Abraxas From Wikipedia, the free enc clopedia
The word Abraxas (or Ab asax or Abracax ) was engraved on certain antiqu antiquee stones, called on that account Abraxas stones , which were used as amulets or charms. The name is found in the Greek Magical Papyri, Papyri, and the word may be relate to the word abracadabra abracadabra,, although other explanation exist. The name is also found in Gnosti Gnosticc texts such as the Gospel of the Egyptians.. Abraxas has als been Egyptians been variously claimed throughout the centuries to be an Egyptian god, a demon,,[citation needed ] and to r present demon present God and Satan in one entity and the dual nat re of its essence. The initial spelling of the ord as seen on stones was "Abrasax" (Αβρασαξ). The spelling seen today probably originates in the confusion ade between the Greek letters Sigm Sigmaa and Xi in the Latin transliteration transliteration..
1 Appearance and eaning 1.1 Quotations o 2 Abraxas in moder culture 2.1 Carl Jun (The Seven Sermons to the o Dead) 2.2 Aleister Crowley o 2.3 Books o 2.4 Televisi n o 2.5 Music o 2.6 Other o 3 External link s 4 References
Appearance and meaning
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Gemstone carved with Abr xas, obverse and reverse. According to Irenaeus Irenaeus,, Bas lide lidess taught that Nous (Mind) was the first t be be born from the Unborn Father; from us was born Logos (Reason); from Logos, P ronesis (Prudence); from Phronesi , Sophia (Wisdom) and Dynamis (Strength) nd from Phronesis and Dynamis the Virtues, Principalities, and Archangels. The letters of Abraxas (αβραξας), in the Greek Greek system system of alphabetic nu erolog erology y, sum to the number 365 number 365,, and the Basilidean Basilideanss gave this name to the 365 orders of heavens which emanated in succession from the Unborn Father, each fashioned y the angelic hosts like, but inferior to that above it; and the lowest of the heavens wa thought to be the abode of the spirits who formed Earth and its inhabitants, and to wh m was committed the administrati n of its affairs. In addition to the word Abr axas and other mystical characters, the Abra as stones often had a symbolic figure engr ved on them; the figure had a Chimer a-like ppearance somewhat resembling a bas a basilis ilisk k . According to E. A. Wallis Budge, Budge, "as a Pantheus, i.e. All-God, he appears on the amulets with the head of a cock (Phoebus) o of a lion (Ra or Mithras), the body of a an, and his legs are serpents which terminat in scorpions, types of the Agathodaimon 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.
Engraving from an Abraxa stone. C.W. King, King, citing J.J. Bellermann, has suggested that "the whole repres nts the Supreme Being, with his Five great Emanations, each one pointed out b means of an expressive emblem. Thus, rom the human body, the usual form assigne to the Deity, forasmuch as it is written t at God created man in his own image, issue he two supporters, Nous and Logo , symbols of the inner sense and the quicken ng understanding, as typified y the serpents, for the same reason that had induced the old Greeks to assign this reptil for an attribute to Pallas. His head—a cock' —represents Phronesis , the fowl being emblematical of foresight and vigilance. His t o hands bear the badges of Sophia and D namis, the shield of Wisdom, and the scour e of Power." The subject is one which h s exercised the ingenuity of many savants, b t it may be said that all the engraved stones to which the name is commonly given fall i to three classes: • •
Abrasax, or stones f Basilidean origin Abrasaxtes, or ston s originating in ancient forms of worship, and adapted by the Gnostics Abraxoïdes, or ston s absolutely unconnected with the doctrine f Basilides
Quotations It is uncertain what the act al role and function of Abraxas was in the B silidean system, as the accounts of the Church Fathers are vague and often contr dictory. Irenaeus gives out that Abr xas is the "chief" of 365 heavens: They make out the local position of the three hundred and sixty-five heavens in the same way as do mathematicians. For, acce ting the theorems of these latter, they have tran ferred them to their own type of doctrine. Th y hold that their chief is Abraxas; and, on this a count, that word contains in itself the numbers amounting to three hundred and sixty-five.
Hippolytuss likewise makes A braxas (or, in this case, "Abrasax") out to e an Archon Hippolytu Archon:: In these regions of the univer e there exist, according to these heretics, creatu es infinite (in number), viz., Principalities and Powers and Rulers, in regard of which there i s extant among the (Basilidians) a very prolix and verbose treatise, where they allege that ther e are three hundred and sixty-five heaven s, and that the great Archon of these is brasax, rom the fact that his name comprises the comp ted number 365, so that, of course, the calculati n of the title includes all (existing) things, nd that for these reasons the year consists of so many days.
Tertullian, however, who s ems to be largely working off of Irenaeus' wr itings, Tertullian, itings, designates Abraxas as the supreme deity: Afterwards broke out the here tic Basilides. He affirms that there t here is a supreme eity, by name Abraxas, by whom was create d Mind, which in Greek he calls Nous; that thence sprang the Word; that of Him issued Pro idence, Virtue, and Wisdom; that out of these subsequently were made Principalities, powers, nd Angels; that there ensued infinite issues and rocessions of angels; that by these angels 3 5 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 plac s the God of the Jews latest, that is, the God of t e 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 f requent 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 J ews, 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.
With the availability of primary sources, such as the Nag the Nag Hammadi Library, Library, the identity of Abraxas remains unclear. The Holy Book of the Great Invisible Spirit , for instance, refers to Abrasax as an Aeon dwelling with Sophia and other Aeons of the Pleroma in the light of the luminary Eleleth. In the Valentinian system, Horos Horos,, the "limit," functioned as a boundary between the Supermundane and the Mundane, equivalent to what Basilides termed the Methorion Pneuma. It is possible that Abrasax held a similar role. Valentinus held that Horos contained within him the totality of the 30 Æons 30 Æons,, much as Abrasax contained within him 365 heavens. It can also be noted that the name of the Persian god Mithra Mithrass, another solar deity, was known in antiquity to contain the numerical value of 365. 
Abraxas in modern culture Carl Jung (The Seven Sermons to the Dead) Main article: 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 te rrible."
Medieval Seal representing Abraxas Abrasax is invoked in the The Gnostic Mass of the Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica: 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."
This mass is mainly taken from Epiphaniu Epiphaniuss' account of a Phibionite mass, mass, from which Crowley borrowed liberally in writing this rite. Crowley's "Gnostic Mass" contains highly sexual material, as well as references to t o the author's modern religion of Thelema of Thelema.. The highly biased polemics of the heresiologists often deliberately mischaracterized Gnostic rituals as orgiastic; many scholars nowadays only peripherally utilize the church fathers' accounts of the Gnostics as materials for the study of Gnosticism, as primary sources such as the Nag the Nag Hammadi Library have been available for years.
Books In the novel Utopia by Thomas More, More, the island with the same name of the th e novel once had the name "Abraxas". A reference to the god Abraxas appears in the following passage of Hermann of Hermann Hesse's Hesse's novel, Demian: "The bird fights its way out of the egg. The egg is the world. Who would be born must destroy a world. The bird flies to God. That God's name is Abraxas."
In Hugo Pratt's Pratt's story Favola di Venezia - Sirat Al-Bunduqiyyah ( Fable Fable of Venice), Corto Maltese encounters several Abraxas in Venice. In the German book "Die kleine Hexe" ("The Little Witch") by Otfried Preußler the witche's raven is called "Abraxas". In Small Gods by Terry Pratchett Pratchett 'Charcoal' Abraxas is a lightning-singed l ightning-singed philosopher who claimed that 'The Gods like an atheist - it gives them something to ai m at' In Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince it is revealed that Draco Malfoy's Malfoy's grandfather is named Abraxas. Abraxas is a fictional cosmic entity from Marvel Comics that was introduced in Galactus: The Devourer . In Alan Moore's Moore's series Miracleman Miracleman,, the word "abraxas" is shown to transform the titular character back to his original human form. In Dan Simmon's Simmon's science fiction novella "Muse of Fire", the setting is thousands of years in the future, and Abraxas is the predominant religion amongst humans, synonymous synonymous with God.
Television The Abraxas passage in Demian is later adapted in the anime version of Chiho of Chiho Saito's Saito's comic Revolution Revolutionary ary Girl Utena in a verse that is recited by Ohtori Academy Student Council members before meetings: If the chick cannot break the shell if its egg, it will die without being born. We are the chick; the world is our egg. If we cannot break the world's shell, we will die without being born. Smash the world's shell - for the revolution of the world.
The name of the song that typically plays during this sequence is Legend: That God's Name is Abraxas. Abraxas (played by Walter Phelan) appears as a demon in the second season premier of the TV series Charmed ; the episode is entitled "Witch Trials." In the television series, Babylon 5, 5, "Abraxas" is Captain John Sheridan's password to arm the tactical nukes aboard his ship. In the television series The L Word, Abraxas is referred as the demon of lies and deceit.
Music The second album of the musical group Santana is entitled Abraxas. That album has the following quote from Demian on the album cover: "We stood before it and began to freeze inside from the exertion. We questioned the painting, berated it, made love to it, prayed to it: We called it mother, called it whore and slut, called it our beloved, called it Abraxas...." The Swedish symphonic metal band Therion has a song named Abraxas. The band Integrity also has a song called "Abraxas Annihilation" on their album "Humanity is the Devil". The Anglo-German band, Seelenlicht, refer to Abraxas in their song "Demian" (Cold Spring Records, 2008). One verse runs: "Our god i s Abraxas / Both God and Devil at the same time,"
Boyd Rice & Death in June also include references to Abraxas in their song, titled The Cruelty of the Heavens, from their 1996 album, titled Scorpion Wind. Lyrics are as follows: "In the night, the dead stood along the wall, and cried, "We would have knowledge of God. Where is God? Is God dead?" God is not dead. Now, as ever, he liveth. There is a God whom you know not, for mankind forgot forgot it. We name it by it's name: Abraxas. Abraxas standeth above the sun and above the devil. It is improbable probability, unreal reality. Hard to know is the deity of Abraxas; it's power is greatest bec ause man perceiveth it not. From the sun he draweth absolute good, from the Devil, infinite evil, but from Abraxas: life. Abraxas is the sun and at the same time, the eternally sucking gorge of the void. The power of Abraxas is twofold, but ye see it not, because for your eyes the warring opposites of this power are extinguished. What the Sun-god speaketh is life, what the Devil speaketh is death, but Abraxas speaketh that of power, of the cursed word, which is life and death at the same ti me. Abraxas speaketh of truth and lie, of good and evil, of light and darkness; in the same word and in the same act. Wherefore is Abraxas terrible? It is as splendid as the lion who [something] striketh down it's victim. It is as beautiful as a day of spring(?). It is the abundance which seeketh the union with emptiness. It is love and love's murder. It is the saint, and [something] betrayer. It is the brightest light of day and the darkest night of madness. God dwelleth behind the sun, the Devil behind the night, but God bringeth forth out of
light what the Devil sucketh into the night. Abraxas is the world: it's becoming, and it's passing. Upon every gift that cometh from the Sun-god, the Devil layeth his curse. Everything that ye entreat from the Sun-god, ye getteth indeed from the De vil. Everything that ye create with the Sun-god giveth effective power to the Devil. What is terrible Abraxas? It is the delight of the earth, the cruelty of the heavens. Before it, there is no question and no reply."
Other The 1986 point-and-click adventure video game Uninvited features a set of spells that can be cast by the player, all of which end in the word "Abraxas". Charles Manson referred to himself as "Abraxas", both God and the Devil, i n his 1986 letter to his parole his parole board. Abraxas is the name of a coffee shop in Amsterdam.
External links • • •
Jewish encyclopedia entry Images of Abraxas The complete texts of Carl Jung's "The Seven Sermons To The Dead"
References 1. ^ Carl Jung, "The Seven Sermons to the Dead", 1916 Remains. p. 246. http://sacred 2. ^ King, Charles William (1887). The Gnostics and Their Remains. http://sacred-texts.com/gno/gar/ . 3. ^ Irenaeus, Adversus Irenaeus, Adversus Haeresis i. 24,7 4. ^ Hippolytus, Philosophumena Hippolytus, Philosophumena 7, 14 ^ 5. Tertullian, Against Tertullian, Against All Heresies ch. 1 6. ^ Jerome in Amos in Amos 3; Opp. Vallarsi VI. i. 257 7. ^ Epiphanius Epiphanius,, Panarion chapter xxv, xxvi 8. ^ http://imdb.com/title/tt0158552 /
This article incorporates text from the public-domain Catholic Encyclopedia of 1913. This article incorporates text from the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition , a publication now in the public the public domain . Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abraxa "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abraxass" Categories:: Gnosticism | Gnostic deities Categories deities | Dualistic gods | Mythological hybrids hybrids | Names of God Hidden categories: Cleanup from December 2007 | All pages needing cleanup | Al Alll articles with unsourced statements statements | Articles with unsourced statements since June 2007 | Wikipedia articles incorporating text from the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia Encyclopedi a | Wikipedi Wikipediaa articles incorporating text from the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica