Biblical Mysteries


In 1460, a series of manuscripts turned up in the Italian city of Florence. In time, all of would contribute to the Renaissance. Their title was the Hermetica.

In honour of their alleged author. Thrice-Greatest Hermes.

Mentioned in The Rosicrucian Prophecy, an overview of Hermeticism is well beyond the scope of this section - not to say my capabilities! In truth, Hermeticism, like Rosicrucianism, could be argued as an ad hoc title to a variety of philosophies that date from the time of late antiquity. In some quarters, it has been considered pre-science; in others, pure occultism.

On researching the topic and exploring the legacy of Hermes Trismegistus on the manifestos, notably his role as something of a patron saint of alchemy and astrology, it fast became clear leaving him out was not an option. The Cult of the Greek god Hermes can confidently be dated to before Alexander the Great’s conquering of Egypt in 331 BC, and a century later Hermes was being worshipped in Alexandria. With the emergence of Christianity, it’s perhaps unsurprising the pagan element gradually disappeared in Egypt. It was probably this transition that led to the development of the far more human Hermes Trismegistus. In addition to Hermeticism’s effect on the Renaissance, its influence on Gnosticism is also apparent.

Identification of this enigmatic character with Enoch has been tentatively muted. This would make sense of both Hermes’s absence from the Old Testament and his contention that God had a son – thus making him a Christian prophet. Whether or not the two were the same is unclear, as not for the first time researching the Rosicrucians, uncovering a definitive answer is elusive. If just one thing is clear, it is that since the early days of Christianity, the topic with which he is associated more than anything is alchemy. Mercurius was the Latin form of the Greek Hermes, and mention of Hermes as Mercurius Trismegistus is known to have occurred.

Of the identity of Enoch, most references are restricted to the Bible. The only others are individual books that were omitted from it. Genesis states that Enoch lived for 365 years; as the father of Methuselah, he was Noah’s great-grandfather, and Adam’s great-great-great-great-grandson through Seth. That the man could have been a King of Atlantis was my own creation for the novel.

Among Hermes’s possessions, the Emerald Tablet is credited as having been authored by him, and it has been reputed in some quarters to be the only known literature to have survived Noah’s flood. Incidentally, it was from the Emerald Tablet that derives the saying ‘as above, so below’. It has been alleged that Hermes/Enoch may have written over 300 books, all in their own way possessing the wisdom of the sacred mysteries.

If he did, sadly, they are now lost.

In Freemasonry, the oldest Masonic texts, the Old Charges, from around 1400, credit the survival of Masonic sciences after the flood to Hermes.