Hermes, You Skunk

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So, you know it is Mercury Retrograde when that little missive you meant to publish at a later date from Hermes is accidentally published, and then you can’t find it for a while, because it was published as a page.

You especially know it is Mercury Retrograde when all the gods are in maximum rant mode. Well, maybe not. My natal Mercury is retrograde, so maybe deities are just inherently ranty, and I only notice during the retrograde. 

So, since it was that important, I have a message for you from Hermes.

Hermes, Re: Your Brains.

Ok. So, maybe not so much your brains.

Sorry, sometimes it’s all about packaging. You could be trying to give a person the world’s greatest gift, but all they are going to see it the brown paper on the outside, maybe not even open it.

That’s the people around you, by the by. The package you’ll never open.

Funny thing is, you were the one that wrapped them. You wrapped them in words like “ugly” and all the societal baggage that goes with it — reams and reams of crumpled paper.

You wrapped them with “dumb,” and “wrong.” You wrapped them in scorn.

Your loss, really.

So, maybe I lied. Because, really, this is about brains. The miracle of humanity is that no brain is an island. You think together, and by that miracle are all secrets uncovered.

Oh. Those mysteries you say you want to solve. Each person you know holds a puzzle piece. Wrapped up in the labels and epithets and slurs and categories you applied to them. And you’ve looked carefully on the outside of that paper, but see no puzzle pieces.

And what I don’t get. What I really really  don’t get, is what you imagine you are gaining by putting up that paper barier between you and the people around you. Why do you imagine that thinking of others as small will make you bigger?

You want to be great? You are only as big as your heart. You are only as big as the number of people that you love. The more qualifications a person needs to enter your sphere of affection, the smaller you are.

You don’t have to be small. Help people out of the paper they’ve been wrapped in. The more people, actual people, you find, the mightier you will become.

Some people are asshole filled assholes with asshole wrapping, but most people aren’t. Most people are still waiting for you to look for them.


  1. Wise words, but I guess that’s why he’s “thrice-great.”

    I think a reason for wrapping people IS to make yourself smaller. At least, it’s to make your perceptions smaller. Reality is massive and terrifying, and the more limiting our perspective (ie: your personal reality; the filter through which we all interact with existence) the safer we feel.

    1. I think you are right.

      I read a study that suggested that we could only keep track of something like 150 distinct individuals, and we can perceive everything beyond that only as generalizations. It’s called “Dunbar’s Number,” and it might very well be why bigotry exists.

      But look within a local pagan community, which contains, in all likelihood, way fewer than 150 people. People are scrambling for power, and one of the ways they do that is putting others down, or finding ways to dismiss them. I’m sure we’ve all had the experience of being dismissed out of hand for basically no reason by someone in our small, theoretically tightly-knit community.

      It would be honest to say, “That person is on about something, and it’s just orthogonal to what I’m doing right now.” Too frequently, it becomes, “That person is [insert negative judgment].”

      1. Yeah, it does, and there’s really no excuse for that save small-mindedness. “Person X doesn’t have the same beliefs/priorities/etc as I do, and is therefore inferior for the following reasons:…”

  2. I remember the goth snobs who treated me like the popular girls in Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion, and many others throughout my life, and then people wonder why I shut down and give up.

    1. Yeah, it drives me a little crazy, too, when he goes on like that.

      I was bullied quite a lot, physically and verbally, when I was a young adult. In the Pagan community, I often feel like I’m not ‘legit’ enough for most purposes, and I some people, who I’d honesty be willing to be friends with, just turn their noses up at me.

      I try to take his words in a Kantian light. As in, if everyone thought this way, there would be no bullies. And that I can’t really control anyone’s behavior but my own. So.. I just try to be as open and accepting of other people s possible, until they are really mean to me.

  3. I’ve decided that there are only those people who are friendly–who generally want other people to be happy; who “Live and let live”; who cut themselves and other people slack when things go wrong–you know, people with empathy–and those people who aren’t. All other labels or distinctions are, when all is said and done, meaningless. I couldn’t care less if someone is a [(fill in the blank) undesirable person], seen from a given intellectual or theological or moral standpoint. What I care about is how they treated me and everyone else.

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