Emerald Tablet of Hermes

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I speak concerning the antiquity of this book and to describe the maxims which prefaced it, so that you listen to my wisdom and it seeps into your understanding and arouses your [Elemental] qualities.

Anyone whose qualities move when they connect with my words is of sound qualities, free from symptoms, clear in his psyche from the darkness that is a barrier between him and the pursuit of knowledge and wisdom. Thus, he obtains through its [wisdom’s] power the power of speech, to the degree of its power and to the degree of the connection of speech to it, so that he is empowered, by what he obtains through refined speech, with glimmers of wisdom, observation of compounds of qualities and the causes of all things.

If someone’s qualities are not moved upon hearing [these words], it is because the darkness obscuring his light and the increase of density hinder his qualities from ascension on the ladder of the spirit of wisdom, just as dark clouds hinder the light of the illuminated vision from connecting with the radiant lights of the planets.

I will now announce my name, so that you may desire my wisdom and reflect on my words. Thus focus on these night and day, until, through their extensive study, you attain the knowledge of the secrets of creation and wonders of humanity. I am Apollonius, the lord of talismans and miracles. I am he who entered the catacombs and extracted the knowledge of the secrets of creation from the scrolls of Hermes the wise.

Through my distinction, I was given knowledge and wisdom from the administrator of the world. I was in harmony with a subtle quality that was free from afflictions, so I was empowered with and penetrated by its subtlety. I became conscious of all that was hidden from the exterior senses, using the interior senses, which are thought, insight, intelligence, determination, and discernment.

Through their exterior senses I became aware of everything in their domain, of colors, foods, scents, hearing, taste, and smell. Nothing was left of created things that are spiritual, subtle, and luminous or dense, thick, and material, which fall under the exterior and interior senses, but I became cognizant of its nature, its causes, and its creation. My writing had an effect on it by its subtlety and balance by compelling the dense physical, which is its opposite.

I am informing you, so listen to my words. Everything is derived from the four qualities, which are heat, coldness, moisture, and dryness. The qualities of everything are interconnected, circulating in the same circuit. They are united by one order. They are circulated by one orbit. Its highest are connected with its lowest and its nearest are connected with its furthest, for all of it is from one essence, united by one quality without distinction.

The parts of this essence became distinct when accidentals entered it. The creation was separated, based on the alteration of the composition of the qualities. Different names arose due to the differentiation of substances and forms. The essences, even though different in composition, interconnect, repel each other and unite with each other. Through their union and contrariety, they evoke their shapes through their unions and they repel their opposites through their contrariety.

This is the secret of the world and the knowledge of the causes of the qualities. I only describe to you the oppositions of the four qualities with each other through union and contrariety, so that the knowledge of this will be educational.

He, who examines it throughout his night and day and doesn’t abandon it, will be knowledgeable of the administration of all beings from its essences and a master of the union of the four qualities and their contrariety. Then he will be empowered, due to knowledge of the causes of things. I have spoken, using these words at the beginning of my book, so that anyone who understands is given knowledge of such secrets of creation and attains the craft of nature.

Now I will inform you about my lineage and ancestry. I was an orphan youth from a town called Tayana. I had no possessions. In my town, there is a stone statue on a golden pedestal, which has written on it: “I am Hermes thrice wise. I made this sign publically and veiled it with my wisdom so it could only be reached by a sage like me.” On the chest of this statue was written in the primordial tongue: “Whoever wants to learn the mysteries of creation and craft of nature, look underneath my feet.” People didn’t grasp what he said and they were looking at his feet and not seeing anything.

I was weak in my qualities due to my young age. When my qualities became stronger, I read what was written on the chest of the statue. I realized what he was saying and dug underneath the pillar.

Lo! I was in a catacomb filled with darkness and no light of the sun could enter into it. If you examined it, the winds moved inside it without let up. In it, he had made a talisman for the wind and he was unrivalled in this. In this way, they had made a house in which the wind flowing through would be forever prevalent. Therefore, due to its darkness, I was unable to find a way to enter it and no torch would remain lit, due to the intensity of its wind.

I became measurably distressed, my grief intensified and my eyes were overcome, while my heart was burdened thinking of the exhaustion I had encountered. At this point, an elderly man in my own image manifested before me and said: “O Apollonius get up and enter this catacomb to reach the knowledge of the secrets of creation and from it, attain the craft of nature.”

I said: “I can’t see in its darkness and no torch remains lit, due to the strong winds.” He said: “O Apollonius get up and enter the catacomb. Put your light in a transparent glass bottle to shield it from the winds and it will not extinguish and you will be illuminated by its light in the darkness.”

I became delighted and I knew that I would attain my objective. I said to him: “Who are you for you have given me a gift?” He said: “I am your subtle perfect qualities.” I awoke joyously and put the light in the glass, as my qualities commanded me; then I entered the catacomb.

Therein I found an elderly man sitting on a golden chair and in one hand was an Emerald tablet. Written on the tablet was: “This is the description of nature.” Between his hands was a book; written in it was the mystery of creation and the knowledge of causes of all things. I contentedly took the book and left the catacomb.

I learned from this book the secrets of creation and attained the craft of nature and learned the knowledge of the causes of all things. My name was elevated by wisdom and I made talismans and wonders. I created the mixtures of the four qualities, their compounds, their contrast and their harmonies. I have composed this book for those who come after me, as it was composed for me by those before me, and it will not be understood except by the sages.


Emerald Tablet of Hermes (Arabic)

Translation of the Arabic Text of the Emerald Tablet of Hermes


This is concerning what the priest Sajius of Nablus shared at the point of his entrance to the dark catacomb.

He said: I have obtained these wise sayings at the end of the book of the sage Apollonius: Once I entered the catacomb with the talisman cast on it, I came upon an old man sitting upon a golden chair; in his hand was an emerald tablet. Lo! This was written on it in Syriac, the primordial language:

1) It contains an accurate commentary that can’t be doubted.

2) It states: What is the above is from the below and the below is from the above. The work of wonders is from one.

3) And all things sprang from this essence through a single projection. How marvelous is its work! It is the principle part of the world and its custodian.

4) Its father is the sun and its mother is the moon. Thus the wind bore it within it and the earth nourished it.

5) Father of talismans and keeper of wonders.

6) Perfect in power that reveals the lights.

7) It is a fire that became our earth. Separate the earth from the fire and you shall adhere more to that which is subtle than that which is coarse through care and wisdom.

8) It ascends from the earth to the heaven. It extracts the lights from the heights and descends to the earth containing the power of the above and the below for it is with the light of the lights. Therefore the darkness flees from it.

9) The greatest power overcomes everything that is subtle and it penetrates all that is coarse.

10) The formation of the microcosm is in accordance with the formation of the macrocosm.

11) The scholars made this their path.

12) This is why Thrice Hermes was exalted with wisdom.

13) This is his last book that he hid in the catacomb.

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