Gurdjieff International Review

The Emerald Tablet
of Hermes Trismegistus

Scholarly evidence places the life of Hermes Trismegistus in the first century B.C. The connection of his name with Thoth, the Egyptian god of thought, indicates the probability, supported by Hermetic literature, of a tradition of greater antiquity—a lineage of teachers following the understanding encapsulated in the Emerald Tablet.

Translation from the Latin, 1541 A.D.

  1. True it is, without falsehood, certain and most true.
  2. That which is below is like that which is above, and that which is above is like that which is below, to accomplish the miracle of One Thing.
  3. And all things have proceeded from One, by meditation of One, so all things are born from this One Thing, by adaptation.
  4. The Sun is the Father thereof. The Moon the Mother.
  5. The Wind carried it in its belly. The Earth is its Nurse.
  6. The Father of all the Telesme of the whole world is here. Its strength and power is complete if it be converted into earth.
  7. Separate the earth from the fire, the subtle from the gross, gently and with unremitting care.
  8. It ascends from the earth to the heavens, and again descends to the earth,
  9. And thereby gathers to itself the strength of things above, and of things below.
  10. By this means, all the glory of the world shall be yours, and all obscurity shall flee from you. It is the strong strength of all strength. For it shall overcome every subtle thing, and penetrate every solid thing.
  11. Thus was the world created. Hence shall wonderful adaptations be achieved, of which the means is here.
  12. Therefore I am called Hermes Trismegistus. For I hold three parts of the philosophy of the whole world.
  13. That which I had to say concerning the operation of the sun is completed.

Copyright © 2003 Gurdjieff Electronic Publishing
Featured: Fall 2003 Issue, Vol. VII (1)
Revision: November 1, 2003