Hermes is the messenger of the gods and also the god of trade, athletics, travel and good fortune. However, he is also the god of thieves and tricksters - which is why I have chosen him as my God of the Week for the first week in April.
Hermes as a child was a real Artful Dodger. His anti-social behaviour began when he was only a few days old and decided to steal a herd of cattle. Not only did he steal them, but he killed two of them for their lovely hides and juicy steaks.
He didn't know they belonged to Apollo but, when the God of Music turned up in a foul temper to get them back, he was very quick at talking his way out of trouble. He persuaded Apollo to accept a lyre strung with cow guts in exchange for the cattle and even convinced him it was a good deal.
According to http://www.godchecker.com/, the son of Zeus' gift of the gab made him the perfect choice for messenger duties:
"Zeus made him a herald and kitted him out with a winged hat and sandals. Powered by these he can zoom all over the place delivering news that's worse than it sounds... Hermes made a vow to Zeus: 'I will never tell lies — although I cannot promise always to tell the whole truth.' Despite wheeling and dealing by the seat of his pants, Hermes always manages to leave his customers perfectly satisfied. Mostly due to his incredibly cunning sales talk."Governing communication, fast travel and a good sales pitch, Hermes seems a suitable god for the times we live in, where these things seem increasingly important.
Hermes' winged sandals give him prime position on the front cover of Trickster Makes This World: How Disruptive Imagination Creates Culture, by Lewis Hyde. The book devotes an entire chapter to Hermes in his role as trickster with a knack for getting out of difficult situations.
Trickster Makes This World: How Disruptive Imagination Creates Culture by Lewis Hyde costs £6.99 in paperback from Amazon.
Trickster Makes This World: How Disruptive Imagination Creates Culture