Rosie’s Post: The Emerald Tablet

It’s been some time since I first found small hints in Isaac Newton’s work referring to Alchemy! To be honest I always had my suspicions, mainly due to what my father told me about him. He seemed always to be hiding something. Most of the people thought it was just his discoveries and experiments. But I knew it was more than that. Obviously been called an Alchemist was not a real compliment if you were a University professor, one of the most genius men alive!

The first hint was a translation of a text called ‘The Emerald Tablet’. I first found it and thought it was an encrypted version of some of Newton’s ideas. But it worked out that Newton was ‘de-crypting’ it. He had spent months trying to understand its meaning. It is a text from Ancient Egypt. Max says it could be Arabic, Phoebe has fount lots of European alchemists referring to it. It appears to be a very important text forming parts of the Hermetic tradition foundation.

I do not remember all of it. But I do remember some parts:

….It ascends from the earth to the heaven & again it descends to the earth & receives the force of things superior & inferior….Its force is above all force. For it vanquishes every subtle thing & penetrates every solid thing ….I am called Hermes Trismegist, having the three parts of the philosophy of the whole world. That which I have said of the operation of the Sun is accomplished & ended.

Some Alchemists consider this to be the initiation of the philosopher’s stone notion. It proved to be so much bigger than I first thought of. It was just an ordinary afternoon in our room when my father entered accompanied by Isaac Newton. Quite an honour, come to think of it. I offered him tea and biscuits, a kind of shortbread.

When he left, he left some of his papers for my father to work on. Inside of them was the translation of the Emerald Tablet. As I said: I didn’t think much of it then. It just got me thinking that Isaac Newton could be an alchemist, definitely not an easy person to understand or judge. Definitely not by a simple girl like me!

How could I ever thought, at that time, that Alchemy could turn my life upside-down. How could I have known that this simple translation was a very dangerous seed in some of the greatest minds of all time!

It did get me dreaming about it though! A table in the color of emerald. Green like the water of the river, bright like the afternoon I found out about it. The Smaragdine Table. Smaragdi means emerald in Greek. But then again, at that time scholars in Ancient Egypt spoke Ancient Greek as well. Hermes is an Ancient Greek God. It is obvious that secret knowledge transcends time, space, history. It travels from mind to mind, dream to dream searching a way to be formed into a new living idea!

I love emeralds by the way. All girls do, I guess…

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