The Emerald Tablets – A 38000 Year Old Alchemist’s Guidebook Shrouded in Mystery

Even a little bit of research into the mysterious text we call the “Emerald Tablets” will quickly leave you baffled. While the translations reveal ancient secrets once known only by Hermetic Magicians, Alchemists and other Initiates, the origins of this work are not so clear at all.

Conflicting information, confusing speculation and heated opinion surround the Emerald Tablets text. In fact, depending on what you read or who you trust, this body of work is a mere 1,200 years old … or a whopping 38,000!

The Tablets have been described as rectangular green slabs or plaques with exquisite, bas-relief lettering. A lettering which appears similar to the ancient Phoenician script. And while the many translations over the centuries all source their origin from these carved emerald stones, the “original” objects are nowhere to be found … at least not to this day.

If there is a set of emerald stones carved with alchemical secrets, where might they be? Some say they’re buried within a vault somewhere on the Giza plateau. Other say they’re within the equally mysterious (and hidden) Ark of the Covenant.


Pyramid Chamber or Sri Lankan Cave? The Mysterious Origins of the Emerald Tablets


Occult history buffs and students tend to agree that the Tablets were originally uncovered around 1350 bce, in a hidden chamber under the Egyptian pyramid of Cheops. But this is not the only tale of their discovery.

Another legend tells a tale of Hermes, (not the Roman messenger god of Quicksilver, but a 5th century philosopher) who happened to be traveling in Ceylon (modern-day Sri Lanka). He discovered the Emerald Tablets, so the story goes, hidden in a cave.

After studying them, Hermes learned the secret of traveling in “both heaven and earth.” The legend goes on to say that he spent the remainder of his life traveling across Asia and the Middle East serving as both healer and teacher.

(Interestingly enough, the sacred Hindu text called Mahanirvanatantra claims the Buddha was the very same person of Hermes. As it turns out, both are referred to as the “Son of the Moon” in several other Hindu texts.)

“The First Time”


Despite the mystery surrounding the Tablets (and the origins of alchemy in general), among alchemists today and those in the past there is almost complete agreement: alchemy’s origins lay in the pre-pharaonic land of Egypt. It was a gift from the gods during the “First Time,” or Zep Tepi.
According to this legend, a group of gods or godlike beings arrived in Egypt. These beings shared with the people an advanced technology which enabled them to literally transform matter. It was during this time that Thoth was said to have crafted or brought the Emerald Tablets to humanity.
Exactly when was this “First Time”? … more than 12,000 years ago.
Source Book for Egyptian Mysteries and Western Religions?

One of the key “truths” revealed in the Emerald Tablets is the notion of “As Above, So Below”. If indeed, the origins of this message come from some long-lost tablets, that means all the wisdom of the ancient Egyptians is itself but a copy of something much older.

Could the Emerald Tablets be the source book for both the Egyptian Mystery Schools and all western religious traditions? We know that Judaism, Islam and Christianity all share certain principles which link back to Abrahamic traditions. But students of the Emerald Tablets argue that those Abraham-based precepts can all be sourced within the far older Hermetic principles revealed in the Emerald Tablets.

Certainly if the principles and mysteries outlined within the Emerald Tablets date back to the “First Time” it would be easy to see how they could have reached and influence the likes of Abraham, Moses and those early Hebrews. But like the rest of the Tablets’ mysteries, we can’t know for sure if their origins truly date back to such an ancient, pre-flood era.

In fact, we can’t even be certain there actually is a set of Emerald Tablets, despite their fame across the centuries …

Evidence of Actual Tablets?

However you choose to interpret the texts as they’ve been translated down through the ages, one thing with far less room for interpretation is the existence of the Tablets at all. Despite compelling arguments by sages, alchemists and mystics, we have yet to find (or re-find) the stones.

Were there indeed slabs of emerald carved with formulae for magic by an ancient King of a long lost world? If so, where did it go?

Freemasonry’s Famous Tablet Translators

Did translators such as Balinas, Sir Isaac Newton, Aleister Crowley or Albertus Magnus actually see these Tablets? If not, what reason would any of them have to invent a story of its existence at all?

Was this some clever ruse to shroud certain factions of society in mystery? To keep the bulk of humanity from asking too many questions for fear of powerful magician’s reprise?

Certainly Newton, Crowley and Magnus were all very likely to have been Freemasons, wielding great power in their time. Would whispered rumors of Egyptian magic used by these men as means to another end?

We may never know the answers to the mystery behind the Emerald Tablets’ origins, their true nature or even their existence at all. What we do know is that the information as it has come down to us reveals secrets which alchemists throughout the ages had long sought to keep hidden from the world. Information you and I may use to transform matter … or perhaps, even ourselves.

What’s your take on the Emerald Tablets? Leave a comment below, we read each and every one.

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