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Hellsing, Iscariot, and Millennium! Oh, my!
Plus the Drifters and anything else Hirano.
The bird of Hermes is my name eating my wings to make me tame. 
15th-Feb-2006 09:30 pm
360 desu
The bird of Hermes is my name eating my wings to make me tame.

Okay so this line has shown up in a number of anime, games etc. including on Alucard's coffin in Hellsing and it's always kind of confused me but then I ran into it in connection with alchemy and apparently found the original source of this line in "The Ripley Scroll"

I thought it was interesting for reference and I was wondering if anyone else knew about this? and what does it have to do with vampires and the world of hellsing in general? Okay I think I might have confused myself more with this but, none the less its kinda interesting at the very least.

uh...generally I'm confused and thought some people might like to read the Ripley scroll, as I don't know I've ever heard any explaination of this that makes sense... if I'm repeating someone go ahead and delete this please.
16th-Feb-2006 05:51 am (UTC)
This did come-up week or so ago - http://community.livejournal.com/hellsing/783328.html

I dunno how it's connected to vampires (or rather Alucard). Tried going thru the damn scroll looking for some sort of vampire connection and gave-up after awhile.
16th-Feb-2006 06:04 am (UTC)
hmm kay, I started looking around and reading it and it just started confusing the heck out of me.
16th-Feb-2006 03:35 pm (UTC)
maybe it is a refrence to however it was that Alucard was bound by the hellsing family. Alchemy is one of the few forms of "magic" that the Christian (and those religions like it) religion didn't normally take a huge issue with.
16th-Feb-2006 08:17 pm (UTC)
If I had a quarter for every time this has been discussed, I'd have a lot of money for porn...
17th-Feb-2006 09:51 am (UTC)
who buys porn?
1st-Apr-2007 05:14 pm (UTC) - Truth
The sea without lees is the ocean of the infinite, where the gods dwell, and Hermes is the messenger of the gods, the angel of inspiration. It is the ocean of transformation, symbolised also by the element mercury, the only metal liquid at common temperatures. Hermes, also known as Mercury, is pictured with wings on his head and feet, symbolizing that thought and inspiration are birdlike in their swiftness and their abilty to go wherever they wish, over trackless places and barricades, "as the crow flies". Yet a bird whose feathers grow "variable", some much longer than others, would be unstable in his flight, just like there is a fine line between inspiration and insanity. This is why Icarus fell into the sea. So the bird of Hermes eats his feathers to keep them trimmed and shapely so that he can fly in a stable manner.

Sometimes he eats too much of his wings, just as the inspired person can go too deeply into their arts and consume themselves, and then his feathers are gone and he is still as a stone. Even so, the life force remains, and the bare bones of inspiration can quicken the "death" of a stagnant life path, if one but sits still thru the white and the red, that is, the completion of the cycles. Life and death are both parts of the same cycle. There are parts of our bodies which are dead (hair, the outer layer of teeth and skin, etc) and also a dead body teems with life, or at least it would if it were not embalmed. The last few lines of this poem acknowledge this and thank the gods for this sight or knowledge.

it has very little to do with vampires or the undead, but rather with transcending sanity and human limitations
10th-May-2007 12:58 pm (UTC) - Re: Truth
Anon delivers!
9th-Jul-2007 04:43 am (UTC)
From http://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-reviews/discussions/start-thread.html?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B0001GOH52&authorID=AAXIW3SRA0S4R&store=yourstore&reviewID=R32W9RU9D95M5X&displayType=ReviewDetail

"If you look at alchemical emblems (pictures related to different processes of inner alchemical transformation), you will notice a lot of reptiles in those emblems. They stand for unrefined energy, what you'd call the energy of "low human nature". In some emblems, like "Ripley Scroll", at the beginning of a spiritual journey (and all of us are on such a journey), this "reptilian" energy has the upper hand. Through the process of inner transformation - it is then transmuted and one's higher or spiritual nature and one's spiritual self has the upper hand. The lower nature manifests as fear and acts motivated by fear, the higher nature manifests as love and acts motivated by love. The higher nature having the higher "vibration" eventually consumes the lower vibration and fear becomes transmuted into love."

I found that helped things make sense, at least to me. Though I hope it is elaborated in the books, and look forward to it.
1st-Feb-2008 10:09 pm (UTC) - thanks
Ive seen all the hellsing but i guess i didn't pay much attention to the little things i missed this phrase will have to re-watch XD but i got a lighter (zippo) with hellsing on it (i love it) but on the back was written "The bird of Hermes is my name eating my wings to make me tame." so i had to find out what it meant this was very helpful and interesting.
Thank you for the posts.
5th-Jan-2010 04:35 pm (UTC) - hermes
hermes was a greek god. who's main job was the messenger of zeus. he was depicted as having wings on his ankles. and in quite a lot of stories he was the rescuer. so my take on this little metaphor is that. alucard is hermes and the hellsing organization has "broken his wings" or bound him, made him tame to serve their own purposes.
26th-Feb-2010 12:27 am (UTC) - Alucard and Alchemy
There is barely a reference for vampirism in the Riply Scroll. First off though the Riply Scroll is thought to be the recipe for the Philosophers stone that is sought after by all alchemists ( not just in Full Metal Alchemist). Everything in alchemy is refferred back to a basic element and like all of those post above this one Hermes is a referrence to Mercury. The Riply Scroll starts off by telling you how to make the "White Stone" by combining the four elements. Apparently the guy who wrote this was the only one to manage to get this far on is own. It then goes on to tell you the ingredients of the next step and where to get it. The Black Sea, What he referrs to as the Black Moon and Black Sun. Moon and Sun being two more alchemical refferences. Once complete with that step you continue onto make the "Red Stone". Next we have the Red Lune wich could be a reference to the Blood Moon or a creature most likely a Lizard as stated above. At this point it seems to referr to water which can lead in several different directions but the water has to be from the red sea because of its properties. It then goes into detail about what the substance will look like in this step of creation, then it gets fuzzy for me because there is a reference for fear which can referr to the Goat Twins PHEBOS & PHOBOS or as the writer puts it Phoebus and the Red and Green Lion. Then the Bird of Hermes comes in which most likely means to add mercury to the elixir which has now formed. And here is where the Vampirism comes in Because after the mercury is added ALOT of Blood is needed and mixed in with the Red & White stone, the Red Elixir, The Red Sol or Sun, and another Elixir made sometime in the process and this is called Luna in Crescent which referrs to the phase of the moon to do this on. after the stone is made the last stanza of the Riply Scroll thells us that Man must reach a certain point of understanding, illumination, or enlightenment as some may call it which brings a number of different religions into play.
7th-Apr-2010 09:33 pm (UTC) - I get it
I think it means raising the dead *SPOILER* like when Alucard uses art restriction level zero. in V. 7
22nd-Apr-2010 06:26 pm (UTC) - Re: I get it
really after all of that i wrote above thats all you can come up with.
17th-May-2010 01:46 am (UTC) - Freedom
The bird of the Hermes trims its wings to keep them under control so if it eats its wings that means it has no freedom meaning Alucard is a servant which he is, a Servant to living forever a servant to Integra many things can be compared
22nd-May-2010 07:52 pm (UTC) - Re: Freedom
not exactly a servant forever since integra wont become a vampire she can only live for so long.
(Deleted comment)
7th-Jul-2010 03:57 am (UTC) - hellsing
ive never read the manga of hellsing but i have watched the videos and wondered about the hermes thing i new he was a greek person who was the messenger of the gods and that he was also refered to as mercury also i read the riply text and after reading it i thought it made alot of sense toward the hellsing series at least in the first and last passages the first passage seems to describe alucard and integra the middle passages are alot harder to figure where it fits but the last passage with the hermes thing is a no duh the meaning is alot simpler then people make it out to be but the other problem with the ripley text is its not in the original language so its hard to figure excactly wat the writer intended as he wrote it so no matter how hard people try they cant fully exactly understand every word u basically just need to get the meaning of the text as a whole the guy who explained it just above did an extremely good job after he explained it it made perfect sense for one alucard is 100percent insane but as history has shown the most insane people are often the most refined when people like alucard is when there is no prospect of being able to fight or create a fight or kill anyone that is his passion and as the restriction levels are lifted ie he delves deeper into his greatest passion the more insane he gets, the longer more unstable his flight is its easy to see why he is so crazy and how that relates to the text blah blah but seeing why he is tamed and what keeps him that way is a little harder the only obsession greater than his love for death is the wanting of his masters blood but the reason he was tamed was because he was bested by sir hellsing and because of his honour he is a slave to the heelsing family because they are his betters im getting off track but i would have to actually read the manga to totally figure all this out and whatnot but for those who are interested read the first passage of the ripley text a couple of times i think ull be very interested in what u find this whole post is basically a waste of space but i think the dude who explained the ripley passage should get a round of applause cause hes the onlyone who nos wat hes talkin about lol haha
8th-Aug-2010 01:00 pm (UTC) - Re: hellsing
thank you so much. its good that someone other than me has read that text before.
3rd-Aug-2010 01:02 am (UTC)
Well I think it has to do with Alucard and Integra.
According to the text... The bird eats his wings, and, since it can't fly now, it's tamed. I believe it has something to do about how Alucard feels about Hellsing family. He acts as bird of hermes, because he has to stay tamed. That is his will.
20th-Sep-2010 10:33 pm (UTC) - therory
well the saying dosent realy resamble one or another but if you compair hellsing and full metal alchmist the symble on alucards hand resmbles a alchmic circle
4th-Oct-2010 12:16 pm (UTC) - Re: therory
Its not really a comparison between the two shows if the only thing they have in common is the alchemical symbol.
21st-Oct-2010 10:18 pm (UTC) - what it means for Alucard
Ok people listen up, ive been reading all these posts and yes while these are all possible meanings for Hellsing and Alucard it is this.

Eating my wings to make me tame, this is key. After Van Hellsing defeats Dracula, however he accomplished this great feat, Dracula is so impressed with Hellsing that he takes a reverse position to his nature, and binds himself to the Hellsing blood line. From this time on he is known as Alucard. Both reversal of name and the way in which he conducts his life. Eating my wings to make me tame, this explains how, as with all of us, Alucard keeps himself under control instead of a raving blood drunk monster that he really is. This is what keeps him from draining Integra and from laying waste to the world. Forget the Millenium group, they are just a bunch of wanna-be's.
28th-Oct-2010 05:35 pm (UTC) - Re: what it means for Alucard
Where are you getting this from? in the show they show several times a split screen showing alucard on one side and a very similar but older man with a mustache tht is suppose to be Dracula.
9th-Nov-2010 08:54 am (UTC)
Frozenjet is 100% right alucard is Dracula and he's right about the other stuff yes they show a cutscene but if you notice in the cutscene alucard is just the shavin version of the older looking man plus when van hellsing says the you have been judged and found wanting vampire king it proves that he is dracula because there is only one vampire king and that is Dracula plus there are so many parts in the series that make it apparent that he is Dracula in the epidsode where he goes to that hotel to find those Nazis and he kills all those men he throws four guys onto the flagpoles and impales them Dracula was known for being an impaler it's why all these storys about him being a vampire came about and in the episode with rip van winkle he impales her with her own gun. Her always impales people on his arm I haven't watched it in a little while because I'm waiting for the new ones to come out so I can have a marathon but there are tons of obvious thing that I can't remember .......on a side note who is the bird of Hermes on a certain site some one said it was Icarus which I found very peculiar and I keep trying to search who or what the bird is but it just keeps binging up results about hellsing.
7th-Jan-2011 02:11 am (UTC)
i did a paper on the scroll where this subject is torn from it is true tht icarus could be a reference but it stops at him it makes much more sense if used for alchemy
1st-Feb-2011 11:57 pm (UTC) - Life before Dracula.
I'm not sure if this has anything to do with things, but later in manga there is part where Alucard sees "dream" about his past. If i understood it rigth he was living human back then. In that dream he sent his own men to war to get enaugh blood to get the one on the earth. From context i'd say he ment god, but migth be philosophers stone too. He was killed for this and no telling how he became a vampire
3rd-Feb-2011 12:04 am (UTC) - Re: Life before Dracula.
this is actually helpful since human sacrifice in that passage had nothing to do with vampires that were undead already. its possibly the philosophers stone for several reasons. 1 alot of blood is needed to "make" the stone. and 2 this might or might not be relevant but in FMA brotherhood the homunculus who took a shell that looked like Hoenheim of light met god and was punished in the end. So it could very well have referred to god in that sense or in a vampirical sense in which he's mocking god.
24th-Mar-2011 03:49 pm (UTC)
the "blood" of many men that is needed to create ones philosopher's stone might mean that one needs to assimilate/absorb/acknowledge all their knowledge in order to become a "perfect being", a "illuminati", a "vampire".
My opinion is vampire legends came from the silly thinking to the knowledge absorbing as being blood absorbing, although, creatures like vampires are not excluded to exist, i'm open minded to it.
P.S. : If anyone is good at interpreting alchemical texts, or any other texts belonging to the Renaissance or Enlightenment or Symbolism please contact me , I need some help ^_^. Esp redfang , i'd apreciate it very much
24th-Mar-2011 08:05 pm (UTC) - lol
im always looking for something to do so ill have a crack at it lol whatcha need?
18th-Aug-2011 08:35 am (UTC) - wow
I just watched the new OVA of Hellsing and when he said the phrase "The bird of Hermes is my name eating my wings to make me tame." I realized I always wanted to know what does it mean, so thanks for all the info i found here!

Recommend me animes similar to Hellsing, please :>
7th-Sep-2011 01:58 am (UTC) - Re: wow
Black Blood Brothers is somewhat similar to hellsing in some ways and Blood+ is really good violence wise as well and they just came out with a new sequel called Blood C. If your just looking for vampire anime without the excessive blood then Vampire Knight and Fortune Arterial are good too.
17th-Oct-2011 02:34 am (UTC)
The bird of hermes in this would be the Hellsing family as they are the ones Alucard bound himself to. The part about eating the wings is a refrence to the fact that Alucard used to be Dracula and is sealing(eating) his power(wings as the power gives him freedom which is often related to flight) so that he will not destroy everything his "master"(he chose to serve out of admiration of the one who defeated him as Dracula and can really do anything he wants so master is a loose term to use) holds dear making Alucard "tame". If you read the anime you will realize this also applys to Seras as she will always follow Alucard even when she becomes his equal.
19th-Oct-2011 10:46 pm (UTC)
The trans for the Ripley Scroll isn't my work, only the second part where I'm just writing down how I think its tied to Alucard.
In the sea without lees: An aspect of the limitless ocean (the border of the infinite approached by the divinity within man)

Standeth the bird of Hermes : Exists the human soul

Eating his wings variable: Consuming it's vehicles (utilising the fruits of earthly experience, in the process of alchemical transmutation)
developing and uniting within that higher consciousness (or achieving stability, peace, a higher focal point of consciousness that is perpetual and maintained)

And maketh himself yet full stable: When the process of incarnation is complete (when all the fruits have been harvested, so to speak, and the ties to earthly life absolved)

When all his feathers be from him gone: Stability is achieved (the soul moves down from the ocean of the infinite no longer, ie, is fully divine, human life is ended)

He standeth still here as a stone: All qualities are possessed and united (one is all things, as a reflection of that infinite, a drop within the ocean)

Here is now both white and red: One is an expression of Life, and brings life to those about one, inspiring them towards the same within (the philosophers stone is the aspect of material life which is a catalyst for the transmutation to spirit. For the alchemist, life and death are reversed, the divine spirit is freed into life through earthly death, and we that live upon the earth are the dead, trapped in prisons of matter, of flesh) All life has lead to achieving this goal.

And all so the stone to quicken the dead: All life has lead to achieving this goal.

All and some without fable: There is no exception

Both hard and soft and malleable: Possessing all qualities, being all things, fluid, and complete, able to fulfill whatever purpose is required

Understand now well and right: Understand now, correctly, for this is of importance

And thank you God of this sight: it is of divine revelation

The bird of Hermes is my name: I (you) are in truth the soul, this is our true identity, not the human self, but the higher.

Eating my wings to make me tame: Using earthly life to achieve this end, devouring that which has given movement (that is moving through the experience, after which the vehicles, the human incarnation, serve no further purpose, and are destroyed, so that the life within may be freed) bringing all under the control of the thinker, the dweller within the form. The identity of the self becomes divine and all powerful within the sphere of that self, is no longer moved by outside forces, has reaped all that can be, and now resides within the bosom of the infinite.

“Only a man can truly hope to kill a monster”
“It is only when you refuse to give in with all your heart that you begin to transcend your humanity.” Alucard sadden by grief on his failures and fear of death choose to give in and for this he is unable to become a higher being.

Alucard has two Paganism references on him. The obvious one is the Pentacle symbol on his gloves. The second is his epithet "The Bird of Hermes." Hermes was the Greek messenger god, noted for his winged sandals and ability to fly. Hermes was also noted for transporting souls to the Underworld, while Alucard in contrast devours them.

Blood is the currency of the soul.

He has forsaken his humanity he has forsaken his soul. Therefore he must consume souls, so he can satisfy his “thirst”(the desire to become human again the desire to have a soul and be able to leave this world and transcend to a higher being).

The bird of Hermes is my name: I (you) are in truth the soul, this is our true identity, not the human self, but the higher- Alucard forsake his soul so he forsake himself that is why he says no matter what form he takes it has no meaning. Those forms aren’t really himself.

30th-Nov-2011 02:50 am (UTC)
If you go with the thinking of hermes being similar to alucard there is not really a contrast. When alucard reveals himself as dracula he shows everyone that not only does he consume souls he harbors them inside himself and when each individual soul is destroyed that soul is freed from bondage and can pass on.
1st-Nov-2012 03:48 pm (UTC)
There is something here that i think was failed in mentioning in the previous posts. I believe that the 'Hermes' referenced in the ripley scroll is not referring to the 'Hermes' of Greek mythology, but instead 'Hermes Trigmegistus', who is widely considered to be the founder of alchemy. It makes alot more sense to me. And there is a blatant, however esoteric connection from the philosophers stone and vampirism. Judging on what the manga presents as evidence, and reading ripley's works thoroughly, i've come to the conclusion, that Alucard, and all vampires to a lesser varying degrees, are indeed manifestations of a Philosophers Stone.
This being said, the Philosopher's Stone was said to present the user with the elixir of immortality, and the ability to do alchemy or science without regard to the basic laws of physics or math or such: in essence, the ability to create something from nothing. Looking at alucard, he is immortal (to a sense, impervious), and can manifest shadows that have mass, objects and beings that previously had no matter to exist, and can defy laws like gravity.
However, there isnt enough evidence to ascertain how he came to be this way. As seen, no other vampire has powers like Alucard, and it brings up the question of whether Van Helsing did this to him, 'enhancing' or 'changing' his basic alchemical structure with alchemy, or was did he have such powers when he originally became a vampire in Wallachia at the time of his beheading. There really isnt enough evidence to go on as to explain such things. Seras Victoria has inherited some of Alucard's power as it is manifested in OVA 7 onwards, suggesting that the Philosophers' Stone's abilities are inherited by blood. If there was enough evidence to verify that Alucard was the first vampire (which there isnt, considering legends of such creatures went on far before his turning), or that Vlad Dracula'a quest for God was actually a queast for the Philosopher's Stone (which is debatable), or that Alucard was simply like the other vampires seen in Hellsing, without powers of darkness, before Van Helsing came and perhaps altered him (which on second thought, this is absurd, Alucard, and all other vampires, have immortality and can defy simple physics, such as gravity and ridiculous strength and speed, far before Van Helsing got to him, but it just remains to be seen whether he possesed the more 'sharpened' abilities such as shadow manipulation and matter degradation from the beginnning of his turning, or otherwise.) So how is Alucard different? What did he do so differently that his manifestation is so wildly tangent from other vampires that he barely even resembles a vampire? There is no evidence to support or deny this point, so i cannot say. However, the similarities between the two points are evident, and worth looking into further, but with the lack of in-depth evidence, the only one who can truly say, is Alucard himself, or Kohta Hirano.
8th-May-2014 08:52 pm (UTC)
Dracula is impressed with van hellsing..n binds him self to his bloodline.hermes is his name...he reduced himself to answer to a mere human...him tamed him self...a form of humility to his master hellsing.d only family that intrigues him
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