Hermes was the mystagogue and psycho pomp

Alchemical Hermes, Emblem from Symbolicarum quaestionum, Achille Bocchi Bologna- 1574. US Public Domain via wikimedia.
Alchemical Hermes, Emblem from Symbolicarum quaestionum, Achille Bocchi Bologna- 1574. US Public Domain via wikimedia.

Carl Jung often speaks of Hermes as psycho pomp, spiritual friend, or personal guide. He says:

From the earliest times, Hermes was the mystagogue and psycho pomp of the alchemists, their friend and counselor, who leads them to the goal of their work. He is “like a teacher mediating between the stone and the disciple.” To others the friend appears in the shape of Christ or Khidr or a visible or invisible guru, or some other personal guide or leader figure.” (Carl Jung, CW 9I, para. 283)

This spiritual friend reflects an inner voice or inner guidance. Hermes is a playful figure, full of paradox, and capable of offering dialectical insight into the soul’s journey through life. Jung says:

“The alchemists projected the inner event into an outer figure, so for them the inner friend appeared in the form of the “Stone,” of which the Tractatus aureus : “Understand, ye sons of the wise, what this exceeding precious Stone crieth out to you: Protect me and I will protect thee. Give me what is mine that I may help thee.” To this a scholiast adds: “The seeker after truth hears both the Stone and the Philosopher speaking as if out of one mouth.” The Philosopher is Hermes, and the Stone is identical with Mercurius, the Latin Hermes.” (ibid)

According to Daryl Sharp (1991) the animus sometimes takes the form of Hermes. He says:

“In mythology this aspect of the animus appears as Hermes, messenger of the gods; in dreams he is a helpful guide.”

Reference:

Carl Jung, Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious – CW 9i  (1934–1954) (1981 2nd ed. Collected Works Vol.9 Part 1)

Jung Lexicon: A Primer of Terms & Concepts by Daryl Sharp- 1991

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