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What is hermeticism and its beliefs and practices?


  1. A quick search of Yahoo found the following from http://www.meta-religion.com/Esoterism/Hermeticism/hermeticism.htm
    Hermeticism is an ancient spiritual, philosophical, and magical tradition. It is a path of spiritual growth. Hermeticism takes its name from the God Hermês Trismegistos (Greek, “Thrice-Greatest Hermes”), a Græco-Egyptian form of the great Egyptian God of Wisdom and Magic, Thôth. What the Hermetic Fellowship defines as Hermeticism has also been called the Western Esoteric Tradition, and embraces the Perennial Philosophy or the Ageless Wisdom. Generally, the following can be said to be characteristic of the positive form of Hermeticism advocated by the Hermetic Fellowship.
    Considers humanity to be on a spiritual journey to return to a state of unity with the Divine; this is the Great Work of humankind.
    Holds that if we would attain to the Divine, we must aspire to the Divine; spiritual growth cannot be achieved without human effort
    Is eclectic and draws material from sources spanning the entire Western Esoteric Tradition
    Is polytheistic, yet ultimately monotheisitic (i.e., posits a multiplicity of Manifestations of the Divine Which emanate from an ultimate Divine Unity)
    Holds that the Divine is both immanent and transcendent
    Holds that the Universe is Divine and basically good
    Teaches that when we seek the Divine, we may best begin with the Mysteries of Nature
    Encourages spiritual curiosity
    Understands that human beings can access the Subtle Realms through technique and aspiration; to this end, it embraces theurgy, meditation, ritual, and other spiritual and magical practices
    Urges those who seek the Divine to also seek balance in embracing all things
    Is a poetic rather than an ascetic worldview
    The Historical Background of Hermeticism
    Hermes & Thoth
    Hermeticism takes its name from the God Hermes Trismegistos or Thrice-Greatest Hermes. Trismegistos, in turn, was so-called because of His identification with the great Egyptian God of Wisdom and Magic, Thoth. Thôth is a Greek attempt to phonetically render Tehuti, the late antique form of the very ancient Egyptian name Djehuti. In an effort to express Tehuti’s majesty, when writing His name Egyptian scribes would often append the epithet Ao, Ao, Ao (literally “Great, Great, Great,” meaning “Greatest”). Greeks and Greek-speaking Egyptians translated the Egyptian epithet as Trismegistos, also using it for ‘their’ Thoth — Hermes.
    Just as Thoth was considered the all-wise font of sacred knowledge and author of all sacred books in Egypt, so in the Græco-Roman world, and later, in Renaissance Europe, Hermes Trismegistos was considered to be an unimpeachable authority on things sacred and author of the influential body of literature known as the Hermetica.
    Hermetic Syncretism
    Hermetism (the original Hermetic source from which the broader tradition of Hermeticism derives) was one of the many products of the meeting of the ancient Hellenic and Egyptian cultures in the centuries surrounding the beginning of the Common Era. Hermetism, described most simply, combined Egyptian and Greek theology, philosophy, and spiritual practice. But of course, it was not that simple.
    Perhaps the principle reason the origin of Hermetism is complex is that it found its most fertile home in the great syncretic Græco-Egyptian metropolis of Alexandria, when that city was the cultural capital of the Mediterranean under the Pax Romana. Religious and philosophical wisdom flowed from many cultures into the city, the great spiritual Krater or Mixing Bowl which gave birth to the new synthesis of religion, philosophy, and practice which was Hermetism. Nominally Egyptian, and attributed to the Egyptian God Thoth in the guise of an enlightened ancient master, the Hermetic elixir was composed of ingredients from all the great Traditions active in Alexandria. To the millennia-rich stock of Egyptian religion, philosophy, and magic were added many elements from Greek Paganism (itself influenced throughout its development by Egypt, Anatolia, Phoenicia, and Syria), particularly the Mysteries and the philosophical schools of Platonism, Neo-Platonism, Stoicism, and Neo-Pythagorism; Alexandrian Judaism, with its Angelology, Magic, and deep reverence for the sacred Book; the many forms of Christianity (Gnostic and otherwise); Persian Zoroastrianism, with its deep concern with good and evil; as well as the new developments springing up alongside Hermetism and cross-fertilizing with it, such as Alchemy and Iamblichan Theurgy.
    Modern Hermeticism maintains this spiritual eclecticism, exploring and assimilating what is compatible and valuable from the Traditions with which it comes into contact, and sharing its own insights with other Traditions.
    Read more: http://www.meta-religion.co


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