Hermeticism

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Hermeticism is the study and practice of occult philosophy and magic. The name comes from the fact that the first books about Hermeticism are said to have been written by the god Hermes Trismegistus ("Thrice-Greatest Hermes"), who combines aspects of the Greek god Hermes and the Egyptian god Thoth.

Hermeticism is also connected with astrology and alchemy. These beliefs were strong in Europe during the Renaissance. The Hermetic Corpus was translated by Marsilio Ficino in 1463 and published in 1471. At this time, the Hermetic Corpus was thought to be older than both Plato and Pythagoras.

In 1614, Isaac Causabon showed that the texts were actually written sometime between 200 and 300 AD. This view was based on careful study of the way language was used in the original writings.

Hermeticism was revived in the 19th century in Western Europe. The most famous group involved in this revival was the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.