A Hermetic prayer of thanksgiving to the Almighty. Although famously given at the end of the Asclepius, or the Perfect Discourse of Hermēs Trismegistus to Asclepius, Tat, and Amun (chapter XLI), it also appears in the Nag Hammadi Codex (VI, 7) as a testament to its popularity. The prayer, given by Hermēs Trismegistus in thanks and praise of the One, is also seen almost verbatim in the Greek Magical Papyri in a ritual used to develop a close working relationship with the god Helios (PGM III.591-610), and was also discussed in this 2018 post. I was introduced to it by way of Stephen Flowers’ “Hermetic Magic: The Postmodern Magical Papyrus of Abaris”, but this is my own rendition of the prayer.
The Asclepius specifies that this prayer (and all prayers to the One) should be recited facing east in the morning (specifically at sunrise), though at south in the evening (specifically at sunset), though “south” here may be a faulty translation for “southwest” or a direction where the Sun actually sets, so the west in general may be preferred.
I thank you, my soul and heart stretched out to you.
O holy name honored as God and praised as Father,
you grant all creatures and all things fatherly kindness, affection, love, and sweetest power,
granting me mind, word, and knowledge:
mind, that I may understand you;
word, that I may invoke you;
knowledge, that I may know you.
I rejoice, for you have enlightened me by your knowledge.
I rejoice, for you have revealed yourself to me.
I rejoice, for you have made me incarnate divine by your knowledge.
To know you is man’s only means of thanksgiving.
O light of mind, I have known you.
O life of life, I have known you.
O womb of every creature, I have known you.
O womb pregnant with the Father’s nature, I have known you.
O eternal permanence of the begetting Father, I have known you.
I worship the good of your goodness.
I ask for one favor: sustain me in your knowledge.
I ask for one protection: preserve me in my present life.
After the prayer, Hermēs Trismegistus concludes with a direction to eat a communal vegetarian meal:
With such hopes, I turn to a pure meal that includes no living thing.
In accordance with this last statement, this prayer may be used as a type of grace prayer before meals.
When recited in group settings, the use of the first person singular pronoun (“I”, “me”, etc.) may be replaced by the first person plural pronoun (“we”, “us”, etc.).