Review of ‘The Gospel of Hermes’ by Duncan Greenlees

“The Gospel of Hermes” by Duncan Greenlees is a compelling and imaginative work that seeks to distill the essence of the Hermetic tradition into a coherent and accessible text.

Drawing from the rich corpus of Hermetic writings, Greenlees presents a modern spiritual guide that resonates with contemporary readers while remaining rooted in ancient wisdom.

Greenlees approaches the Hermetic tradition with both reverence and creativity, crafting a narrative that captures the philosophical and mystical insights attributed to Hermes Trismegistus.

Duncan’s prose is eloquent and poetic, reflecting the profound and often enigmatic nature of the source material. The book serves as both a synthesis of Hermetic thought and a practical guide for those seeking spiritual enlightenment and personal transformation.

One of the notable strengths of “The Gospel of Hermes” is Greenlees’ ability to weave together various Hermetic texts into a cohesive narrative. He draws from well-known sources such as the Corpus Hermeticum and the Asclepius, as well as lesser-known fragments and writings, creating a tapestry that showcases the diversity and depth of Hermetic philosophy.

This holistic approach allows readers to appreciate the interconnectedness of Hermetic teachings on topics such as the nature of the divine, the structure of the cosmos, and the path to spiritual awakening.

Greenlees’ work is not merely a translation or compilation of existing texts; it is a creative reimagining that aims to make Hermetic wisdom relevant for modern seekers. His interpretation emphasizes the practical aspects of Hermetic teachings, offering insights on how to apply these ancient principles to contemporary life. This pragmatic focus is one of the book’s key appeals, making it a valuable resource for those interested in spiritual practice as well as philosophical inquiry.

However, it is worth noting that Greenlees’ interpretation of the Hermetic texts is influenced by a theosophical worldview. While this perspective enriches the narrative with a modern spiritual dimension, it may also introduce biases that deviate from a purely historical or traditional interpretation of Hermeticism. Some readers might find this theosophical lens slightly skewed, preferring a more academically rigorous approach to these ancient texts.

The book is divided into several sections, each exploring different facets of Hermetic thought. Greenlees covers a wide range of topics, including the nature of God, the role of the human soul, the process of spiritual ascent, and the principles of alchemy and magic.

Each section is thoughtfully curated, providing a clear and engaging exposition of complex ideas. Greenlees’ ability to elucidate these esoteric concepts in a relatable manner is commendable, making the book accessible to both novices and seasoned students of esotericism.


“The Gospel of Hermes” by Duncan Greenlees is a beautifully crafted and insightful work that breathes new life into the ancient Hermetic tradition. It is a must-read for anyone interested in Western esotericism, spiritual philosophy, and the quest for inner wisdom. Greenlees’ eloquent prose and thoughtful synthesis make this book a valuable addition to the library of any spiritual seeker.

While his theosophical interpretation may not appeal to everyone, it offers a unique and modern perspective that enriches the reader’s engagement with Hermetic teachings. Whether you are new to Hermeticism or well-versed in its teachings, “The Gospel of Hermes” offers a rich and rewarding exploration of timeless spiritual truths.

Title: The Gospel of Hermes
Author: Duncan Greenlees
Publisher: Watkins Publishing
Publication Date: 2008 (originally published in 1948)

Our rating

Order the book on The Gospel of Hermes

Similar Posts

Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments