Another reader question today; where does the Hermetica fit in with Hellenic Polytheism? The short answer is going to be: wherever you want it to, but let me expand on that a little.

For those unfamiliar with the Hermetica, they are Egyptian-Greek wisdom texts from the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD, which are mostly presented as dialogues in which a teacher, generally identified as Hermes Trismegistus ('thrice-greatest Hermes'), enlightens a disciple. The texts form the basis of Hermeticism. They discuss the divine, the cosmos, mind, and nature. Some touch upon alchemy, astrology, and related concepts.

The Hermetic tradition represents a non-Christian lineage of Hellenistic Gnosticism and has greatly influenced the Western esoteric tradition. It was considered to be of great importance during both the Renaissance and the Reformation. The tradition claims descent from a doctrine which affirms that a single, true theology exists which is present in all religions and was given by God to man in antiquity. Many Christian writers considered Hermes Trismegistus to be a wise pagan prophet who foresaw the coming of Christianity.

Like with the Greek Magical Papyri, or Papyri Graecae Magicae--another body of papyri from Graeco-Roman Egypt, dating back to the 2nd century BC to the 5th century AD, which each contain a number of magical spells, formulae, hymns and rituals--inclusion of these obviously muddled texts is up to the practitioner.

I have stressed before on this blog the importance of narrowing down your practice to a time period and even a location. The reign of the Hellenes lasted for roughly 650 years. During that time, several major changes took place within the culture and religion of these people. Trying to reconstruct all these practices is not only impractical but also impossible. As a Hellenic Recon, it therefor becomes important to find out which classical, Hellenic, period speaks to us--and if we want to go beyond the scope of those time periods into the Graeco-Roman and Graeco-Egyptian. Of even more importance, perhaps, is if you want to follow or include mystery Traditions, like those taught at Eleusis, or by the Orphics, or even those found in the Papyri or Hermetica.

So, again, if you feel the need to include the Hermetica, if its words speak to you on a religious or spiritual level, then by all means include them. You'll probably be a minority within the religion, but if you feel that is how you can best serve the Gods then go for it! Personally, I steer clear of both the Hermetica and the Papyri, but I've read both, and there is great beauty there. It's just not for me.