Spiritus Hermeticum: introduction

An investigation of the origins of Hermeticism and the true teachings of Hermes Trismegistus in 12 parts

The spirit of Hermes Trismegistus towers like a colossus over mysticism, magic and esoteric philosophy. In this unique series of twelve articles published in instalments over twelve months from April 2020 until March 2021 we trace the origins of Hermeticism back to its earliest roots. Along the way we consider many different aspects of the Hermetic legacy and its profound influence upon some of the greatest minds of the past, not least Plato, who embodied many of the teachings of Hermes in his philosophy. Many of the writings called Hermetic are little more than superstitious speculations upon occult laws and principles of which the authors had little understanding. This is why we have called this investigation Spiritus Hermeticum, not Corpus Hermeticum (as the literature dealing with Hermetic philosophy is generally known), for we are not concerned with the dead body—the 'corpus'—of Hermeticism, but with its inner, living Spirit.

For this reason much of what we have to say will contradict the prevailing view that the Corpus Hermeticum was composed between the 2nd or 3rd centuries A.D., and is the work of various anonymous Greek writers. Our principal aim however, is to discover, or rather rediscover, the Spirit of Hermes by identifying the original truths he taught to his disciples, and to distinguish these without fail from the half-truths and speculations grafted onto them over the centuries. For it is the Truth and nothing but the Truth that matters to us, and we hope, to our loyal readers, no matter how unpopular or unsaleable it may be to those who call themselves 'occultists' and 'magicians', but are nothing but blind charlatans leading the even blinder.

In the twelve afterwords accompanying this investigation we meticulously dissect the so-called Emerald Tablets of Thoth the Atlantean fabricated in the last century by Dr Maurice Doreal. In doing so we show who started the fraud and why, how it has mushroomed over the past half century and why these spurious texts exercise such a strong appeal to students of occultism whereas the genuine Tabula Smaragdina of Hermes Trismegistus (singular) is mostly unknown, ignored and widely misunderstood. For all these reasons it will be seen that this investigation forms an ascending scale of revelation which cannot be understood by skimming through the individual articles in a haphazard and piecemeal manner. Hence, if you wish to obtain the greatest benefit from this investigation, each part should be carefully studied in the reading order listed below.

Spiritus Hermeticum

Then I said, I would learn the things that are, and understand the nature of them, and know God. Hermes Trismegistus — 'The Divine Pymander'


In part one we investigate the origins of Hermeticism, who Hermes was, when he lived and what he taught. In our afterword we begin a detailed examination of the life and times of the mysterious occultist known as 'Dr' Doreal—the author of the so-called Emerald Tablets of Thoth the Atlantean now enjoying a revival of interest.


We discuss the origins and extent of the Corpus Hermeticum: the books called the Poemander and the Asclepios and the Hermetic Fragments. In our afterword we continue our investigation of the career of the colourful Dr Doreal and his several predictions for a 'Second Coming' that never came...


The contradictions and conundrums in the Corpus Hermeticum, Hermes' teaching on Good and Evil, His ideas of God, and how the human Mind can know God. In our third afterword we conclude our investigation of the life and times of Dr Doreal and begin a detailed examination of his 'Emerald Tablets' and the occult order he founded.


We continue our discussion of the knowledge of God according to the teachings of Hermes, His teachings on Music, the Mind of Light and the doctrine of Regeneration. In our afterword we analyse Doreal's pompous preface to the impudent imposture known as The Emerald Tablets of Thoth the Atlantean.


We conclude our discussion of Regeneration, tell you more about the God Thoth and Hermes' doctrine of the dangers of the Net. In our afterword we examine the first of Dr Doreal's so-called Emerald Tablets of Thoth the Atlantean which purports to tell The History of Thoth the Atlantean.


We discuss some important parts of the Asclepios, examine Hermes' teachings on the body and the soul, Matter, Spirit and Space, and the mysterious subject of the 'Void.' In our afterword we analyse the second and third Emerald Tablets of Thoth the AtlanteanThe Halls of Amenti and The Key of Wisdom.


We discuss the strange doctrine of the Decani found in the Asclepios and Hermes' teachings on the simplicity of Truth. In our continuing dissection of the Emerald Tablets of Thoth the Atlantean we analyse the fourth and fifth tablets—The Space Born and The Dweller of Unal, which, with some minor changes, makes an anagram of lunatic!


A brief review of the Kybalion, the Seven Universal Hermetic Laws, and a discussion of the first two Laws of Mentalism and Correspondence. In our eighth afterword we analyse the sixth and seventh of Doreal's tablets—The Key of Magic and The Seven Lords—which contain no magic but plenty of half-truths, distortions and falsehoods.


We examine the Hermetic Laws of Vibration and Polarity and analyse the eighth and ninth tablets of Doreal's pseudo-Thoth—The Key of Mystery and The Key to Freedom of Space. The former introduces the reader to Doreal's invented hellish 'Hounds of the Barrier' and the latter abounds with his puerile Sci-fi fantasies about Space.


We examine the Hermetic Laws of Rhythm and Cause and Effect and analyse the tenth and eleventh Emerald Tablets of Thoth the Atlantean.


We examine the Hermetic Law of Gender or Sex and analyse the twelfth and thirteenth Emerald Tablets of Thoth the Atlantean.


We conclude our investigation, analyse the last two tablets of the so-called Emerald Tablets of Thoth the Atlantean, and compare the whole series with the genuine single Emerald Tablet of Hermes Trismegistus—the Tabula Smaragdina.

© Copyright occult-mysteries.org. First published 21 March 2021. Updated 24 December 2022.

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