The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

Posts Tagged ‘Hermes Trismegistus

impelling fascination

leave a comment »

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Long time readers will recognize the shot above from a January 2012 posting entitled “Hermes Trismegistus“, which describes the great statue which adorns the Vanderbilt Rail Palace known as “Grand Central Terminal” in Manhattan.

Recent adventure carried me to the place, where I found myself with an uncommon view of the Tiffany Clock which bejewels the carving.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Inside of it.

More on this in a posting next week, but I can’t just sit on these shots without sharing them. The clock face itself is pretty enormous.

A simple image search will show this to hardly be a unique photo, but regardless, this was a thrilling place to visit.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

There is a chamber back here, of masonry and exposed steel, which the clock is mounted into. The number six on the clock’s face is a window outfitted with a hinge. This wasn’t “urban exploration”, incidentally, my presence here was sanctioned.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

This is what Park Avenue looks like from the clock at Grand Central Station, that’s Union Square in the distance. Click the image to check out larger views at flickr.

More next week.


Click for details on Mitch Waxman’s
Upcoming boat tours of Newtown Creek

July 22nd, 2012 NEXT SATURDAY

Working Harbor Committee Newtown Creek Boat Tour

Written by Mitch Waxman

July 13, 2012 at 2:18 am

Hermes Trismegistus

with 2 comments

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Jules-Felix Coutan designed “Glory of Commerce” for Grand Central Terminal in 1911. A neat contemporaneous account of the construction of this statuary, which was carved in Long Island City I would add (by the firm of William Bradley & Son, 547 Vernon Avenue, which I suspect to have been located somewhere around Queensbridge Park), and can be accessed at

from wikipedia

The Hermetic literature added to the Egyptian concerns with conjuring spirits and animating statues that inform the oldest texts, Hellenistic writings of Greco-Babylonian astrology and the newly developed practice of alchemy (Fowden 1993: pp65–68). In a parallel tradition, Hermetic philosophy rationalized and systematized religious cult practices and offered the adept a method of personal ascension from the constraints of physical being, which has led to confusion of Hermeticism with Gnosticism, which was developing contemporaneously.

As a divine source of wisdom, Hermes Trismegistus was credited with tens of thousands of writings of high standing, reputed to be of immense antiquity. Plato’s Timaeus and Critias state that in the temple of Neith at Sais, there were secret halls containing historical records which had been kept for 9,000 years. Clement of Alexandria was under the impression that the Egyptians had forty-two sacred writings by Hermes, encapsulating all the training of Egyptian priests. Siegfried Morenz has suggested (Egyptian Religion) “The reference to Thoth’s authorship…is based on ancient tradition; the figure forty-two probably stems from the number of Egyptian nomes, and thus conveys the notion of completeness.” The Neo-Platonic writers took up Clement’s “forty-two essential texts”.

The Hermetica, is a category of papyri containing spells and initiatory induction procedures. In the dialogue called the Asclepius (after the Greek god of healing) the art of imprisoning the souls of demons or of angels in statues with the help of herbs, gems and odors, is described, such that the statue could speak and engage in prophecy. In other papyri, there are recipes for constructing such images and animating them, such as when images are to be fashioned hollow so as to enclose a magic name inscribed on gold leaf.

Written by Mitch Waxman

January 21, 2012 at 12:15 am

%d bloggers like this: