Turning the Wheel – Defining the Tradition of Hermetic Thought

So what is this consideration of the tradition of Hermetic thought?

This is a question that frequently echo’s through the recesses of my unconscious mind. In my day to day waking existence, I eat, argue, laugh, struggle, play and exist as any other man.

When I sleep, my dreams are of my common and mundane existence, my daily trials, victories and defeats. I can’t honestly say that there is anything extraordinary about my sensory perceptions or my connection with the divine. I can neither call down angels nor summon up demons to do my bidding or protect me from harm yet who am I to say that others cannot?

In much of what might be considered Hermetic thinking, Magick (with a capital M and a k at the end) plays a central role in the conduct of its practice. Whether it is Enocian sigils, angelic names, traversing metaphysical paths of illumination through the spheres, or an outright symbolic initiation into one of the traditions that claim linage to times immemorial – each of these aspects of the Hermetic Art are themselves a form of magical tradition, a means of seeing the world differently that symbols have deeper and more powerful meanings, tradition and lineage have some currency with authenticity and the invisible forces of the universe manifest through a variety of non-traditional metaphysical archetypes. Perhaps the linchpin to them all to exist as a broad spectrum Hermetic tradition is the fact that each tradition relies so heavily on the symbolic and the allegorical.

Perhaps, ultimately, this is an oversimplification of a rich tradition of thought that to suggest it is to become heretical to the body itself. But, as I see it, the Hermetic Art, as it exists today is the sum totality of those magical, initiatic, and metaphysical journeys. That to be a member, if members we be, of the Hermetic tradition (faith), you can possess a belief in all, some, or none of these things and still openly be a Hermeticist. In many respects, this left hand path isn’t wrong or counterproductive to other traditions. To the contrary, it is merely the wide open compass circumscribing a very wide and embracing circle to see and accept all within its spectrum.

This is, in my estimation, what is encompassed in the spectrum of Hermetic thought.