Hermes Chthonios

October 20, 2019

I became totally absorbed this week in a novel I’m writing. Prominent in this novel is the Greek god Hermes as an underworld deity.

Like the god Elegba in the African Yoruban tradition or the god Ganeshe in the Hindu tradition, Hermes is a god who facilitates connection between the seeker and other deities, and he is often the first deity addressed in a ceremony. He is a god who moves between worlds. Hermes conveys the souls of the newly dead to the underworld where Persephone rules with her consort Hades, and he is, at least in this aspect, a chthonic deity. For this reason, he can be a helpful divine companion in shamanic journeying. If you are going to the land of the dead for information but do not wish to tarry in the underworld, invoking Hermes will ensure a safe passage.

Hermes in the Underworld presiding over the passage of a slain warrior.