Hermes Trismegistus – Liturgy

The Liturgy of the Mysteries of Hermes Trismegistus

On the basis of ancient hermetic texts, the structure of hermetic plans of existence consist of ten spheres. At the top of the hermetic macrocosm is the Decad. There God is for himself. Hermetics said that Decad could not be felt and experienced. God is the father of everything, he is above and beyond all. The Decade corresponds with Kether.

Below Decad are the 9th Ennead (Nous) and the 8th Ogdoad (Logos). Seven realms of Hebdomad are below Odgoad. In Hermeticism, Ogdoad represents the sphere in which the word of God, the Logos, which comes from Nous, is manifested. That is why it is said that the Logos is the son of Nous, or in other words, that the Word is the son of the Mind. Ogdoad was not created or created by God, but represents the expansion of God’s being through the process of time and space. It is a place of purification and self-knowledge, and a person can reach it during his life on Earth. The division between God and God’s creation is overcome that way. The Hermetic expresses the awakening of the inner being with the words: “Every man and every woman will be a deity.”

The main message of the Hermetic text Ogdoad and Ennead concerns our ascent to those two spheres, in which we are expected to be greeted by heavenly music. This text describes a Hermetic initiation in which a devotee (catechumen) first studies Hermetic writings and listens to public lectures, then progresses through the seven realms of Hebdomad, experiences a vision of a journey from Earth to a world free of primal cosmic influences and transcends planets’ restrictive effects. In this journey, Ogdoad represents the flame of illumination. Ogodaod is the sphere where we meet Hermes Trismegistus as a human teacher, in the capacity of the Logos – Holy Word – which comes from the light of the Divine Nous (Divine or Universal Mind). In Ogdoad, the novice recognizes the presence of Logos and sings a silent hymn in his glory and also experiences the vision of the song of the choir of the Ogdobad, which is “the liturgy of the mysteries of Hermes Trismegistus”. Thereafter the Hermetist is supposed to experience unity with the Nous and consequently reach Ennead. The Hermetist would now be spiritually “reborn” in the transcendental reality above the seven planets and thus experience the state of the spiritual man. By his connection with the Logos of Ogdoad, he would become the master of the seven forces of destiny as he would go through the necessary “rebirth” in his lifetime in order to acquire the Ogdogoadic nature. In addition, Ogdoad is associated with stars, deities and blessed souls, all of whom were “akhu” or souls of Atum-Re, the highest creator god. The Ogdoad in the native Egyptian religion represented a group of eight gods that existed before the creation of the world, led by Toth. They created the primordial egg from where the world originated in the word of Toth.

The Hebdomad represents the seventh sphere of destiny initiated and managed by 7 archons. The mystery of Hebdomad is partly connected with the ancient Egyptian teachings about the seven areas of Sekhet-Aar (Reed Fields). Proclus (412-485), one of the last great ancient philosophers, classified the Olympian gods in Hebdomad. The mystery of Hebdomad is also known to other mystical teachings. The devotees of Mithraism identified Hebdomad with seven ceremonial steps. The Greek alchemist Zosimus speaks of seven steps descending and ascending above the altar. The Gnostics connected Hebdomad with the sphere of the Demiurge and the seven archons of destiny and the seven planets viewing it as a multi-layered network of prison walls. In the Gnostic Second Discourse of the Great Set, Adam appears as a false man made by Hebdomad. The following seven Gnotstic archons are: Athoat, Eloaios, Astaphaios, Yao, Sabaoth, Adonin and Sabbataios. There were different opinions too. For example, the Gnostic First Revelation according to James suggests that Hebdomad does not consist of seven, but twelve spheres who make up a total of 72 heavens.

Many centuries later, the Dutch mystic Beatrice of Nazareth (1200-1268) wrote Seven Ways to Holy Love (Seven Manieren van Heilige Minnen). The mystical connection of the number seven with the number of the sky is also known among the Chinese. Taoist master Tao Hongqing classified all known deities into seven different levels or ranks. Even today, not by chance, for a particularly exalted person, it is said that it is like in the “seventh heaven”. The number of “seven heavens” is reflected in many other mystical teachings.

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