The Emerald Tablet, also known as the Smaragdine Table or Tabula Smaragdina, is a compact and cryptic piece of the Hermetica reputed to contain the secret of the prima materia and its transmutation. It was highly regarded by European alchemists as the foundation of their art and its Hermetic tradition. The original source of the Emerald Tablet is unknown. Although Hermes Trismegistus is the author named in the text, its first known appearance is in a book written in Arabic between the sixth and eighth centuries. The text was first translated into Latin in the twelfth century. Numerous translations, interpretations, and commentaries followed.
The tablet text
- Quod est inferius est sicut quod est superius, et quod est superius est sicut quod est inferius, ad perpetranda miracula rei unius.
- 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
- Whatever is below is similar to that which is above. Through this the marvels of the work of one thing are procured and perfected.
- Pater eius est Sol. Mater eius est Luna, portavit illud Ventus in ventre suo, nutrix eius terra est.
- The Sun is its father, the moon its mother, the wind hath carried it in its belly, the earth is its nourse.
- The father of it is the sun, the mother the moon. The wind bore it in the womb. Its nurse is the earth,
- Ascendit a terra in coelum, iterumque descendit in terram, et recipit vim superiorum et inferiorum.
- It ascends from ye earth to ye heaven & again it descends to ye earth & receives ye force of things superior & inferior.
- This ascends from the earth into the sky and again descends from the sky to the earth, and receives the power and efficacy of things above and of things below.