January 1st is the Feast Day of St. Hermes Arithemetica, patron of long division and of beginnings. St. Hermes is an alchemical saint, postulated by the ancient natural philosophers, and likely not based on an actual person. In the writings of the alchemist known only as “The Mercurial,” St. Hermes is referred to as “the lever with which God sets the universe in motion.”

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