Real Magic Studies
THE HERMETIC TEACHINGS
God and humanity have an agreement: humanity will learn wisdom. Humanity might stumble and fall time after time, but humanity is hard-wired to seek out God and find wisdom. And in the end, God and humanity merge in essence as One wisdom consciousness—Sophia. Inherent in this philosophy is the belief that this transformation is the ultimate desire or dream of God. This is the Great Work.
THE ORIGINS OF ALCHEMY
What is alchemy? The thesis of alchemy is, “As above, so below”. Alchemy evolved from the Hermetic belief that there is a divine intention (as above) at the root of all created form, and human beings (so below) carry a spark of this divine intention. This spark gives human beings a capacity to reach superconsciousness—the Christ Consciousness. If God is a vast living consciousness and humanity a living star, a spark from the living Fire of God, then human beings have within them, in that spark, the Secret of Fire—the ability to transmute energy.
I didn’t study or practice alchemy in a traditional or occult sense of the word. The Kybalion, a treatise on The Hermetic Teachings, declares that alchemy is a mental art, an art created for the purpose of changing consciousness, and that is the spirit in which I have pursued the study of alchemy. I don’t use any rituals in the Course, and I don’t use the language and symbols usually associated with alchemy. Alchemy is the art of using energy to change energy, of using consciousness to change consciousness. A mental art.
The Hermetic Teachings are the source of the science of alchemy. The Hermetic Teachings are the work of an ancient Egyptian teacher whom the Greeks named Hermes Trismegistus. Hermes Trismegistus was believed to have been a great spiritual master, so wise that he attained divinity on earth. Legend says Hermes Trismegistus was the teacher of an unknown Egyptian prince who evolved to become the Moses of biblical legend. Hermes was reputed to have lived for over three hundred years and to have been the teacher of Abraham. Some stories propose Hermes and Abraham to have been one and the same. He embodied the qualities of the ancient Greek god Hermes and the Egyptian god Thoth, gods of knowledge, who guided human evolution and were carriers and dispensers of the Word of God. This semi-divine teacher, Hermes Trismegistus, was the author of a spiritual text of great purity, an entirety of truth, universal knowledge which was received directly from the source of all knowledge—from a vast and far-reaching, universal God.
Hermes lives in my heart and my imagination as a master, teaching the simplicity of the Word. Wisdom sings in my soul; my soul sighs for Your Word. The hieroglyph of the Soul is a living Word. Behold! Thy soul is a living star! The Word touches me, touches you. The Word is a living star, a living Light. Bring the Light, the Living Star, the Vast Fire of God, into the dark, and the power of the Living Light will transmute the dark. This is the simple truth. This is the sacred technology we need.
No one really knows who Hermes was. His story is lost in antiquity. And his writings exist only as fragments that have been translated and re-translated, interpreted and re-interpreted for thousands of years. That he did exist is a fact. That he was the father of Alchemy is a fact. Al-kemi translated from a Pharaonic hieroglyph means the Black Land, the Nile Valley. It was later, through the Arabs and their Alexandrian successors, that Al-kemi came to mean the application of Hermetic gnosis—alchemy.
That Hermes was associated with the Egyptian God, Thoth, is a fact. That the Greeks named him Thrice-Great Hermes (Hermes Trismegistus) after their own God Hermes, who was created in the same image and for the same purpose as Thoth—Hermes/Thoth being the “scribe of the Gods”—is a fact. That he was Thoth is a legend. That he lived for over three hundred years and was the teacher of both Abraham and Moses is a legend.
There are translations, from the Egyptian, of his writings as far back as ancient Greece and Arabia. The scholars of Alexandria translated his writings to create alchemical texts that would appeal to their contemporary scholars and seekers. Medieval scholars, spiritual seekers and scientists translated the existing Hermetic texts and that this was one of the factors that led to the creation of the Renaissance in Europe. These medieval translations led to the practice of Alchemy as a science of material elements, of metals and earth rather than a science of Mind and Spirit. But nothing is known of Hermes.
I like this lack of factual, historical information. I find it frees my mind—a spiritual teacher existing as a Great Vibration, an inspiration from the Mind of God, but with no personality, no image to distort attention, to pull the mind away from the purity of his Voice. I love him. This is the first thing I felt—love and recognition—when I sensed Hermes as a form of the Esoteric Christ, and sensed where these Teachings came from, how truly old they are, and what they are truly about—the thought came to me that I love him. I have always loved him. I felt the same way about Jesus and the same way about Sophia/Mary. I have always loved them.
It was difficult, once I received the initial intuitive inspiration about Hermes, to decode the existing fragmented information about the Hermetica of Egypt. The Hermetica of the ancient Mystery Schools, of Alexandria, of the Gnostics and early Christian visionaries has been so fragmented that the Christ Consciousness as we know appears as a pale shadow of that ancient Truth—the Gnostic Christ. I lived silently with the inspiration for years before I began to grasp the wisdom of the ages that is contained in the Hermetic fragments. It was more years before I discovered a little book called The Kybalion and began to intuitively put it all together as a Course in Living Creation. The Kybalion is truly a master-key, making coherent the fragments of the Hermetica that have come down to us for thousands of years. I began to perceive teachings laid out in an orderly movement beginning with the Principle of Polarity. As I read the Kybalion, studying Polarity, The Principle of Rhythm; the Principle of Correspondence; (as above; so below) the Principle of Vibration; the Art of Attention; Law of Attraction; the Law of the Word; I was having speed of light revelations—intuitions coming faster than I could record them. I told a friend it was like things were going off in my head all the time. I began to wonder if I was truly wonderfully intelligent or simply insane. I was studying Hermetic gnosis and my mind was in the grip of a vast inspiration!
Keys From The Kybalion:
“To change your mood or mental state—change your vibration.”
“One may change mental vibrations…in the direction of deliberately fixing the Attention upon a more desirable state. Will directs the Attention, and Attention changes the Vibration.”
“To destroy an undesirable rate of mental vibration, put into operation the Principle of Polarity and concentrate upon the opposite pole to that which you desire to suppress…change the polarity.”
The Kybalion; A Study of The Hermetic Philosophy of Ancient Egypt and Greece; by Three Initiates. Published in 1912 by the Yogic Society, Masonic Temple, Chicago, ILL, this book is now in the public domain.
When I discovered the book The Hermetica; Lost Wisdom of the Pharaohs by Timothy Freke and Peter Gandy, I began to understand that the Hermetic teachings are a complete spiritual path. Reading this book brought my studies into wholeness—a simple and beautiful inspiration. I had been taking my sense of divine assignment and making heavy work of it, thinking I had to understand the totality of alchemy when in this book I was looking at what alchemy authentically is.
The following quotes are from this book. The Hermetica; The Lost Wisdom of the Pharaohs by Timothy Freke and Peter Gandy – used by permission.
“Thrice–Great Hermes speaks:
“Wise words; although written by my decaying hand, remain imperishable through time; imbued with the medicine of immortality by the All-Master. Be unseen and undiscovered by all those who will come and go, wandering the wastelands of life. Be hidden, until an older heaven births human beings who are worthy of your wisdom.”
“Although human culture has changed beyond recognition from the times of the ancient Egyptians, the essential mysteries of life have remained what they have always been and always will be. For those alive to these mysteries, the writings of Hermes are as relevant today as they were in the distant past. We hope that this new version captures as much as possible of the Hermetic vision, playing some small part in restoring to this ancient wisdom the respect that it is due.”
This translation of the Hermetica by Timothy Freke and Peter Gandy is the only translation I’ve found that treats the writings of Hermes as something more than occult mysticism or traditional alchemy. They have brought the Hermetic fragments out of the closet of medieval obscurity. They offer The Hermetica as deeply spiritual wisdom; as scriptures that in themselves are as historically important, as powerful, and authentic as any of the great sacred wisdom teachings of the world. They bring Hermes into place as an inspired teacher for the ages.
Their translation is clearly inspired by the All-Master; and this is the book I recommend to all my students. In fact, I recommend all the books written by these two teachers. I recommend Timothy Freke’s Alliance for Lucid Living and the book Lucid Living. Also Jesus and the Lost Goddess; The Secret Teachings of The Original Christians by Timothy Freke and Peter Gandy.
Check the website: www.timothyfreke.com