The word Abraxas 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 and to represent God and Satan in one entity and the dual nature of its essence.
Appearance and meaningEdit
According to Irenaeus, Basilides taught that Nous (Mind) was the first to be born from the Unborn Father; from Nous was born Logos (Reason); from Logos, Phronesis (Prudence); from Phronesis, Sophia (Wisdom) and Dynamis (Strength) and from Phronesis and Dynamis the Virtues, Principalities, and Archangels. The letters of Abraxas (αβραξας), in the Greek system of alphabetic numerology, sum to the number 365, and the Basilideans gave this name to the 365 orders of heavens which emanated in succession from the Unborn Father, each fashioned by the angelic hosts 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, the Abraxas stones often had a symbolic figure engraved on them; the figure had a Chimera-like appearance somewhat resembling a basilisk. According to E. A. Wallis Budge, "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.” This form was also referred to as the Anguipede.
C.W. King, citing J.J. Bellermann, has suggested that "the whole represents the Supreme Being, with his Five great Emanations, each one pointed out by means of an expressive emblem. Thus, from the human body, the usual form assigned to the Deity, forasmuch as it is written that God created man in his own image, issue the two supporters, Nous and Logos, symbols of the inner sense and the quickening understanding, as typified by the serpents, for the same reason that had induced the old Greeks to assign this reptile for an attribute to Pallas. His head—a cock's—represents Phronesis, the fowl being emblematical of foresight and vigilance. His two hands bear the badges of Sophia and Dynamis, the shield of Wisdom, and the scourge of Power."
The subject is one which has exercised the ingenuity of many savants, but it may be said that all the engraved stones to which the name is commonly given fall into three classes:
- Abrasax, or stones of Basilidean origin
- Abrasaxtes, or stones originating in ancient forms of worship, and adapted by the Gnostics
- Abraxoïdes, or stones absolutely unconnected with the doctrine of Basilides
[[Category: We wouldn't know God but by what He does, information. The Word is the INCARNATION of God. The ancient Gnostics analyzed the divine theology under eight categories. Phronesis (comprehension) equates the Holy Spirit with probability; "If anything can happen it will". The Creator was called the Demiourgos. Then, energy (God) as the one substance was called Ulikon. The thought of God was called Epinoia. The power of God was called Dunamis. Then, the Word was called Logos. Within God's creation, things can be hidden, and, some things are "unspeakable", and that principle was called Arretos. It says in Ezekiel 14:9, "I the Lord have deceived this prophet". How does that not say that God can lie, that God has lied? Finally, the eternal, infinite, authority of God is called Arche. These Gnostics said that there were divine Creators of the spiritual worlds, but that the Creator of the physical world was the most evil being. Coincidently, the Creator in Ju Ju, Ela, is considered the most evil being in Ju Ju. The attributes for the spiritual worlds read off like the platitudes of Rainbow Girls. The physical scheme in the Witchcraft Museum in Salem, Massachusetts, exactly matches the Gnostic scheme of the physical world: Astaroth for Phronesis, Belial for Demiourgos, Astarte for Ulikon, Azazel for epinoia, Baphomet for Dunamis, Asmodeus for Logos, Beelzebub for Arretos, and Lucifer for Arche. ]]