Okay, I’ve done two trade shows/conventions so far, Comikaze Expo in Los Angeles and the Alternative Press Expo (APE) in San Francisco. By far the most common question I have gotten (in between getting enormous praise about the awesome cover art and the freaking ridiculously cool emerald dragon) is, “Just what exactly is the Emerald Tablet?”

Ah, the mysterious Emerald Tablet—it has gone by many names in the past. You may have heard of it referred to as the Smaragdine Table, Tabula Smaragdina, the Secret of Hermes, the Book of Thoth or the Emerald Tablets of Thoth. They are all the same thing. To understand what the Emerald Tablet is, you must understand basic Egyptian mythology and ancient Egyptian religion.

Thoth was rumored to be a man who was from the mythical and fabled city of Atlantis (yes, that Atlantis). He brought all of the secrets and knowledge of Atlantis with him to ancient Egypt and was revered as a god, so much so that they called him divine and made him the god of wisdom and magic! But he was more than that. He supposedly wrote the secrets of the universe down in the Emerald Tablets (there were actually 13 or 14 of them). This earned him the title of the scribe of the gods in the ancient Egyptian religion.

Through the years and the blending of the Greek and Egyptian cultures, the Emerald Tablets were now purported to be authored by Hermes Trismegistus, who is essentially a fusion of the Egyptian god Thoth and the Greek god Hermes. They are, in fact, the same god as viewed by two different cultures (like Zeus is to the Greeks as Jupiter is to Romans).

Yes, yes, all this history is fine and good, but I still haven’t answered the question. What the hell is the Emerald Tablet? The answer: a written record of the secrets of the universe.

In its pages, if read and understood correctly, is the formula to take a mortal man (or woman, let’s not be sexist) into an immortal state. To turn a person divine, if you will, releasing the soul from the confines of the body and allowing it to travel through time, space, and alternate dimensions unencumbered. This, my friends, is true power and throughout history, people have killed to find the Emerald Tablet.

Alchemists like Nicolas Flamel, who was mentioned in book 1 of the Harry Potter series, The Sorcerer’s Stone (more on that later), purportedly used the formulas in the Emerald Tablet to turn any basic metal into gold and formed the foundation for modern chemistry.

But how does this relate to the book? I, as the author of the Legends of Amun Ra series, use the ancient Egyptian religion surrounding the Emerald Tablet and its secrets to weave a complex fantasy world filled with mythology, spirituality, adventure, mystery, and treachery for a fun and enlightening game of what if Thoth really did write the secrets to the universe down for us to find? And what if we found them?

Check out the website: www.legendsofamunra.com for more information on the book series.

P.S. This blog has been edited by my friend Joy. She wanted a shameless plug for her wonderful help so I have therefore obliged.

About Joshua Silverman