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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy To Understand Interpretation
The Hermetica at only 160 pages can be read in only one day if the reader chooses to rush through it. Mr. Freke and Mr. Gandy has a casual writing style that makes it possible to do so if the reader desires to just glean the surface of the contents. It's highly inadvisable. This is a book to own and meditate on the deeper meanings of its contents. The works of Hermes were...
Published on Feb. 23 2002 by Wendy Schroeder

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not the Wisdom of the Pharaohs!
Unfortunately this is a terribly pointless book that splices questionable "translations" of arbitrary excerpts from the corpus hermeticum together to make up a whole new series of poems. The relationship between these poems to the original ideas is left unclear, and you must basically rely on the understanding and synthesis of the ideas by the authors. Given...
Published on June 19 2000


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy To Understand Interpretation, Feb. 23 2002
By 
Wendy Schroeder (Englewood, Co United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Hermetica (Paperback)
The Hermetica at only 160 pages can be read in only one day if the reader chooses to rush through it. Mr. Freke and Mr. Gandy has a casual writing style that makes it possible to do so if the reader desires to just glean the surface of the contents. It's highly inadvisable. This is a book to own and meditate on the deeper meanings of its contents. The works of Hermes were collated in the city of Alexandria in Egypt during the second and third centuries CE. Alexandria was a cosmopolitan city and the citizens were known for their desire for knowledge. But the golden age of Alexandria ended when the Christian 'Holy' Roman Empire came into power and a millennium period came in known as the Dark Ages. The owners of the Hermetic books continually had to find a sanctuary where they could feel safe. One place was the city of Florence, which ended the Dark Ages and started the Renaissance. The main idea in Hermes' teaching is God as Cosmic Consciousness. Similar ideas seems to me to be in other mystic outlooks of other religions.
As a person who has an interest in all religions and spiritual writings and traditions this is a great little book. You can take this book and read just a few pages a day and ponder its meaning on different chapters. Over time, your understanding will increase and deepen. The only part I personally didn't care for is the astrological parts of the writings. This is inherent to the Hermetica and not the fault of Mr. Freke and Mr. Gandy. They are the interpreters. Due to my own personal tastes and beliefs I choose to ignore that part but it is still a beautiful way to explore the meaning of life. I also like to compare religions and I see many other mystical viewpoints in it and it helps expand my understanding of life. I highly recommend buying this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This book actually is worth opening, April 10 2006
By A Customer
This review is from: The Hermetica (Paperback)
Contrary to what our reviewer in Houston claims, this book is definitely worth a read, at least for those interested in understanding ancient Egyptian thought. It's the latest in a series of books by the same author which attempts to explain the ideas behind the great wisdom traditions, in plain English. The text is in fact a carefully crafted amalgamation of numerous Hermetic books and fragments, with modernized translations. Each sections begins with a prose introduction. I found the verses stood quite well by themselves, however, and some of the resulting poetry was positively Rumi-esque. I appreciated this poetic yet accessible presentation of ancient Egyptian metaphysics, and look forward to exploring more of the books in this series.

By the way, the Texan's Egyptology skills are apparently as weak as his psychic and critical literary skills. The "cartoon" on the front cover is the Udjat Horus Pectoral found in the wrappings of King Tut's mummy, and currently on display in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. (Granted, the picture has been printed in mirror image of the original.)
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5.0 out of 5 stars neo-hermes, April 3 2013
At first I was a little upset at the delivery. The text is not in the original format. But that can easily be found.
What we have here are the parts of the hermetic texts, organized in a nice fashion. As many are aware many of the texts of Hermes thrice greatest , have been lost. The authors , or organizers, here, present the texts, with relevance to each chapter, and from the fragments which we have left. Along with a intro, a little commentary and where to find the original texts at the beginning of each chapter.
I found this book to be quite a pleasure to read, and will surely read again. Nothing new, but the new perspective is refreshing.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Thought Made Accessible, Aug. 18 2000
By 
F. P. Kovacs (Ohio USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Hermetica (Paperback)
I was wary of this book when I first purchased it, but to my delight it turned out to be the best introduction to the Hermes/Thoth literature available. Beyond the value of its clear and readable presentation of some of the oldest wisdom tracts in the Western World, the authors also briefly touch on the provinence of the works. Because the Hermes Corpus was declared a fraud in the 17th century, the heavy lifting required to point out that they are not is simply beyond the scope of this volume. But any reader who is intrigued by the material can go on and discover for themselves the story of Hermes and make their own judgement. I place the rediscovery of the Hermes Corpus on the same level as the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Nag Hammadi texts, so this fine introductory volume should be considered by anyone interested in ancient literature and spirituality.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not the Wisdom of the Pharaohs!, June 19 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The Hermetica (Paperback)
Unfortunately this is a terribly pointless book that splices questionable "translations" of arbitrary excerpts from the corpus hermeticum together to make up a whole new series of poems. The relationship between these poems to the original ideas is left unclear, and you must basically rely on the understanding and synthesis of the ideas by the authors. Given any book and one can splice random segments together to say just about anything, and the qualifications of the authors seem unclear at best. What is unfortunately clear is that they mostly want to sell the book to silly new agers, not to anyone who may have a serious interest in the original ideas and their sources, which are an interesting multi-cultural mishmash of late pagan neoplatonism, Christianity and yes, local but very degenerated Egyptian folk ideas. The arguments about the relationship to very ancient Egyptian ideas is totally feeble, and has no basis is fact. What is clear is there are no sources in the actual (and extensive) ancient Egyptian texts that have survived that give any credence to the hypothesis that real corpus hermeticum is some kind of faithful transmission of ancient Egyptian ideas (especially not from the time of the old kingdom) much less this hopelessly re-edited mishmash. If you want to learn about real ancient Egyptian religious ideas about the cosmos there are plenty of translations of the real thing. If you are interested in the origin of hermetic ideas you would be better off buying another book, either a real translation, or any honest book on the subject.
The shallowness of this book is for me summarized by the silly meaningless hieroglyphics that are included along side of the text, presumably to convince somebody that the poems are a kind of translation of the ancient Egyptian (for example, they stop just where the text of the poems stop). Of course the hieroglyphics are just a decoration, with the same meaningless series of signs repeated over and over again. They haven't even tried to reproduce the actual appearance of real hieroglyphics. The whole book smacks of a deliberate manipulation in favor of something that might sell well to shallow new agers. This books should be called not "The Lost Wisdom of the Pharaohs" but "The Wisdom of Freke and Gandy", something which clearly has questionable value. They get no points from me for their poem since they so deliberately obscure the actual sources of their composition (not translation!).
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1.0 out of 5 stars Misinformed, July 3 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: The Hermetica (Paperback)
I have not read the book itself, but by reading the description on the back cover it is obvious that the publishers, if not the author himself, are misinformed.
The Hermetica is not an ANCIENT Egyptian text, as the description indicates, but was rather written in late antiquity, in the early centuries AD. That said, it WAS written in Egypt.
The writings were highly influential, and many Renaissance Humanists and Neoplatonists studied them closely--Ranaissance scholars DID believe them to be of Ancient Egyptian origins, however as stated previously, this is not the case.
That said, the book itself might be useful and relevant, but the back cover description error throws the rest of the book into serious question, even as a popular as opposed to scholarly take on the subject.
I would strongly recommend that interested people purchase a different translation--there are a number of translations that come up on the search, any one of them would probably be more accurate and useful than this one.
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4.0 out of 5 stars More uninformed onesided favortism, Aug. 27 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: The Hermetica (Paperback)
If ppl are going to make comments like, Hermetica predates the concepts of osiris(ausar) and isis(auset) then it would help if u show proof! The Egyptian concepts of god self and the material universe of alchemy are older than the Hermeticum which was just a copy of it by the western invaders athens(greeks)or a(hittite)group. There is historical evidence to support this claim, go to Egypt talk with the sufi's or any well known unbias anthropologist, archeologist,geologist, etc and also look at the artifacts which have been carbon dated as preceding the hermetica by 500 or more yrs besides ppls misconception of Egyptians explanation of the neteru as the attributes of one enitity speaks volumes lmao! the Egyptians also taught that everything came from a singular source which could only be known by its attributes and not as the god lmao or the male dominate figure hmmm! very sexist and patriarch tsk tsk. This book is like many other books that reveal the truth, always shot down.
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1.0 out of 5 stars an insipid new age pastiche of the Hermetica, Oct. 12 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: The Hermetica (Paperback)
This book really gives very little idea of the majestic scope, philosophic depth and range of authentic Hermeticism: it in effect just provides a watered-down New Age pastiche carefully censoring out those tractates from the original 'Corpus Hermeticum' which teach an uncompromising Iranian-derived Spirit-Matter dualism and pessimist Gnosis concerning the material world or other presently unfashionable ideas.Even those translations of the 'Hermetica' now considered outdated such as those of W.Scott and G.R.S. Mead are vastly preferable and the Scott text published by Shambala is a far better investment and contains the whole 18 complete tractates and Stobaea Hermetica to boot. Avoid this insipid conflation of watered-down extracts and turn instead to the real wisdom-teaching of Hermes Trismegistos.
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4.0 out of 5 stars An eye opener about early Egyptian religion, June 16 2001
By 
A. J. Valasek (Clemmons, NC United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Hermetica (Paperback)
Although this book is a subset of the Corpus Hermeticum, it covers the essentials in a nice format with author synopses at the beginning of each section. Being a Christian, I found this book fascinating due to the many parallel teachings of the Bible. I found myself having a much deeper appreciation and respect for the Egyptian religious system (at least the first Egyptians). One cannot help but wonder where the two cultures strayed from each other considering the fundamental similarities. Although polytheistic, there is plenty of good, solid wisdom within these pages.
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2.0 out of 5 stars A nibble of the Hermetica, Dec 8 2000
By 
B. K. HAYES "Utahboni" (Price, UT United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Hermetica (Paperback)
This book is the condensed crib-note version of the Hermetica. You can read it entirely on one cross town bus trip. It's enough to peak curiosity, but this is such a small extract of the entire Hermetica that it's nearly useless. It's just a sound-bite.
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