Order of Hermes

An ecclesiastical and lay order of the Church of the New Aeon, International

The Church of the New Aeon is a Universalist and Pagan denomination, recognized legally as such in the United States and many other countries. Within it the Church has orders devoted to worship, to doing good things and to furthering the purposes of the faith and its members. There are lay orders, clerical orders and priestly orders. Some orders may have all three kinds of members, some may have only one kind of members. A lay order has only lay members. An ecclesiastical order has clerical and/or priestly members. Additionally there are public orders and secret orders - the membership of the latter not publicly revealed.

The Order of Hermes is a secret order with lay, clerical and priestly members. The Order of Hermes is specifically intended for members and friends of the Church who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, queer, questioning, asexual and straight allies. The Order is both ecclesiastical and lay, so all members of the Church and our allies are welcome.

The teachings of the Order are divided in two ways.

The teachings are divided into exoteric and esoteric teachings. Exoteric teachings are available to the general public, to help individuals decide whether or not they are interested in membership and to promote the worship of Deity, the Universe and Spirit in whatever personal ways that people may find comfortable to them and spiritually helpful. Esoteric teachings focus on mystical philosophical and magical trainings and secret knowledge that may be shared with other secret societies and religious orders, or may be unique to the Order and to the Church.

The teachings are divided as well by degrees, of which there are twenty (20) generally available, with the first five degrees focusing primarily on creating a solid working knowledge of magical and religious history and of Pagan and Universalist theology. The next ten degrees focusing on a mix of exoteric and esoteric teachings and a better understanding of our place in the whole of Creation. The final five (5) degrees focusing on the esoteric higher teachings, specific rituals and spiritual, mystical realities, and on magical workings and spiritual alchemy.

There is a 21st degree, a degree open only to those who have completed the twentieth (20th) degree and have been invited to join the High Council, a body composed of those viewed as the best exemplars of the Order. Those of the 21st degree (the Proctors) advise the Proctor General of the Order and help determine the path of the Order in its interactions with the world. More information on the degree structure can be found in the "By Degrees" section.