– recall that Hermes gave Pandora the character of a thief and the mind of a
bitch; but he is more complicated.
Hermes is the god of
and the god of
businessmen and thieves
Good luck from out of the blue, and god of those professions
because they rely to a degree on such uncontrolled good luck.
After World War II, auto company did huge market research, spent millions on
analysis, engineering, production, teaser campaign.
Hit showrooms, it was ugly,
lost a fortune – the Ford Edsel.
Hermes had not blessed the venture, so no good
Late 50’s university students frequent a store selling meat pies in aluminum pans,
which the students would throw back in forth.
Two young men saw their
popularity, borrowed $200 from their fathers and, with no knowledge and no
experience, invented the Frisbee.
According to the Greeks, their venture had been
blessed by Hermes.
Hermes is also the god of the
This is a form of power the Greeks didn’t
understand – when something happened over which they could not stop laughing.
have no control, humor takes you over.
So, there is a god of the practical joke since they
had no control and figured it must be supernatural.
Hermes is also the only god with stories about him as an infant.
He is the son of
mother a goddess named
(whom the month of May is named after).
She gave birth
to Hermes in her cave, put him in his crib, and as soon as she turned around, he hopped
out and went to the door of the cave.
He found a turtle, killed it and cleaned out the shell,
and used the guts to make strings, creating the first musical instrument – the
so pleased that he left the cave to see what else he could find.
He went to the place where
the gods kept their cattle.
He came to the pen of the cattle of
, his brother.
stole 50 of Apollo’s cattle and took them up the road – but he made the cattle walk
backwards so that it would look like they had been walking into the pen.
He took the
cattle to another cave nearby and sacrificed 2 of them to the gods for thanks for a
Then he went back to Maia’s cave and slept.
So Apollo comes to the pen, noticed he was 50 heads short, saw the prints leading into
the pen, and couldn’t figure it out.
He asked the farmer across the street if he had seen
anything, and he told him he saw a baby walking 50 cows backward up the street.
Apollo knew a new baby god had been born, so he went to Maia’s
He shook Hermes’ cradle.
.. “Where are my cows?!?”
“What’s a cow?
was born yesterday!”
“I know it was you!!”
This went back and forth until
Apollo grabbed Hermes and shook him, and Hermes ‘let out a thunder-cloud’, as babies
will tend to do.
Apollo let him go – it was a standoff.
Apollo then took Hermes to Mt. Olympus to let Zeus, their father, deal with it.