Actually this is more about the Worship Hermes part but I probably got your attention. This text, written by the originators of the phrase “Be Gay Do Crimes”, might give you a bit of the background history of it, and also teach you a few things. For more concise suggestions, check this out. Hermes is a deity with a lot of queer associations and is known as the King of Thieves; if anyone knows how to Be Gay and Do Crimes it’s Him. Which is why I tack on the “Worship Hermes” whenever I say “Be Gay, Do Crimes”
But why Hermes? Cause Hermes knows everyone, knows almost everything if not everything, invented so many things, is practical and pragmatic, is a guide in life and after death, deals with commerce, connection, communication, discussion, and other things we don’t normally associate with Him: athletics and feats of strength, stealth and covering up watching eyes, and of course, magic. So much of the body of European magic has Hermes somewhere in the background or foreground. If for some reason Hermes can’t help you, He can usually point you to someone who can; Hermes is the God of “I Know A Guy”. Seriously, try it. Hermes is helpful, He wants to be helpful, He’s friendly, He’s clever, and He bargains in good faith with those who do the same.
But people ask me, how do you reach out to Him? As a polytheist I’ll say the regular things: make an offering, say a prayer, ya know. As a polytheist, I also know it’s hard to know how to properly approach a deity that you’ve never formally interacted with.
So what follows are a couple of slightly more concrete suggestions and options. Before you do any of these things, it’s a good idea to make yourself clean in some way. Hellenic polytheists like to use khernips, but there are a lot of different methods of spiritual cleansing. Obviously when we are in dire need we often don’t have the time to do that kind of thing, but even a simple gesture is helpful.
- Go to a four-way crossroads (any intersection of two roads that forms four corners) and leave something for Him. It doesn’t need to be complicated; sometimes I say “Praise Hermes” and chuck a quarter out for Him as I drive or walk past an intersection. I use quarters because their name means “fourth” and four is a sacred number for Hermes. You could also pour out wine, honey, or clear water for Him.
- Light a stick of incense and recite the Orphic Hymn to Hermes (Here is a link to the Thomas Taylor translation though I prefer Athanasakkis’ translation I don’t know if you can find it for free online). That’s it; incense is a good and traditional offering, and the hymns are ancient and well-used ways of getting the attention of deities.
- Call to Hermes, say His name and ask Him to hear you as you go (“Hail and blessings to Hermes, please be with me and hear my words on this journey.”), and go on a walk or drive. Allow your instincts and whatever guidance comes to you to decide which ways you turn. Speak to Him as you walk, He will listen. Travel is sacred to Him, taking a dedicated meander where you just talk to Him is an act of sacred devotion.
- I was told once by Hermes while He was on a medium that if I appreciated Him, I should make a sacrifice to Him by purchasing a goat (a traditional sacrifice) for Him through Heifer International. HI is a decent charity, and has more affordable offerings than goats too; bees and ducks, for instance. Doing some kind of mutual aid in His name on a local community level can’t be a bad idea either. Simply speak out loud that you are dedicating this animal, or this act, to Him. He will hear.
Hermes is one of the most accessible, resourceful, friendly, competent, practical, and knowledgeable deities out there. If you meet or make offerings to any deity, let it be to Him, because He can lead you to where you really need to be, and to others who you would want to know. If you are lost, call to Him with Hekate and Ariadne. If you are stuck or bound, call to Him with Dionysos and Kybele. He works well with others, though He is vastly powerful on His own.
Hail Hermes, Messenger, Guide, Bringer of Good Fortune, Giver of Good Gifts!
Hail Hermes, who lights the torches of Matar Kubeliya!
Hail to Hermes who knows all, who hears all, who aids all!
Be Gay, Do Crimes, Worship Hermes ❤