Today on Sargent Pond

September 1, 2023

It’s been a great summer. I’ve been outside as much as possible. Winter coziness indoors will begin soon enough. I hiked today to Upper Sargent Pond, which I had to myself. For a variety of reasons, it’s not a popular place, though it is lovely.

I’ve been translating classic Greek invocations lately. These are based on originals and my understanding of the deity. Here is an Orphic hymn to Hermes.

O Hermes, artful messenger: boisterous one laden with divine prophesy. You whisk into our cognizance dodging, feinting, finessing, contemporizing while bestowing counsel in your cryptic way. Wily advisor, with sharply honed insight pierce our misfortunes and smooth the way for prosperity and peace.

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.