The Emerald Tablet, or the Emerald Table as it is frequently called is part of the Hermetica and is one of most revered magical documents in Western occultism. Hermes Trismegistus is portrayed in art as holding an emerald upon which he inscribed the entire Egyptian philosophy.
According to legend, The Emerald Tablet is said to have been discovered in a caved tomb, clutched in the hands of the corpse of Hermes Trismegistus. Legends differ on the discoverer. One says it was Sarah, the wife of Abraham. Another says it was Apollonius of Tyana. The stone is inscribed in Phoenician and revealed the magical secrets of the universe. A Latin translation of the Tablet came out by 1200, preceded by several Arabic versions. None of the translations are identical, and little on the Tablet appears to make sense.
The most significant part of The Emerald Tablet is within its opening: “That which is above is like that which is below and that which is below is like that which is above, to achieve the wonders of the one thing.” Therefore, “This is the foundation of astrology and alchemy: that the microcosm of mankind and the earth is a reflection of the macrocosm of God and the heavens.”
Although most of the works of the Hermetica have disappeared or been destroyed over the centuries, practically the entire system of traditional and modern magic was inscribed upon the emerald tablet in cryptic wording. Some claim its true meaning must be found in every human’s soul. Thus is the message of the emerald tablet:
True, without falsehood, certain and most true, that which is above is the same as that which is below, and that which is below is the same as that which is above, for the performance of miracles of the One Thing. And as all things are from the One, by the meditation 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. This is the Father of all perfection, or consummation of the whole world. Its power is integrating, if it be turned into earth.
You shall separate the earth from the fire, the subtle from the gross, suavely, and with great ingenuity and skill. Your skillful work ascends from earth to heaven and descends to earth again, and receives the power of the superiors and of the inferiors. So thou hast the glory of the whole world–therefore let all obscurity flee from thee. This is the strong force of all forces, overcoming every subtle and penetrating every solid thing. So the world was created. Hence all were wonderful adaptations, of which this is the manner. Therefore I am called Hermes Trismegistus having the three parts of the philosophy of the whole world What I have to tell is completed concerning the Operation of the Sun.