I just finished re-reading The Way of Hermes, a new translation of The Corpus Hermeticum and The Definitions of Hermes Trismegistus to Asclepius published by Inner Traditions. Perhaps that’s not an accurate way of describing my journey between the covers. For one does not just read tah Hermetika, one puzzles over and meditates on these writings, slowly extracting meanings, or one is occasionally rewarded with flashes of insight by the Thrice Great Hermes himself.Hermes is an Olympian Archangel and a Psychopomp. In the Abrahamic traditions he is known as Enoch, Idris and Metatron. One seeks and finds the Hermetic literature (or it seeks and finds them), incarnation after incarnation, until illumination is reached. And one recognizes it when it crosses one’s path. Then one starts remembering…
Hermetecism, which flowered during the Hellenistic and Roman eras, is the foundation upon which the Western magical tradition rests. These works were accepted by and integrated into the religions of the Book. And they kept the light of the Ancients alive during the Dark Ages.
The recent translations by Clement Salaman, Dorene Van Oyen, William D. Wharton (The Corpus Hermeticum), and Jean-Pierre Mahi (The Definitions of Hermes Trismegistus to Asclepius) are close to the source material but very accessible to modern audiences. If you are familiar with the works, these interpretations reveal many subtle shades of meaning that may have been previously hidden or obscured.
The brilliance of this book extents to the material that introduces and follows both volumes. They provide you with all the information you need to place the book in various contexts and understand the overall gist of the individual works. They also provide many useful resources that will further expand your knowledge and understanding.
This is an awesome book that deserves a wide audience. The versions of the The Corpus Hermeticum and The Definitions of Hermes Trismegistus to Asclepius contained in The Way of Hermes are the ones I personally recommend in my Introduction to Theurgy classes.
Thanks again Inner Traditions!
(c) Hercules Invictus