Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sexy Hermes

Hermes is the god of pastures and the divisions between them marked with stones of erected boundary markers that bear his name. Along with this, the god also bears a form that is often attributed to other gods, thy of a god of fertility, and no doubt he was often seen this way among the ancients, for whom the fertility of the earth was of paramount importance. But to see Hermes as a god of fertility is to also, by necessity, see him as a god of sexuality.

The imagery of the god is one that would not make this hard to believe, since the Greeks did imagine him as a beautiful, youthful, and dare I say, hot young man. One could even make the argument that our modern image of the hot dude is inspired by these very images that the Greeks left for us so beautifully molded from stone. And the image of Hermes, his naked body so beautiful in it's recent manhood, is one that captures the imagination, the heart, and the loins.

Not many people in the modern Hellenistic community view Hermes this way, the more typical notions of him as Psychopomp, Herald, and even Thief, are looked at, but the idea of Hermes as a god of male sexuality is more often than not overlooked. Perhaps because of our modern taboos about sex, especially here in America where violence and murder is ok on TV, but a bared tit causes congressional investigations.

But think about who Hermes is in the context of a culture that elevated male beauty to amazing heights of adoration, and which did indeed have a long and proud tradition of homosexuality (I am not going to argue with you about it should you choose to challenge me on this, your desire to make the Greeks more Macho by minimizing their love of hot young guys will not impress me) and that he was made father, in myth, to a male/female hybrid with Aphrodite. A melding of two deities whose beauty cannot be questioned, and whose appeal on a visceral sexual level is not to be challenged, is telling.

To me, Hermes is indeed a god of sexuality, male sexuality. A sexuality that is open, free, and ever shifting, ever seeking, ever longing. A sexuality that is not simply youthful and energetic, which it most certainly is, but also lustful and full of power and the expression of emotion through physical contact, not words. An interesting dichotomy for the god of communications. But is it? I mean, physical expression is still expression, is it not? And it is, I think, an aspect of male sexuality and male psychology that our culture, with its often feminizing influences, fails to recognize.

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