Known by some as the God Mercury or Messenger of the Gods, Hermes Trismegistus is a famed source of philosophy and divine wisdom. This Egyptian name means “thrice-great,” referring not only to his role as a philosopher, but also his life as a priest and a king. Hermes is credited with thousands of sacred writings and famous for his works on alchemy and astrology.
The Egyptians connected this famous priest with the Greek god Hermes, the god of writing, as well as the Egyptian God Thoth, the god of magic. Among the many writings of this ancient sage is the famous Emerald Tablet. This slab of emerald was located in the tomb of Hermes Trismegistus and is said to have been inscribed with the formula for making gold. A well-known axiom is also attributed to the Emerald Tablet: “That which is above is like that which is below and that which is below is like that which is above, to accomplish the Miracle of Unity.” The Emerald Tablet is revered by many as one of the oldest recordings on the planet of the principles of spiritual alchemy, although some of its formulas are mysterious.
In his wider writings, Hermes Trismegistus attempts a system of religion and philosophy that represents the divine in all things and draws upon a unique variety of historical traditions. He seeks to illumine his readers to the truths and secret teachings prevalent in all religious and philosophical thought and blend them into one wisdom teaching.
The works of this sage known as Hermetica had a great influence on the time period of the Renaissance, bringing back into the focus the practices of astrology, alchemy, magic and esoteric traditions. His philosophy once again inspired the men of the Renaissance age to acknowledge divine inspiration throughout the arts and alchemical sciences of the day, in addition to his technical magic, potions and formulas.
The philosophy and religious writings of Hermes Trismegistus have heavily influenced the esoteric traditions right up to the present. Some also believe that he was an important figure on the lost continent of Atlantis. In one of his trance readings, Edgar Cayce named him as an engineer from the lost Atlantis who designed and directed construction of the Egyptian Pyramids. The writing of Hermes Trismegistus have also found resonance in Christianity, Islam, the Sufi and Bahá’í faiths, as well as Masonic Orders and various branches of New Age religions.