If Hermes is the prince of Rochester, NY, as declared by the pagan practice of exalting images of the deities in high places, answers are provided that explain the state and status of the region. The reality of the gateway to High Falls makes perfect sense in that context. In the last post Rochester was presented in a rather casual comparison to Mystery Babylon. While there is far more to Mystery Babylon than Rochester, the city clearly fits the model. In this post, I'm going to continue making observations about the apparent influence Hermes has over the city.
Perhaps the most obvious characteristic perceived by myself and others is that Rochester seems asleep, so soundly asleep that it resembles the state of death. There is a darkness beyond the local weather conditions, the frequent overcast sky and the seasonal persistent cloud cover. There is a spiritual darkness that is for some quite tangible. While I was growing up there I thought it was just "me." It wasn't. It's a spirit of slumber or stupor over the land that I somehow perceived.
Consider the following collection of excerpts from classical literature. (Theoi Project - Encyclopedia)
"He [Hermes] fastened on his ankle-wings, grasped in his fist the wand that charms to sleep, put on his magic cap, and thus arrayed Jove’s [Zeus’] son [Hermes] sprang from his father’s citadel down to earth."
Ovid, Metamorphoses 1. 583 ff (trans. Melville) (Roman epic C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.)
"[Hermes has] such trust in his good looks! Yet though his trust was sound, he spared no pains; he smoothed his hair, arranged his robe to hang aright, to show the whole long golden hem, saw that his wand, the wand he wields to bring and banish sleep, shone with a polish, and his ankle-wings were lustrous and his sandals brushed and clean."
Ovid, Metamorphoses 2. 730 ff :
"He [Hermes] caught up the staff (rhabdos), with which he mazes the eyes of those mortals whose eyes he would maze, or wakes again the sleepers. Holding this in his hands, Kratus (strong) Argeiphontes winged his way onward."
Homer, Iliad 24.339
"[Hermes] held in his hand the golden rod that he uses to lull men’s eyes asleep when he so wills, or again to wake others from their slumber."
Homer, Odyssey 24.1 & 99
"May Maia's son [Hermes], as he rightfully should, lend his aid ... by his mysterious utterance he brings darkness over men's eyes by night, and by day he is no more clear at all."
Aeschylus, Libation Bearers 811
"To Hermes Khthonios (of the Underworld), Fumigation from Storax. Hermes, I call, whom fate decrees to dwell near to Kokytos, the famed stream of Haides, and in necessity’s (ananke’s) dread path, whose bourn to none that reach it ever permits return. O Bakkheios Hermes, progeny divine of Dionysos, parent of the vine, and of celestial Aphrodite, Paphian queen, dark-eyelashed Goddess, of a lovely mien: who constant wanderest through the sacred seats where Haides’ dread empress, Persephone, retreats; to wretched souls the leader of the way, when fate decrees, to regions void of day. Thine is the wand which causes sleep to fly, or lulls to slumberous rest the weary eye; for Persephone, through Tartaros dark and wide, gave thee for ever flowing souls to guide. Come, blessed power, the sacrifice attend, and grant thy mystics’ works a happy end."
Orphic Hymn 57 to Chthonian Hermes (Greek Hymns C3rd B.C. - C2nd A.D)
When I look at the image of Hermes bearing that wand and read the ancient testimony, knowing with full conviction the state and status of the people, I cannot doubt the witness. The myths and legends of old were scoffed at and sold to me by my trusted secular educators as bogus. Other twisted myths were taught to me by trusted church educators. Babylon is filled with liars. I've been among them. Forgive me, Lord.
I can't blame Hermes for what I see, though, because the demonic authority is doing his appointed work. He will bear his own judgment in the day of the sovereign God's accounting. The real problem is with us, the Lord's people, who disobey His commands and thereby invite curses upon ourselves, families and land!
The wand of Hermes is used to cast a magick spell over mortals, to maze the eyes, to charm them to sleep. Rochester witnesses to the effectual working of that magick in the present day.
The following passage speaks very loudly to me about the city of Rochester, NY.
5) In the same way then, there has also come to be at the present time a remnant according to God's gracious choice.
6) But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace.
7) What then? What Israel is seeking, it has not obtained, but those who were chosen obtained it, and the rest were hardened;
8) just as it is written, "GOD GAVE THEM A SPIRIT OF STUPOR, EYES TO SEE NOT AND EARS TO HEAR NOT, DOWN TO THIS VERY DAY."
9) And David says, "LET THEIR TABLE BECOME A SNARE AND A TRAP, AND A STUMBLING BLOCK AND A RETRIBUTION TO THEM.
10) "LET THEIR EYES BE DARKENED TO SEE NOT, AND BEND THEIR BACKS FOREVER."
The word "stupor" in verse 8 is "slumber" in the KJV and "deep sleep" in the YLT. This is an apt description of the spell cast by Hermes' wand, the caduceus, resulting in eyes that see not, as closed in sleep. (See also passages surrounding Acts 28:26-27, Isaiah 6:9, 29:10, Deuteronomy 29:4, Jeremiah 5:21, Psalm 69:22-23)
Rochester, NY has been known as the world's image center. It's the home of Bausch and Lomb, (Eastman) Kodak and Xerox. Bausch and Lomb has long been known for precision optical equipment, and more recently, eye health products, vision correction and vision enhancement technologies and products. (I worked for Bausch and Lomb during college.) Kodak is all about image capture and presentation, film and camera technology and products. Xerox got its start with photographic paper and equipment, then became all about the technology of image reproduction with copiers and laser printers. Rochester, the world's image center, is itself characterized by the unseeing eye caused by pagan images! This speaks to me with great irony as the blind leading the blind, and both are falling into the ditch!
What kind of fruit is produced through the "progress" and industry of the world's image center? Think about the media of visual imagery today and the influences wrought as the Beast and the mark of the Beast looms so near at hand. How many movies have been produced with Kodak film and technology? What has been seen that was published using Xerox technology and equipment? What has been viewed through a Bausch and Lomb lens? Do you perceive a witness to the effectual work of the wand of Hermes?
As for the related metaphor from Romans 11:8 about ears that hear not, consider that Rochester has the largest per capita deaf population in the United States. Is this not a sign and a parable?
And, as for "bending their backs forever," this figure of servitude in idolatry as a consequence is, oh, so evident to me as a defining characteristic of Rochester. Such industry as generally exhibited by the people of the land is really very impressive. I should know, I lived there for around 25 years of my life. Of course, industry of itself is neither good nor bad. The wall built following Judah's exile in Babylon (Nehemiah 4) and the tower of Babel (Genesis 11) were both built by industrious people. It's what's in the heart and mind of those who labor that matters. Who directs the work in Rochester? Read the skyline. The "Wings of Progress" and Hermes. The backs of the people are bent in servitude. If you haven't yet done so, read The Rat Race of the Religious System (a recent blog post from Joseph Herrin) for some great insight into this condition.
Now, let's pause. At this point in the blog let's take a step back to consider some very relevant imagery I had begun to exhibit back in April of 2010. Lord willing, I'll pick this up in the next post. Until then, you may want to read or reread a previous post, "Part 11 - What does the Olympic Rings logo really mean?."