The Hermetica is a collection of wisdom texts that date from the first few centuries ce, though their origins date much earlier. Arising in the Greco-Egyptian heyday atmosphere characterized by the bustling port city of Alexandria, the Hermetic tradition is the result of academic, philosophical, and spiritual shoulder-rubbing from Jews, Christians, Gnostics, Neoplatonists, Stoics, Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Persians, Babylonians, Indians, and any and all others that passed through that famous crossroads of the ancient world. In a sense, the Hermetic tradition can be considered one of the finest examples of syncretism at its best, and it has the literature to match.
In this section are a collection of prayers taken from the Hermetic wisdom texts, including but not limited to the Corpus Hermeticum, the Asclepius, and the Greek Magical Papyri. These are often evidence of ecstatic glossolalia, but the repeated and structured use of the seven Greek vowels can also indicate special hymns and initiatory connections to the seven spheres of traditional Hermetic cosmology.
Many of the prayers in this section were first given in this 2014 post, but some have been presented on this blog dating back earlier. The prayers in this section are based on translations of the Hermetic wisdom texts from the following books, or are otherwise informed by them as excellent resources:
- Hermetica: The Greek Corpus Hermeticum and the Latin Asclepius in a New English Translation, with Notes and Introduction by Brian P. Copenhaver (1995).
- Hermetica II: The Excerpts of Stobaeus, Papyrus Fragments, and Ancient Testimonies in an English Translation with Notes and Introduction by M. David Litwa (2018).
- The Way of Hermes: New Translations of The Corpus Hermeticum and The Definitions of Hermes Trismegistus to Asclepius by Clement Salaman et al. (2004).
- Asclepius: The Perfect Discourse of Hermes Trismegistus by Clement Salaman (2007).
- The Nag Hammadi Scriptures: The Revised and Updated Translation of Sacred Gnostic Texts Complete in One Volume by Marvin W. Meyer et al. (2009).
- The Greek Magical Papyri in Translation: Including the Demotic Spells (Volume 1: Texts) by Hans Dieter Betz (1996).
- Hermetic Magic: The Postmodern Papyrus of Abaris by Stephen Edred Flowers (2009).
- The Hymns of Hermes by G. R. S. Mead (2006).
- Ancient Christian Magic: Coptic Texts of Ritual Power by Marvin W. Meyer et al. (1999).
To view these prayers, please use the navigation bar at the top of the site: Prayers → Hermetic Prayers → (pagename).