Hermes of Egypt ~ Here Lies The Secrets Hidden Deep Within
The Egyptian god Thoth, or Tehuti, in the form of an ibis.
With him is his associate, the ape, proferring the Eye of Horus
The Greek Hermes found his analogue in Egypt as the ancient Wisdom God Thoth (sometimes spelled Thouth or Tahuti). This god was worshiped in his principal cult location, Chmun, known also as the “City of the Eight,” called Greek Hermopolis. There is evidence that this location was a center for the worship of this deity at least as early as 3000 B.C.
Thoth played a part in many of the myths of Pharaonic Egypt: he played a role in the creation myth, he was recorder of the gods, and he was the principal pleader for the soul at the judgment of the dead. It was he who invented writing. He wrote all the ancient texts, including the most esoteric ones, including The Book of Breathings, which taught humans how to become gods. He was connected with the moon and thus was considered ruler of the night. Thoth was also the teacher and helper of the ancient Egyptian trinity of Isis, Osiris, and Horus; it was under his instructions that Isis worked her sacred love magic whereby she brought the slain Osiris back to life.
Most importantly, perhaps, for our purposes, Thoth acted as an emissary between the contending armies of Horus and Seth and eventually came to negotiate the peace treaty between these two gods. His role as a mediator between the opposites is thus made evident, perhaps prefiguring the role of the alchemical Mercury as the “medium of the conjunction.”
Thoth’s animal form is that of the ibis, with its long, slightly curved beak: statues of Thoth often portray a majestic human wearing the mask of head of this bird; others simply display the ibis itself.
It was to this powerful god that the Egyptian Hermeticists of the second and third centuries A.D. joined the image and especially the name of the Greek Hermes. From this time onward the name “Hermes” came to denote neither Thoth nor Hermes proper, but a new archetypal figure, Hermes Trismegistus, who combined the features of both.
By the time his Egyptian followers came to establish their highly secretive communities, this Hermes underwent yet another modification, this time from the Jewish tradition. The presence of large numbers of Jews in Egypt in this period, many of whom were oriented toward Hellenistic thought, accounts for this additional element. In many of the Hermetic writings, Hermes appears less as an Egyptian or Greek god and more as a mysterious prophet of the kind one finds in Jewish prophetic literature, notably the Apocalypse of Baruch, 4 Esdras, and 2 Enoch. Still, when all is said and done, the Jewish element in the Hermetic writings is not very pronounced. The Hermes that concerns us is primarily Egyptian, to a lesser degree Greek, and to a very slight extent Jewish in character.