The Orphic Hymn to Mercury

in Renaissance Astrological Magic


Orpheus and Invoking Mercury


Orpheus was a legendary poet, philosopher and musician of Thrace to whom the Orphic Mysteries were attributed. Many works and poems were attributed to Orpheus and of these the most famous are the 87 Hymns of Orpheus. Here is more information on Orpheus and the Orphic Hymns. Here are the Orphic Hymns to:
the Sun
the Moon

A key use of the Orphic Hymns is invoking the planetary spirits. The ancient astrological grimoire Picatrix says of Mercury that,

"He signifies perception and the rational intellect, fine eloquence, powerful and profound understanding of things, good intelligence, good memory, good perception, and an agile mind apt to learn sciences; those who labor in science and philosophy; understanding how things will happen; arithmeticians, geometers, astrologers, geomancers, magicians, augurs, scribes, grammarians, and smooth talkers; ready understanding of the petitions of the wise, those who labor in sciences and who desire to be exalted by those same sciences; those who want to make books, verses, and rhymes; those who write books, calculations and sciences; those who want to know the secrets of wisdom; expounders of philosophies; merciful and gentle people, and those who love sensation and pleasure; those who waste and destroy their wealth; merchandise; those who buy and sell things; having a part in the judgments and reasonings of people; the astute and deceptive; those who contemplate wickedness in their minds and keep these thoughts hidden; liars and makers of false instruments; fearful of enemies, swift in all works, flitting from the things of one profession to those of another; busying himself in everything; daring in all works that can be done by subtlety, and desiring to do great things; those who become rich; supporters of their friends and the people who mislead them to illicit ends."

Picatrix, Bk III, ch. 7.

One of the most important parts of creating astrological talismans or invoking planetary spirits is to ensure auspicious astrological conditions. Once the astrological conditions are right, Picatrix explains

"When you want to pray to Mercury and ask him for one of the petitions that pertain to him, such as petitions of scribes and regencies of kings, dress yourself in the garments of a notary and scribe...and proceed in all your actions as though you were a scribe. On your finger put a ring of fixed mercury, because with such a ring Hermes the wise used to work. Sit on a chair of the kind that schoolmasters use, and turn to face Mercury, holding a piece of paper in your hands as though you intended to write on it. "

Picatrix, Bk III, ch. 7. Here is more about planetary invocation using the Orphic Hymns.

Here is more information on Mercury and our Currently Available Mercury talismans and all Currently Available Talismans. You can learn the how to create the full range of traditional astrological talismans in the Astrological Magic Course. Here are all Renaissance Astrology Astrology & Magic Courses.

The Orphic Hymn to Mercury

Chapter XXVIII.

The Orphic Hymn to Mercury

The Fumigation from Frankincense

Hermes, draw near, and to my pray'r incline,
Angel of Jove, and Maia's son divine;
Prefect of contest, ruler of mankind,
With heart almighty, and a prudent mind.
Celestial messenger of various skill,
Whose pow'rful arts could watchful Argus kill.
With winged feet 'tis thine thro' air to course,
O friend of man, and prophet of discourse;
Great life-supporter, to rejoice is thine
In arts gymnastic, and in fraud divine.
With pow'r endu'd all language to explain,
Of care the loos'ner, and the source of gain.
Whose hand contains of blameless peace the rod,
Corucian, blessed, profitable God.
Of various speech, whose aid in works we find,
And in necessities to mortals kind.
Dire weapon of the tongue, which men revere,
Be present, Hermes, and thy suppliant hear;
Assist my works, conclude my life with peace,
Give graceful speech, and memory's increase.