The verse inscribed upon the container of the Emerald Tablets is brief – but is the cornerstone of the Hermetic movement.
There are a number of versions of the verse below – it seems that some of the British and European mystery schools decided to “rewrite” some sections to fit better with their ethos.
The information has also been translated a number of times and this passes the concepts through different cultural filters – this can really mess with the original meaning – a form of multicultural Chinese whispers!
After much research, I believe that the version below is the correct one – or at least the closest translation I can find – but that is only my opinion.
It does however lack the style and rhythm of the tablet verse.
certain and most true:
What is below is like what is above,
and what is above is like what is below,
to accomplish the miracle of the One thing.
and without Lie,
And just as all things have been from the one,
so also they are born from this one thing by adaptation.
Its father is the sun,
its mother the moon.
The wind has borne it,
its nurse is the earth.
This one thing is the father of all things in the universe.
Its power is perfect,
after it has been united with the earth.
Separate earth from fire,
the subtle from the dense,
with gentle heat and much devotion.
In great measure,
it ascends from earth to heaven,
descends again toward earth,
and receives the force of the things above and below.
Thus you will possess the glory of the world,
all obscurity shall flee away from thee.
This is the force of all force,
it will overcome everything subtle,
and penetrate everything solid.
In this manner,
the world was created,
but the map of this road is hidden.
For this reason I am called “Hiram Telat Machasot“- one in essence,
but three in aspect. In this trinity is the wisdom of the whole world.
And so I have been called: Hermes thrice greatest,
having the three parts of the philosophy of the world.