EMERALD TABLE (a.k.a. 'EMERALD TABLET')
A legendary object, a tablet of emerald, engraved in Phoenician script by Hermes Trismegistus, with a message of secret and immense import.
A Latin version of it was available around the year 1200, translated from Arabic. Its opening sentence ran: Qy.od superius est sicut quod inferius et quod iriferius est sicut quod superius ad perpetranda miracula rei unius, 'that which is above is like that which is below, and that which is below is like that which is above, to achieve the marvels of the one thing'. This phrase, shortened into 'as above, so below', underlies all Astrology and much Magical practice.
see also: CORPUS HERMETICUM, HERMES TRIMEGISTUS; HERMETICA
One of the major problems with 'defining' Paganism and/or its beliefs and practices is that it is an 'organic' movement, in that it is undergoing constant change and re-evaluation from within, and as such any 'one-size-fits-all' approach to understanding Paganism will be found wanting.
Due to the very 'organic' nature of Paganism, and the many differing Paths and Traditions within it, in many cases no one defintion may be universally accepted by all Pagans. Therefore, where such cases of possible conflicting and/or contradictory meanings of certain terms occur I have endevoured to give not only the generally accepted meaning, but also any major 'variations' in belief and/or practice.
Christians who believe this difference in meaning of certain key terms, beliefs and practices to be unique to Paganism need to remember that such conflicts also arise within the Body of Christ - the Church. Take for instance the differring practices amongst Christians concerning Baptism and the different attitudes towards women in the clergy.
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