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Thread: An Interpretation of the Emerald Table vis-a-vis Mircea Eliade's the Forge...

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Post An Interpretation of the Emerald Table vis-a-vis Mircea Eliade's the Forge...

    The translation I used for my interpretation is from the Latin translation of Jabir's Arabic version, translated by Robert Steele and Dorothea Waley Singer. Their translation first appeared in the Proceedings of the Royal Society of Medicine.
    As a part of an Alchemy seminar I'm leading, I'm having everyone interpret the Emerald Table (Translation of their choice) three times. Once immediately after reading The Forge and the Crucible, by Mircea Eliade; once after studying the Greek Natural Philosophers, the Greek Alchemists and Arabic Alchemists; and one final time, once we reach the Paracelsians, Rosicrucians and Isaac Newton.
    This is my first interpretation which is restricted mainly to The Forge and the Crucible.

    True it is, without falsehood, certain and most true. That which is above is like to that which is below, and that which is below is like to that which is above, to accomplish the miracle of one thing.
    As metals are produced in the womb of our mother, Terra Mater, fertilized by our father the Air, and growteh by the inner heat within the Earth. So must the alchemist perform the ‘miracle’ of the perfection of metals. This is alluding to a sublimation, wherein the sublimate, or tincture, is the subtle body of the material under fire.

    And as all things were by contemplation of one, so all things arose from one thing by a single act of adaptation.
    That the elements are in fact one thing: that they are adapted from one state to another by a change in their dryness or wetness and furthermore, by the fixation of the subtle body. Is he going for a Heraclitaean cosmogenesis?

    The father thereof is the sun, the mother the moon.
    The hieros gammos is the matter under work, as before stated. The union of opposites.

    The wind carried in its womb, the Earth is nurse thereof.
    This is the beginning of the world. The birth of the children of terra mater by the seed of the primeval storm god. Also, the prima materia is brought into the process of development by maturation in the earth.

    It is the father of all works of wonder throughout the whole world.
    The quintessence is.

    The power thereof is perfect.
    Know this and you shall be able to perfect the works of nature.

    If it be cast on to the earth, it will separate the element of earth from that of fire, the subtle from the gross.
    This is referring to the fire, which can separate the subtle essence, or tincture of the metal, from its gross matter.

    With great sagacity doth it ascend gently from earth to heaven.
    The tincture should be re-cohabitated with the roasted metal. The cycle of sublimation should be repeated several times. This perfects the metal.

    Again it doth descend to earth, and uniteth in itself from things superior and things inferior.
    Eventually, the subtle spirit will be fixed within the body.

    Thus thou wilt possess the glory and brightness of the world, and all obscurity will fly from thee.
    Thus thou wilt possess the glory and brightness of the world, and all obscurity will fly from thee.

    This is the strong fortitude of all strength, for it overcommeth every subtle thing and doth penetrate every solid substance.
    This will overcome the sickness of metals.

    Thus was the world created.
    As I said above.

    Hence will there be marvelous adaptations achieved, or which the manner is this.
    For this reason am I called Hermes Trismegistus, because I hold three part of the wisdom of the whole world.
    The Heavens, the Earth, and the philosophy (of the nature of fire) that governs them.

    That which I had to say about the operation of Sol is completed.
    This text is about the purification of gold ores, by calcination, rectification of the tincture and the re-cohabitation thereof.


    I'll be posting more robust interpretations as the class progresses.
    Let me know what you think.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    Thankyou! I enjoyed your interpretation very much, and was pleased to find the translation you selected. I think it may be the same one used in a book by Cherry gilchrist I once had and I have tried to relocate that particular translation as it is so beautiful. Best, Pirandello

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    P.S. :

    "With great sagacity doth it ascend gently from earth to heaven.

    Again it doth descend to earth, and uniteth in itself from things superior and things inferior."

    I have seen how, at this very moment, the eye of Horus opens, and Odin, after hanging nine days and nights on that windy tree, himself an offering to himself, plucks out his own eye and drops it into Mimir's well. The Sun's outer rays are now visible.

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