The Seal of Abraxas, from a ring circa 100 ADE (?)

"The bird fights its way out of the egg.  That egg is the world.
Who would be born must first destroy a world.
The bird flies to God.  That God's name is Abraxas."
"...our God's name is Abraxas.  He is both God and Satan and He contains
both the luminous world and the dark world.  Abraxas does not
take exception to any of your thoughts, any of your dreams.
Never forget that.  But He will leave you once you've become
blameless and normal..."
         -- Hermann Hesse, "Demian"
"Abraxas is the god whom it is difficult to know. His power is the very greatest,
because man does not perceive it at all.  Man sees the Supreme Good of the sun,
and also the Infinite Evil of the devil, but Abraxas, he does not see,
for Abraxas is undefinable life itself, which is the mother of evil and good alike."
-- Seven Sermons to the Dead

"With one hand on a hexagram, and one hand on a girl
I balance on this wishing-well that all men call the world..."
        -- Leonard Cohen, "Stories of the Street"

        I was just looking at this, my Abraxas Page -- which, incidentally, I have just thought I should link to the currently underproduced CHASING THE STAG Page -- and decided to add something.  These paragraphs being that "something".  I have alot of research, interesting facts, dry data.  But I should write first about what Abraxas is to me.
        Abraxas is... everything I seek.  The object of my questing, perhaps, but more the peak and summit of my questing path.  Abraxas is the fire that never quite catches within me, a flame I seek to feed and fan until I am ablaze with mySelf.  Abraxas is the banner under which I will rally under cold grey skies, and thus avoid the creeping death that seems to have afflicted most the world -- a death that sets in so slowly that the masses of people don't even notice, and the walking corpses greet each other as they mow their lawns and drive to work, hardly noticing as their last chances at the return of life fade and shrink in the distances.  Last chances that are comprised of the essence of great Abraxas.  If you have heard the whisper of Abraxas' flame and felt the rush of Abraxas' ocean, you likely know what I speak of.
        Some will shake their heads and mutter -- "He worships some false god, not the God of the Bible!"  And others, "He is another pathetic spiritualist, pursuing some fantasy, some dream of gods and heavens, placing faith above reason..."  And yet it is not so.  Abraxas is not a god, and yet Abraxas is the only god.  Abraxas is not a spirit, but if ever there was Spirit, Abraxas was its entirety, and Abraxas is the spirit that makes up all that we know, even that which we call "matter" and "energy" -- all that we know is only variations on the Spirit that is Abraxas.
        Abraxas is not the God of the Judeo-Christian Bible.  And yet, if that God ever did exist, Abraxas is Him.  Abraxas is also Satan.  Ask the Gnostics.  Abraxas is release from the timid and binding laws of man, and yet Abraxas is the wisdom and cunning that binds itself to those laws with cords of paper.  Abraxas is the extremity of all human existance -- the black hatred and the blood-red love, the admired violence and the terrible peace, the desolation and the joy of ages.  And yet Abraxas is the balance of all extremity, the middle of all breadths, the greatest of compromises within all conflicts.  Abraxas is the paradox that lies between, the simultaneous attainment of irreconcilable opposites without compromising the integrity of either element.  Have you had the epiphany?  Do you know the feel of this Paradox?  If so, you know well of what I write.
        Abraxas is the above and the below, the within and the without.  Abraxas is the hope and the despair, the joy and the misery.  Abraxas is why I am a omnipotent god walking the earth unique among all, and why I am one weak and fragile organism amid a throng of billions of others like me.

E-MAIL PEREGRINE at peregringray@codenet.net


        The name Abraxas, coined by Basilides, the Egyptian Gnostic, is a word symbol consisting of seven letters which signify the seven creative powers or planetary angels recognized by the ancients. Sampson Arnold Mackey advances the theory that the name is compounded from two ancient words, Abir, which means a bull, and Axis, which means the pole. To substantiate his belief, he brings forward the fact that a motion of the earth, commonly called the alternation of the poles, resulted in the vernal equinox taking place at one time in Taurus, the Celestial Bull, over the North Pole. The four white horses drawing the chariot of Abraxas symbolize the four ethers by means of which the solar power, Abraxas, is circulated through all parts of the universe. The seven-lettered name of Abraxas is symbolically significant of his seven-rayed power. That the modern world has any knowledge whatever of ancient Gnostic symbolism is largely due to the cupidity of those individuals who set themselves the task of destroying every intelligible record of Gnostic philosophy; for, wishing to keep rather than destroy articles of commercial value, the fanatics preserved gems upon which Gnostic symbols were engraved. The image at the top of the page is the enlargement and amplification of a Gnostic jewel, the original stone being only a trifle over an inch in height. Rings and other articles of jewelry set with Gnostic gems were undoubtedly used by members of the cult as means of identification. As the order was a secret society, the designs were small and inconspicuous.
        Medieval demonologists often mention a demon called Abraxas. They represent him as a fat-bellied character with the head of a king, a dragon's tail, and serpents instead of legs. He carries a whip in his hand. On amulets or that era, he is often featured with the head of a cock instead of that of a king.  The inclusion of Abraxas in the hierarchy of evildoers seems to be rather arbitrary, as it has been impossible to attribute any specific evil deeds or malevolent influences to this demon. His comdemnation appears to be a purely dogmatic matter on the part of the medieval church.

        Abraxas was but a name, invented by the Gnostics to express the unspeakable name of the Supreme Being and to symbolize its solar power. It is said to be compounded from two ancient worlds: 'abir' meaning 'bull,' and 'axis' meaning 'pole.'  This etymology refers to the motion of the earth commonly called the alteration of the poles.  It resulted at one time in the vernal equinox taking place in the constellation of Taurus, the Celestial Bull.

        Another representation shows four white horses drawing the chariot of Abraxas. These stand for the four ethers by means of which the solar power is circulated in the universe.  The seven letters of his name signify the seven creative powers, or the seven planetary angels, recognized by the ancients. In numerology, the value of the letters in Abraxas adds up to three hundred and sixty-five, the number of days and powers of the year, and the three hundred and sixty-five spirits occupying the heavens. The name Abraxas seems also to have been the origin of the word 'abracadabra,' a magic spell said to be of very great

From Tertullian: Appendix
        "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 honour 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 in him who was crucified, lest one confess to having believed in 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."

(Information taken from The Book of Demons by Victoria Hyatt & Joseph W. Charles and is used without permission.)
a sect of Basidilian gnostics in the 2nd century
Abraxas -- Supreme Father, solar being, man and hawk and serpent,
Hermes-Esus as Communicator between Light and Dark worlds, between Cernunnos/Satan and Taranis/Yeshua

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