About the gods and their worship in Hermeticism

In the Hermetica there is a lot of mention about gods. Are they worthy of worship, and are we encouraged to worship them? Is this an expected thing or can you choose to worship the gods or not? And should we create and worship statues?

The hermetic texts were written by and for Greco-Egyptian priests and mystics. These priests and mystics lived in a temple-centric polytheistic society. The expected and established religious norm at the time they lived was to sacrifice to the gods, to pray to the gods, and to go to festivals celebrating the gods. To abstain from these activities was to go against the established religious norms of what it meant to participate in Egyptian society. 

So, does this mean that if one does not live the life of an Egyptian priest or mystic, worshipping the gods in Egyptian temples, we cannot authentically practice Hermeticism? Should we shave our bodily hair, move to Egypt, and live a life of purity dedicated to the Egyptian gods?

Let us explore what the hermetic texts say about the gods, our relation to them, and their worship.

Caveat: For this article, the translations by Clement Salaman in his books The Way of Hermes and Asclepius are used together with the translation and footnotes of Copenhaver in his Hermetica. We only consult the core hermetic texts and our conclusions are only meant for people who want to practice Hermeticism based upon these two core texts.

The gods and their worship in the Corpus Hermeticum

The Corpus Hermeticum is a collection of ancient philosophical and religious texts attributed to Hermes Trismegistus. These texts were written in Greek and were likely composed between the 2nd and 4th centuries AD, although they contain teachings and ideas that are much older. The Corpus Hermeticum is seen as the central text of Hermeticism.

in Book I.9, Nous describes how the gods came to be and what their function is:

Nous, God, being male and female, beginning as life and light, gave birth, by Logos, to another Nous, the Creator of the world; he, being the god of fire and air, formed seven powers who encompass in their circles the sensory world, and the governance of these powers is called destiny.

We first encounter the mention of gods together with worship in Book II.14 where Hermes teaches Asclepius:

Thus one should worship God by these two names (Nous and the cause of existence), since they belong to Him alone and to no one else. No other beings spoken of as gods, men or divine powers can be even in the slightest degree good, but God alone.

Only the worship of God is mentioned as Hermes clarifies that He is the only Good and men, divine powers and the gods are not even in the slightest akin to Him.

In Book II.16 Hermes explains more:

Everyone uses the term ‘good’, but what it is, not everyone perceives. On account of this , God is not perceived by everyone, but in ignorance they call gods and certain men good who can never be and never become good. The Supreme Good is not at all alien to God; it is inseparable from Him, as it is God Himself. All the other immortal gods are honoured by the name of God. However, God is good, not by being honoured, but by his nature.

Hermes says that the gods are called a similar name as God as an honor, not because of their nature. To think that the gods and God can be in any way akin is ignorance.

Book II again explains the creation of the gods in a slightly different way from Book I:

The vault of heaven appeared in seven circles, and the gods appeared in the form of stars with all their constellations, and heaven with the gods was complete in every detail.”

And:

The gods sent forth the generations of men, so that they should know the work of God, be the active witness of nature, and that they should multiply, rule over all under heaven, and know what is good; and so that they should increase and continue to increase, multiply and continue to multiply. Through their own wonder-working course the gods sent forth every soul clothed in flesh, so that men should survey heaven, the paths of the heavenly gods, the works of God and the activity of nature; so that they should know the signs of what is good, the power of God, and the turning fate of good and evil things and discover all the marvellous works of good men.

The hermetic gods are the seven planets. By studying their paths we can learn about God and His power. The study of Astronomy or Astrology is mentioned but not the need to worship these planetary gods.

In Book V.3 Hermes teaches that if we wish to see God, we should contemplate the sun, the course of the moon, and the order of the stars. Who watches over this order? For all order sets a limit by number and place. The sun is the greatest god of the gods in heaven, for whom all heavenly gods give way as to a king and master. Hermes explains that the gods follow the command and direction of God.

In Book X.15 Hermes continues teaching Tat about the gods as he explains that God does not ignore man, as God also wishes to be known. This is the only salvation for man: knowledge of God. This is the ascent to the highest abode of the gods. Man can reachest the highest abode of the gods. This is an important point and we return to it when we study the gods in the Asclepius.

In Book X.22 our relation with the gods is explained by Hermes. When we give thanks to God, we should pray for a mind that is noble. Then our soul can pass to a better state, not to a worse one. There is a communion of souls and those of the gods communicate with those of men, those of men with creatures. The stronger take care of the weaker, gods of men and men of creatures and God of all; for He is stronger than all, and all are weaker than Him. Nothing is more divine or effective or more able to unite men to the gods and then gods to men than the Mind/Nous of God.

Hermes explains to Tat in Book X.24-25 that man is a divine being and is not to be counted amongst the other creatures on earth but amongst those in heaven called gods:

Indeed, if we have to speak the truth boldly, the true man is above the gods, or at least fully their equal in power. Not one of the heavenly gods will leave the boundaries of heaven and come down to earth, but man ascends to heaven and measures it and he knows the high from the low, and he understands all the other things there exactly; and even more amazing, he ascends while not leaving the earth. So great is his range. Thus one may say that man on earth is a mortal god, and that the heavenly god is an immortal man. Therefore everything is controlled by these two: man and the cosmos. But all is from the One.

We are above the gods and fully their equal in power. There is no expectation to worship the gods as men and the gods are equals, and whatever we or the gods can do is still done by God.

That everything comes from and is done by God, is again explained in Book XI.12 where it is the Mind/Nous of God itself that teaches Hermes: “This one God makes everything; a plurality of gods would be absurd.

In Book XII.1 Hermes cites his teacher Agathos Daimon when he explains that some men are gods and that humanity is akin to divinity; in fact, Agathos Daimon called gods immortal men and men mortal gods. Again the emphasis is that the gods and men are equals.

After his initiation to the Rebirth Tat sings in Book XIII.17 a secret hymn to thank God and his teacher Hermes. In this hymn Tat mentioned the gods:

For I am about to sing praise to the Creator of all, who fixed the earth, who suspended the heavens, and who, in lands inhabited and wild, parted fresh water from the ocean for the creation and sustenance of all mankind; who ordained that fire appear for the use of gods and men. Let us give praise to Him, above the heavens, the founder of all nature.

His worship and praise are for God alone and Hermes does not correct him in this.

Reverence and impiety

At the end of the Corpus Hermeticum Asclepius explains to King Ammon that irreverence is mankind’s greatest offence against the gods; for the gods’ work is to do good, men’s to show reverence, and for the spiritual powers to serve.

Irreverence is mankind’s greatest wrong against the gods: to do good is the gods’ affair; to be reverent is mankind’s; and the daimones’ is to assist. Whatever else humans dare to do — out of error or daring or compulsion (which they call fate) or ignorance — all these the gods hold guiltless. Irreverence alone is subject to judgment.

CH XVI.11

“Reverence” here, is a translation of the Greek word eusebeia that can also be translated as “piety” or as “worship”. And “irreverence” is the translation of asebeia which can also be translated as “impiety”. Why did the main translators of the hermetic texts, Salaman (reverence), Copenhaver (reverence) and Nock/Festugière (piety), decide not to translate eusebeia as “worship”?

“Piety” includes both inner attitudes and outer actions, reflecting a person’s character and ethical conduct, which aligns with the Greek idea of living virtuously. “Worship” might imply a more narrow focus on external acts of devotion, missing the broader ethical and moral dimensions encapsulated by “eusebeia.”

As the governors of destiny and amongst the highest entities in creation we should of course respect and revere the gods. Because God’s spiritual substance governs the heavens, the heavens govern the gods, and the powers, which are appointed by the gods, govern men through destiny. This reverence should be show by how we life our lives, not only through the religion we adhere or the ritualistic practices we do.

In Book XVII, which is unfortunately just a fragment of a larger text, Tat explains to a king, probably Ammon, that the immaterial is reflected in the material and the material in the immaterial. The physical world is reflected in the mental, and the mental in the physical. Tat says that because of this reflection, the king should worship the statues because they contain the forms of the mind of the cosmos.

The worship of statues is nowhere else mentioned in the Corpus Hermeticum. Interestingly, this is the only occurrence of agalmata in the Greek treatises. The famous “god-making” passages of the Asclepius that we will discuss below, speak of statue.

Why the term agalmata is used might be explained by related philosophy. In Neoplatonism God makes the cosmos as an agalma. For Plato, the created cosmos is “a shrine brought into being for the everlasting gods” (ton aidion theon gegonos agalma: Tim.37c) and for the Emperor Julian, the visible Sun is “the living agalma, endowed with soul and intelligence and beneficent, of the noetic Father”. The body of a human that houses our soul is also called an agalma.

Maybe the king was hesitant in directing his worship to specific material statues (“the statues” and not “statues” in a general way) and Tat explains that the King can still do this if he keeps in mind that a material statue can still direct his mind to God if he sees their forms as agalmata of God’s creation.

So, the king should not worship the physical statues but through them the Nous of God. An elegant way for the king to still be able to worship the sacred statues in his kingdom without falling into idolatry (as Hermes will warn Asclepius in the Definitions below).

Unfortunately, Book XVII ends when the king says that he and Tat will continue to speak about the gods tomorrow. We will never know what they would have discussed.

Why the king is maybe hesitant to worship statues is explained in the Definitions of Hermes Trismegistus to Asclepius which we will discuss next.

First conclusion

There is nothing in the Corpus Hermeticum that expects us to worship the gods. We should pay deep respect to them as governors of our destiny, but we are equal to them and maybe even higher. Worship is mentioned six times in the Corpus Hermeticum, five times exclusive to God, and only one time as related to the question of the anonymous king about him worshipping specific statues.

The gods and their worship in the Definitions of Hermes Trismegistus to Asclepius

The Armenian Definitions of Hermes Trismegistus to Asclepius is a text that also belongs to the corpus of Hermetic literature. It is a translation of a Greek original and is considered to be a part of the Hermetic tradition, although it is not as well-known or widely studied as the Corpus Hermeticum.

The text consists of a series of definitions or aphorisms attributed to Hermes Trismegistus, who is in dialogue with his disciple, Asclepius. These definitions often take the form of concise statements or maxims that convey profound insights into the nature of reality and the human condition.

While the Armenian Definitions may not be as comprehensive or systematic as some other Hermetic texts, they nonetheless provide valuable insights into Hermetic philosophy and spirituality.

In Definition 8 it is explained that Man has as much power as the gods. Only man is a free living being, only he has the power of good and evil. And in Definition 9 the importance of Man is again emphasized: 

Man and the gods and all things (exist) by God and because of man. God is everything and there is nothing outside God, even that which does not exist: since as to God, there is no such thing, even one single <that he is not himself>. Man (comes) from another man, the gods (exist) because of God. Man (exists) because of God; everything is because of man. God rules over man; man over the whole.

And:

Humans work the land (and) stars adorn heaven. The gods have heaven; humans, <heaven>, earth and sea; but the air is common to gods and humans.

Worship is mentioned four times in the Definitions. The first mention is in Definition 8 and is related to the worship of statues, but as a dire warning:

Those who worship idols, worship plain pictures. For if they worshipped with knowledge, they would not have gone astray, but since they do not know how they should worship, they have gone astray, (far) from piety.

The fourth mention of worship is in Definition 9: “God listens only to man, and man to God. God is worthy of worship, man is worthy of admiration.

Second conclusion

There is nothing in the Definitions that tells us, or expects us, to worship the gods. It is again emphasized that we are equal to them and maybe even higher. Worship is mentioned four times in the Definitions. Three times in a warning against worshipping idols, which might explain why the king in Book XVII of the Corpus Hermeticum above is asking about this to Tat. The fourth time that worship is mentioned is again exclusive to God.

The gods and their worship in the Asclepius

The Asclepius, also known as the “Perfect Discourse,” is another important text attributed to Hermes Trismegistus, although it is not part of the main Corpus Hermeticum collection.

While the Asclepius is not as well-known or widely studied as the Corpus Hermeticum, it is still considered an important part of the Hermetic tradition. It provides additional perspectives and teachings that complement those found in the main Corpus, enriching our understanding of Hermetic philosophy and spirituality.

The Asclepius has a much stronger Egyptian flavour than the Corpus Hermeticum and that is why it contains many teachings on the (Egyptian) gods and statues.

In Chapter 5, Hermes explains that through divinely inspired religion, one who has joined himself to the gods in mind comes close to the gods. For it is through mind that a man becomes one with the gods, and similarly a man becomes one with the daemons who attaches himself to them. And in Chapter 6 Hermes says that we are united to the gods through a common divinity. Because we share this common divinity humans alone fully enjoy the respect of the gods, as Hermes explains in Book 7.

In Chapter 22 it is stated that through God’s will it was ordained that man was thus made superior both to the gods, who are formed only of an immortal nature, and to all other creatures. Because of this man is united to the gods in kinship and he therefore worships them through religion and through purity of mind. For their part, the gods look down on all human affairs with tender love and take care of them.

The worship of the gods is associated specifically with (divinely inspired) religion. Hermeticism is not a religion as Hermes calls it a “pure philosophy” which depends only
on reverence for God (chapter 13).

To worship the Supreme Being with single mind and heart and to reverence what has been made of his substance, to render thanks to the divine will, which alone is infinitely full of the Good: this is a philosophy that has not been dishonoured by the perverse curiosity of the mind.

A religion involves an organized hierarchy that serves the public with ceremony, ethical and metaphysical belief structure, lectures, and outreach programs. It provides meaning and social order. The Way of Hermes is not religion, but mysticism; a personal, not public, process of seeking the divine on an intimate level. The point is to touch something sacred, however briefly.

But what about the worship of the terrestrial gods within statues? Above, both in the Corpus Hermeticum and the Definitions, we have seen how Man is equal in power to the gods. We have the divine power of creation and as such “just as the Lord and Father, or God (his greatest name) is the creator of the heavenly gods, so Man is the maker of the gods in temples, who are content to be close to human beings. Man not only receives light, but he gives it. Not only does Man progress towards God, but he forms gods.” (Chapter 23)

This statement by Hermes about men making gods as statues causes a reaction in Asclepius which Hermes notices: “Do you wonder at this, Asclepius, or do you doubt as most people do?” Hermes teaches Asclepius that:

the forms of gods that men create are taken from two natures: from the divine, which is purer and far more god-like; and from that which is within men, that is, from matter. Having been formed from such matter, they are not represented by heads alone, but by the whole body with all its members. Thus humanity is always reminded of its own nature and origin as it continues to represent divinity in this way. So just as the Father and Lord has made the eternal gods to be similar to Himself, so humanity has made its gods in the likeness of its own features.

Because we made the material gods in our likeness we need to be very careful with them as the statues are made alive by consciousness, and they are filled with breath. The statues do mighty deeds, they know the future which they can predict through oracles, prophets, dreams, and many other ways, but the statues can also bring illnesses to men. The material gods can give us happiness but also sadness.

After this warning, Hermes gives his famous prophecy about the fate of his beloved Egypt. He says that a time will come when it appears that the Egyptians have worshipped God with pure mind and sincere devotion in vain as all their holy worship will turn out to be without effect and will bear no fruit:

The gods will withdraw from earth to heaven and Egypt will be deserted. The land that used to be the seat of religion will be abandoned by the gods and become void of their presence. Not only will foreigners, pouring into the region and covering this land, neglect religion, but what is worse, religion, duties to the gods, and divine worship will be prohibited with penalties.

Egypt which had such great love for the gods and where alone in the world the gods deservedly fixed their seat on earth because of Egypt’s devotion, as she has taught men religion and piety.

In Chapter 37 Hermes continues explaining our ability to make gods. We have been able to discover our divine nature and make it manifest. Again Hermes gives a dire warning: 

Because our sceptical ancestors erred greatly in their opinion of the gods and gave no attention to worship and divine religion, they invented an art by which they could create gods. To this discovery they added a complementary power drawn from the nature of the cosmos, making the two work together. Since they could not make souls they summoned the souls of demons or angels and implanted them into images with sacred and divine rites. By means of these, they were able to create idols having both good and evil powers.

Hermes says that it is easy to anger the terrestrial and material gods since they have been made and put together by men, from both divine and material natures.

Hermes also explains that humans cannot call down the celestial or higher gods into their statues but only the souls of demons, angels, and humans, like the souls of the grandfathers of Asclepius and Hermes.

The Egyptians called some living beings sacred and their souls, which were sanctified while they were these beings were still alive, are worshipped in particular cities. These beings are worshipped and revered in some cities, but because they are considered differently by others, the Egyptians habitually make war on each other.

In Chapter 38 Hermes teaches Asclepius how we can make the material gods that we have created happy with us. They are delighted by frequent sacrifices, hymns, praises, and sweet sounds in tune with the celestial harmony. This way they will not harm us, but help us as though they were loving parents.

Third conclusion

Hermes does mention the worship of the gods in the Asclepius, but it seems to be specific to religion, especially the religion of Egypt, which makes perfect sense. Hermes also mentions in his prophecy that the Egyptians worshipped mainly God.

The prophecy of the downfall of civilization is clearly about Egypt specifically and about a certain time when the gods made their home in that country and where living beings were worshipped in particular Egyptian cities.

The making of material gods

Hermes goes into great detail about the ability of Man to make material gods/statues. Just as God made heavenly gods, humans can make earthly gods. The divine power of humans to do this is due to our kinship with the heavenly gods, and because we are made in God’s image and can thus emulate his creative activity.

Hermes explains that we cannot call down the heavenly gods into statues but that making statues is the act of summoning demons to come down and dwell inside statues that have been made of material ingredients in sympathetic relation to divine nature (Ascl. 37–38). The divine powers residing in statues are thus in fact demons.

The term “demon” in Hermeticism is not like the term used negatively in Islam or Christianity. It is the English translation of the Greek term daimon, which is more like a neutral being that enacts the will of God. See our article about important technical terms in Hermeticism.

Hermes is not against the practice of creating earthly gods, and he even says that it “wins more admiration than all wonders,” but seems to warn Asclepius that because these gods are in fact demons and partly made from material nature, they are fickle and easy to anger.

We can appease these demons through certain actions so that they will help us and not harm us. There is no mention of the need to worship them, which would also be strange because we created them and when content act like parents. Now it becomes clear why Hermes warns against the worship of these.

In Corpus Hermeticum Book IV.7 Hermes explains that people without Nous are like processions that pass in the road but cannot achieve anything themselves, yet still obstruct others. The Greek term pompai used here suggests that the processions are actually images carried by worshippers or else people representing gods. A religious ceremony where people carry and worship images of gods seem here to be treated by Hermes with disdain.

In the Definitions, Hermes says that people who worship statues have gone astray and are far from piety. This is maybe because these people will worship demons, angels or humans but not the higher gods or (preferably) the highest God. But making statues with the souls of daimon in them, and with all due consideration, is acceptable and even encouraged.

Divine people, demonic people, and regular people

Christian Bull in his magnum opus The Tradition of Hermes Trismegistus (pages 433-434) writes that:

The ontological range of humans, comprising both heaven and earth, is greater than that of the heavenly gods, who are after all set in their eternal fixed course, and humans are therefore in some ways better than the gods (Ascl. 22). But this does not apply to all people. The peculiarity of the essential part is that it is “omniform,” enabling it to take on the quality of those beings it connects itself to.

In Asclepius 5 Hermes teaches that:

The form of humankind is multiform and various: coming down from association with the (higher form) just described, it makes many conjunctions with all other forms and, of
necessity, makes them with almost everything. Hence, one who has joined himself to the gods in divine reverence, using the mind that joins him to the gods, almost attains divinity. And one who has been joined to the demons attains their condition. Human are they who remain content with the middle status of their kind, and the remaining forms of people will be like those kinds to whose forms they adjoin themselves.

The categorization of humanity by Hermes therefore gives us a hierarchy of four kinds of people:

  • Divine people who are conjoined by the celestial gods and are governed by Nous
  • Demonic people who are conjoined by demons and who are maybe governed by their rational soul
  • Regular humans who are conjoined by humanity and who are maybe governed by their passions and desires

The categorization above explains the relationship between different kinds of humans and the gods in the following way:

  • Divine people worship the heavenly gods (probably in silence)
  • Divine people can create material gods, which are demons within statues, and then appease them with hymns
  • Demonic and regular people worship these earthly gods

In his book The Egyptian Hermes (page 150) Garth Fowden recognizes a cultic dimension in Hermetism, but concludes that the cultic stage was one to be superseded in the further process of initiation:

… the full spiritual scope of Hermetism … recognizes that not just the mysteries but all forms of cult may play a part in the lower stages of spiritual progress. They are not defunct, but they are intended to be superseded. And it happens to be with the post-cultic phase of the soul’s experience that the Hermetica are concerned.

Van den Kerchove writes in her book La voie d’Hermès (pages 214–22) that veneration of the statues seems to be described as something done in the past, but not expected to be practiced any longer. Walter Scott writes in book 3 (page 221) of his Hermetica that the worshippers of the gods were probably the median or regular people, who are subjected to their passions.

Conclusion

At the beginning of this article, we asked the following questions:

  • Are the gods worthy of worship?
  • Are we encouraged to worship them? 
  • Is this an expected thing or can you choose to worship the gods or not?
  • Do we need to create and worship statues?

After the deep dive into the hermetic texts, the answers to the questions above seem to be that yes, the gods are worthy of worship. If you practice Hermeticism as a Hindu or Neoplatonist then you can and should continue to worship the gods of your religion or philosophy and are encouraged to do so. This is maybe the reason why the gods are almost never mentioned by Hermes in the Corpus Hermeticum or the Asclepius by name as religions and philosophies can have their own gods or equivalent powers with different names.

It is clear from the Corpus Hermeticum that people practicing Hermeticism are not expected to worship the gods as they are equal to them and in some ways are even higher than them. We should respect them as the governors of (our) destiny but we do not need to worship them. When the hermetic texts mention worship it is almost always exclusively as related to God. Hermes says that God listens only to Man and that God is worthy of worship. People practicing Hermeticism therefore do not need the gods to reach God.

If you have not read Polyphanes’ excellent Hermeticism FAQ we urge you to do so. In his chapter on the practice of Hermeticism he writes:

The only divinity one is strictly required to worship and venerate in Hermeticism is God, and that in a way that is often distinct from other gods; rather than burning incense or making material sacrifices, the true worship of God consists of a sacrifice of speech and the singing of hymns in sacred silence, adoring the Creator by means of their Creation. Beyond that, whatever other gods one worships (if one worships other gods at all) is entirely up to the student.” (emphasis ours)

Hermeticism FAQ on the Digital Ambler

In the Asclepius it is clear that the heavenly gods are worthy of worship, so which gods can you worship and how? In our times both the planetary gods as well as the Egyptian gods are no longer objects of worship primarily due to a lack of cultural significance, the absence of dedicated practices, and no longer an official priesthood. This does not negate their status as gods.

Whether or not people engage in acts of worship towards these gods, we still do need to recognize their worthiness for reverence and veneration, whether or not society sees them as gods or any veneration actually occurs. The intention or consideration that these gods are worthy of worship is what is most important, not if you or anybody else actually practices any kind of worship to them. Reverence is more important than practice.

If you want to worship the heavenly gods then the “who” and “how” is up to you. It can be done silently only in your mind in a state of reverence or through elaborate rituals. No specifics are given in the hermetic texts, so there is no right or wrong way.

Should people who want to practice Hermeticism create and worship demons within statues? Hermes is very clear about this in his Definitions. They should not worship the statues but with some precautions, they can make statues and put the souls of demons in them.

This is not expected or necessary as Hermes warns us to be very careful when we do this as they can cause misery and even wars as they are fickle and are subject to passions like us. But it is a wonderful divine gift that humans have been given.

Therefore, if you are interested in the study and practice of the Way of Hermes then luckily you do not need to move to Egypt, live like an Egyptian priest or mystic (or walk like them), shave all your bodily hair, create and worship demons within statues in temples through continuous sacrifices or organize religious festivals. You can stay safely at home, continue with the religion of your choosing, and benefit from the wisdom of the Thrice-greatest Hermes.

And if you do want to worship the Egyptian or heavenly gods or make and praise demons within material statues then that is of course also possible, and completely up to you how you do it, as long as it is with reverence.

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polyphanes
polyphanes
26 days ago

Thank you for linking to and quoting my blog! One of the things I enjoy about blogging is that it’s a malleable medium, and resources like my Hermeticism FAQ posts can be revised as I learn and consider Hermeticism anew. In light of my own contemplations about the topic, I’ve revised my particular answer to that section accordingly:

> Hermeticism arose in a temple-centric Greco-Egyptian culture, with the teachings taught (and the texts written) by polytheistic priests or those taught by them; as such, the mysticism of Hermeticism is grounded in polytheistic worship of the gods of the cosmos, where one builds up and works towards a sort of devotional worship of and union to God (or, rather, the Godhead). However, the worship of God is often distinct from other gods; rather than burning incense or making material sacrifices, the true worship of God consists of a sacrifice of speech and the singing of hymns in sacred silence, adoring the Creator by means of their Creation. As such, Hermeticism is best practiced within a polytheistic spiritual context (originally and perhaps preferably but not necessarily a Greco-Egyptian one), even if it is mystically monist in some sense or another; however, for those in a monotheistic framework, certain adaptations to worldviews and theology must be made that can depart from the teachings and worldview of the texts. Although it would be incorrect to say that the only deity one is required to worship in Hermeticism is God because the texts encourage (and frankly expect) the reader to worship the many gods of the cosmos, God is focused on in Hermeticism as a mystic niche who want to develop their mysticism further. Ultimately, there is no limit nor rule as to which gods one should worship in Hermeticism, so long as one also worships God and grounds that mysticism in worship of the gods.