To Live , First You Have to Die

Change is an endemic aspect of the universe.

We’re born, we grow, we live, we die, and the great solar circle turns in the heavens and gravity holds our bones to the earth.  But, even these two elements of universal constancy are subject to change.  Luminary balls of fusion energy form and break apart and the internal engines of molten iron cool and stop turning.

Everything changes.

As people, I think we get caught up in the idea that we want peace and perfection only to become unhappy and irritated at the boring blandness of it all. We say we want stability, but isn’t that really just a metaphor for an imprisoned existence?

As a species, our penultimate punishment for a criminal is to lock them up in a small cell with three square meals daily, fresh water always at the tap, reasonable climate accommodation (not to hot and not to cold) and some form of daily entertainment, albeit probably not what they would themselves choose to be entertained by.

This is life without change.  Is this not what we seek when we cry out at the pains of something new forced upon us?

I know I do.  I resist. I struggle. I spit, scratch, cry and fight at the first sign of change that didn’t come from my own hand.

What doers the Hermetic texts tell us about change?  It says:

Nothing rests; everything moves; everything vibrates

That everything is in motion, nothing is static.  That motion is change.  Maybe its subtle, slow, imperceptible and invisible to the naked eye. Maybe it’s all at once and with such force that it feels as if the very universe is doing it’s very best to make different everything around you, almost as if you were going to die.

Sometimes, that’s what it takes to get through something.  Sometimes it’s that piece of ourselves that needs to die in order for us to be ready for that next thing, that next challenge.

I say this on the heels of being in the middle of a process of change that I struggled against.  My mind wanted that jail cell of uniformity and familiarity. Sure, my lips would say otherwise and I would tell my conscious self that I was ok with what has been going on.  But my mind… My mind wanted (and still does) to keep things from vibrating into that next state of being.  It refuses to let go of what is a fast evolving state of human development and my unwilling mind of the selfish ego is not taking well to the change.

But, like it or not, that piece of my existence needs to die.  Not the physical death, but no less painful and excruciating to undergo.

Turning the Wheel – Defining the Tradition of Hermetic Thought

So what is this consideration of the tradition of Hermetic thought?

This is a question that frequently echo’s through the recesses of my unconscious mind. In my day to day waking existence, I eat, argue, laugh, struggle, play and exist as any other man.

When I sleep, my dreams are of my common and mundane existence, my daily trials, victories and defeats. I can’t honestly say that there is anything extraordinary about my sensory perceptions or my connection with the divine. I can neither call down angels nor summon up demons to do my bidding or protect me from harm yet who am I to say that others cannot?

In much of what might be considered Hermetic thinking, Magick (with a capital M and a k at the end) plays a central role in the conduct of its practice. Whether it is Enocian sigils, angelic names, traversing metaphysical paths of illumination through the spheres, or an outright symbolic initiation into one of the traditions that claim linage to times immemorial – each of these aspects of the Hermetic Art are themselves a form of magical tradition, a means of seeing the world differently that symbols have deeper and more powerful meanings, tradition and lineage have some currency with authenticity and the invisible forces of the universe manifest through a variety of non-traditional metaphysical archetypes. Perhaps the linchpin to them all to exist as a broad spectrum Hermetic tradition is the fact that each tradition relies so heavily on the symbolic and the allegorical.

Perhaps, ultimately, this is an oversimplification of a rich tradition of thought that to suggest it is to become heretical to the body itself. But, as I see it, the Hermetic Art, as it exists today is the sum totality of those magical, initiatic, and metaphysical journeys. That to be a member, if members we be, of the Hermetic tradition (faith), you can possess a belief in all, some, or none of these things and still openly be a Hermeticist. In many respects, this left hand path isn’t wrong or counterproductive to other traditions. To the contrary, it is merely the wide open compass circumscribing a very wide and embracing circle to see and accept all within its spectrum.

This is, in my estimation, what is encompassed in the spectrum of Hermetic thought.


Lvx E Tenebris

I write this on the eve of the May Day pronouncement. Having just finished a final compilation of those who have chosen to be included as a Founder of this first circle, the count, excluding myself, stands at 33.

Concluding my tabulation, I took a moment to recount and affirm that number. Needless to say, it spoke to me, affirming for me the years of mental preparation that has lead up to this association.

First and foremost, welcome to this first loop of the Hermetic Circle.

In the days, weeks and months before us, this Circle will begin to take shape, providing greater illumination on its purpose and imparting some measure of wisdom for those who wish to receive it. Ultimately, this needs be an experiential group, one in which we work together to reach our aims.

So then, what are those aims?

As it was conceived, this Circle is bound by all traditions under the uniform acknowledgement that:

  • No one faith is absolute
  • All faiths are as one greater universal concept of the divine

With that in mind, I conceive the Hermetic Circle to be:

…an open society – open to all for the preservation and communication of the wisdom of the Emerald Tablet, Hermetica, the Kybalion, and the other Great Works of this philosophical tradition.

That it be a trans-polytheistic society, which is one that sees all faiths as ONE faith, where each is as valuable as any other, worthy of veneration and respect…

The outcome of this is a universal faith – A Hermetic Faith – that is the union of form and function of the wisdom traditions.

In preparation, your part at the start of this Great Work is simply to prepare a biographical statement about yourself by way of an introduction. It may be of whatever length you feel best suits an introduction of yourself, your journey to this destination, or the philosophical ethos that fuels your amity to the Hermetic tradition. Keep in mind; this is a correspondence circle of a sort so any energy you contribute this way will be returned in kind. Once written and received, our introductions will be published, with your permission, under your chosen name, in an on-line forum accessible only to us, the founding members of the Hermetic Circle. The home of this body of work will exist online at

Moving forward, I propose we embark upon a series of group exercises that involve the study of certain texts and traditions that will frame this circle.

More details on this initial assignment will follow soon, but in the meantime I ask that you mentally (and perhaps literally) begin to pen your introduction.

Welcome to the Hermetic Circle.

Greg Stewart
Fiat LvX