Abraxas

The word Abraxas (or Abrasax or Abracax) was engraved on certain antique stones, called on that account Abraxas stones, which were used as amulets or charms. The name is found in the Greek Magical Papyri, and the word may be related to the word abracadabra, although other explanations exist. The name is also found in Gnostic texts such as the Gospel of the Egyptians. Abraxas has also been variously claimed throughout the centuries to be an Egyptian god, a demon,[citation needed] and to represent God and Satan in one entity and the dual nature of its essence[1].

The initial spelling of the word as seen on stones was "Abrasax" (Αβρασαξ). The spelling seen today probably originates in the confusion made between the Greek letters Sigma and Xi in the Latin transliteration.

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The letters of Abraxas (αβραξας), in the Greek system of alphabetic numerology, sum to the number 365, and the Basilideans gave the name to the 365 orders of spirits which, as they conceived, emanated in succession from the Supreme Being. These orders were supposed to occupy 365 heavens, each fashioned like, but inferior to that above it; and the lowest of the heavens was thought to be the abode of the spirits who formed Earth and its inhabitants, and to whom was committed the administration of its affairs.

In addition to the word Abraxas and other mystical characters, they have often symbolic mystical figures engraved on them. The most common of these have the head of a fowl, and the arms and bust of a man, and terminate in the body and tail of a serpent.

On the Abraxas gems, the figure had a Chimera-like appearance (somewhat resembling a basilisk): he had the head of a rooster (or sometimes a king), the body of a man, and legs fashioned like snakes and sometimes depicted with a whip in his hand - a form referred to as the Anguipede.

Tertullian

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'Afterwards broke out the heretic Basilides. He affirms that there is a supreme Deity, by name Abraxas, by whom was created Mind, which in Greek he calls Nous; that thence sprang the Word; that of Him issued Providence, Virtue, and Wisdom; that out of these subsequently were made Principalities, powers, and Angels; that there ensued infinite issues and processions of angels; that by these angels 365 heavens were formed, and the world, in honor of Abraxas, whose name, if computed, has in itself this number. Now, among the last of the angels, those who made this world, he places the God of the Jews latest, that is, the God of the Law and of the Prophets, whom he denies to be a God, but affirms to be an angel. To him, he says, was allotted the seed of Abraham, and accordingly he it was who transferred the sons of Israel from the land of Egypt into the land of Canaan; affirming him to be turbulent above the other angels, and accordingly given to the frequent arousing of seditions and wars, yes, and the shedding of human blood. Christ, moreover, he affirms to have been sent, not by this maker of the world, but by the above-named Abraxas; and to have come in a phantasm, and been destitute of the substance of flesh: that it was not He who suffered among the Jews, but that Simon was crucified in His stead: whence, again, there must be no believing on him who was crucified, lest one confess to having believed on Simon. Martyrdoms, he says, are not to be endured. The resurrection of the flesh he strenuously impugns, affirming that salvation has not been promised to bodies.'

Carl Jung (The Seven Sermons to the Dead)
"Abraxas speaketh that hallowed and accursed word which is life and death at the same time. Abraxas begetteth truth and lying, good and evil, light and darkness in the same word and in the same act. Wherefore is Abraxas terrible."

E. A. Wallis Budge
230px-Abraxas3.jpg"Abraxas represented the 365 Aeons or emanations from the First Cause, and as a Pantheus, i.e. All-God, he appears on the amulets with the head of a cock (Phoebus) or of a lion (Ra or Mithras), the body of a man, and his legs are serpents which terminate in scorpions, types of the Agathodaimon. In his right hand he grasps a club, or a flail, and in his left is a round or oval shield”

[edit] Aleister Crowley
Abrasax is invoked in the The Gnostic Mass of the Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica: "IO IO IO IAO SABAO KURIE ABRASAX KURIE MEITHRAS KURIE PHALLE. IO PAN, IO PAN PAN IO ISCHUROS, IO ATHANATOS IO ABROTOS IO IAO. KAIRE PHALLE KAIRE PAMPHAGE KAIRE PANGENETOR. HAGIOS, HAGIOS, HAGIOS IAO."

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