Updated date:

Hermes Trismegistus


The Emerald Tablet

The Emerald Tablet of Hermes Trismegistus is one of the shortest ancient texts to survive to the modern age. That is to say - the tablet itself has not survived - but the text has.

The text consists of just 13 lines. Since the first line mentions the Philosophers Stone, it has been assumed that this text pertains only to the Arts of Alchemy - the art of turning lead into gold.

But in modern times, the text has been re-interpreted to refer to the relationship between Mankind and the Universe.

Image source - The Secret - Hermes Trismegistus

Choose Hermes Trismegistus in the left section and read about him in the right.

What the Emerald Tablet actually says

Phoenician version of the Emerald Tablet

Phoenician version of the Emerald Tablet

The Tablet was originally written in Latin.

Below is the 12th century Latin literal translation of the Emerald Tablet of Hermes:

"True without falsehood, certain most certain

What is above is like what is below, and what is below is like that which is above. To make the miracle of the one thing.

And as all things were made from the contemplation of The One, so all things were born again from one adaptation.

It's Father is the Sun, its Mother is the Moon.

The Wind carried it in its womb, the Earth breastfed it.

It is the Father of all works of wonder in the World.

It's power is complete.

If cast to Earth, it will separate Earth from Fire, the subtle from the gross.

With great capacity it ascends from Earth to Heaven. Again it descends to Earth, and takes back the power of the above and below.

Thus you will receive the glory of the distinctiveness of the World. All obscurity will flee from you.

This is the whole most strong strength of all strength, for it overcomes all subtle things, and penetrates all solid things.

Thus the World was created.

From this comes marvellous adaptations of which this is the procedure.

Therefore I am called Hermes Thrice Crowned, because I have three parts of the wisdom of the whole World.

And complete is what I had to say about the work of the Sun.

The 7 Hermetic Principles

Hermes Trismegistus

Hermes Trismegistus

Hermetic Laws support the idea that there is a universal collective consciousness. These are my rough notes of how I perceive and understand the 7 principles. I hope that these notes make sense to you.

I have also discovered that a number of our wisest sayings and proverbs actually seem to have originated from these 7 principles.

There are links in the resources section where you can read all the original laws for yourself. Also my list is not in the same order as the original lists but they are labelled correctly.

1 - Mental

The Universe is Mental-held in the Mind of THE ALL.

The entire universe is nothing more than our thoughts - I think, therefore I am

If you believe in a creator god or a supreme creator then we are god and we are the supreme creator because WE create our own reality.

Everything that happens to us, does so, because of the decisions we make or don't make

Our mind attracts things - soulmates, jobs, career, houses, cars, money, etc

We attract what we think - if we think positive thoughts, we attract the positive - if we think negative thoughts, we attract the negative.

You know how they say that its not the persons body that attracts you to that person (although that may be the initial attraction) - It's their mind that keeps you with that person - When you fall in love with a person, you actually fall in love with their mind - The mind is more beautiful and more exciting than the body - If you think of the body as matter, then it is mind over matter when it comes to true love - The universe is mental - mind over matter - If you visualise what you want, it will happen (this is especially true in sports)

(AKA Visualisation & Mind)

2 - Vibration

Vibration - everything moves - even down to the sub atomic - and that includes our bodies and a solid heavy brick - that brick is not really solid - they say glass is a liquid - everything vibrates even down to the sub atomic - atoms are attracted to each other - that's why they stay together to form a whole - Attraction is at the macro level (our bodies) actually occurrs at the micro level (sub atomic) - My mind to your mind (as the Vulcans like to say) is sub atomic attraction at its best!!!

(AKA Resonance or Attraction)

3 - Cause and Effect

Cause and effect - you reap what you sow - karma - everything you do (cause) has an effect - action and reaction - what goes around comes around - ripple effect - throw a stone into a pond (cause) and the ripples spread outwards (effect)

(AKA Karma)

4 - Rhythm

Rhythm - everything flows - go with the flow - the pendulum swings back and forth - anything that goes bad will eventually right itself and then go in the opposite direction - your mind can control how far the pendulum swings - Don't be too happy and you wont be too sad either - we are in control - we can alter the rhythm - we choose to change our moods

(AKA Harmony & Balance)

5 - Gender

Gender - everything has male and female characteristics - humans and animals obviously - females have some testosterone, and males have some estrogen - even language has gender - words are assigned a feminine or a masculine article.

(AKA Sexuality)

6 - Correspondence

Correspondence - As above, so below; as below, so above - as within so without - the body is a reflection of the universe - that's why we are made of the same stuff as the stars.

(AKA Analogy)

7 - Polarity

Polarity - duality - everything comes in pairs and those pairs are opposites - opposites attract - yin and yang - male and female - Like and unlike - love and hate

(AKA Duality)

Image source - Hermes Trismegistus

The Secret - The Law of Attraction

It only tells part of the story.

In 2006 a movie was released in Australia by Rhonda Byrne. It was called The Secret and it sounded so mysterious.

It was purported to be about an ancient secret and if you knew the secret, you had the means to find health, wealth and happiness.

I have just recently watched The Secret for the very first time on Netflix, and now, like Rhonda, I am doing my own research. But I am not going to just tell half the story like The Secret does. I am going to tell the whole story.

All the books and so called authorities out there (including Rhonda Byrnes and Bob Proctor) say that the Law of Attraction uses one or two of the Hermetic Principles. I say that it actually uses ALL of the principles - well, almost all of them.

The movie mentions Vibrations, Visualisations, the power of the Mind, controlling our Moods - that's 4 out of 7 just off the top of my head.

These principles were originally written back in antiquity - but no one knows exactly when. They discuss the nature of the universe, the nature of the mind and man's relationship to the universe. The author is believed to have called himself Hermes Trismegistus. Historians believe that the author could actually have been any one of Jesus, Alexander the Great or possibly even Akhentaten.

As for The Secret (movie) claiming the Secret was buried to keep it safe - well lets keep it accurate. The Emerald Tablet was buried and is now lost. But the text of that tablet survives, as does the text of the Corpus Hermeticum - including these 7 principles.

Marcilio Ficino translated these texts from Arabic into Latin for Cosimo de Medici in 1471 CE. They have remained on the fringes of western esoterica ever since.

The Secret - the first 20 minutes

Isaac Newton

Isaac Newton

Isaac Newton

Below is Isaac Newton's translation of the Emerald Tablet from the Latin. He was looking for the recipe to transmute lead into gold. This translation was found amongst Newton's alchemy papers.

1.Tis true without lying, certain most true.

2.That which is below is like that which is above that which is above is like that which is below to do the miracles of one only thing.

3.And as all things have been arose from one by the mediation of one: so all things have their birth from this one thing by adaptation.

4.The Sun is its father, the moon its mother,

5.the wind hath carried it in its belly, the earth its nurse.

6.The father of all perfection in the whole world is here.

7.Its force or power is entire if it be converted into earth.

Separate thou the earth from the fire, the subtle from the gross sweetly with great industry.

8.It ascends from the earth to the heaven again it descends to the earth and receives the force of things superior and inferior.

9.By this means ye shall have the glory of the whole world thereby all obscurity shall fly from you.

10.Its force is above all force. for it vanquishes every subtle thing and penetrates every solid thing.

So was the world created.

11.From this are and do come admirable adaptations whereof the means (Or process) is here in this.

12.Hence I am called Hermes Trismegist, having the three parts of the philosophy of the whole world.

13.That which I have said of the operation of the Sun is accomplished and ended.

Text Source - Emerald Tablet - Wikipedia

The Secret - Deleted Scenes

Your thoughts and feelings create your life

How to translate these principles to your life? - 3 simple rules to follow

The Power

The Power

1 - Think positive

This such a simple concept but so many people do not use it correctly.

Do NOT think of what you don't want. You MUST think of what you DO want.

So many people believe that thinking positively means thinking - I don't want this or I don't want that. If you think of everything you don't want, then you WILL get more of what you don't want. If you say - I don't want more debt - then you will get more debt. If you say - I don't want my car to break down again - then it will break down again. That is how the universe works. This is what The Secret is saying.

2 - Visualise

Humanity is a very visual being. Most of us are visual - we need to see to believe. So in order to visualise the positive, we make a vision board. A vision board is a board that has pictures of exactly what we do want, on it. This board must be real - one that we can see. It can be a cork board, a white board or a virtual board - a webpage. Even a Squidoo lens can be a vision board.

On this board you put up pictures of things that are exactly what you want. Don't just put up a picture of any car. Put up a picture of the exact kind of car you want and the exact colour too. Put up a picture of the exact house you want, the exact job. You have to be specific.

3 - Believe

You must believe that you will get what you are visualising. As The Secret says - don't worry about HOW it will come. Just believe and accept that it will come. The Universe will take care of the How.

Image source - The Power by Rhonda Byrnes - 2010

Your turn to sound off on Hermes Trismegistus

Dina Sostarec from Osijek, Croatia on July 18, 2019:


Ever since I first hear about Hermes Trismegistus, I was very much interested in his teachings so I'm grateful to stumble upon your article. I would, however, argue that a lot of New Age teachings do draw from him, but that they have distorted (and largely misunderstood) his teachings as well as those from the stoic school etc.

This is especially the case with the LOA in my opinion. Forcing yourself to be in a positive state of mind cannot be healthy so I wouldn't agree that this was true Hermes' message. I think that New Age thinkers trivializied it greatly.

Christiana on February 17, 2015:

What's frightening about the Colorado sothoings is the chatter you can hear amongst the Pajama People as they start discussing it. Their lights are on, but nobody's home. "Do you think he's crazy?", most of them will say...or, "They should take him out back and put a bullet in his head and save the cost of a trial"...or, "Jesus will get him, I hope he burns in hell." Whatever CNN and their media cohorts shove into their heads, it sticks there, like shit on a sun-baked shingle. A discerning person would stop and think the whole thing through, but then, the only discernment the herd typically demonstrates involves thinking really hard about whether or not to slather ketchup on their french fries, or dip them in Mayonnaise, or just shove the fucking things directly into their gaping maws, while washing it all down with a few gulps of Aspartame-laced Diet Coke. It's truly amazing, the brazenness of the perpetrators of these psyops. They fully realize that the Pajama People will swallow any and all lies the lapdog media tells them. So they just get sloppier and sloppier, and keep pulling these brazen stunts, knowing full well that the slumbering masses will just scratch their privates and cut a loud fart as the bullshit stories come flying at them through their TV screens. And you would think that most people could see through it all, and realize that the whole thing was just another setup, just another play from the Historical Lone Nut Playbook (John Wilkes Booth, Oswald, Sirhan-Sirhan, McVeigh, Osama, et al), but no, you would be incorrect if you thought that way. They can't see through it. They won't see through it. They're incapable of seeing through it. And when the FEMA troops start showing up at their suburban homes, to take them and their offspring to the liquidation camps, they will go along willingly - because at that point, all the water will be suspect ("Terrorists Poison Water Supply - All Water Is Now Suspect!", the headlines will scream), and those camps will have lots of fresh water, and boy howdy, that's just what Mom and Pop P.J. People and their son, P.J. Junior, will need, in order to be properly hydrated ahead of time, in preparation for the guillotine, which will make the whole lot of them piss their freaking pants, a moment before they hear the "whick" of the falling blade, and their tickets are summarily punched for the next world. Stupid is as stupid does. Knowledge protects, ignorance endangers. And we all die of ignorance when you break it all down. Some faster than others. You betcha...

FastFistCity on October 19, 2012:

It's nice to meet other students of the sages.

sherridan on August 17, 2012:

Fantastic and fascinating!

CreativeGal on July 14, 2012:

Beautifully done. I first read of Hermes Trismegistus many decades ago and am delighted to see a Squidoo Lens on this. Thank you for sharing his Wisdom.

Melissa from Albuquerque, NM on June 18, 2012:

Feelings and thoughts combine in the most wonderful ways!

Thanks for assembling this lens it is inspiring.

SteveKaye on June 16, 2012:

Fantastic article. Thank you for publishing it. I've had many occasions when I'd discover an amazing idea and then learn that someone else wrote the same idea thousands of years ago.

JoshK47 on June 07, 2012:

Quite a fascinating read! Thanks so much for sharing!

Neil Walter Smith from Portarlington, Victoria, Australia on December 10, 2011:

Thank you for this in-depth lens, as well as everything you said. The text also reminds me of the Tao. I'll also add a link to my lens. You have inspired me to try harder.

Sabre1000 on November 21, 2011:

Very cool!

These truths cannot be stated enough and it's good to see people going back to some of the original sources.

Fast food spiritually will not fill you up!

Mauhro on November 20, 2011:

Very interesting lens!

anonymous on November 20, 2011:

I really love this,so much that its now in my bookmarks so as i can keep coming back to it, but just now my roast beef and yorkshire pudding is waiting.

Related Articles