Hermes - The Horned One and The Devil

The Element Encyclopedia of Witchcraft: The Complete A-Z for the Entire Magical World - Judika Illes 2005

The Horned One and The Devil

Hermes is among those spirits classified as horned gods; however his myth is so extensive that he transcends such classification. That Hermes is considered a horned spirit might surprise many: the Hermes of Classical myth is invariably depicted as a man dressed in a uniform of traveler’s hat and winged sandals. Originally, however, Hermes was a deity from rural Arcadia. He began his incarnation as a deity involved with human and agricultural fertility: he is the Lord of Flocks and is often depicted carrying a young lamb or kid, both horned animals.

Like many horned gods, Hermes carries a stick: in his case, it’s the caduceus, a short staff entwined by two serpents, still the emblem of the medical profession. He often carries a large bag, too, from which he dispenses gifts and treasures. Hermes frequently limps and is sometimes described as missing one sandal.

Hermes is the father of the goat-god Pan. According to myth, Pan’s mother was horrified by the goat-child she bore but Hermes was delighted and it was he who raised and protected his son. For further information, see DIVINE WITCH: Hermes; see also Pan, page 576.