Hermes Trismegistus - Witchcraft Hall of Fame

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

Hermes Trismegistus
Witchcraft Hall of Fame

Hermes Trismegistus was a legendary Egyptian master magician whose name means “Thrice Great Hermes.” He allegedly composed the works now known as the Hermetica, laying the foundation for alchemy and Ceremonial Magic. He was the first to coin the term “As above, so below,” which is the cornerstone of astrology. He is credited with writing thousands of texts allegedly once contained in the Egyptian Temple of Neith in Sais, whose library supposedly contained works dating back nine thousand years. (See WOMEN’S MYSTERIES: Spinning Goddesses.)

“Hermeticism” is the term used to describe beliefs and practices deriving from a set of Greek writings known as the Hermetic Texts or Hermetica. Most modern historians date these texts to Alexandria between the first and thirdcenturies CE, although some suggest they’re much older. These writings include teachings attributed to Hermes Trismegistus. See also Ficino.

Some believe the Tarot card called The Magician is intended to represent Hermes Trismegistus. Trismegistus may have been a man, a deity or a deified man. An alternative theory suggests he was the son of a deity and a human mother.

Among those identified as Hermes Trismegistus are:


Image the Egyptian deity Thoth


Image the Greek deity Hermes


Image an otherwise anonymous Egyptian High Priest of Thoth


Image the biblical prophet Moses


Some theorize that some or all of the above may in fact be identical.