Play is Sacred: A Channeled Message from Hermes

"This is the secret," Mercury says. "This is the secret to living."

Play is Sacred: A Channeled Message from Hermes
Photo by MI PHAM / Unsplash

I had grand plans to compose an essay for today's newsletter, but thanks to my incredible exhaustion + insomnia this past week (have only been able to sleep for like 2 hours on some nights), and the fact that I'm dedicating a lot of time/energy to getting a job to help support myself (more on this later), I just haven't been able to focus enough to sit down to write.

This morning rolled around and I didn't have an essay to show for it. I asked my guides for help and they suggested that I talk to Hermes, as I've been doing on most Wednesdays (aka Mercury Days) these past few months. Turns out Hermes/Mercury wanted to share a message with you. Here it is:

Hello Sarah’s readers,

It is I, Mercury. Hermes. The Trickster god. Swooping in here on Mercury day to save Sarah just in the nick of time. I would like to share a bit of advice with you on this day.

I would like to start by telling you to leave room for play. Play is a sacred art. It is the stuff of the gods. Playfulness is a quality that is undervalued in the human world these days. It is considered frivolous. And first of all, what is wrong with frivolity? What is wrong with that which lightens the mood? What is wrong with play?

There is nothing wrong with play. It is through games and stories, after all, that humankind works out much of its tension, its identity crises, its yearning. It is through play that we come to understand ourselves as beings that are worthy of laughter, that most sacred of phenomena.

It is through play that, as children, you are taught to imagine what is possible in your world. The bounds of your imagination are the rules within which you choose to frolic. It is only your imagination which determines what can be.

As adults, you humans tend to categorize play. You decide that certain kinds of play are for babies, for children. Other kinds of playfulness are relegated to particular professions: the serious, warrior-like, Martian play of the sports arena, the performative playfulness of the theatrical arts. The playfulness that arises from the everyday cynicism of being alive is splayed out across satirical political news shows.

What if you were to interweave an ethos of playfulness into your everyday life? What if you were to invite a principle of play into that which is most sacred and cherished in your values? What would that look like?

The thing about play is that it can be serious and not-at-all serious, all at once. There is a sincerity and an irreverence that arises from the combination of knowing that everything is to be played with, and nothing is below your respect. This is a sweet spot, an intersection, a crossroads, that not many people know how to inhabit. But once you find yourself at the corner of respect and irreverence, it is a liberating thing. It is something that is delightful to behold, both by yourself—your Big I—your inner knowing—your soul awareness—and also by those around you: the other people which bump around this Earth with you in this existence, this blinking in and out of existence—this short life that you are all gifted.

Those that know how to inhabit this melange—this mixture of respect, of irreverence, of play, of sincerity, of everything-matters-and-nothing-matters, are gods in their own right.

They have figured it out: that they will never have anything figured out, not completely, and that this life is a dance between possibility and probability, an interplay of fate and free will. An ebb and flow of control and relinquishing control. Knowing that you are a speck in the eyes of the Sun but also that you yourself contain entire universes. This is the secret. This is the secret to living.