Hermes and Isis
“Thoth Hermes Trismegistus, the founder of Egyptian learning, the Wise Man of the ancient world, gave to the priests and philosophers of antiquity the secrets which have been preserved to this day in the myth and legend. These allegories and emblematic figures conceal the secret formula for spiritual, mental, moral, and physical regeneration commonly known as the Mystic Chemistry of the Soul (alchemy).
“These sublime truths were communicated to the initiates of the Mystery Schools, but were concealed from the profane. The latter, unable to understand the abstract philosophical tenets, worshiped the concrete sculptured idols which were emblematic of these secret truths. The wisdom and secrecy of Egypt are epitomized in the Sphinx, which has preserved its secret from seekers of a hundred generations.The mysteries of hermeticism, the great spiritual truths hidden from the world by the ignorance of the world, and the keys of the secret doctrines of the ancient philosophers, are all symbolized by the Virgin Isis. Veiled from head to foot, she reveals her wisdom only to the tried and initiated few who have earned the right to enter her sacred presence, tear from the veiled figure of Nature its shroud of obscurity, and stand face to face with the Divine Reality.” ~Manly P. Hall
Complimentary Hermes and Isis
It is not surprising to those who have studied spiritual symbology that Manly Hall links Hermes and Isis together. They belong together like a married couple.
Hermes was the teacher of wisdom and his spiritual and philosophical teachings are still followed today in many spiritual schools. Veiled Isis represents the spiritual truths that were kept secret lest they be misused by the ignorant and uninitiated who would likely use them for material gain resulting in negation and great harm to themselves and the world.
Mystic Chemistry of the Soul
The mystics didn’t study ways to worship God. They studied the way to return to God, to become once again one of His fold. Most churches today claim that simply by claiming that have returned to God, you have done so. Likewise, many modern spiritual schools teach that simply by declaring that you are fed up with materialism, you have become spiritually awake. The wise followers of Hermes and Isis never believed such nonsense. It’s like claiming you have put out a forest fire simply by declaring you have.
The mystic followers of Hermes and Isis, as well as those of other ancient mystery schools, knew that a spiritual awakening and spiritual growth was a process, not simply a decision. It was, and is, a process that takes years to complete. Unlike Superman, we can’t jump to the top of the highest mountain in a single leap. Neither can we jump from a mundane, materialistic level of consciousness to the highest level in one leap, or in one day. There are many intermediate steps to be taken. Hermes and Isis took those steps, and so did their students. They didn’t seek out shortcuts by using hallucinogenic drugs that only bring about illusions, not enlightenment.
Another reason why Isis is veiled, meaning that the secrets are revealed slowly, and only to those who are ready to handle them wisely, is because revealing too much too soon can cause the person to go mad. It has happened more than once. The mystery schools of Hermes and Isis were careful not to overwhelm the initiates. For that reason, study in such schools was a lifetime project, not an overnight adventure. Many spiritual students of today disagree, and claim they have learned it all in a year or two. In actual fact, they have completed no more than the equivalent of first-grade in a real spiritual school like those of Hermes and Isis.