As a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, this site may earn from qualifying purchases. We may also earn commissions on purchases from other retail websites.
Considered the original Source of Hermetic Philosophy and Alchemy, The Emerald Tablet is regarded as one of the most mysterious ancient texts on Earth.
Believed to have been originally carved by Hermes on tablets of Emerald and placed inside the Great Pyramid’s Kings Chamber, the true author of this mysterious text remains a mystery, and scholars believe that the legend of the Tablet and Hermes are probably apocryphal in nature.
This ancient text is well-known among researchers of the occult, philosophers and so-called alchemists since at least the eighth century.
Depending on what source we look at, the Emerald Tablet is said to have been composed by either Hermes Trismegistus or an ancient author from Arabia, who is believed to have ‘penned down’ the enigmatic text between the sixth and eighth centuries. Hermes Trismegistusis a legendary Hellenistic, combination of the ancient Greek God Hermes, and the Ancient Egyptian God Thoth.
The Emerald Tablet was first translated into Latin in the twelfth century, after which numerous translations and interpretations followed.
The oldest documentable source of the text is the “Kitab Balaniyus al-Hakim fi’l-`IlalKitāb sirr al-ḫalīqa.
Here is the original text in Latin: (Chrysogonus Polydorus, Nuremberg 1541)
Verum, sine mendacio, certum et verissimum:
Quod est inferius est sicut quod est superius, et quod est superius est sicut quod est inferius, ad perpetranda miracula rei unius.
Et sicut res omnes fuerunt ab uno, meditatione unius, sic omnes res natae ab hac una re, adaptatione.
Pater eius est Sol. Mater eius est Luna, portavit illud Ventus in ventre suo, nutrix eius terra est.
Pater omnis telesmi totius mundi est hic.
Virtus eius integra est si versa fuerit in terram.
Separabis terram ab igne, subtile ab spisso, suaviter, magno cum ingenio.
Ideo fugiet a te omnis obscuritas.
Haec est totius fortitudinis fortitudo fortis, quia vincet omnem rem subtilem, omnemque solidam penetrabit.
Sic mundus creatus est.
Hinc erunt adaptationes mirabiles, quarum modus est hic. Itaque vocatus sum Hermes Trismegistus, habens tres partes philosophiae totius mundi.
Completum est quod dixi de operatione Solis.
This is the Translation of the Emerald Tablet according to Isaac Newton:
Tis true without lying, certain & most true.
That which is below is like that which is above & that which is above is like that which is below to do the miracles of one only thing
And as all things have been & arose from one by the mediation of one: so all things have their birth from this one thing by adaptation.
The Sun is its father, the moon its mother, the wind hath carried it in its belly, the earth is its nurse.
The father of all perfection in the whole world is here.
Its force or power is entire if it be converted into earth.
Separate thou the earth from the fire, the subtile from the gross sweetly with great industry.
It ascends from the earth to the heaven & again it descends to the earth & receives the force of things superior & inferior.
By this means you shall have the glory of the whole world
& thereby all obscurity shall fly from you.
Its force is above all force. For it vanquishes every subtle thing & penetrates every solid thing.
So was the world created.
From this are & do come admirable adaptations whereof the means (or process) is here in this. Hence I am called Hermes Trismegist, having the three parts of the philosophy of the whole world
That which I have said of the operation of the Sun is accomplished & ended.
Featured image Shutterstock / Wikimedia Commons