View Full Version : Translations?

01-03-2009, 08:21 PM
This is a Phoenix-thread (http://forum.alchemyforums.com/showthread.php?t=7) from the old site (http://alchemy-forums.forumotion.com/forum.htm) created by EtuMalku.

Em hotep everyone,
I am rather new here so bear with me please
Recently I have been told that the actual texts written by Thoth were never recovered? Is this true?
Well...Thoth by way of Hermes Trismegistus can be found. Though it's generally accepted that whoever wrote the doctrine attributed to Hermes with regard to alchemical treatises took the name as a pseudonym. But I doubt that this is what you were asking about, regardless they are great works.
Where did all the translations come from? If the actually Emerald Tablet was never found what did everyone translate?
I had read somewhere* that Alexander the Great, after conquering Egypt, had found the Emerald Tablet and was also put onto display in Heliopolis. Though when Alexander left Egypt its not sure where the tablet was taken to.

* The Emerald Tablet by Dennis William Hauck

01-12-2009, 11:17 PM
Hi there.

The translations come from Arabic texts. No doubt they had access to materials held at Alexandria or elsewhere from a much earlier date.

The link takes you to a history of this and a list of translations from Newton to Fulcanelli to Blavatsky etc.

Hope this helps in a some small way.


Cheers PodWORLD :)

10-18-2011, 12:21 AM
.........................The Salfluere version of the Emerald Tablet*............................

(1) This is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth:

(2) That which is above is like unto that which is below, and that which is below is like unto that which is above, in order to perform the miracles of the One.

(3) As all things were from the One, by mediation of the One, thus all things are born from the One, by adaptation.

(4) Its Father is the Sun, its Mother, the Moon, the Wind carries it in its belly, its Nurse is the Earth.

(5) It is the Father of all the creative systems of the whole world.

(6) Its power is perfected if it dwells in the Earth.

(7) Separate the Earth from the Fire, the volatile from the fixed, with care, patience and skill.

(8) It ascends from the Earth into Heaven and again it descends into the Earth, thus combining in itself the power of both that which is above and that which is below.

(9) In this way you obtain the glory of the whole World.

(10) Thus wise, it may, for you, Illuminate the Darkness.

(11) It is the abode of the force of forces, because it overcomes all volatile things, and penetrates all fixed things.

(12) In this way are Worlds created.

(13) Hence the Great Work is affected, by this means.

(14) Therefore I am Hermes the Thrice Great, having the three parts of the philosophy of the World.

(15) What I have said concerning the operation of the Sun is complete.


* For the purposes of more closely analyzing the Hermetic and alchemical meaning of the Tablet here, I have produced my own adaptation, which I present below. I have based my interpretation upon a consideration of all of the well known versions (including part of the Hugo de Santalla version), tempered by my general knowledge of Hermetic philosophy and experience in laboratory alchemy.

.......................................http://www.salamanderandsons.com/img/mm_thehermesparadigm.jpg.......................... .............

solomon levi
10-19-2011, 06:51 PM
I think he got #6 wrong:
(6) Its power is perfected if it dwells in the Earth.

This should be simply, Its power is perfected in Earth.
What this is saying is that only the element of earth can hold it perfected as the P. Stone.
The Stone is not perfected in THE earth, the planet. It is perfected in the element, and even that
is not this earth that we walk upon, but the prepared subject of the art; prepared to a central or circulatory salt.

As Thomas Vaughn says:

We see in animal generations the sperm parts not from both the parents, for it remains with the female, where it is perfected. In the great world, though all the elements contribute to the composure of the sperm yet the sperm parts not from all the elements but remains with the earth or with the water though more immediately with the one than with the other. Let not your thoughts feed now on the phlegmatic, indigested vomits of Aristotle; look on the green, youthful and flowery bosom of the earth. Consider what a vast universal receptacle this element is. The stars and planets overlook her and -- though they may not descend hither themselves -- they shed down their golden locks, like so many bracelets and tokens of love. The sun is perpetually busy, brings his fire round her, as if he would sublime something from her bosom and rob her of some secret, enclosed jewel. Is there anything lost since the creation? Wouldst thou know his very bed and his pillow? It is the earth... Even these momentary things retreat to the closet of the earth. If the sun makes her dry she can drink as fast; what gets up in clouds comes down in water; the earth swallows up all and like that philosophical dragon eats her own tail. The wise poets saw this and in their mystical language called the earth Saturn, telling us withal she did feed on her own children. Verily, there is more truth in their stately verse than in Aristotle's dull prose, for he was a blind beast and malice made him so.

But to proceed a little further with you, I wish you to concoct what you read, to dwell a little upon earth, not to fly up presently and admire the meteors of your own brains. The earth, you know, in the winter-time is a dull, dark, dead thing -- a contemptible, frozen, phlegmatic lump. But towards the spring and fomentations of the sun what rare pearls are there in this dung-hill, what glorious colours and tinctures doth she discover! A pure, eternal green overspreads her, and this attended with innumerable other beauties -- roses red and white, golden lilies, azure violets, the bleeding hyacinths, with their several celestial odours and spices. If you will be advised by me, learn from whence the earth hath these invisible treasures, this annual flora, which appears not without the compliments of the sun. Behold, I will tell you as plainly as I may. There are in the world two extremes -- matter and spirit. One of these, I can assure you, is earth. The influences of the spirit animate and quicken the matter, and in the material extreme the seed of the spirit is to be found. In middle natures -- as fire, air, and water -- this seed stays not, for they are but dispenseros or media, which convey it from one extreme to the other, from the spirit to the matter -- that is, the earth. But stay, my friend; this intelligence hath somewhat stirred you, and how you come on so furiously, as if you would rifle the cabinet. Give me leave to put you back. I mind not this common, feculent, impure earth; that falls not within my discourse, but as it makes for your manuduction. That which I speak of is a mystery: it is coelum terrae and terrae coeli, not this dirt and dust but a most secret, celestial, invisible earth.

10-19-2011, 10:28 PM
I appreciate the time and energy you took to respond, as well as the value of the quote.

I am posting the following two additional excerpts from Rubaphilos Salfluere’s book The Hermes Paradigm in hopes it might serve to somewhat clarify his use of the phrase “the Earth” but also so as to expose readers to a little more of his writing (that they might get a better sense of whether the book is worth purchasing or not). However, so as not to go beyond my conveniently vague sense of what “fair use copyright restrictions" imply, I’ll refrain from posting of any more of the book's contents. Also, since there are likely to be more than a few statements that you (or others) disagree with in the selections below [and I’d be happy to hear them, actually], I’m concerned I might be perceived as (or unwittingly take on the role of) an apologist, of sorts, for the author.

I should note that elsewhere throughout the text, Mr. Salfluere further clarifies what he means by the Elements, Principals, etc. - and so, even his use of these terms below is a truncation or abbreviation of richer descriptions featured in other chapters.

Verse 4 [excerpt]

Clause four completes the verse with “its nurse is the Earth.” The term nurse here agrees with the dictionary definition: any fostering or nurturing agency or influence. The previous clause hinted at the volatile requirement of the nature of the two primary components of the Stone. In fact, these volatile components of the Stone, described as being in the belly of the wind, refer to an adolescent state of the matter. In the final clause of verse 4 a further hint is provided about this volatisation process. The volatile components of the Stone, which are being repeatedly distilled (through a technique that alchemists call circulation or reiteration), are being fed or nurtured by the alchemical Element of Earth (which we have previously referred to as the alchemical Principal of Salt,* because this Earth gives of itself to the volatile aspect in order to increase its quantity and quality.

* It should be noted that some confusion revolves around the fact that the Elements and the Principals are in fact - relatively speaking - the same ‘things,’ but are correctly differentiated by the places at which they appear in the Great Work.

Verse 6

Its power is perfected if it dwells in the Earth.

This brief statement harkens back to the fifth clause in verse 4, where we are told that the Stone is nursed, or nurtured, by the Earth. However, the additional qualification of its power being perfected is emphasized in this verse. Here the term power can only refer to one thing: the ability for the Stone to perform transmutation. Therefore, we are again talking about the evolutionary force, or the intent of the Supreme Being. A number of concepts can be extrapolated from this verse on the basis of this understanding, and depending upon what level we are considering the Work. The most important of these ideas concerns the concept that the nurturing process that is spoken of in verse 4 is the dynamic that is responsible for the manifestation or, more accurately, amplification* of the transmutory force within the Stone. We eventually reach the conclusion, after hard labour in the laboratory and the cloister of contemplation and meditation, that since we know that the Masters adjured us to only remove that which is superfluous from the unripe matter of the Stone, that part of the reason for the amplification of the transmutative effect is found in the fact that, under natural conditions, its full force is muffled by a special kind of superfluous matter.

But verse 6 specifically states that Its power - the power of the Stone - is perfected if that power is forced to reside in the Element of the Earth. In order to begin to understand what this means, we need to know exactly what Hermetists understand by the Element of Earth.

Again, this is a concept basic to Hermetic philosophy, but one which we find that a wide range of students of alchemy have not managed to grasp. The three Principal Elements - Fire (Sulphur), Air (Mercury), and Water (Salt) - are a triad of conditions that are required for any system to sustain a life (that is, awareness and evolutionary process). When these three Principal Elements come together to form a living system, they form a cohesive unit which alchemists call Earth. A detailed understanding of this natural law can be found in the mystery of the Hebrew Tetragrammaton, more commonly known as Jehovah and spelled in Latinized Hebrew as YHVH. IN Hebrew, each letter of the alphabet represents a number as well as several ideas. IN this way the Y in YHVH represents alchemical fire. The first H represents Water and the V represents Air. The final H represents the first three working together as an integrated living system, the Element of Earth. The reason why, in Judaism, the name YHVH is not allowed to be spoken aloud, and is marked with reverence by the Jews, is simply because the qabalists had great respect for the fact that the Name represented the laws of the Elements. We could say that a body of knowledge describing the secrets of the Elements was the highest secret doctrine that the Hebrew religion possessed.

One of the things that we learn when we examine this body of knowledge, and/or the experiences we gain from applying this knowledge in the alchemical laboratory, is regarding the nature of the mystery of incarnation - that is, the nature of the motive for the formation of Earth and its effect. Of primary importance to this subject is an understanding of the role that the binary law plays in the evolution of Being. The crux of this concept is found in the fact that the binary law was created in order to allow the Intent of the Supreme Being to grow and develop. In this way that Intent is perfected in the Earth.

* Transmutation is simply an amplification of the evolutionary force that already exists in all things.

solomon levi
10-19-2011, 10:59 PM
Ah. Thanks for that extra bit. :)
I'd still wonder what he thinks it means to be perfected.
To me, this means the stone, which is not perfected by Nature or the Earth
without the assistance of an Alchemist.

That's the funny thing about the Emerald Tablet - probably most people don't
know what the subject of it is about. It starts talking about the One. Then it says,
"Its father is the sun, its mother is the moon..." Obviously we are not talking about the One anymore.
We're talking about a specific aspect of the One (which is an unspecified specific aspect).
We're talking about the SM, the spiritus mundi.
Even this is not the first emanation or manifestation of the One. First is the anima mundi.
The terms are really confusing to us moderns. We see spirit and soul of the world, but what do these mean?
I grew up thinking spirit to be loftier or more subtle than soul - soul is in the body and may survive it after death
but still be somewhat personal/specified to me, whereas spirit seems more generic. That's what I used to think.
But with alchemy, as I now see it, anima/soul is more about the root - anima/animate - motion: the primum mobile.
Whereas SM is actually substance, though not physical as we think. SM is prima materia.

Anyway, I personally don't think #6 is about the intent to grow and develop. "Perfected" kind of intends some finality,
not an ongoing process.

But it was helpful about the fire, air and water as a lifeform = earth.
Though other alchemists had different views. To some, fire is not an element, so it would be
air/sulfur, water/mercury and earth/salt, or to use the example of the stages of water -
gas, water and ice. Some thought fire/heat to be one thing and the other three to all be cold.
One has to understand the division of super-celestial, celestial and sub-lunary as well.
F-in' alchemists! So complicated. They all agree, my ass. :)