One of the most critical issues that has emerged as we face this crisis era is the issue of clear and truthful communications. The internet has provided many opportunities for both good and ill, linking people with the likeminded, facilitating communications between people who would otherwise never meet, tying far-flung families and friends together. It has also allowed radical or disgruntled people who would have otherwise been isolated to organize into hate groups, proliferated bullying of anyone who dissents from a community viewpoint, and allowed falsehoods to be spread as fact to compete with actual news. Diplomacy is conducted in 280 characters, heads of state threaten war or civil insurrection on social media, and literally millions see false information deceptively spread by foreign governments. As individuals, how do we know what to trust? How do we deal with being dogpiled, swatted, doxxed, or the threat of these things? How do we deal with the constant negativity that many of us face online? How do we tell the difference between what is genuine activism on behalf of a cause we support and deliberate manipulation by a foreign government who means to divide us and create hatred between groups?
Hermes rules communication and media and should be invoked to bring clarity and truth in messages. The purpose of this rite is to turn negative interactions into positive ones and falsehood into truth. Some of this takes place in sacred space, which involves stating your intentions. However, intentions without follow-through are just words. The last steps of this ritual, actually making the second and third offerings you plan, must be done outside of sacred space in the days to come.
You will need:
Light the gold or yellow candle and a fresh stick or cone of incense. Take a few moments to breathe deep and center.
Hold in your mind the image of Hermes, running fleet-footed to deliver messages accurately and truthfully. You are going to make an offering to him, a gift that gives both to him and to its human recipients.
"Hermes, god of Communication and Media, of clear and truthful news and information, of messages used for positive means, help me to use media to bring light and happiness rather than pain and suffering. May my offerings be to your honor."
The First Offering
Consider someone you admire. Perhaps it's an author or an actor or artist whose work you have always enjoyed, or perhaps it's a public figure of a different kind, or even a local business with whom you have had great experiences—but it should be someone you do not know personally. Now give them something right now. You are sitting at your computer. Maybe it's an amazing review on Yelp or Amazon, or a fantastic testimonial on Etsy or Goodreads. It should be all positive. It should not equivocate or criticize. This is an offering, a gift of the best. Tell someone you don't know how much you have appreciated their work.
As you do, you may feel a sense of satisfaction. You may feel happy. Imagine how pleased this person will be when they read your words! Imagine their pleasure and joy. Imagine that you are making their day, and that even though you will not see their happiness, you are giving happiness to someone who has given happiness to you.
Say, "Hermes, I give this in your honor."
The Second Offering
Consider someone you know casually who has helped you, or who has brought you pleasure. Maybe it's the pharmacist who straightened out your prescription, or the bus driver who waited for you when it was raining. Maybe it's a local restaurant that you love to go to because they're always so friendly. Maybe it's someone at work who made your life easier, or the honest mechanic who told you that you didn't need an $800 part.
If you are able to right now, at your computer, thank them. Send them an email. Post a review publicly praising them. Say, "Hermes, I give this in your honor."
Plan what you are going to do if it is something you are not able to do right now, such as leaving them a generous tip next time you see them, or talking to their boss and telling them how fantastic they are. Imagine the positive consequences of your action.
Imagine their unexpected joy. Imagine how the review may help them, how the tip will allow them to do something they need or want to do, how the word to their boss may improve their lives. Imagine the trail of happiness you are creating.
Say, "Hermes, I swear to do this in your honor." While you can't do it this moment in sacred space, you are vowing to do so in the next few days. Make sure that you follow through on your promise to the god.
The Third Offering
Consider someone you know well and care about. Perhaps this is a dear friend or a family member. Perhaps it's a parent or a child, a spouse or partner, or a new friend you have just welcomed into your life. Think of something you particularly love about them.
If you want to email them or call them right now, in sacred space, you can do so. Tell them that they're awesome and why you think so. Tell them that you're glad they’re in your life. Tell them how much you love the thing you identified—they’re kind, insightful, funny, charming, generous, brave, strong. Revel in their pleasure at being complimented.
If you are not able to tell them right now how much you appreciate them, say, "Hermes, I will do this in your honor." Plan how you will do it and do it in the next few days. Make sure that you keep your promise to the god.
When you have either completed your offerings or planned how you will do so, say, "Hermes, thank you for helping me communicate positively and truthfully." Put out the candle and incense.
This rite is from my book, Winter: How to Thrive in the Dark Cycle of the Saeculum.