I know I’m a day late, but I celebrated my monthly Hermaia today, the monthly ritual I perform to Hermes at dawn on the fourth of the lunar month, four or five days after the New Moon. This is an old tradition, dating back at least to the Athenian/Attic calendar from classical or pre-classical times, and it honors Hermes on his birthday; the ancient Greeks considered the gods’ birthdays to be a monthly affair instead of a yearly one, though yearly festivals were also held with extra grandness and glory. I use this as a special day to make offerings of wine, incense, and prayers (reading out the Orphic and Homeric Hymns in full, for example), as well as a general request for blessings and divinatory work and divine guidance. So, I figured today would be a special day, as the Sun is in Virgo (the sign with both the domicile and exaltation of Mercury) to share some short prayers I use when working with the god.
There’s a prayer I ended up spontaneously making every morning just as I leave for work. I have a small figure of a Roman Mercury hanging from my rear view mirror in my car, and I hold it and make a prayer for travelling generally just as I leave my car for work and for any daily travel. After it’s been prettied up and formalized, the prayer goes like this. Implicit in the prayer is that I myself will go to spread the praise and honor of Hermes; with my interesting caduceus tattoo, that’s not hard, since it’s definitely a conversation starter with a lot of strangers and colleagues, most of whom don’t know anything about it or him.
Hail to you, Lord Hermes, Hermes Enodios!
Hail to you, god of the roads, god of travelers, god who goes!
Hail to you, god who leads and who leads us on!
Lord Hermes, I pray to you, I call to you, I beg you for your blessing.
Grant that I may travel swiftly, secretly, safely, and speedily on all my paths!
Grant that I may make all my destinations swiftly, secretly, safely, and speedily!
Grant that I may not be hindered, delayed, obstructed, slowed, or impedited!
Grant that I may not be harmed, followed, chased, arrested, maimed, or stolen from!
Grant that I may attain all my destinations, fulfill all my goals, and attain all my ends!
Grant that I may enjoy your glory, your presence, and your blessing wherever I go!
Lord Hermes, be with me wherever I go!
Grant that wherever I go, I may come to spread and honor your good name, your good works, your good power, your good praise,
that the entire world may come to praise you, honor you, glorify you, and rejoice in you, your good name, and your good works!
Grant that wherever I go, the entire world may come to call upon you in their need!
Hail to you, Lord Hermes, hail to you!
ΙΩ ΕΡΜΗΣ! ΙΩ ΕΡΜΗΣ! ΙΩ ΕΡΜΗΣ! ΙΩ ΕΡΜΗΣ!
Here’s another little short prayer which I’ve picked up from Charles Leland’s Etruscan Roman Remains, a (sometimes long-winded) book on old Etruscan and Roman beliefs and rituals being maintained in rural Tuscany. Using the modern name Téranó, derived from Hermes’ Etruscan name of Turms, this little prayer is said as a letter or package is sent off for fast and safe arrival:
Téranó, Téranó, as it is true
That you are my friend, I pray to you
Grant that this letter/package that I send
May quickly and safely reach its end!
Upon being sent:
Go fly afar for me!
And Téranó keep you company!
This is, of course, in addition to the Orphic Hymns to Hermes (both ouranic/celestial and chthonic/terrestrial) as well as the Homeric Hymns (the short and the long ones), plus my own prayer to Hermes. Use them well; the god likes to be gossipped about, and likes more to take you to faraway and much-needed places.