The Emerald Tablet

Of all the formulae and alchemical treatises that have been bequeathed to us, the most synthetic, broadest, and precise is “The Emerald Tablet”, mother of all keys. It reveals the wide potential of Alchemy in depth, addressing itself to the human being as creator, and to Creation, as beginning and end of all things. Its emerald colour is one of the symbols for knowledge or gnosis, and refers to the philosopher’s stone of the alchemists. It evokes the Grail.

It is said to be imperishable and resistant, immune to the material laws of ionisation, created through chemical transmutation. On it are impressed the basis of the Mysteries in ancient Atlantean language. Typical of divine alchemy, its vibration awakens a resonance in the innermost wisdom of the human being. It is not “understood”, it is “known” through a process of affinity with the soul.

The Emerald Tablet dates from around 36,000 AC. With time, the particular group of priests who cared for the Tablet emigrated to South America, where they found a flourishing race, the Mayas, who reminded them of the ancient wisdom. It is said that the Tablet was placed under the altar of one of the great temples to the god Sun.

The purpose of all teaching is to find ways to transmit the essence of all teaching, the dynamic of Creation. Here the aim is to reveal the secret of primordial substance and transmutation. As with all that refers to Alchemy, it requires transcending the threshold of the merely rational, and going through a parallel personal process of transmutation that permits access to the language of symbols. There the Law (of the One) reveals itself. This law regulates the movement of planets as well as human beings.

They are a total of thirteen precepts that allude to the forces of Creation, in other words the elements. Two elements are dynamic, fire and water, and two are conditioning, air and earth. They also refer to the sun and the moon as symbols that, emerging from Absolute Unity, distinguish themselves as the Masculine and Feminine Principles. ( )

The Emerald Tablet (based on the Isaac Newton translation)  

       I.  Tis true without lying, certain & most true.

It IS so, as experience or innermost reverberation. It is not subject to opinion or intellectual evaluation.  

       II.  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.

It refers to the microcosm and the macrocosm. All is a reflection of the Absolute. In our world we perceive duality and separation in time-space, in cyclical expression. The end (death) returns us to be beginning (birth) demonstrating that all is One. This is the purpose of the formula: to inspire us to return to the State of Oneness and to recognise the power of the One. This is what we call the Law of the One.  

       III.  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 Being is the vehicle of the One. If we consider Being as the Christ Principle, we can understand another alchemical formula, the gospel according to John: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. … Through him(it) all things were made; without him(it) nothing was made.”

We can understand that in the beginning a state of homogeneous wholeness emitted a resonance or vibration that culminated in the multiplication of its parts into what we call Creation. Today we know that sound precedes de collapse of matter.

Up to this point we have determined Oneness as source, and multiplicity as reflection of the One. The same pattern of the heavens repeats itself for humanity. The One divides into two to give birth to a third and so on.

        IV. The Sun is its father, the moon its mother, the wind hath carried it in its belly, the earth is its nurse.

Parting from the unit represented by the Sun (the Masculine Principle) and the Moon (the Feminine Principle of absorption, transmutation and reflection) offspring are born.

We make the analogy with baking bread. A bit of yeast makes a great quantity of dough and changes the substance of wheat into fermentation. Thus the formula serves to multiply itself.

Here are the two basic elements in Hermetic philosophy: fire and water, and the two that give movement and form, air and earth. ( Appendix)  

        V.  The father of all perfection in the whole world is here.

Rather than the male gender this refers to Source or Beginning. This, being immaterial, is perfect (both genders in one androgynous unit).  

        VI.  Its force or power is entire if it be converted into earth.

Stability comes from earth. The incarnational process strengthens and stabilises spirit, linking both worlds.  

        VII.  Separate the earth from the fire, the subtle from the gross sweetly with great industry.

Once on the physical plane, in order to attain mastery, we need to learn the art-science of “sublimation”. To separate implies dissolving. What makes a thought form powerful is the meaning we lend it as a unit. The moment we are able to separate it into parts, we diminish its force and the impact of its meaning.

These are the guidelines towards essence, or the One, through a conscious and careful approach: as we separate personal investment from what is sensitive intelligence, we may act upon each part according to its nature. In other words, we deal with the physical through physical methods, with feelings through emotional means, and with thinking through intelligence. It is the means that we use to obtain clarity and direction in life.

To “transmute”, “sublimate”, or transform, we must be able to distinguish physical, emotional, and mental levels, identify the elements, and access the dimensions in which they express themselves. To recognise these already implies dominion.  

        VIII.  Use your full mind. Ascend from the earth to the heaven & again descend to the earth & receive the force of things superior & inferior. By this means you shall have the glory of the whole world, and all obscurity shall fly from you.

We’re dealing now with “sublimation”, the raising of a vibratory frequency to it highest state. For this, we must accelerate our own frequency dimensionally. 

“Full mind” refers to Higher Mind, that which is governed by Heart Intelligence, only tool capable of embracing both concept and detail, and the only one capable of decoding and interpreting experience into earthly language. The higher power is that of Consciousness-Intelligence and the power of earth is the intellect. “Obscurity” refers to ignorance.

We are shown the route for connecting with Source (Presence) through an Alchemical Alignment (  ) that establishes the operational circuit for any transformation. It accesses the powers of higher dimensional consciousness together with the faculties of material decoding. It teaches “sublimation” and “transmutation”.  

        IX.  Its force (virtue) is above all force (virtue), for it vanquishes every subtle thing & penetrates every solid thing.

Incarnation grants us the power of mastery over the elements of Nature. Intelligence-Consciousness allows us to access supra-conscious frequencies. Its combination gives us the ability to control and manage matter and substance.

The force of Mind (Higher Mind) links the frequency of both planes: abstraction and detail.  

        X.  So was the world created.

We now behold the heart of the mystery, which is the power and the “magic” that occurs daily through our use of thought-forms to construct reality. We create our “world”, reproducing and echoing the process of the Beginning, granting power to that which interests us.  

       XI.  From this are & do come admirable adaptations whereof the means (or process) is here in this.

The mystery is revealed. It is “perfect” because it possesses the triple or triune nature composed of the four elements.

It is the Human Being, the masterpiece of the Absolute.  

        XII.  Hence I am called Hermes Trismegistus, having the three parts of the philosophy of the whole world.

The “three parts” has been interpreted in many ways. Here we take it to mean the three parts of cosmic philosophy as (1) the upper worlds or planes, (2) the earthly plane, and (3) the relationship that links the two levels.

The Beginning, the Middle, and the End are the same.

The material world is reduced to three parts: mineral, vegetable, and animal, and from the whole we obtain real knowledge or science.

        XIII. That which I have said of the operation of the Sun is accomplished & ended.

The Sun, in this case the One, is not just the purpose but also the end.

In understanding this we understand everything. The beginning and the end, life and death, the macro and the microcosm, all polarity… exhibit the same principle. Power resides in the One, beyond duality and not by any sum or parts. What IS will be. There is nothing more to say. 

The hermetic formula, “As Above, so Below”… offers the key, based on the supra-conscious perception that the universe is structured on distinct planes and levels that link together. ( ). What is “below” (Earth or the human being) may know that which is “above” (Source and higher dimensional life). In one the other exists and to communicate they must vibrate on the same wave frequency.

The implications of the truth encapsulated in these lines are massive for the human being. To be happy, free, whole, beautiful, abundant and prosperous, we must remember-feel that we Are and assume the faculties and powers within the State of Presence. The subject IS its own work and the end that he or she seeks, because effects correspond to the vibrations that are generated automatically or in Consciousness.

Such is our daily alchemy in the tone and colouring that we lend it.



(to be continued)

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