In the esoteric tapestry woven by Manly P. Hall in "The Secret Teachings of All Ages," the figure of Hermes emerges as a harbinger of universal wisdom and divine illumination.
“As Above, so Below; as below, so Above."
One of the most intriguing illustrations in Hall's work portrays Hermes standing upon the back of Typhon, a symbol-laden image that beckons us into the realms of ancient mysticism. Join us on a journey as we unravel the symbolism, explore the teachings of Hermes, and seek to understand the profound significance of this timeless representation.
Hermes: The Messenger of the Gods and Wisdom Incarnate:
In Greek mythology, Hermes is the messenger of the gods, the guide of souls to the underworld, and the embodiment of wisdom. Known for his swiftness and versatility, Hermes serves as a bridge between the divine and mortal realms. In the Hermetic tradition, Hermes Trismegistus—the legendary figure merging Greek Hermes with the Egyptian god Thoth—represents the source of Hermetic wisdom and alchemical knowledge.
Standing Upon the Back of Typhon:
The symbolism of Hermes standing upon the back of Typhon carries profound significance. Typhon, a monstrous serpent or dragon in Greek mythology, represents chaos and the primal forces of the universe. By standing atop Typhon, Hermes symbolizes the triumph of divine wisdom and order over chaos and ignorance.
"Under the feet of the Deity was laid the dragon, symbolic of ignorance; the Deity's right foot rested upon the neck of a crocodile, the symbol of the lower self, desire and evil." - Manly P. Hall
Interpreting the Symbolism:
1. Wisdom Triumphs Over Chaos:
Hermes' placement on Typhon signifies the triumph of divine wisdom, order, and enlightenment over the chaotic and primal forces that Typhon represents. It echoes the Hermetic principle of mentalism— the idea that the universe is a mental creation and that understanding the nature of the mind leads to wisdom.
2. Integration of Dualities:
The symbolism of Hermes standing on Typhon reflects the Hermetic principle of correspondence: "As above, so below; as below, so above." It suggests the integration of dualities, where the divine and the chaotic are not separate but interconnected aspects of a unified whole.
3. Overcoming the Lower Self:
The imagery of Hermes' foot on the neck of a crocodile symbolizes the mastery over the lower self, desire, and evil. It implies the importance of transcending base instincts and material desires in the pursuit of spiritual enlightenment.
Seeking Universal Wisdom:
In contemplating the symbolism of Hermes standing upon Typhon, we are invited to seek universal wisdom. The teachings of Hermes Trismegistus encompass not only the understanding of the cosmos but also the inner realms of the human psyche.
By aligning ourselves with these teachings, we embark on a transformative journey, transcending chaos, and embracing the divine order inherent in the universe.
Hermes, the eternal messenger and harbinger of wisdom, stands as a guide in the labyrinth of ancient mysteries. The symbolism of him standing upon Typhon in Manly P. Hall's depiction encapsulates the essence of Hermetic teachings—the triumph of divine wisdom over chaos and the integration of dualities.
As we reflect on this enigmatic imagery, we find an invitation to delve into the timeless teachings of Hermes, unlocking the gates to universal wisdom and the profound understanding of our interconnected existence.