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[Sticky] Getting Started with Hermeticism

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When embarking on the study of Hermeticism, it is crucial to grasp the fundamentals, which can be found in the classical texts. Therefore, it is recommended to familiarize yourself with these texts as a starting point.

For a budget-friendly and efficient introduction, we suggest obtaining the following two texts:

  • The Way of Hermes” by Clement Salaman et al. (includes the Corpus Hermeticum and the Definitions)
  • Asclepius” by Clement Salaman

By acquiring these two books, which offer affordable yet high-quality modern translations of three distinct Hermetic texts, you will establish a solid foundation for learning about Hermetic doctrine, practices, beliefs, and more.

If possible, we also advise obtaining the following texts:

  • Hermetica” by Brian Copenhaver (Corpus Hermeticum and Asclepius)
  • Hermetica II” by M. David Litwa (Stobaean Fragments and various smaller texts)
  • The Greek Magical Papyri in Translation” by Hans D. Betz

By acquiring all of these texts, you will possess high-quality translations of all currently-existing classical Hermetic texts, along with several post-classical/medieval ones. These texts are accompanied by extensive scholarly references, notes, introductions, and appendices, providing ample resources for further research and contemplation.

For scholarly and secondary sources, we recommend exploring the works of the following authors:

  • The Egyptian Hermes” by Garth Fowden
  • The Tradition of Hermes Trismegistus” by Christian Bull
  • The Arabic Hermes” by Kevin van Bladel
  • From Poimandres to Jacob Böhme” by R. van den Broek and C. v Heertum

Additionally, you may find valuable research papers by Wouter J. Hanegraaff and others on, with a special emphasis on Hanegraaff’s “Hermetic Spirituality and the Historical Imagination“.

Special mention: “The Gospel of Hermes” by Duncan Greenlees. The author takes a unique approach to the hermetic texts. He combines the various hermetic texts by theme and he then shares his own insights concerning the theme. For example, he combines the Stobaeus Fragments with the Perfect Sermon and other Fragments to discuss the theme of the Good Father. Greenlees also provides plenty of notes to similar texts from a wide range of other gnostic, religious, and philosophical texts.

By following this guide, you will be well-equipped to begin your exploration of Hermeticism, delving into its rich spiritual tradition and engaging with scholarly insights to deepen your understanding.

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