[God Oracle] Hermes
[Card Description: Silver-tongued handsome Hermes looking suave in his winged shoes and traveling hat. Behind him is Apollo’s cow, a lyre, the caduceus, a bunch of money, foreign looking items and other stuff he stole. But he wears a jokesters grin and you can’t help but like him]
Fast as thought
On winged shoes
I’ll take coin from your pocket
Before you know it
I’m out of reach!
But you don’t mind
Since I bring news to you.
Caduceus to heal you
I stole that too!
easy on the eye
I am a trick of the eye
The sleight of hand
A citizen of the world and a man about town.
I am It-factor
Impertinence is my bread and butter.
So bring your jokes and wit
I’ll entertain you while I rob you blind.
What makes you like me?
You do because I like me
Lies and all.
I make this look good.
Statistics: Culture of Origin: Greece and Rome as Mercury. Location: Around the Mediterranean Sea. Age: Man of working age. Element: Air
Mythology: Homer tells us that this son of Zeus snuck out of his cradle, invented a musical instrument, stole Apollo’s sacred cattle, sacrificed the good ones, got caught and went to trial all before nightfall. This light-footed babe has been sneaking, lying and stealing ever since. But this was the only way that Hermes could claim his rightful power as a son of Zeus, albeit out of wedlock. Throughout Greek mythology we find him conveying messages, escorting souls to the Underworld, and causing mischief along the way. Besides inventing the Lyre, he also invented what we know as Pan pipes. He is renowned for slaying a hundred-eyed monster named Argus. He is often depicted with a travelers hat, rather like Odin, and sandals with bird wings on them. Originally a phallic diety, his worshippers would mark property boundaries and roads with a statue called a Herma, a square statue with the head of a bearded Hermes and a great erect phallus. The Romans know him as Mercury.
Meaning in Reading: Hermes is very likable—he’s good looking, charming, funny, clever. Sounds like what everyone wants in a lover, right? Hermes is whatever you want him to be. His charisma is infectious because it begins with him: he likes himself, and because of that, people like him. He doesn’t have to try to be cool to be liked. He is sure in his identity—even the negative parts. Hermes challenges us to like ourselves for who we are, and not waste so much energy trying to be someone else. Are you worried about impressing people but find that you fall flat? Hermes reminds us to relax. The people that like us will like us, and the ones that don’t—well, they don’t have to tear you down. After all, quick-witted Hermes is the one likely to invent a new solution and get people on his side.
Reversed: It is one thing to be liked because you like yourself, another to manipulate how others view you. There is a difference between a silver tongue and a forked tongue. Which are you using? Are you saying things and buddying up to people to manipulate the politics of a situation? Are you feigning friendship just to get what you want? Are you saying one thing to someone and something else behind their back? Eventually, you’ll get found out, so perhaps it is better to come clean if you want to keep your relationships intact in the long run. It is exhausting to try and maintain everyone else’s expectations. What about your own?
Connecting Ritual: For this ritual, you will need to head out into the wilderness and return with a flat rock that you can paint on. Pick the part of your personality that you like the least. Identify and name it. Are you, like Hermes, a liar? A beggar? A thief? Take some time to explore this identity. How long have you been like this? When do you perform these actions? What do you get out of it? How often do you take this identify? How does it feel to have someone call you on this aspect of yourself? How do you react? When the word is full of meaning to you, paint or write the word on one side of the rock. When the paint is dry, turn the stone over and look at the blank side. If you were to flip over your title, what good comes out of it? Turn it into something positive. If you are a liar, are you not also imaginative at story telling? If you are a beggar, are you not also comfortable in the cracks of society? If you are a thief, are you not also unattached to items and things? Paint or write this identity on the blank side of the rock. If you are so inclined, decorate this rock and make it yours. When you are ready, go to a natural boundary—perhaps the edge of your yard, a doorway, or the lines in the road—and place your rock there with the sides facing two different directions. Like Hermes, you will walk between these two identities and accept them both. Charisma comes when we like all aspects of ourselves, because if you can accept the darker parts of yourself, you can accept it more easily in other people—that is very infectious.
For more advanced workings, consider doing this ritual with several parts of your personality that you don’t like. You may try writing a limerick about the less savory part of yourself. Make it witty, rhyming and clever. Whenever you pass the boundary your rock marks, or you need to remind yourself to like all parts of yourself, recite your limerick. After all, liking yourself begins with laughing at yourself. And if your personal limerick begins with “There once was a man from Nantucket”, then so be it!
Interesting Fact: Mercury is the planet closest to the Sun in our solar system. It travels around the sun and returns to itself about every 88 days. Astrologically, Mercury and Hermes both are associated with communication. About three times a year, Mercury appears to travel backwards in our night sky. Astrologers call this phenomenon “Mercury retrograde”, and it reeks havoc on the way we speak, communicate with vehicles in traffic, and the message that gets across via email (assuming your computer even works!). It usually only lasts for a week or two, but where in the zodiac the retrograde occurs will affect different aspects of our lives. Like Hermes himself, Mercury Retrograde can cause a variety of mischief!