Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Emerald Tablet of Hermes, The Hermetic Tradition & The Golden Dawn

The Hermetic Tradition arises from the blend of Egyptian and Greek cultures in Ptolemaic Egypt - has its earliest roots in the astronomical, spiritual traditions of Sumeria - then from Chaldea and Egypt to Europe with the Greek and Roman empires.

Since 2,000 years ago, Hermetic Science has taught a triad of spiritual practices - called the Trivium Hermeticum - Astrology, Theurgy (Magick), and Alchemy - that together comprise a powerful system of energetic evolution known as the Royal Art of Solar Ascension.

The Hermetic Arts are still very much alive and well today.

The famous Freemason and scholar, Kenneth MacKenzie, was initiated into the Hermetic Arts by Hungarian Count Apponyi around 1850 in Austria.

MacKenzie later coded certain materials from Apponyi into the famous Cypher Manuscripts, which were later used by S.L. MacGregor Mathers, W.Wynn Wescott, and Robert Woodman to found the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.

One essential document of the Hermetic Tradition is the Emerald Tablet of Hermes. Its importance dates back to the medieval and Renaissance period, when a translation was made into Latin from Arabic. Interpretations or renditions were made public by many notable figures such as Roger Bacon, Isaac Newton, Albertus Magnus, and Trimethius.

The Golden Dawn, of course, integrated the Emerald Tablet of Hermes into its core teachings. Due to its popularity, the Emerald Tablet of Hermes has been quoted by many modern authors in North America. They believed that it was so valuable because it contained the teachings for the achievement of the aims of the alchemists.

It didn’t take long for the Emerald Tablet of Hermes to enter the lexicon of the everyday New Age speakers. Parts of the the New Age community has come to believe that the Emerald Tablet of Hermes has to do with New Age notions like the Law of Attraction or Astral Initiation. This is unsupported by the facts.

There are those in the New Age community claim the Emerald Tablet is 10,000 years old. This is highly unlikely as that would be nearly 7,000 years before the pyramids were built - nearly 3,000 years before even the beginning of culture in Sumeria! The cryptic nature of the lines of the Emerald Tablet make it easy for fanciful theories to be spread as though they were facts.

This is why I was pleased to see that finally a valid translation of the original has surfaced with authentic keys to its cipher. The oldest known copy of the Emerald Tablet dates back to a manuscript attributed to Apolonius of Tyana that was translated into Arabic in the early 9th century. It was finalized by the Caliphate al-Ma’mun (813-33).

According to Apollonius of Tyana, he found the Emerald Tablets of Hermes in a catacomb in his city. You can read the full story here.

Scholars have seen parallel between this book and the Syriac Book of Treasures written by Job Odessa. Interestingly enough, Apollonius claimed the tablet was written in Syriac. He has also discussed in his book some of the mysteries of The Emerald Tablet of Hermes as it relates to Talismanic magic and spiritual transformation.

Every student of the Golden Dawn should invest some time studying this new information on the Emerald Tablet of Hermes if they are serious about initiation into the mysteries or practicing Hermetic Magic or Alchemy.

Sub Umbra Alarum Tuarum, Yeheshua
David Griffin
G.H. Frater Lux Ex Septentrionis
Imperator Ordinis, Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn
Chief Adept, R.R. et A.C.
Archon Basileus, Rosicrucian Order of Alpha et Omega

"Ex Deo Nascimur.
In Yeheshua Morimur.
Per Sanctum Spiritum Reviviscimus"


  1. You do realize that Crawley as much as he was well versed in spirualaty WAS INSANE. and Sexist and Racist? ;P But was he was extremely well versed and well educated and a genius , But also a hypocrite. Im sorry to me he reminds me of an earlier Hitler with out the violence gor and blood shed.

  2. Sad as it may be that stumblers smear hateful views of those that forged the way for modern hermeticism, they too are entitled to their opinion and through the true nature of Hermes, a polar belief must exist in someone to balance the reputation of a great "founding father".

    I am but a Neophyte in this realm of High Magic and I will hold my tongue but to claim ignorance of Crawley and just about every other name mentioned in this post. Yet, here's to a day when my knowledge catches up to my headstrong attitude. May it also be a day of peace, understanding and unity; a day where no likenesses should be drawn between genocidal maniacs and people of and relating to the Golden Dawn or those practicing Hermeticism in general.