View Full Version : Emerald Tablet - an introduction

01-01-2009, 05:32 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).The Emerald Tablet is probably the most famous alchemical text and some say the only one you need.

Here (http://www.sacred-texts.com/alc/emerald.htm) are some various translations of the tablet.

And then there is Hortulanus Commentary on the Emerald Tablet (http://www.sacred-texts.com/alc/hortulan.htm).

A Hyper-History of the Emerald Tablet (http://www.alchemylab.com/hyper_history.htm) by Dennis William Hauck

Yay for the Tablet!
Some times I wonder if I could *really* understand the *so is above, so is bellow* wouldn't be enough to *really* understand the Art...
Well, there is also as without, so within!

But it is true that phrase alone is not enough, but within the tablet is the whole process needed to transmute yourself from a dead stone into a living. Although the explanation could fill volumes of books, the actual core is pretty simple.

A lot of other occult and esoteric movements, and even many religions, interlink with the alchemical process. Most famous example I can think of is the re-surrection of Jesus, which to me is just an alchemical allegory for the transmutation of lead into gold.

My favourite part is for it overcomes all subtle things, and penetrates all solid things as it is a clear indication of the astral body.
If you believe in astral bodies. I don't think I'm convinced, and I've done a lot of so called astral work. I'm finding the idea of an infinitely tiered structure, as in a very complex and complete body of light to be far more elegant and well thought out as opposed to a little ghost body we send out that can walk through walls. The idea of a structure of subtle ascending and dense descending bodies has unlocked more doors for me than the astral sciences has. Some might argue that this IS the astral body, yet the astral, traditionally is only one plane on a whole infinite range of spectrums visible with deep meditation practices.

So, slowly but surely, I've been filtering "astral" out of my language except in certain cases of what seems like that particular plane. I don't use it in a general new age term, to me, the astral is still a part of samsara - and it is (!) - in traditional practice in the east.

No, I believe what Hermes is referring to here is something much grander and vaster than the mere astral body. I think microcosmically, sure, it may be that at some level. Yet what about fire? What matter can withstand or not be broken apart by the plasmic heat generated by a star?

And before that, what of nothingness, that black stuff that lives in the depths of chaos, or dissolution? Black holes arn't telling us much of anything yet.

And of course, the Emerald Tablet is perfect for sexual intercourse....
Sure, I agree with all that you say.

It is a word game in the end, and it has got to be called something. :)

To me, though, astral is not individual.

An example: imagine your astral self as a PC and the astral plane as the Internet. When you begin surfing the web you leave your computer behind and you merge with the web. You are both at home and on the otherside of the planet at the same time. In a sense you are one with everything, and individual too.

Perhaps not the best example, but the best I can come up with right now!

Your post made me recall a certain supernova. Check out THIS (http://forum.alchemyforums.com/showthread.php?t=31) thread.

04-04-2009, 01:48 AM
There appears to be a significant error in the 'tablet' as posted in this thread.

The posted 'tablet' uses the word 'meditation' and the correct word (my experience, opinion and research) is mediation (action in mediating between parties, as to effect an agreement or reconciliation).

'Meditation' upon the 'one' is always helpful but the thrust of the point-of-view of The Emerald Tablet is that for us to begin 'The Great Work' we must initially 'yield', or 'surrender', to 'accept' the 'mediations' to allow ourselves to be 'guided' to the parade of revelations and 'ah-ha' experiences that begin to flow as we merge ourselves with 'the mediations of the One'.

We are the one's (individually) who are being 'mediated' (a choice of free will to be guided) as nature strives to make 'gold' out of whatever or whoever cooperates with nature.

'Mediation' is much more dynamic than 'meditation' and it is 'mediation' that is referenced in The Emerald Tablet.


04-04-2009, 11:14 AM
Well in Newtons translation he uses th word mediation, other translators use meditation, consideration or contemplation etc. So there is really not an error, more different translations!

I suggest composing your own!


04-05-2009, 03:36 AM
Well in Newtons translation he uses th word mediation, other translators use meditation, consideration or contemplation etc. So there is really not an error, more different translations!

I suggest composing your own!


Hello dev,

Here (following) is why I disagree with you:

(From the Tablet as posted in this thread)

(quote) ".... and just as all things come from this One Thing
through the meditation of One Mind,
so do all created things originate from this One Thing
through Transformation." (end quote)

My position is that the word meditation is incorrect and is a transcription error (?) and that the actual word is 'mediation' and not 'meditation'.

Why? Because the Emerald Tablet is speaking about 'all things' (emphasis on 'all').
'All things' is, quite literally, 'everything' and 'everything' also includes inanimate objects and multifarious objects that lack sentience and lack the ability to 'meditate'.

For instance, a 'rock' (a 'thing') does not 'meditate' in order to 'come from' the One Thing.

A 'rock' comes into existence because of (according to the Tablet) the 'mediation' of the One Thing. The 'One Thing' is the active/dynamic principle in operation which 'mediates' (brings forth and then 'adjusts') all of creation.

The Tablet does not just speak about human beings capable of 'meditation' but speaks, instead, of everything... rational/non-rational, sentient and non, etc. Everything is 'mediated' (orchestrated) by the 'One Thing'.

So, from the simple perspective of the use of language, as it is employed in the Tablet, it seems (to me) that the most correct word is mediate.

Additionally, the inclusion of the word 'meditate' suggests that it is a 'condition precendent' (necessary) for anything to come into existence (?)., which is not apparent (nor true) nor self evident.

What seems to be 'self evident', is that everything comes into existence because of the 'mediations' of the One Thing.

Best regards,



04-05-2009, 04:28 AM
Maier: By "the wind carried him in its belly" Hermes means " ‘He, whose father is the Sun, and whose mother is the Moon, will be carried before he is born, by wind and vapour, just as a flying bird is carried by air'. From the vapours of winds, which are nothing else but wind in motion, water proceeds, when condensed, and from that water, mixed with earth, all minerals and metals arise". The substance carried by the wind is "in chemical respect.. the sulphur, which is carried in mercury". Lull says "‘The stone is the fire, carried in the belly of the air'. In physical respect it is the unborn child that will soon be born". To be clearer, "‘All mercury is composed of vapours, that is to say of water, which the earth raises along with it into the thin air, and of earth, which the air compels to return into watery earth or earthy water" As the elements contained within are each reduced to a watery condition, they either follow the volatile elements upward as in common mercury, or they stay below with the solid elements as in philosophical Mercury "and in the solid metals". So "Mercury is the wind which receives the sulphur... as the unripe fruit from the mothers womb, or from the ashes of the burnt mother's body and takes it to a place where it may ripen". Ripley says "our child shall be born in the air, that is the belly of the wind" [de Jong 1969: 55- 7.]

Maier (2nd Comment) on "The earth is its nurse": Food changes into the substance of the eater and is then assimilated. "This harmony dominates the whole of nature, for the like enjoys the like". The same happens in the Work and Nature "just as is the growth of the child in the mother's womb. So also a father, a mother and a nurse have been attributed to the philosophical child... it comes into being from the twofold seed and then grows as an embryo does". As a woman must moderate her diet to avoid miscarriage, "in the same way one must set about philosophical work with moderation". The Seeds also have to be united. "Philosophers say that the one comes from the East and the other from the West and become one; what does this mean but combining in a retort, a moderate temperature and nourishment?". "One may wonder why the earth is referred to as the nurse of the philosophic child, since barreness and dryness are the main properties of the element earth". The answer is that not the element, but the whole Earth is meant. "It is the nurse of Heaven not because it resolves, washes and moistens the foetus, but because it coagulates, fastens and colours the latter and changes it into sap and blood... The Earth contains a wonderful juice which changes the nature of the one who feeds on it, as Romulus is believed to have been changed by the wolf's milk into a bellicose individual" [de Jong 1969: 63 -5.]

4) The father of it (the elixir) is the sun (Yang), its mother the moon (Yin).
5) The wind bore it in its belly, and the earth nourished it.
6 )This is the father of wondrous works (changes and transformations), the guardian of mysteries,
6a) perfect in its powers, the animator of lights.
7) This fire will be poured upon the earth...

Pay careful attention to this information!

04-05-2009, 10:51 PM
My position is that the word meditation is incorrect and is a transcription error (?) and that the actual word is 'mediation' and not 'meditation'.I get you... either Newton (or whoever translated Newton) is in the wrong!

I ain't got an issue with this... very good observation!


04-06-2009, 12:03 AM
I get you... either Newton (or whoever translated Newton) is in the wrong!

I ain't got an issue with this... very good observation!


We worked well together, in this thread, to flesh this issue out.

With my best regards,



04-06-2009, 01:28 AM
I think there are a lot of translation errors. I think the problem stems from the ancient translations, and over time these mistakes have been passed down through history. I'd like to try and do a translation of my own starting with the original source text, but I'm sure it's impossible to find the original Phoenician text. What's the oldest version of this text? Greek maybe? Does anybody have a copy of the Greek version?

Probably the only constant in all these legends is what the Emerald Tablet looked like. It is always described as a rectangular green plaque with bas-relief lettering in a strange alphabet similar to ancient Phoenician. It is made of emerald or green crystal, and the workmanship is exquisite. Caves, corpses, ancient Egypt, and secret wisdom are common themes in many of the stories.

04-06-2009, 01:48 PM
Found one with the Latin next to the English (scroll down a little): http://www.tradicio.org/english/hamvastabulasmaragdina.htm


04-06-2009, 08:15 PM
Thanks for that dev. Most of the translation appears accurate, but I have found a few problems with just a quick glance. I call to question line number 6. I'm sure there are a few others here, but I'll have to sit down and take the time to dig deeper.

I can only read/translate Latin, but not much else. It's easy to understand for the most part. Some words are very close to English, or perhaps all my work with the phonetic cabala is beginning to pay off. :D

1. Verum, sine mendatio, certum et verissimum
2. Quod est inferius, est sicut quod est superius, et quod est superius est sicut quod est inferius ad perpetranda miracula rei unius
3. Et sicut omnes res fuerunt ab uno, meditatione unius: sic omnes res natae fuerunt ab hac una re, adaptatione
4. Pater eius est Sol, mater eius Luna, portavit illud ventus in ventre suo, nutrix eius terra est
5. Pater omnis thelesmi totius mundi est hic
*6. Vis eius integra est, si versa fuerit in
7. Separabis terram ab igne, subtile a spisso, suaviter, cum magno ingenio
8. Ascendit a terra in coelum, iterumque descendit in terram et recipit vim superiorum et inferiorum. Sic habebis gloriam totius mundi. Ideo fugiat a te omnis obscuratis
9. Hic est totius fortitudinis fortitudo fortis. Quia vincit omnem rem subtilem, omnemque solidam penetrabif
10. Sic mundus cratus est
11. Hinc adaptationes erunt mirabiles, quarum modus est hic
12. Itaque vocatus sum Hermes Trismegistos, habens tres partes philosophiae totius mundi
13. Completum est quod dixi de operatio solis

12-22-2009, 05:36 PM
Dear all,

I realize that this thread has been dead for quite some time, but I was reading some of the older contents on the forum and I came across this. Thus I decided to give my two cents.

I understand what Play_Dough was trying to say in regards to the words "meditation" and "mediation". I myself have been there, contemplating whether it was "A" or "B" as I also leaned towards the "mediation" being a more fitting way of phrasing it. However, upon closer research of the Emerald Tablet I discovered that it may just as well be one or the other as various translations apparently use both expressions - so who is to say which is the "wrong" one.

I sympathize with you, Play_Dough, but at the same time I have to say that your argument for why it ought to be "mediation" rather than "meditation" is not entirely accurate. Your explanation of the paragraph not speaking of "...human beings capable of 'meditation'..." missed the point. If you study The Kybalion, you will learn of the hermetic teachings that speak of how the Universe is a creation in the mind of the All (the One Mind) and this is what the "...meditation of One Mind" speaks of - how the Universe was created through the One Thing (Prima Materia) by means of meditation (a word that means careful contemplation) of the One Mind.

In this regard, mediation is not inaccurate either as the One Mind would, in a sense, act as the mediator. However, if we're talking purely semantics and we want the original word, I would have to go with "meditation" as the Latin version is, to the capabilities of my memory, one of the oldest versions of the Tablet in existence. And this version used the Latin word for "meditation" and not "mediation".

But all in all, like I said... I believe it is still speaking of the same thing so I personally find it unimportant (from an alchemist's point of view, not a historian's, obviously - but then again, I'm not an alchemy historian ;)) whether it is one or the other that is the original phrasing of the paragraph.

Thank you for listening to my rantings.

Yours in the Great Work,


12-10-2012, 08:51 PM
[humble greetings all.

forgive my impudance but i like this thread as Tesposinus does. and my 2 cents worth will not be about translations. just the facts.

the tablet was taken away a very long time ago. how ever some had the forsight to make rubbings from the tablet so that it should not parish from our knowledge base. there are many representations of this rubbing but i find this one to be my best guess as accurate. and wanted to share it with every one. just in case some of you have not seen the wrightings yet.


i have offten wounder what the tablet was made of. i have tryed to carve into stone crystals myself and it is super hard even with modern day tools to help. so i am left with where did the tablet originate? many have asked this question and have now extrapolated that hermies may have travled far and wide. and acording to what information we have others have extrapolated that the tablet was made in the Apollomius cave in Ajanta, India. here is a pic of an ancient place where some feel the tablet came from.



01-04-2013, 08:12 PM
dear truth seekers

it seems i am having some dificulties in determining the language of the text. what form of text is the tablet written in?

i do not have the ware-with-all to go and hunt down Thoth and ask him :). so i was hoping some one here may know.

01-10-2016, 11:15 PM
I want this replica!