The Esoteric Hermetic Symbolism of the Mesopotamian Handbag

July 29th, 2021

By Ethan Indigo Smith

Contributing writer for Wake Up World

The handbag is a symbolic correspondence we can find among depictions of Sumerian Gods, Mesoamerican reliefs, symbolic stones at Gobekli Tepe, India, and beyond. The handbag symbolism is on one level symbolic for development of civilization through the agricultural fostering of natural systems. The Sumerian Gods are said to hold a bag of pollen for pollinating the date palm to enhance its production of food.

For a wonderful exoteric lesson of the Sumerian Bag demonstrated in reliefs of Gods and the similarity to other bags and symbolism the world over, do read this extensive overview of the symbolism demonstrated in Sumerian stone work/art.

As with any symbolism of any depth there is going to be the immediate differentiation of the esoteric and exoteric symbolic aspects and there are often multiple sets of symbolism within the primary differentiation. Here we can see through exploring history that the exoteric aspect of the bag is a symbol of leadership, related to gods of generation and pollination; the people are as a beekeeper’s bees and a date farmer’s dates and trees so as to generate from pollination of idea to fruition.

The esoteric symbolism can be a whole lot more fun, especially when pertaining to the ultimate esotericism; the inner work of self-development. What is this handbag symbolic for? What is inside? With many such esoteric questions we can find the simplest most likely answer internally, in the self, as the self. The handbag is you. You are your own king or queen of individuation and it is up to you to develop from pollination to fruition.

What is Hermetics? Hermetics practices the art of a hermetically sealed secret. Hermetics is based on the teachings of mastery, of Thoth, and of Hermes Trismigistus, the thrice great. Hermeticists practice the internal arts, just like Alchemists, just like Taoists, and many others; the internal arts of self-development.

What is a Hermeticist? Most essentially, among many other diverse potentialities, Hermetics integrates polarities, masculine and feminine energies, correspondences and unifies ideas. Hermetics, as alchemy, integrates, to develop potential. Hermetics is the art of self-development and individuation, the becoming of the individual through integration on many levels.

A Hermeticist, like Taoist Alchemists, realizes that we ourselves must become as if a hermetically sealed consciousness body. We become a hermetically sealed encapsulation of consciousness and then we can develop. If we are not sealed off from the distractions and swaying energies of the trite we will succumb to those waters. If we are not hermetically sealed we will leak and release energy and not develop much, if at all.

In The East building one’s Chi or vital energy is a process of self-development. Chi literally translates to compressed air. The unsaid prerequisite for development of Chi is to have sealed off yourself as a Hermetic container. No air compression will develop without literally enhancing the hermetically sealed aspects of our mind and body, our physiology and psychology.

“I do not have a chair. I have a bowl.” ~Taoist Expression

The idea in the above quote is that one is not furniture, one can do all sorts of things instead of just staying sat like a piece of furniture. And moreover the idea of a bowl is related to our dantien, our physical center that is as if a sealed compressed bowl, like the cupping massage technique that creates pressure or like the hermetically sealed Magdeburg Hemispheres. When we can practice compression we can experience the opposite of inflammation in our physiology and the opposite of depression in our psychology.

A Taoist, a Hermeticist, an Alchemist, a Yogi, a meditator all practice compression of body and mind so as to develop our Chi, our psychology and physiology, or to at least not be dragged down by our very own psychology and physiology. Tai Chi, meditation, Yoga, and numerous other systems can assist you to assist yourself, but you have to assist yourself, you must take the first step to seal yourself off from unnecessary distractions toward compression.

The Tao of Thoth

This article is an excerpt from The Tao of Thoth. The Tao of Thoth is based on the Taiji of The Seven Tenets of Thoth as illustrated in The Kybalion written by The Three Initiates. The Tao of Thoth is inspired by the relationships of The Tao and The Tenets of Thoth. The Tao provides parallel lessons with The Tenets of Thoth, and each aim towards enhancement and embodiment of lessons pertaining to self-development.

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About the author:

Activist, author and Tai Chi teacher Ethan Indigo Smith was born on a farm in Maine and lived in Manhattan for a number of years before migrating west to Mendocino, California. Ethan’s work is both deeply connected and extremely insightful, blending philosophy, politics, activism, spirituality, meditation and a unique sense of humor.

You can connect with Ethan on Facebook, check out his author page on Amazon, or visit his new websites, Geometry Of Energy and Meditation 108, where Ethan offers lessons on individuation, meditation, the conceptualization of energy, and the metaphysical significance of 108.

Ethan’s books include:


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