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Hermes on the Back of Typhon


Hermes, as the personification of Universal Wisdom, is here depicted with his foot upon the back of Typhon, the vanquished dragon of ignorance and perversion. To the Egyptian initiates Typhon, the devourer of souls, signified the lower world which swallows up the spiritual nature of the individual who, being imperfect, is forced to descend from the higher spheres and be reborn into the physical universe. To be swallowed by Typhon therefore signifies the process of rebirth, from which man can only release himself by vanquishing his mortal Adversary. In one hand Hermes carries the Caduceus, a winged rod with two fighting serpents entwined about it; in the other, the immortal Emerald, upon whose surface was inscribed in raised letters the sum of philosophy. The figure wears the ancient Egyptian Masonic apron according to the pattern discovered by Belzoni, the eminent Egyptologist. The two small circles contain the forms and symbols most closely associated with Hermes. In the upper circle is the ibis, whose curious characteristics have caused it tob e particularly associated with the medical art. In the initiation ceremonies the Egyptian priests wore masks in the form of the ibis head to signify that they represented the attributes of Thoth, or Hermes. The lower circle contains the dog, an animal always associated with Hermes because of its intelligence and devotion. Upon the forehead of Hermes appears the uraeus, the secret symbol of the constellation of Scorpio, which represents the regeneration of the same power that in the form of a dragon lies helpless under his foot. The scarab over the heart of Hermes represents the presence of the spiritual and regenerative light within his own soul; the collar typifies by its circles the orbits of the heavenly bodies. The three points of the tail of Typhon which end in arrows indicate the three destructive expressions of universal energy—mental, moral, and physical perversion. The entire diagram signifies mastery through the regeneration of the body, the illumination of the mind, and the transmutation of the emotions.| 11″ x 17″