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The Light of Hermes Trismegistus

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  • Format: Nonspecific Binding
  • Copyright: 2022-12-06
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster

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Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?


A presentation of seven essential texts, central to the Hermetic Tradition, never before published together

• Includes Theogony, The Homeric Hymn to Hermes, The Poem of Parmenides, The Poimandres, The Chaldean Oracles, Hymn to Isis, and On Divine Virtue, each translated from the original Greek or Latin

• Presents interpretive commentary for each text to progressively weave them together historically, poetically, hermeneutically, and magically

Linked to both the Greek god Hermes and the Egyptian god Thoth, Hermes Trismegistus is credited, through legend, with thousands of mystical and philosophical writings of high standing, each reputed to be of immense antiquity. During the Renaissance, a collection of such writings known as the Corpus Hermeticum greatly inspired the thought of philosophers, alchemists, artists, poets, and even theologians.

Offering new translations of seven essential Hermetic texts from their earliest source languages, Charles Stein presents them alongside introductions and interpretive commentary, revealing their hidden gems of insight, suggesting directions for practice, and progressively weaving the texts together historically, poetically, hermeneutically, and magically. The book includes translations of Hesiod’s Theogony, the Homeric Hymn to Hermes, the “Poem of Parmenides,” the Poimandres from the Corpus Hermeticum, the Chaldean Oracles, “The Vision of Isis” from Apuleius’s Metamorphoses, and “On Divine Virtue” by Zosimos of Panopolis.

Through his introductions and commentaries, Stein explains how the many traditions that use Hermes’s name harbor a coherent spirit whose relevance and efficacy promise to carry Hermes forward into the future.

Revealing Hermes as the very principle of Mind in all its possibilities, from intellectual brilliance to the workings of the cognitive life of everyone, the author shows how these seven texts are central to a still-evolving Western tradition in which the principle of spiritual awakening is allied with the creative. Never before published together, these texts present a new vehicle for transmission of the Hermetic Genius in modern times.

Author Biography

Charles Stein is a poet and independent scholar with a Ph.D. in literature from the University of Connecticut and a bachelor’s degree in ancient Greek from Columbia University. The author of several books of poetry, including From Mimir’s Head, as well as literary works such as Persephone Unveiled and The Secret of the Black Chrysanthemum, he lives in Barrytown, New York.

Table of Contents



The Text Itself Is the Secret
• Hermeticism Reconvened: A New Imagination of Intelligence • Hermeneutics: The Further Life of the Text as Further Life of the God • Mystical Union: Parmenides, Being, and a Divine Background to the Realm of the Gods • Hodos Agnosia: The Way of Unknowing • The Divine Background and Egypt • Greece and Egypt • A Pagan Theodicy? • A God Is a Filter for Being • Configuration • The Incursive Moment

The Theogony of Hesiod
Translated Text
Commentary on the Theogony
• Making Gods, Making Worlds, Making Peoples, Making Poets • The Middle Voice • Self-Reference • Primordial Xaos • Genealogy, Logic, Chance • The Titans • Gender and the Gods • Form upon Chaos • Bardic Performance as Theophany • More on the Divine Background • Fate, Chance, Divination • Intransitivity • Atemporality and Eternity

The Homeric Hymn to Hermes
Translated Text
Commentary on the Homeric Hymn to Hermes • Hermes and Magic • The Tortoise Lyre • On the Practice of Conscious Listening • Self-Reference in the Homeric Hymn to Hermes • Further Notes on the Homeric Hymn to Hermes

The “Poem of Parmenides”
Translated Text
Commentary on the “Poem of Parmenides” • Parmenides as Mystic • Everything That Seems Must Seem to Be (from Fragment 1) • That Is (from Fragment 2) • To Think IS (from Fragment 3) • Indications (from Fragment 8) • The One • All NOW • Resembling “a well-rounded sphere” (from Fragment 8)

• Eternal Egypt • Egypt and Greece • The Priest Is the God for Whom He Officiates • The World as Inscription • Thoth • Our World as Counter Egypt • The Continuum • The Opening of Stone • The Pyramid

The Poimandres
Translated Text
Commentary on the Poimandres
• The Name Poimandres • Initiation and Death • Atemporal Essence and Inalienable Immediacy • Go in Fear of the Reified Invariant

The Chaldean Oracles
Translated Text
Commentary on the Chaldean Oracles
• The Configuration of Apparent Being in the Chaldean Oracles • Telestics • Theurgy • The Double Womb of Hekate • Flower of Mind • A Certain Mind Thing: Poetics and Apophasis • Hekate in Hesiod • The Hounds of Hekate • The Noetic Mandala: Synthemata and the Configuration of Correspondences

“The Vision of Isis” from the Metamorphoses of Apuleius
Translated Text
Commentary on “The Vision of Isis” • Isis and Osiris • Isis and the Moon • Eros and Persephone

“On Divine Virtue” by Zosimos of Panopolis
Translated Text
Commentary on “On Divine Virtue” • The Retroflection of Quality in Technical and Theoretical Hermetica • The Dissociation of the Sensibility • The Impossibility of Alchemy • The Origin of Alchemy in Metallurgy • The Emerald Tablet and the Language of Alchemy • The Odyssey and Alchemy: Hermes and Odysseus • Notes on the Greek Magical Papyri • Magical Charge, Ritual Violence • Language and Act



Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?

The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.

The Used, Rental and eBook copies of this book are not guaranteed to include any supplemental materials. Typically, only the book itself is included. This is true even if the title states it includes any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.

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