O Beloved Hermes! This behelmeted and foot-winged God is the totem of many a trickster and traveler. He is also the savior of shepherds, the deliverer of dream messages and prophecy and a giver of a good’s night’s sleep.
Hermes is the alchemical and archetypal magician, manifester and maker of possible futures.
In Roman myth, he is Mercury, a psychopomp or guide for the dead, shuttling shades into the Underworld like a fluttering beacon of light. Which also means Hermes is the harbinger of Spring.
The Myth of Hermes and Persephone
According to one variation of the Greek myth, Hermes is responsible for bringing the Goddess Persephone, Queen of the Dead and Hades’ wife, back into the arms of her immortal mother, Demeter from the Underworld.
After being kidnapped by King Hades, Demeter, Goddess of the Harvest, in her grief brought barrenness to the land to the consternation of Zeus. To appease Demeter and her pleas to save their daughter, Zeus instructed Hermes to go fetch Persephone.
However, Hades argued that Persephone must stay because she had broken a cardinal rule: She had eaten pomegranate seeds, the food of the Dead.
Zeus decreed that this act indeed beholdened Persephone to Hades but allowed her to return to Demeter six months out of the year, the time equaling the amount of seeds she had eaten.
The Coming of Spring and the Vernal Equinox
When Persephone is ushered out of the Underworld by Hermes and reunited with her mother, we have Spring and Summer. When she returns, Demeter grieves once again and we have Fall and Winter.
This mother-daughter reunion is marked by the Return of Spring, today celebrated on March 20th as the Vernal or Spring Equinox. When day and night are in equilibrium, marking the beginning of longer days, the awakening of the earth and the vitality she brings in the bursting of buds, shoots and song.
Hermes brings dream oracles
The Vernal or Spring Equinox is also a time for appreciation after the long, dark blanket of winter where ideas and wishes were incubating unseen, underground in our dreams.
So it shouldn’t be surprising that Hermes, the harbinger of dreams and oracles, would be sending Spring and birth messages to you. These prophetic dreams can take many forms and shape pointing to your future.
Since this is the time of births, planting of gardens and awakening of life and spirit, the symbols that would represent this time of Spring and fecundity would be dreams of pregnancy, birthing, babies, children eggs, fire, scenes of outdoors and nature, song, dance, all the colors of the rainbow, bridges, climbing, rising to the surface, going from dark to light.
Because Hermes is also psychopomp between worlds, you might come across visitation dreams from loved ones who bring you guidance for your future.
Birthing Dreams: Both the new and neglected
Since Spring signifies birth and “new life” dreams of giving birth can be a common motif. The birthing process can be a powerful metaphor for giving ‘birth’ to an idea, project or a new way of being. So it is not uncommon for dreamers to give birth to babies as well as full grown children, objects and even animals. It is important to note the emotional quality of the dream as well and what is being birthed.
In one dream, I gave birth to a chicken and was completely horrified by the “discovery.” As the doctor showed me my “beaked child” I went into a panic. A few months later, I discovered I was “chicken” about an opportunity I was being offered and the dream reminded me to muster my courage and face my fears.
In another dream, I was given the opportunity to adopt Kwan Yin, the Goddess as a baby! This dream was preparing me for my future as a counselor in hospice work: A position I never dreamed I would be tending to years back.
There is also those “neglected” or “abandoned” baby or child dreams to look out for. This dream can be unsettling because the dreamer often finds a child they either forgot about or never knew existed, sometimes found in a drawer or even shoebox under the bed!
To the dreamer’s horror, and often surprise, the child seems perfectly fine even though they had not been taken care of for months, even years. Like the birthing dream, this neglected child is often a metaphor for a project, idea or way of life that the dreamer had to put aside in waking life and now has the opportunity to revisit again.
Easter and Egg Dreams
In pagan traditions it is Ostara, named for Eostre meaning “to shine” and the maiden Goddess of Spring fertility. She is closely related to the name of the Greek dawn goddess, Eos, the Roman Aurora and the Indian Ushas. Easter derives from the name, Eostre so it is not surprising the coloring of eggs was a custom during this time of celebration.
Considering this, eggs are a common dream theme for people on the edge of new beginnings.
I have many dreams of eggs and these dreams are often accompanied by a snake or snakes: A symbol of rebirth and transformation. In one dream I saw a snake holding an egg in its mouth. In another, a snake was wrapped around an egg. Another dream was as banana snake curled up in an Easter basket. Another dream I was an alchemist magician (Hermes!) manifesting blue eggs.
I later learned that this symbols of snakes and eggs were found in many Orphic traditions and Eleusinian Mysteries. When I dream of eggs, I know to pay special attention that something ‘big’ is about to surface and be birthed in my near future.
How to Incubate Prophetic Dreams
In order to fully awaken our dreams into consciousness and call upon Hermes to bring us prophecy, an act of dream incubation is needed.
Before bedtime, preferably before, during, and after the Equinox when its especially potent, set an intention or even pose a question or problem that you wish answered. You can write it on a piece of paper and place under your pillow or repeat the intention while adding strong emotion to it before falling asleep.
Be sure to write the dream down when you awaken by keeping a pen and pad by your bed to see what oracle Hermes has left for you.
Have you had dreams signifying future events or projects?
If so, in what form? Maybe dreams of eggs, snakes, spring or babies?
What prophecies have Hermes left for you?
Share your comments below.