Tree of Life Pendant, Silvervendor-unknown
Tree of Life Pendant. Sterling Silver.
This Tree of Life pendant illustrates the Hermetic axiom, "as above, so below", which is written in Theban script at the top. The below line reads, "As Within, So Without". The Tree of Life is a universal symbol of the interconnectedness and evolution of life, found in many spiritual traditions. In Kabbalah, the Tree of Life forms the structure on which the Sephirot are mapped out. The Yggdrasil tree illustrates the nine worlds of the Norse cosmology.
It's a paraphrase of the second line of the Emerald Tablet of Hermes Trismegistos. The full text is as follows (Isaac Newton's translation):
Tis true without error, certain & most true.
That which is below is like that which is above & that which is above is like that which is below to do the miracles of one only thing
And as all things have been & arose from one by the mediation of one:so all things have their birth from this one thing by adaptation.
The Sun is its father, the moon its mother, the wind hath carried it in its belly, the earth is its nurse.
The father of all perfection in the whole world is here.
Its force or power is entire if it be converted into earth.
Separate thou the earth from the fire, the subtle from the gross sweetly with great industry.
It ascends from the earth to the heaven & again it descends to the earth & receives the force of things superior & inferior.
By this means you shall have the glory of the whole world
& thereby all obscurity shall fly from you.
Its force is above all force. For it vanquishes every subtle thing & penetrates every solid thing.
So was the world created.
From this are & do come admirable adaptations whereof the means (or process) is here in this. Hence 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.
The earliest known version dates from sometime after the fifth century AD, but in legend it dates back thousands of years previously, supposedly written by Hermes Trismegistos, who has been identified with both the biblical Enoch and the Egyptian God Thoth.
The text itself is a short Alchemical piece describing the preparation of the Prima Materia, inferring that processes in Nature or macrocosm (that which is Above) are analogous to processes in the alchemical lab or microcosm (that which is Below). On a superficial level it is atmospheric dew (e.g "The Golden Chain of Homer"), but the deeper meaning is that the Prima Materia is the Anima Mundi, or consciousness itself.