"You are the salt of the earth"
- The origin
the Hermes' Emerald
Tablet has posed just as much of a mystery as does its
The Emerald Tablet is the cornerstone of western alchemical
Alchemy is the practical application of the Hermetic Philosophy which
contained, in total, in its 13 succinct portions. Hermes
(thrice great), a supreme magus, is the author of the transcendent
called "The Emerald Tablet" which is the most revered magical /
writing in all of Western mysticism. The date of its origin is
however, some translations of the tablet go back to the 12th century
much earlier. The Emerald Tablet has challenged many of the
minds the world has ever produced, and numerous commentaries have been
offered. Sir Isaac Newton's draft of The Emerald Tablet is
below. A version in modern english follows that of Sir Isaac Newton and
I have included my own translation /commentary.
Tis true without lying, certain & most true.
That wch is below is like that wch is above & that wch is above is
like yt wch is below to do ye miracles of one only thing.
And as all things have been & arose from one by ye mediation of
so all things have their birth from this one thing by adaptation.
The Sun is its father, the moon its mother, the wind hath carried it in
its belly, the earth its nourse.
The father of all perfection in ye whole world is here.
Its force or power is entire if it be converted into earth.
Seperate thou ye earth from ye fire, ye subtile from the gross sweetly
wth great indoustry.
It ascends from ye earth to ye heaven & again it desends to ye
and receives ye force of things superior & inferior.
By this means you shall have ye glory of ye whole world & thereby
obscurity shall fly from you.
force is above all force. ffor it vanquishes every subtile thing &
penetrates every solid thing.
So was ye world created.
From this are & do come admirable adaptaions whereof ye means (Or
is here in this.
Hence I am called Hermes Trismegist, having the three parts of ye
of ye whole world.
That wch I have said of ye operation of ye Sun is accomplished &
- The Emerald
Tablet of Hermes
True, without falsehood, certain and most true,
that which is above is as that which is below and that which is below
as that which is above, for the performance of the miracles of the One
And as all things are from One, by the mediation of One,
so all things have their birth from this One Thing by adaptation.
The Sun is its father, the Moon its mother, the Wind carries it in its
belly, its nurse is the Earth.
It is the father of all perfection, or consummation of the whole
Its power is complete if it be turned into earth.
Separate the earth from the fire, the subtle from the gross, deftly,
with great ingenuity.
It ascends from earth to heaven and descends again to earth, and
the power of the superiors and of the inferiors so thou hast the glory
of the whole world and all obscurity will flee before you.
This is the fortitude of all fortitude, overcoming every subtle thing
penetrating every solid thing.
This is how the world was created.
Hence were all wonderful adaptations produced in this way.
Therefore am I called Hermes Trismegistus, having the three parts of
philosophy of the whole world.
What I have to tell concerning the operation of the Sun is complete.
is my interpretation
/ commentary on The Emerald
The Old and New Testaments, together, contain the complete
The following is true and, of all truths, it is the truest
Everything, all of the pairs of opposites, is an expression of The One
Thing...the "One Thing" being what Man calls "God".
The "One Thing" is the mediator and for Man to have a second birth he
adapt himself to the mediations of The One. ("Not my will but thine
be done." )
The Sun is its' father because the Sun is a symbol of the soul or
power ("I AM the light"), the moon was its' mother because the moon is
a symbol of the body which, like the moon, has no light of its
wind carries it in its' belly because it is a spirit...its' nurse is
Earth, the nurturing garden in which Man was created.
Its desire for perfection brings it forth from the womb (egg, crypt,
In its' original "Adamic" condition it has dominion over all created
To ascend from "the below" to "the above" the
is distilled from the relatively gross physical body, gently and
great ingenuity it weans itself from undue material and sense-based
It ascends from the physical to the spiritual and, formulating an
desire, it incarnates once again, possessing the powers of both heaven
and earth, blessed with the glory of the whole world and free of all
It is eternal and is the matrix upon which everything, both subtle and
solid, is manifest.
is how the world was created....spirit into form.
wonderful adaptations are produced in this way...desire...patient
AM called Hermes Trismegistus, having the three parts of the
of the whole world, being
spirit 2) consciousness
and 3) form
I have to tell concerning the operation of the Soul (Sol/Sun) is
is ostensibly the art of extracting gold from lead. Alchemy, in
is the art of extracting the spirit (gold) from the body (lead or
The work of alchemy is conducted by the indwelling consciousness
working within the auspices of 'Natural Law'.
of alchemy is also symbolized by an "emerald". An emerald is
of great worth extracted from the earth and mirrors the true work of
Hermetic practice of alchemy, i.e., extracting something of great worth
(the spirit-consciousness) from the physical body.
body is "The Prime Matter" which must, first, be divided in two
ADAM) for without the awareness (faith) of the spirit, the body remains
intact and incapable of practicing the Hermetic Arts.
parts that the body is split into are: spirit and form ('horse and
rider' is an apt metaphor).
mediates between spirit (The Above)
and form (The Below).
of 'The Tablet's' emerald is green, which is composed of two chromatic
- The emerald is
a symbol of "en-LIGHT-ened" Man.
according to the Hermetic Philosophy, is a physical form (symbolized by
the moon because the body, like the moon, is a baron wasteland without
the spirit or "light" of the
- Sun / spirit) and is composed of
forces: spirit and matter. Spirit-Consciousness is symbolized by
and the 'body' is symbolized by the color blue (the chromatic opposite of yellow/gold).
- Emerald Green
is the color of the
ideal blend, and it's presence indicates the successful
production of a 'living soul'.
- Therefore, I
AM called Hermes Trismegistus,
the three parts of the philosophy
- of the
spirit 2) consciousness 3) form
that compose Man is also repeated in the sacred symbols of the Star of
David which is composed of two eternally interlocked and opposing
triangles. The Christian
which is composed of two opposing lines, which meet at 'the heart' is
also an Hermetic symbol.
The essence of both symbols is a deft balance that must exist between
pairs of opposites.
- Moses "freed
the ravages and demands of material possessions by leading his people,
in a circle, in the desert for 40 years. He "fathered" one
of followers who matured being unattached to material possessions (material mindset) and
ever-present drudgery of being a nomad with "too much
Moses came Christ, who, using love as the great dissolver of self,
his followers from the drudgery of having a self (another "stone") that
was separated from "The One"...i.e. the "moon" without the LIGHT of the
Lose the bondage of material desires and then lose the bondage of the
form and all of its ridiculous demands and return to (the above)
the "underworld" ("the below") of gross physical form
despite its delights, it is "hellish" compared to the heavenly
What keeps us here in "the below" is material desire (objects and
sense based pleasures)
rather than spiritual desires.
- In fact,
the five wounds of the Christ represent
the five senses which keep the spirit "crucified" in the sense-based
to death and temporal considerations. The crown of thorns
thinking and the condition of those who seek a kingdom in the "place
of the skulls" (Golgatha), until they are
by a perfect act of surrender.
- Surrender to
hands I command my spirit") produces the spiritual disposition that
the opportunity to be "mediated" by the Creator ("The One Thing") and
into (the above) perfect balance. It frees the consciousness by
it (alchemy) out of the morass of a purely material cosmology.
- The mystery
"The Last Supper"
and the Passover "Seder" are two rituals depicting the alchemical
of the transmutation of the lower nature (unleavened bread....not yet
by the indwelling spirit.....the metaphorical "consumption" of the
cravings of the "flesh and blood"
(bread and wine) by the higher
spiritual nature....removing the dross
from the gold....eating the "bitter herbs" of the ego......and rising
out of (the
purgation process or passing over) this "reality" into Paradise or The
- The "prize"
completion of The Great Work? Eternal life! The Holy
The Fountain of Youth! Paradise! The Return to Eden! The Promised
Land! Atlantis Rising! The Return of the Goddess! The
of all promises.
- In essence,
alchemy and its
symbolic processes reveal the key to the mystery of the
AM called Hermes Trismegistus,
having the three parts of the
of the whole world,
being 1) spirit / Sun HE
2) consciousness / Soul ME
and 3) form / Moon HER
and " S "
for the myriad "adaptations" and
of "The One",
I AM called
Charles Webb, Jr.- ©Copyright
2009 - All Rights Reserved -
States of America