are a lot like us, some are friendly, some are not. Some aren't very
smart, it's not a criterion. Like us, all gods are thieves, but only
one god is the god of thieves, and that god is Hermes.
a god steals attaches to the god's name, a lot of titles, which is
to say, the more Boards one sits on the better, the more famous. In
this way, the gods order things out of Chaos, they tame the wild for
for instance. Of all the Olympians, Hermes is by far the strangest
and most interesting. He has more titles than any other god, which
means, more than messages and flowers, Hermes tracks the wildest of
the Wilds. As Perseus, he slew the gruesome Medusa, Fear itself, and
Argus, Thousand-eyed Monster of Night.
Healer, Trickster, Giver of Gifts, quicksilvermessenger, Guide of
Souls, Hermes-at-the-Crossroads, 'Hermes, Hermes, Lord of Changes
and of Journeys,Ó an ancient invocation. The list goes on and on,
Hermes this and Hermes that - an inventory in fact of all the traits
and attributes and treasure Hermes has stolen.
that Hermes stole silver, all silvering, as in chrome, mercury, freshly
minted coins, and mirrors (hence, all reflection); and green, as in
emeralds and Spring (long before St. Patrick, Hermes stole Ireland);
and silver-green, the way the leaves of olive trees glitter in the
wind. And mint, the taste of mint, is Hermes' also, its refreshment
and sting. And wintergreen.
at helmet and foot, Hermes steals swiftness, all speed, until he seems
to exist, like a 4th-dimensional being, in every direction at once
- which is why the Ancients devised this curious thought about Hermes:
Unlike the other gods, Hermes rules his own world.
magic, trickery - that is Hermes' realm. He is Lord of Exchange, what
takes place at borders and gates, barter and trade, give and take,
all crossings over. Transformer, Shapeshifter, Joker - when Hermes'
card is played no position is safe. Hierarchies and Establishments
tremble. Hermes steals whatever is nailed down, to effect change.
of crafts and skills, trickery to Hermes is craftiness - the wily
and crafty ways we connect one thing to another, shaping Nature to
our will. Stringing up a tortoise shell, Hermes invented the lyre.
thief appears in our dreams, if something disappears, lost or stolen,
that is an omen of Hermes. It means there is change afoot, winged
and swift; or, since all change is theft, the shift has already occurred.
In other words, what we don't know, we don't know, yet.
his wings to Viking helmets, those thieving marauders, Hermes rules
all sudden and awesome arrivals. Hence, his most fearsome (and beautiful)
name, Storm-footed Hermes.
is reason to think that Hermes will eventually steal everything. As
god of wealth, invention, commerce, all communication and delivery
systems, and instantaneous connection - the Internet, the World Wide
Web is catching up with Hermes, and when it does Hermes will steal
that also. In fact, since the thought occurs, he already has.
differ from us in this: they are guiltless. Whatever is stolen has,
suddenly, always belonged to the god - the history of the thing, right
through to its genetic coding, bears the god's imprint. In this way
the gods and their possessions are infinite. In effect, Homer says
this about Hermes: all his thievery and all his tricks, in the end,
seem to favor us.
for instance, within the flow of this poem - how he arrives, how restless
he is, how he moves on. . .