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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Hermes

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
A Journey with Hermes

I was in for some surprises in May of 2006, when I first visited Samos, a Greek island near the border with Turkey, to give a talk at a students’ club. I had been invited by Minas Papageorgiou—a student back then and now a writer, researcher and journalist—to speak about Mary Magdalene. He took me on a journey up a stream named Potami (pron. potámi), the Greek word for river. It turned out to be a magical place as the stream runs through a forest and forms small lakes and waterfalls.

Our journey into the wild started—appropriately—with a strange kind of pilgrimage. Soon after Minas and I started hiking, we saw a sign reading: Ancient Chapel, Transfiguration of the Savior. Standing in the shade of a big rock, it had an eerie feeling about it. The day was warm and bright, but no sunrays touched the 11th-century church, as if Helios, the Sun God, carefully avoided this uncanny place.

We pushed the blue wooden door and were instantly greeted by a pungent smell of candles and incense. With goosebumps crawling up my arms, I tried to resist the feeling of awe inspired by the tall, gray stone walls, which exuded an aura of mystery. “Non-believers aren’t supposed to feel awe in such places,” I carefully admonished myself.

Besides, we were not there to pay homage to the Christian Savior, whose painted image was inspecting us from the door of the sanctuary. We had gone with the purpose of observing the four columns which supported the center of the old building. They were round and smooth, their only decoration being the intricate Corinthian-style column capitals. Were these pre-Christian? Archaeologists believe that they may well be.

Joseph Pitton de Tournefort, a French botanist and writer who visited Samos in the early 18th century, claimed that the columns came from the shrine of Hermes Kharidotes, “Giver of Grace (kharis)” or “Bringer of the Graces (Kharites).” In some places, during his festival, called Hermaea, the social order was temporarily reversed, as strictly defined roles came topsy-turvy. Among his many qualities, Hermes was also the Trickster, the Subversive One.

The foundations of that church were very old, dating probably from the 6th century CE. It was customary at the time to build Christian temples on top of Hellenic ones as the new religion was rapidly devouring the old one. We stared at the columns in silence, in the vain hope they might reveal their secrets. They didn’t, but an unexpected clue manifested as we turned back to walk out of the door. The evidence was there, right under our feet: the marble rectangular stone which formed the doorstep had a big circle carved in its center, which bore two holes. What else could that be but the base of an ancient statue? Similar stones can be seen in a host of Greek archaeological sites.

The name of the church was also telling: the Transfiguration of the Savior. The Greek word for transfiguration is metamorphosis, which is commonly used with the meaning of “transformation.” It rung a bell as Hermes (known to the Romans as Mercurius) is indeed a mercurial figure, a god with diverse roles and many faces, and a mediator between different realms. He was also considered the guide of souls to the underworld; his place of worship could have easily been transformed into that of the Christian Savior of souls…

That rather unorthodox pilgrimage was the beginning of our journey up the potami, a stream flowing into the sea just a few meters away from us. We began to walk uphill and soon reached a grove of olive trees and lemon trees, which seemed to relish the abundant touch of the sun and the presence of the life-giving water.

As our walk through the grove came to an end, Minas and I suddenly entered a different world. I stood gaping at the dreamlike landscape. The interplay of light and shadow created an otherworldly atmosphere. Hermes came to mind again, this time as the god of dreams, magic and alchemy. As a messenger of the gods, he could easily cross from one world to the other, from heaven to earth and into the underworld. I wondered what messages he had in store for us.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Tarot, Mercury and Magick

I’ve been hesitant to share this story here because I didn’t want anyone to misinterpret it as a sales pitch. As much as I am a full-time tarot pro and therefore constantly in shameless self-promotion mode, my blog here at PaganSquare is about magick, tarot and community, not making sales. 

The thing is, when one is a professional diviner, the classic lines between the magickal and the mundane blur quickly and easily.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Soul, ignited with your light

The last year was very happy one for me, and full of wonderful travels, meetings with new friends, and blessings were poured like rain.
I really hope that the coming year will be also fulfilling and peaceful; and "let the God/s you honor, will send you everything you wish for, and gives their blessings to your friends, families, children and neighbors"...
For my first post in 2016, I want to share some of my devotional poetry again - written in honor of Thoth-Hermes-Djehuty.

I have my soul
ignited with your light…

*

when I whisper the words of love
I feel your wings
around, protecting me;
when I speak your praises -
it’s the only reason to know how to speak,
when I live for you -
it’s the only reason to remember again,
how to breathe…

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
The Actor's Life

Our giant new television came with high definition. While my husband marvelled at the crispness of the picture and the exciting quality of the sports events, I noticed something else. 

 

The illusion of reality had disappeared.

 

 

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    Dear Archer: I really love this post. I, too, saw the makeup on the actors' faces when we got our HD TV. This was especially sig
  • Archer
    Archer says #
    Wow, Ted what an interesting life you've led! I'm intrigued by your theory that we honour actors because an intuition that we wear

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Can I Get a Witness?

 

 

One of my yoga students approached me after class. She wanted to discuss a scene from a book I’d leant her.

 

“You know how the author is teaching a yoga class, and one of his students breaks down crying and he cradles her head in his hands and acts as her witness? And then he shows her how to be her own witness?”

 

I nodded.

 

“Well I was wondering if you could that for me?”

 

Sure. No problem.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Archer
    Archer says #
    It's amazing to me how much we can pull out of our stories--about Buddha, Jesus, Odin, whomever. I marvel at how powerful the stor
  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    You're welcome, as always. Fortunately I read your first reply, so I appreciate the "in"-sights you shared; I also understand why
  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    Thank you, Archer, for another excellent article. I know exactly what you mean about long distance witnessing. I'm not familiar wi
  • Archer
    Archer says #
    Thanks for some thoughtful points and kind words Ted.

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Home Fire

Home. We don't really know how we feel about it. We may reject the place that raised us and seek to escape its troubling pull. Or we may long for an idealized home and set out to find it. But home is something you can neither escape nor find in its perfection. Rather, “home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in.” (Robert Frost) We can't avoid the imperfection inherent in living with those we haven't chosen. And even those we choose can disappoint us, and we them.

 

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    So, tell us - HOW did you get to be such "a repository of (not so) useless bits of information on ancient religion, spiritual prac
  • Archer
    Archer says #
    I do have a rather futile Masters in English from a very long time ago, but anything I know about the rest is a result of being fa
  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    Now that is funny! And I know exactly what you mean. Sorry about the double entry before; it looked like the first one hadn't "
  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    Really nice, as usual. How did you get to be such "a repository of (not so) useless bits of information on ancient religion"? Did
Pagan savings challenge, week thirteen:  lies we tell

One of the gods I regularly worship is Hermes, who among his other associations is god of the marketplace, and god of lies.  If you've ever purchased a car, the link between the two shouldn't come as any surprise; lies are part and parcel of what makes money work.  In fact, it's reasonable to argue that money is itself a lie, or built on one.

That does not erode money's influence or role as a holder of energy (value), although the fact that some people avoid money entirely is understandable.  Rather than resist the lies, I prefer to use them to my advantage.

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Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • J'Karrah
    J'Karrah says #
    I always round payments UP to the nearest dollar in my checkbook. Meaning a bill payment of $128.35 gets rounded up to $129 in my

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