Hermetic

Mythological Dictionary

Hermetic or hermeneutic or hermeneutics or hermaphrodite.
The god Hermes became associated with the Egyptian god Thoth and received the appellation Trismegistus ("thrice-greatest"). A number of works on occult matters, known as the Hermetic Corpus, were attributed to Hermes Trismegistus; today hermetic refers to occult knowledge, particularly alchemy, astrology, and magic. From this notion of secret or sealed knowledge hermetic comes to mean completely sealed; a hermetic jar is one closed against outside contamination. From Hermes' primary function as a bearer of messages came the Greek hermeneus ("interpreter") and the phrase hermeneutike techne ("the art of interpretation"). Hermeneutics is the science of interpretation and hermeneutic, as adjective or noun, connotes an interpretive or explanatory function. Hermaphroditus, the beautiful son of Hermes and Aphrodite, was bathing in a pool, when the nymph Salmacis caught sight of him and was filled with desire. She plunged into the water and entwined her limbs around him. He fought her efforts to seduce him but her prayer to the gods that they might become united into one being was granted. A hermaphrodite has the genitalia and secondary sexual characteristics of both male and female.

 
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