Posts Tagged ‘Hermetica’

Hermetica refers to information or knowledge acquired and disseminated by Hermes Trismegistus, some say the god Thoth, others a real man who lived a long long time ago and was responsible for all the amazing things the ancient Egyptians knew…and know no longer.

Collected writings attributed to him and bound in a book are called Hermetica.  Since we are talking about ancient times, there were no publishing laws or contracts, so anyone could bind manuscripts together and call it “Hermetica”.  This accounts for many variations and probably many different authors or contributors.  After a long time, the term “Hermetica” began to take on connotations of esoteric knowledge regardless of the source.

In the Hermetica of Elysium I have created an adventure that revolves around a coveted copy of an Hermetica in the late 15th century.  The Inquisition in Spain is expelling their learned and skilled to the Levant, burning books and people, and hunting the manuscripts they label “heretical”.  How can a book be so threatening?

Putting aside the obvious, that faithful Christians might be lead astray if they learned anything besides what their priests told them, can knowledge of how the world works really disrupt the powers-that-be?

This year the world has witnessed what is being called “The Arab Spring”, and “Occupy Wall Street” could not happen unless the participants knew about the actions of the Corporations.  I think that the more the people know about their leaders and masters the more they are likely to rebel against them.  It does not matter whether it is 1494 or 2011.

The Internet is the new Hermetica.

Read Full Post »

Wikipedia says “Medieval fantasy is a subgenre of fantasy that encompasses medieval era high fantasy and sometimes simply represents fictitious versions of historic events. This subgenre is common among role-playing games, text-based roleplaying, and high-fantasy literature.”

I think if a story included unicorns and dragons it would be considered Medieval Fasntasy.

The Hermetica of Elysium has not a single unicorn, and no dragons. This novel is heavily steeped in the actual historical world of alchemists and the people who supported them. Much of this kind of history is unknown because of the necessary secrecy. Not secrecy because secrets are a big ego-boost…but secret because of the real threat of a painful death if one was discovered delving into the mysteries of the Universe without benefit of a priest. The Catholic Church had a stranglehold on the spiritual in Europe at the time, and anyone caught thinking or reasoning was held in suspicion. Anyone caught practicing the old religion was held in chains.

The alchemists sought to understand the knowledge of the ancient philosophers of Greece, Rome, Egypt and the Middle East. They experimented with the essences of plants and minerals and tried to see their world from an objective viewpoint. They wanted to observe how things worked, not just listen to a priest tell them how god made it so. In this desire they contributed to the genesis of modern science.

In the novel, The Hermetica is a book containing collected wisdom of many cultures, written in many languages and on many topics. Inside is the key to understanding some of the more difficult mysteries of life and death. This key is linked to a necessary mental state that must be achieved in order for a person to rise above the mundane and and really understand how the world works. Robert Heinlein had to create his own word for this experience becuse English is weak in mystical vocabulary. He called it “grokking fully”. This phrase, along with “sharing water” became common among the young people of the sixties when they stumbled upon the enhanced visionary capabilities available at the time and found themselves grokking the nature of reality.

If this is all real, where is the fantasy in the Hermetica of Elysium? The story starts out in reality, in history. It moves through the imagined world of the alchemists to a realm of possibility that delves into the mystical. Once a person has expereinced these realms, the fantasy element dissolves into a personal reality.  After that, only what one has yet to experience becomes “fantasy”.

Every real, solid experience you have is rooted in an idea first. Everything.  You cannot even go to the Quickie-Mart for a soda and chips without thinking first, “I want a soda and some chips”. It starts simple and can move quickly to the complex: “I want to become President of the United States”, or “I want to become involved in a land war in Asia”.  At that genesis point, the idea is fantasy. Whether you bring it into physical reality or not is up to you.

That is why The Hermetica is Fantasy. It delves into the world of the mind and the spirit. Two things even our fantastic technology can neither define nor photograph. But no one doubts that the mind and the spirit exist.

Read Full Post »

Enter the world of the medieval alchemists.
“The Hermetica of Elysium” by Annmarie Banks
Publication Date: December 8, 2011

The research for The Hermetica of Elysium involved delving onto the mysterious world of the medieval alchemists and the works of philosophers and thinkers of the middle ages and renaissance who were influential in the rise of Humanism that sparked the Protestant Reformation.

In an era where there could be no hope of free expression, the brightest minds of the times were forced to communicate with each other through symbol, subterfuge and cryptic messages.

Books containing the intellectual and spiritual discoveries of individuals were collected and passed around secretly, most often written in the more obscure languages to protect the both the message and the man from the eyes of the powerful Church.

When such a book is found to have an enhanced ability to transmit the knowledge and secrets of the ancients, it becomes the object of desire to many…both within and without the Church.
1494 Barcelona. As Torquemada lights the fires of religious fervor throughout the cities of Spain, accused heretics are not the only victims. Thousands of books and manuscripts are lost to the flames as the Black Friars attempt to purge Europe of the ancient secrets of the gods and the bold new ideas that are ushering in the Renaissance.
Nadira lives a dreary life as servant to a wealthy spice merchant until the night a dying scholar is brought to the merchant’s stable, beaten by mercenaries who are on the hunt for The Hermetica of Elysium. To Nadira, words are her life: she lives them as her master’s scrivener and dreams them in her mother’s poetry. She is pursued as passionately as the fabled manuscript for her rare skill as a reader of Ancient Greek, Latin, Arabic and Hebrew make her valuable to men who pursue the book to exploit its magic.
Kidnapped by Baron Montrose, an adventurous nobleman, she is forced to read from the Hermetica. She begins to understand that ideas and words are more powerful than steel or fire for within its pages are the words that incite the Dominicans to religious fervor, give the Templars their power and reveal the lost mysteries of Elysium.
Nadira soon finds herself lost in the power of the Hermetica and the love of Montrose. But as she begins her journey from servant to sorceress, can she escape the fires of the Inquisition, the clutches of the Borgia pope, Alexander VI and the French king, Charles VIII?
Pre-order a copy

Visit the author’s website

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: