was the symposiarch’s job.  For a more relaxed, philosophical time, the wine would be diluted to a 1:3 ratio of wine to water; for a more pleasurable and entertaining time, 1:2; for the rare orgiastic rites and revelries, 1:1.  With the wine diluted to the appropriate level, the symposiarch would send his servants or slaves around with pitchers filled from the kratēr to serve the attendees.  Wine was not drunk from the kratēr directly, because this is a pretty massive vessel we’re talking about, like a mega-punchbowl ranging from 14″ to 22″ in height, and wouldn’t have been able to easily be transported when full (if at all).  It’s this notion of the kratēr that Dionysos brings up regarding how much is proper to drink at such events from Eubulos’ Semēlē:

For sensible men I prepare only three kratērs: one for health which they drink first, the second for love and pleasure, and the third for sleep. After the third one is drained, wise men go home. The fourth kratēr is not mine any more—it belongs to bad behavior; the fifth is for shouting; the sixth is for rudeness and insults; the seventh is for fights; the eighth is for breaking the furniture; the ninth is for depression; the tenth is for madness and unconsciousness.

This instrument of symposia, the kratēr, is what Hermēs describes as God having filled with Mind for people.  The use of the image of the kratēr should not be overlooked or misconstrued as just a regular bowl or basin, for which other words exist, especially for the purposes of ablution or purification (like the word χερνιβεῖον khernibeîon used for the usual lustral water outside temples, aka khernips).  This isn’t a mere matter of purification going on here; something else is happening in this passage Hermēs is trying to describe.

Let’s back up fist a bit and consider the notion of the symposium again.  CH IV, like all of the Corpus Hermeticum, is a philosophical text, so it assumes a philosophical outlook, context, set, and setting; a symposium of the Corpus Hermeticum would be more like Plato’s Symposium rather than just a simple college party, especially when there’s plenty of negative references to and metaphors of (common especially in gnostic texts and traditions) people being drunk and sick from inebriation (like from CH VII.1, which I discussed not too long ago).  A Hermetic symposium would be one where the symposiarch would likely dilute the wine rather well, and would gather people together for an intellectual time rather than one for the sake of mere entertainment.  But there are always those who go out to any event for the sake of having fun and being social, regardless of what the wishes of the host are; some people host parties for a purpose, but some people attend such parties for the sake of partying regardless of the purpose itself, like that one uncle who shows up to their nephew’s third birthday party with a keg of beer.  Now, bearing that notion in mind, consider what Hermēs says about people of Mind versus people of Reason:

“But those who missed the point of the proclamation are people of reason because they did not receive (the gift of) mind as well and do not know the purpose or the agents of their coming to be.  These people have sensations much like those of unreasoning animals, and, since their temperament is willful and angry, they feel no awe of things that deserve to be admired; they divert their attention to the pleasures and appetites of their bodies; and they believe that mankind came to be for such purposes…”

At a Hermetic symposium, the people of Reason are like those who show up just to drink and have fun, who ignore the symposiarch’s wishes for a philosophical time to use the wine provided for conversation (“they feel no awe of things that deserve to be admired”) and instead just drink the wine to drink wine and get drunk; they “divert their attention to the pleasures and appetites of their bodies”, and in believing “that mankind came to be for such purposes”, it’s like seeing any such social event as a party to which they go just for the sake of partying.  It’s the people of Mind, rather, who participate in the symposium for the proper ends and using the means provided properly instead of improperly; they “participated in knowledge” because they “received mind”.  Mind is the drink provided, and those who use Mind appropriately and let it absorb into their being instead of letting it simply pass through them in the mouth and out the urethra is what enables them to become “perfect people”.

But Mind isn’t just the thing being drunk; no, God set the kratēr of Mind for those who could to immerse themselves within it.  God has provided Mind to fill the kratēr, but a kratēr is used to mix things together, not just to have something there as it is.  While some would interpret this immersion in the kratēr of Mind to be more like a baptism, in which one is purified and from which one is reborn, the more obvious idea here is staring at us in the face: we’re the things to be mixed with Mind.  God is the symposiarch, and we are that which is mixed with Mind.  Earlier, I might have said that Mind would be wine, but…thinking about it, I think that we ourselves are the wine, and Mind is the water that dilutes it.  After all, drinking unmixed wine, or ἄκρατος akratos, was considered to be (and to lead to) insanity.  Is that not a perfect metaphor for what Hermēs is trying to save us from?  In CH VII.1, he calls out to people to save them (my emphasis, Greek from Festugière/Nock given first to show the original wording):

Ποῖ φέρεσθε, ὧ ἄνθρωποι, μεθύοντεσ, τὸν τῆς ἀγνωσίας ἄκρατον λόγον ἐκπιόντες, δ’ν οὐδὲ φέρειν δύνασθε, ἀλλ’ ἤδη αὐτὸν καὶ ἐμεῖτε;

Where are you heading in your drunkenness, you people? Have you swallowed the doctrine of ignorance undiluted, vomiting it up already because you cannot hold it? Stop and sober yourselves up!

And in CH I.27—29, when Hermēs begins his kergyma (“you who have surrendered yourselves to drunkenness and sleep and ignorance of god, make yourselves sober and end your drunken sickness…”) and teaching to the people after being told by Poimandrēs to guide and save the human race (emphasis mine):

Some of them, who had surrendered themselves to the way of death, resumed their mocking and withdrew, while those who desired to be taught cast themselves at my feet. Having made them rise, I became guide to my race, teaching them the words—how to be saved and in what manner—and I sowed the words of wisdom among them, and they were nourished from the ambrosial water.

The mixing-bowl is not for the purpose of diluting Mind, but for the purpose of diluting us with Mind.  We are the unmixed wine of insanity and ignorance, that dark liquid that cannot be seen through and which keeps one drunk in ignorance and insanity; as CH I.20 would put it, this is “the hateful darkness, from which comes the watery nature, from which the body was constituted in the sensible cosmos, from which Death drinks”.  And it is God who wishes for us to be diluted and elevated with the “ambrosial water” of everlasting and eternal life, provided by Mind and knowledge.  In diluting wine, the wine becomes palatable and healthful, and impurities in the wine are washed away so that the goodness of wine shows through.  This is why not everyone’s “heart has the strength”, why not everyone “believes that you will rise up again”; those who are mired in their own ignorance do not wish to be diluted, do not wished to be washed out, just as a party-goer deep in their cups will forego a refreshing glass of water for another glass of booze to keep the buzz going, but those who see and recognize the ignorance and darkness in them and wish to be made into a clearer and better form will admit the necessity of diluting the wine with water.

With us being the wine to be diluted, so long as we enter into the mixing-bowl of God, God will dilute us with the water of Mind as we need to be.  The only thing we really lose in the process is our ignorance and insanity; by us (or, perhaps better, our souls) being mixed with Mind, we cease becoming insane and causing insanity, and instead “participate in knowledge” (γνώσεωςi.e. gnōsis).  Those who undergo this mixing and dilution become “perfect people”, and in so doing, we become the drink of life itself, and so participate in ourselves with ourselves.  This is, perhaps, a difficult thing to explain, and maybe it’s just the metaphor of the mixing-bowl and symposium breaking down here, but I am reminded of the exclamation of Tat in the process of his rebirth from CH XIII.11—13:

Since god has made me tranquil, father, I no longer picture things with the sight of my eyes but with the mental energy that comes through the powers. I am in heaven, in earth, in water, in air; I am in animals and in plants; in the womb, before the womb, after the womb; everywhere…

Father, I see the universe and I see myself in mind.

Tat, in the process of his rebirth, no longer sees himself as merely apart from or within the cosmos; he witness himself as the cosmos and within it.  More than that, he sees himself “in Mind”.  I’m also reminded of how Hermēs tells Asclepius in CH X.12 that:

A human soul is carried in this way: the mind is in the reason; the reason is in the soul; the soul is in the spirit; the spirit, passing through veins and arteries and blood, moves the living thing and, in a manner of speaking, bears it up.

And later on in CH X.19:

The human soul—not every soul, that is, but only the reverent—is in a sense demonic and divine. Such a soul becomes wholly mind after getting free of the body and fighting the fight of reverence. (Knowing the divine and doing wrong to no person is the fight of reverence.) The irreverent soul, however, stays in its own essence, punishing itself, seeking an earthy body to enter…

The human entity consists of Reason (λόγος), yes, which all people have, but Mind (νους) is mixed with this for those who can.  Those who have Mind in their souls mixed with Reason will, in the process of their spiritual progression along the Way, eventually become entirely Mind, and as such, as Poimandrēs tells Hermēs in CH I.26, “enter into God[; for] this is the final good for those who have received knowledge: to be made God”.  This requires us to dilute ourselves with the water of Mind in the mixing-bowl from CH IV, which, as the long night of the symposium of our earthly incarnation continues, should progress so that only the water of Mind is left, and none of the wine of our bodily selves remain.  The people of Reason, however, devoid of Mind, do not wish for this to happen due to their ignorance, and instead “stay in their own essence”, remaining undiluted and continuing in their life of ignorance, “willful and angry” (as one might be from having drunk unmixed wine, or just drinking too much wine at all, per Dionysos’ disavowal of the fourth kratēr and beyond).

This all makes the following sections of CH IV.6—7 make so much more sense to me.  Most people interpret this as a straightforward world-denying body-hating section, but in light of the notion of dilution…well, read for yourself:

“I too wish to be immersed, my father.”

“Unless you first hate your body, my child, you cannot love yourself, but when you have loved yourself, you will possess mind, and if you have mind, you will also have a share in the way to learn.”

“What do you mean by this, father?”

“My child, it is impossible to be engaged in both realms, the mortal and the divine. Since there are two kinds of entities, corporeal and incorporeal, corresponding to mortal and divine, one is left to choose one or the other, if choice is desired. One cannot {have both together when one is left to choose}, but lessening the one reveals the activity of the other.

“Choosing the stronger, then [ ], not only has splendid consequences for the one who chooses—in that it makes the human into a god—but it also shows reverence toward god. On the other hand, choosing the lesser has been mankind’s destruction, though it was no offence to god, with this single reservation: just as processions passing by in public cannot achieve anything of themselves, though they can be a hindrance to others, in the same way these people are only parading through the cosmos, led astray by pleasures of the body.”

Ignorance and death is the unmixed wine, while knowledge (from Mind) and life is the water that dilutes it in the mixing-bowl.  Hone in, specifically, on the statement “lessening the one reveals the activity of the other”: by diluting the wine, the water begins to come to the fore.  As we begin the process of moving from a focus in living from the corporeal to the incorporeal, the wine of our ignorance and death becomes further diluted, until eventually there is no wine left, only the water of Mind.  Doing this admits that the undiluted wine of ignorance we possess cannot remain as such; we cannot love being so undiluted, but instead must seek to destroy that state through dilution (“unless you first hate your body, my child, you cannot love yourself, but when you have loved yourself, you will possess mind”).  Those who insist on remaining undiluted in their ignorance, however, ignore the importance of the incorporeal, of Mind and knowledge and God, and continue in their own destruction, and in so doing, cause a “hindrance to others…parading through the cosmos, led astray by pleasures of the body” as one would in a reckless and drunken revel.

Something still bothers me about all this, though.  When Tat asks Hermēs why God did not share Mind with all people from the get-go, Hermēs responds that God “wanted it put between souls…as a prize for them to contest” (ἠθέλησεν, ὧ τέκνον, τοῦτον ἐν μέσῳ ταῖς ψυχαῖς ὥσπερ ἄθλον ἱδρῦσθαι with a rough translation of “he willed, my son, this in the midst of these souls just as a prize of contest to be found”).  This notion of “contest” for one to strive towards is a weird one, but it’s not wholly unfamiliar; there is a notion of intentful striving throughout the corpora Hermetica that leads to divinity: CH I.21 has Poimandrēs telling Hermēs that “if you learn you are from light and life and that you happen to come from them, you shall advance to life once again”, after recounting God’s counsel to all of creation in CH I.18 that “let him who is mindful recognize that he is immortal, that desire is the cause of death, and let him recognize all that exists”.  I interpret this notion of a “prize for a contest” to mean that we are not necessarily striving against one another, though it may feel that way, but it’s more of our souls striving against our bodies, the divine and immortal part of ourselves striving against the corporeal and mortal part of ourselves.    I suppose one could make a game of it with others, of course, which would be appropriate at a symposium, and depending on how long the symposium of God goes on, more and more wine will need to be drawn upon and mixed one way or another so that everyone, in the end, gets mixed with the water of Mind.  I’m not entirely settled on the meaning of the wording of this, and I think this part is definitely worthy of more contemplation and consideration.

Likewise, Hermēs mentions that God appointed “a herald whom he commanded to make the following proclamation to human hearts” regarding immersing ourselves in the mixing-bowl.  Who or what might this herald be?  Given Hermēs’ commission from Poimandrēs to teach and guide humanity so that they might be saved, he may well be referencing himself, but there is also the possibility of this being one of the personified forces of the cosmos, of which there are no small number: Providence, Necessity, and Fate have been personified at times in the Stobaean Fragments, and SH XXVI.3 (from the last part of the Korē Kosmou excerpts) mentions that Providence has “two ministers”: a Steward of Souls and an Escort of Souls.  We also shouldn’t forget Poimandrēs himself, of course, too, an emanation from Mind who (depending on your perspective and analysis of the name) could be Ra, Thoth, or the XIIth Dynasty pharaoh Amenemhat III (I swear at least one scholar thinks this).  Whether this herald is a cosmic entity or not, whether it’s an oblique reference by Hermēs to himself or not, the identity of the herald isn’t the focus of this book from the Corpus Hermeticum, and it’s certainly less important than the fact that a message was given to humanity: “immerse yourselves in the mixing-bowl if your heart has the strength”.  Fittingly, this message does bear much in similarity with what Hermēs calls out to people in CH I.27—29 and in CH VII, but that alone doesn’t make this particular topic particularly clear, either.

At any rate, Hermēs goes on to say in CH IV.9 that “knowledge is not a beginning of the good, but it furnishes us the beginning of the good that will be known”.  If knowledge is produced from Mind, and our immersion in the mixing-bowl and our first dilution with the water of Mind is just the start of it all on our way to become wholly Mind (as in CH X.19), then this is just the beginning of a long party, indeed.  But even if the Way is long, we won’t be thirsty along the way, so long as we keep listening to and following the Leader who keeps us nourished with what is right for us.

Hermetic Evangelism and Kerygma

No, despite the title of this post, I’m not going to go out into the world and spread the good word of Hermēs Trismegistos onto those who don’t want it.  I feel like my blog does enough of that as it is, anyway, letting the work here speak for itself; besides, I hardly feel competent enough to do so, given how much I myself have yet to learn and discover.  But that isn’t to say that there has never been evangelism (or proselytism, if you prefer to call it that) within the context of the Way of Hermēs.  Indeed, it’s absolutely present in the oldest texts we have, and the Corpus Hermeticum itself gives us two great examples of such calls to the Way.

The first example is from CH I.27—28 (Copenhaver translation here and below), the classic street-preacher scene.  This takes place immediately after Poimandrēs concludes his revelation to Hermēs, giving Hermēs the mission to go forth and “become guide to the worthy so that through [him] the human race might be saved by God”.  After this vision and revelation, Hermēs goes forth, “empowered and instructed on the nature of the universe and on the supreme vision”:

And I began proclaiming to mankind the beauty of reverence and knowledge: “People, earthborn men, you who have surrendered yourselves to drunkenness and sleep and ignorance of god, make yourselves sober and end your drunken sickness, for you are bewitched in unreasoning sleep.”  When they heard, they gathered round with one accord. And I said, “Why have you surrendered yourselves to death, earthborn men, since you have the right to share in immortality? You who have journeyed with error, who have partnered with ignorance, think again: escape the shadowy light; leave corruption behind and take a share in immortality.”

The second example, which reads much like an expanded version of the former, is the entirety of CH VII, which I won’t quote in full, but it’s not a particularly long section (CH III is longer than this).  It definitely reads as a sermon of the “save yourself from hell” fire-and-brimstone type, not as a dialog or letter between teacher and student, and Copenhaver and others notes its strong similarity to and influences from Gnostic and Jewish traditions.

Me being me, I couldn’t not take these bits and come up with my own versions for recitations, much as I did with CH V to make my Praise of the Invisible and Visible God hymnCH XVII to make my Royal Praises hymns, or CH I to make my simple Hermetic prayer rule.  There’s so much devotional and pious material in the CH and other Hermetic texts to work from to make a liturgy of sorts, and the sections of CH I.27—28 and CH VII are no exception.  To that end, I took the wording from these sections of the Corpus Hermeticum, reworded and reworked them, and came up with two evangelizing sermons, as it were: the “Call to the Way” and the “Stripping of the Tunic”.

The “Call to the Way” is based on CH I.27—28.  To me, this is a short…well, call, kinda like the adhān of Islam, except less a call to prayer than a call to metanoia—though it’s usually translated as such, it’s not quite “repentance”, but more like “thinking again” or “reconsidering”, like how the historical Buddha Shakyamuni went from town to town calling out “Anyone for the other side?”.  This “Call to the Way” is very much a wake-up call to learn how and in what way we humans might be saved on the Way of Hermēs.  To my mind, this could be recited before street-preaching, to be sure, but also as the first thing to be said in a temple setting generally to get people to wake up and “think again, think anew”, preparing themselves and orienting themselves for the holy work of devotion and reverence to God.

O all you children of mankind, o all you born of the Earth, o all who you have given yourselves over to drink and sleep in your ignorance of God! Make yourselves sober, cease your drunken sickness, end your bewitchment by unreasoning sleep! Why have you given yourselves over to death, since you have the power to partake of immortality? You who have wandered with Error, you who have partnered with Ignorance: think again, think anew! Be released from the darkness, take hold of the Light, take part in divine immortality, leave behind your corrupt destruction! Do not surrender to the way of death by your mockery or distance, but come, rise, and be guided on the way of life!

Then there’s the “Stripping of the Tunic”, based on CH VII.  In the Corpus Hermeticum, this is another sermon used to get people’s attention to come to the Way and abandon the twisted, twisting wiles of the world that drown and suffocate us.  However, I took a slightly different approach with this one.  Sure, it can be used to do the same thing that the “Call to the Way” does, but to me, the “Stripping of the Tunic” is more like a formal introduction into a temple or Hermetic group, a discursive initiation of sorts by beginning the process of cleansing the soul from the torments and tortures of incarnation, one that calls the initiate to a purpose.  This is especially important with the image of the “House of Knowledge”, which can be considered a sort of Hermetic rephrasing on the Egyptian “House of Life” (per ankh), the usual term for a temple that also doubled as a library, because…well, as the Hermetic tests attest, true knowledge is true Life.  Although others have tried to expand on the Egyptian temple imagery and how temples would be constructed so that sunlight would fall on the statues of the gods, Nock notes that “it is unnecessary to press the analogy with the Egyptian sanctuaries”.

Hear me, o child of mankind! Where are you going?
Sick and vomiting up the pure ignorance you swallow as you are,
which even you see and know that you cannot keep down!
Stop your drunken sickness! Stop your drinking! Stand firm! Be sober!
Look upwards with the eyes of the heart, if you can!

Do not drown in the flood of ignorance that floods this world,
which destroys the soul shut up in the body,
which keeps the soul from sailing to a safe harbor,
but ride the tide, ride the ebb, ride the flow,
and bring your ship to this safe harbor,
and be guided by the hand to the door of the House of Knowledge!
Here is the bright light clear of all darkness,
here is where nobody is drunk but all are sober,
here is where all gaze with the heart towards God,
the One who wishes to be heard and uttered and seen,
who is neither heard with the ears nor uttered with the mouth nor seen with the eyes,
but is heard in silence, uttered without words, and seen with the mind and the heart.

So you can enter the House of Knowledge,
you must be freed from the snare of the body,
this hateful tunic you wear that strangles you and drags you down,
which makes you so that you will not hate its viciousness,
so that you will not look up lest you see the beauty of Truth and the Good that abides within,
so that you will not understand its treachery and hate the evil of what it plots against you.
Your senses of sensibility have been made insensible, unapparent, and unrecognized,
so stuffed with gross matter and crammed with loathsome debauchery,
so that you do not hear what and how you must hear,
so that you do not utter what and how you must utter,
so that you do not see what and how you must see.

So you may enter the House of Knowledge,
rip off from yourself your tunic of hate!
Free yourself from your garment of ignorance!
Release yourself from your base of vice!
Unbind yourself from your bond of corruption!
Liberate yourself from cage of darkness,
that God may renew you from your living death,
that God may quicken for you your sentient corpse,
that God may open up for you your portable tomb,
that God may protect for you your house from the thief within it,
the tormenting one who grudgingly hates what you love,
the torturing one who maliciously loves what you hate.

While pretty pieces of prayer, if I do say so myself, why should Hermēs Trismegistos be an evangelist at all?  Because, frankly, Poimandrēs charged him with being one.  At the end of Poimandrēs’ revelation to Hermēs in CH I.26—27, he concludes his speech with the following charge:

“…This is the final good for those who have received knowledge: to be made god. Why do you still delay? Having learned all this, should you not become guide to the worthy so that through you the human race might be saved by god?”

As he was saying this to me, Poimandrēs joined with the powers. Then he sent me forth, empowered and instructed on the nature of the universe and on the supreme vision, after I had given thanks to the father of all and praised him. And I began proclaiming to mankind the beauty of reverence and knowledge…

C. H. Dodd in his The Bible and the Greeks (1935) calls this and the following parts of CH I the Kerygma (κήρυγμα), a fantastic Greek word from the New Testament meaning “proclamation”, from the Greek word κηρύσσω “to cry/proclaim as a herald”, used here in the sense of preaching, which fits rather well with the whole image of Hermēs as not just teacher but also as herald (we shouldn’t forget that the Greek term for his wand is κηρύκειον, kērukeion, from the same root, which became in Latin “caduceus”).  But why should Hermēs be charged with this sort of proclamation, heralding, announcing of the “gospel”, as it were, of Poimandrēs?  Well, there is the simple historical fact that the revelation of wisdom of this sort just went hand-in-hand with such evangelism, because it was inherently considered a “way of life” or “way of God”, both in Jewish as well as Egyptian literature.  As Christian Bull in his The Tradition of Hermes Trismegistus (2018) notes, the notion of such a “way” necessitates a guide, without which one becomes lost; after all, it does follow that one who has walked the way, knows the road, and is familiar with the destination is one we should trust to follow, rather than trying to forge a way on our own blindly and only happening to come across the right way to the right destination, the “way of life” otherwise erring back to the “way of death” (Hermēs’ words from CH I.29).

Admittedly, this proclamation is not meant for all people; there is no notion of universal salvation as such in classical Hermetism.  Not all people will hearken to the message of Hermēs, nor will all people have the strength of heart necessary to be reborn in Mind (CH IV.4).  Yet, Poimandrēs charges Hermēs to become a guide to the worthy so that, through Hermēs, “the human race might be saved by God”.  Bull notes that this can be interpreted in several ways: that the human race only properly consists of a worthy few who can become true humans while the rest are no more than savage animals in human flesh, that all humankind will at some stage become worthy, or that the worthy few who can follow the way will somehow save the many (and Bull notes that “this latter option is preferable if we view the passage as taking place in the time when the brutish Bronze Age humans were being civilized”).  Bull also notes that “that the human race is saved by God, through Hermēs, should consequently not be understood as a message of universal salvation in a Christian sense, but indicates that Hermēs and his fellow culture heroes are considered to be saviors because they made civilized life possible” (consider also CH III, where humanity was charged with not just learning about the cosmos but also “to discover the arts of everything that is Good”).  Regardless how one perceives the notion of salvation and who’s eligible, Hermēs is still bound by obligation to guide and save those whom he can.  After all, once learning about truth, as Poimandrēs revealed to Hermēs, one cannot but be compelled to act in accordance with such truth, lest one deny such truth and fall into error because of it.  After all, having been freed from the suffering of the soul and the suffering of the body (insofar as it is possible), how could one not want others who can achieve that to do so?  In some ways, the parallels between Hermēs Trismegistus and Buddha Shakyamuni, at least as far as salvific impetus, are strong here.

In the end, there’s this notion of “having been taught, now teach”; Hermēs has learned, and now he seeks for others to learn what he himself has learned.  Part of that learning—and then applying such learning—is pointing out the problems people have and recognizing it as a problem, without which one cannot begin to fix it.  Not everyone is going to recognize those problems, whether because they honestly cannot recognize them or because they’re unwilling to do so; those people are not those whom Hermēs can help by being guide.  He doesn’t necessarily seek to convince people of the rightness of his teachings from the get-go, except by trying to convince people that they have biger problems than they might realize; he focuses more on saying “I have a way for you to fix your problems, follow me if you want to fix them”.  Following Hermēs, then, not only leads one to the “House of Knowledge” where “shines the light cleansed of darkness”, but also leads one to lead others to the same.  At some point, once one has gotten far enough along the Way of Hermēs to become familiar with both it and the destination, to become a guide is as much part of the Way as anything else; after all, “having been taught, now teach”.  The Way goes ever on and on, to be sure, and not everyone is going to be a guide in the same ways to the same people, but there are always waystations to give us rest and give us a chance to hand followers off to others who know the next stage of the way better than we do, or to give us a chance to find a guide for the next stage of the way ourselves.

I suppose “evangelism” isn’t a great term to use for this; I was unfamiliar with “kerygma” up until now, but it’s a term I like much better.  I feel like there’s a deeper difference between the usual evangelism common with Christian preachers and the like and what Hermēs is doing here; to be sure, the salvific spirit is the same, but Hermēs isn’t trying to establish doctrine and convince people of the truth from the get-go.  Rather, Hermēs is announcing something new, a new way: a way to salvation, a way of life, a way to God.  The destination is known up-front, as is one’s starting point, but how one progresses from point A to point B might change depending on the person.  This may well be the case for lots of religious paths, let’s be honest, but it’s especially present in the Way of Hermēs.  No two people will necessarily follow the same steps, but under one guide who knows not just the detours but also the contingency plans in case one should stumble or get lost.  This is Hermēs saying “follow me, for I know the way”, not “follow me, for I am the way”; the difference there is massive.  This is Hermēs the Human guiding one to God; while Hermēs is, at the same time, a god, the focus of what Hermēs himself learned and taught is on the God.  Learning of himself—that classic maxim of γνῶθι σεαυτόν come to life—is just part of the overall impetus for him to learn “about the things that are, to understand their nature, and to know God” (CH I.3).  Rather than seeking veneration and worship for himself, Hermēs seeks for others to venerate and worship that which should truly be worshiped.  After all, the guide is not the destination.

The Prayer of Refuge

Do you want a 3000-word-plus prayer for protection against all harm?  Of course you do.  The whole thing will fit comfortably on six pages, less if you use a small enough font size.

Okay, I admit that I’ve been super busy lately, and even though the Salem Folklore & Witchcraft Festival has come to an end (which you can still get the recordings through the end of 2020 for all the classes!), there’s just…so much going on, and it’s easy to get bogged down, run through, and torn up by everything.  To that end, while I have a whole bunch of nebulous ideas of things I want to write, I’m having to prioritize my time between those and the things that actually need doing around my house and job.  To that end, there’re a lot of drafts piling up in my blog box, but not a lot coming out of it.  One day, I’ll get to them.

In the meantime, one of the things I’m going through is working through my own prayerbook again, reorganizing it, taking out the things I don’t use (or don’t care to use), rewording the things I’m not yet comfortable with, and the like.  One of the prayers is…well, I did come up with it, sure.  It’s one I call, rather boringly enough, the “Prayer of Refuge”, written as a generally Abrahamic-ish monotheistic prayer appealing to God for protection from…well, just about everything.  Protection from all evil wrought upon oneself, and forgiveness for all the evil one has wrought; why not?  The prayer was inspired largely by the famous Lorica of Saint Patrick, but also was based in part on the Benedicite, the Doxology of the Seventh Firmament from the Sepher haRazim, the Sanctus prayer, and the books Al-Ikhlās., Al-Falaq, and An-Nās from the Noble Qur’ān, along with a bevy of other Islamic supplications against witchcraft and spiritual afflictions.  I…may have gotten a little carried away when enumerating everything to ward against, but hey, go big or go home, and since we’re all already home anyway…

What I ended up with is, frankly, a beast of a protective prayer.  It’s far from the worst sort, to be sure, and it’s definitely got some oomph in it.  Besides, it’s not like such lengthy charms of protection aren’t otherwise extant across any number of traditions, but even this one is pretty sizable, indeed.  However, given the other tricks up my sleeve, this is one I just don’t have a need to turn to anytime soon, except perhaps if someone needs it said for them who’s under a severe case of spiritual affliction from a wide number of sources.  To that end, because other people might need such a thing more than me—and since we all have a fair chunk of free time nowadays, for some definition of “free”—I figured I’d share this bit of my own prayerbook today.  I’ll also move it up to the Prayers menu, too, for easier reference in the future.

Although this prayer is presented below as being broken up into segments, they are all intended to be read in a single sitting in succession.  For best results, try doing this after a period of fasting and purification while also making charity for those who are oppressed.

Preliminary Invocation

In the name of God, with God, from God, unto God, and in the way of God,
for there is no strength and no power save with God,
for we come from God and return to God,
and all things are done only through God!

The Glorification of and Appeal to God

All glory, all praise, all reverence, all honor be to God,
the Lord of the Great Throne, the Father of Heaven, the Fountain of Light,
the King of all kings, the God of all gods, the Creator of all creation!
God is prior to all things, for God was when Heaven and Earth was not.
God wills, and what he wills happens, and what he does not will does not happen.
God searches hearts before they are formed, and knows thoughts before they are made.
God has power over all things, and encompasses all things in his knowledge!
God made the whole of the cosmos and all within it,
God made the Day and the Night to follow each other in turn,
God made the Sun and Moon and planets and stars subservient to his command,
God gave to Heaven its strength, to the Stars their brilliance,
to the Sun its light, to the Moon its radiance,
to the Fire its splendor, to the Water its sweetness,
to the Lightning its speed, to the Wind its swiftness,
to the Sea its depth, to the Earth its stability,
to the Mountain its height, to the Forest its lushness,
to the Rock its firmness, to the Soil its fertility,
to the Winter its cold, to the Summer its heat,
to the Angels their greatness, to the Prophets their prophecy.
God created all things and ordered all things,
God sustains all things and judges all things,
God commands all things and rules all things,
and by all that God has ordained,
I appeal to God for his mercy, his forgiveness his refuge, and his protection!

Taking Refuge from Evil

I take refuge in God, the One and Only, the First and Last, the Highest and Holiest,
He who creates all things that exist and is not created by anything created,
He who depends upon nothing yet upon whom all depend.
He who surpasses every power and excellence,
He who has neither equal nor comparison,
I take refuge in God, the Lord of Dawn, the Lord of Daybreak, the Lord of Light,
from the evil that lies waiting within creation,
from the evil of darkness when it settles,
from the evil of those who work ill upon me,
from the evil of those who wish ill upon me.
I take refuge in God, the Lord of Mankind, the King of Mankind, the God of Mankind,
from the evil of the whispering enemy and of the whispering devils,
from the evil of those who whisper in the hearts of mankind,
from the evil of those who whisper in the hearts of spirits,
from the evil of those who retreat upon the remembrance of God.
I take refuge in God!

Taking Refuge in the Glories of God

I take refuge in all the wondrous names of God!
I take refuge in the might and power of God,
I take refuge in the strength and pride of God,
I take refuge in the presence and sovereignty of God,
I take refuge in the justice and judgment of God,
I take refuge in the beginninglessness and endlessness of God,
I take refuge in the immanence and transcendence of God,
I take refuge in the assistance and security of God,
I take refuge in the protection and preservation of God,
I take refuge in the nourishment and restoration of God,
I take refuge in the resurrection and life of God,
I take refuge in the kindness and guidance of God,
I take refuge in the mercy and forgiveness of God,
I take refuge in the sight and hearing of God,
I take refuge in the awareness and knowing of God,
I take refuge in the wisdom and knowledge of God,
I take refuge in the nobility and highness of God,
I take refuge in the glory and greatness of God,
I take refuge in the beauty and majesty of God,
I take refuge in the grandeur and subtlety of God,
I take refuge in the peace and splendor of God,
I take refuge in the holiness and perfection of God,
I take refuge in the truth and light of God,
I take refuge in God!

Taking Refuge on All Sides and All Times

I take refuge in God throughout my life!
I take refuge in God on my right,
I take refuge in God on my left,
I take refuge in God above me,
I take refuge in God below me,
I take refuge in God before me,
I take refuge in God behind me,
I take refuge in God inside me,
I take refuge in God outside me,
I take refuge in God around me,
I take refuge in God when I sleep and when I awake,
I take refuge in God when I lie and when I sit,
I take refuge in God when I arise and when I stand,
I take refuge in God when I move and when I abide,
I take refuge in God when I speak and when I think,
I take refuge in God when I hear and when I see,
I take refuge in God when I eat and when I drink,
I take refuge in God at all times,
I take refuge in God on every day,
I take refuge in God in every place,
I take refuge in God with every act.
I take refuge in God!

Taking Refuge from Every Harm

I take refuge in God from all evils threatening me!
I take refuge in God from the evil of every devil and demon,
I take refuge in God from the evil of every archon and prince,
I take refuge in God from the evil of every influence and power,
I take refuge in God from the evil of every corruption and temptation,
I take refuge in God from the evil of every fear and terror,
I take refuge in God from the evil of every lie and deceit,
I take refuge in God from the evil of every delusion and hallucination,
I take refuge in God from the evil of every treason and espionage,
I take refuge in God from the evil of every snare and trap,
I take refuge in God from the evil of every gossip and smear,
I take refuge in God from the evil of every suffering and affliction,
I take refuge in God from the evil of every instability and infirmity,
I take refuge in God from the evil of every pain and plague,
I take refuge in God from the evil of every illness and injury,
I take refuge in God from the evil of every weakness and wound,
I take refuge in God from the evil of every chaos and tragedy,
I take refuge in God from the evil of every calamity and accident,
I take refuge in God from the evil of every fire and flood,
I take refuge in God from the evil of every earthquake and disaster,
I take refuge in God from the evil of every storm and gale,
I take refuge in God from the evil of every famine and drought,
I take refuge in God from the evil of every pursuit and war,
I take refuge in God from the evil of every accusation and imprisonment,
I take refuge in God from the evil of every abandonment and neglect,
I take refuge in God from the evil of every loss and impoverishment,
I take refuge in God from the evil of every creature and beast,
I take refuge in God from the evil of every spirit and ghost,
I take refuge in God from the evil of every witch and poisoner,
I take refuge in God from the evil of every smith and mage,
I take refuge in God from the evil of every alchemist and astrologer,
I take refuge in God from the evil of every priest and scholar,
I take refuge in God from the evil of every thief and brigand,
I take refuge in God from the evil of every killer and rapist,
I take refuge in God from the evil of every abuser and torturer,
I take refuge in God from the evil of all that I am aware,
I take refuge in God from the evil of all that I am unaware,
I take refuge in God from the evil of all that I am frightened,
I take refuge in God from the evil of all that I am unfrightened,
I take refuge in God from the evil of all that was done to me intentionally,
I take refuge in God from the evil of all that was done to me unintentionally,
I take refuge in God from the evil of all that was done to my body,
I take refuge in God from the evil of all that was done to my soul,
I take refuge in God from the evil of all that was done to my spirit,
I take refuge in God from the evil of all that was done to my mind,
I take refuge in God from the evil of all that was done to my food,
I take refuge in God from the evil of all that was done to my drink,
I take refuge in God from the evil of all that was done to my possessions,
I take refuge in God from the evil of all that was done to my land,
I take refuge in God from the evil of all that was done to my home,
I take refuge in God from the evil of all that was done to my household,
I take refuge in God from the evil of all that was done to my work,
I take refuge in God from the evil of all that was done to my roads,
I take refuge in God from the evil of all that was done to my family,
I take refuge in God from the evil of all that was done to my friends,
I take refuge in God from the evil of all that was done to my secrets,
I take refuge in God from the evil of the evil eye,
I take refuge in God from the evil of the untimely death,
I take refuge in God from the evil of the curse,
I take refuge in God from the evil of the cross,
I take refuge in God from the evil of the binding,
I take refuge in God from the evil of the whisper,
I take refuge in God from the evil of those who threaten me,
I take refuge in God from the evil of those who hate me,
I take refuge in God from the evil of those who despise me,
I take refuge in God from the evil of those who are envious of me,
I take refuge in God from the evil of those who are jealous of me,
I take refuge in God from the evil of those who are fearful of me,
I take refuge in God from the evil of those who are enraged towards me,
I take refuge in God from the evil of those who perform mischief and trickery,
I take refuge in God from the evil of those who perform witchcraft and rituals,
I take refuge in God from the evil of those who perform incantations and spells,
I take refuge in God from the evil of those who perform conjuration and inscription,
I take refuge in God from the evil of those who perform sacrifice and bloodletting,
I take refuge in God from the evil of those who perform false prophecy and false blessings,
I take refuge in God from the evil of those who inspire others to evil,
I take refuge in God from every evil, from all evil, from evil itself!
I take refuge in God!

The Breaking of Evil

In the name of God, with God, from God, unto God, and in the way of God,
for there is no strength and no power save with God,
for we come from God and return to God,
and all things are done only through God!
God the Most High, God the Most Holy,
God the Most Merciful, God the Most Compassionate,
God the Almighty, God the All-Aware, God the All-knowing, God the All-Seeing!
I entrust all I am and I all I have and all I do to God,
I am safe from the evils threatening me in the refuge of God!
God judges in truth, evening the scales of justice and speaking in righteousness!
God upholds those who uphold him!
God keeps faith with those who keep faith with him!
God keeps the pure close to him in his mercy and protection,
but drives the impure away in his unconquerable wrath!
In all the Heavens God is feared, and by all the angels God is revered,
For when God raises his voice the gods themselves tremble,
and when he roars the pillars of Heaven and Earth shake.
Nothing and no one can repel the might of God,
nothing and no one can annul the commands of God!
God seizes all events that would threaten me and blocks them from occurring!
God seizes all things that would threaten me and smashes them into nothing!
God seizes all magics that would threaten me and unravels them in an instant!
God seizes all people who would threaten me and casts them out now!
God seizes all spirits who would threaten me and banishes them utterly!
God seizes all enemies who would threaten me and vanquishes them easily!
Nothing and no one is as great as God is, nothing and no one is as mighty as God is!
All the evils that threaten me cannot reach me in the protection of God!
All the evils that threaten me cannot harm me in the protection of God!
All the evils that threaten me are cut off in the protection of God!
All the evils that threaten me are destroyed in the protection of God!
I take refuge, seeking protection from the evils threatening me, in God!
I am safe from the evils threatening me in the refuge of God!

The Appeal for Forgiveness from God

And as I take refuge in God for protection from the evils threatening me,
I implore God for his forgiveness and his mercy for the evil within myself that harms myself.
I seek the forgiveness of God for the evil within me,
I seek the forgiveness of God for the evil of what I have done that I should not have done,
I seek the forgiveness of God for the evil of what I have not done that I should have done,
I seek the forgiveness of God for the evil of my vice,
I seek the forgiveness of God for the evil of my lust,
I seek the forgiveness of God for the evil of my gluttony,
I seek the forgiveness of God for the evil of my greed,
I seek the forgiveness of God for the evil of my sloth,
I seek the forgiveness of God for the evil of my wrath,
I seek the forgiveness of God for the evil of my pride,
I seek the forgiveness of God for the evil of my apathy,
I seek the forgiveness of God for the evil of my attachment,
I seek the forgiveness of God for the evil of my addiction,
I seek the forgiveness of God for the evil of my intentions,
I seek the forgiveness of God for the evil of my neglect,
I seek the forgiveness of God for the evil of my ignorance,
I seek the forgiveness of God for the evil of all that I have committed against God,
I seek the forgiveness of God for the evil of all that I have committed against the angels,
I seek the forgiveness of God for the evil of all that I have committed against the prophets,
I seek the forgiveness of God for the evil of all that I have committed against Heaven,
I seek the forgiveness of God for the evil of all that I have committed against Earth,
I seek the forgiveness of God for the evil of all that I have committed against creation,
I seek the forgiveness of God for the evil of all that I have committed against mankind,
I seek the forgiveness of God.

The Thanksgiving for Forgiveness

God is abundant in his forgiveness and unsurpassed in his mercy,
whose forgiveness and mercy are immeasurable, everlasting, indefatigable,
in whose forgiveness and mercy I take refuge from my own evil!
I am safe from the evil within myself that harms myself in the refuge of God!
For all that he has forgiven me and all that he has given unto me,
do I give my thanks to God, do I bless God!
All glory, all praise, all reverence, all honor be to God,
the Lord of the Great Throne, the Father of Heaven, the Fountain of Light,
the King of all kings, the God of all gods, the Creator of all creation!
In God do I take refuge, and from God do I seek mercy!

The Song of Glory

Blessed be God in his refuge, and blessed in his forgiveness and mercy!
Blessed be God in the Heavens on high, and blessed in the lands of the Earth.
Blessed be God in his might, and blessed in the beauty of his power.
Blessed be God in his glory, and blessed in the beauty of his dignity.
Blessed be God in his splendor, and blessed in the beauty of his strength.
Blessed be God in his majesty, and blessed in the beauty of his throne.
Blessed be God in the mists of brilliance, and blessed in the clouds of glory.
Blessed be God in the storehouses of snow, and blessed in the rivers of flames.
Blessed be God in the chains of fire, and blessed in the ropes of flame.
Blessed be God in the peals of thunder, and blessed in the bolts of lightning.
Blessed be God amid all the deserts, and blessed amid the waves of the sea.
Blessed be God in each generation, and blessed in all the people of every land.
Blessed be God in the heights of the Earth, and blessed in the depths of the Earth.
Blessed be God in the mouths of all people, and blessed in the song of every creature.
Blessed be God for ages and ages, and blessed for an eternity of eternities.
Blessed be God, now and forever!
Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of Hosts,
Heaven and Earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest!*
Blessed is he who comes, has come, and will come in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest!

The Concluding Invocation

In the name of God, with God, from God, unto God, and in the way of God,
for there is no strength and no power save with God,
for we come from God and return to God,
and all things are done only through God!