The text of the Emerald tablet is brief- only thirteen lines- but it is the cornerstone of the Hermetic movement. The origin of this mysterious text is shrouded in antiquity, and even its name is a mystery, yet is has been an inspiration for alchemists and magicians for hundreds of years.The well known Hermetic axiom, “As above, so below” is derived directly from the Emerald Tablet. It may be the oldest Hermetic text known, predating both the Corpus Hermeticum and the Christian religion.The Tablet languished in relative obscurity until the middle ages, when it began to circulate throughout the alchemical community through contact with Muslim mystics. Scholars believe theoriginal was written in Greek, but the oldest surviving copies are Arabic translations.
Despite its mysterious origin, many have imputed great significance to the text- its famous translators include Roger Bacon, Isaac Newton, and even HP Blavatsky.
philosophical ideas contained within are profound- influencing medieval
alchemists, Jewish kabbalists, Masons, and ritual magicians alike.
Without lie, certain and most true:
What is below is is like what is above, and what is above is like what is below, to accomplish the miracle of the One thing.
The introductory stanza
introduces the now well known concept of the macrocosm, or world of
divinity, and its relationship to the microcosm, the world of matter
and of man, and the union between them, as described by mystics
In truth, and without Lie,
And just as all things have been from the one, so also they are born
from this one thing by adaptation.
This line describes a very
kabbalistic world view: that of emanation. In Kabbalistic cosmology,
all of creation emanates in ever expanding layers of complexity, yet
all are at the same time part of an unknowable, limitless power. The
nature of God is considered impenatrable, for every attempt to describe
or name something imposes limits upon it, and seperates that thing
further from divinty. There is also an eerie parallel to the current
scientific cosmological model- beyond the veils of exitence and before
the first emanation is the no-thing- the limitless light, or ain sof,
which contracted into an infinite point to effect the creation of the
Its father is the sun, its
motherthe moon. The w......
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