Abraxas [Demon of Stones]

The system of gnostic Basilides has a lot of demons who are believed to be very powerful and dangerous for all those people who do not believe in God and perform deeds that are not permitted by the religion.

Abraxas is a demon in the system of Gnostics who is believed to be the demon of stones. His name is mentioned in various sacred text and holy scriptures dating back to hundreds of centuries.

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The proper form of the name of this particular demon as with the Greek writers have mentioned is Abrxas. This name is also found in the magical papyri and even though most commonly on the engraved stones.

The attempts for discovering a derivation of this particular name in various languages like Greek, Hebrew, Coptic or other have not been entirely successful.

1. Egyptian

  • Claudius Salmasius thought it Egyptian, but never gave the proofs which he promised.
  • J. J. Bellermann thinks it a compound of the Egyptian words abrak and sax, meaning “the honorable and hallowed word,” or “the word is adorable.”
  • Samuel Sharpe finds in it an Egyptian invocation to the Godhead, meaning “hurt me not.”

2. Greek

  • Claudius Salmasius thought it Egyptian, but never gave the proofs which he promised.
  • J. J. Bellermann thinks it a compound of the Egyptian words break and sax, meaning “the honorable and hallowed word,” or “the word is adorable.”
  • Samuel Sharpe finds in it an Egyptian invocation to the Godhead, meaning “hurt me not.”

3. Hebrew

  • Claudius Salmasius thought it Egyptian, but never gave the proofs which he promised.
  • J. J. Bellermann thinks it a compound of the Egyptian words a break and sax, meaning “the honorable and hallowed word,” or “the word is adorable.”
  • Samuel Sharpe finds in it an Egyptian invocation to the Godhead, meaning “hurt me not.”



The Abraxas was a demon who was believed to play a lot of roles in the mythology. These roles are given below with their brief description:

1. Archon

Here, it is mentioned that the gods and the unforgotten father created the first heaven. The other gods then formed the second level of heaven which then started a chain.

This process continues until 365 levels of heaven are formed.

Basilidians have a long account of the innumerable creations and powers in the several stages of the upper world, in which they speak of 365 heavens and say that their great archon is Abrasax.

This is because his name contains the number 365, the number of the days in the year; i.e. the sum of the numbers denoted by the Greek letters in ΑΒΡΑΣΑΞ according to the rules of isopsephy is 365:

Α = 1, Β = 2, Ρ = 100, Α = 1, Σ = 200, Α = 1, Ξ = 60

2. In the Form of God

It is evident that Abraax was the name of the first of the 365 Archons, and accordingly stood below Sophia and Dynamis and their progenitors, but his position is not expressly stated so that the writer of the supplement to Tertullian had some excuse for confusing him with the Supreme God.

3. As Aeon

The role of Aeons of Eleleth, including Abrxas, Sophia, and others, pertains to the outer border of the Pleroma that encounters the ignorance of the world of lack and interacts to rectify the error of ignorance in the world of materiality.

4. In the form of Demon

The Catholic church later deemed Abrxas a pagan god, and ultimately branded him a demon as documented in J. Collin de Plancy’s Infernal Dictionary, Abrxas is labeled the supreme God” of the Basilidians, whom he describes as heretics of the second century.

Abraxas Stones

Abraxas Stones
Abrxas Stones

Abraxas stones are in the existence. One particular example of this stone was included as part of the treasure from the fourth century in the United Kingdom. These stones are believed to be mythological and have various inscriptions.

These stones are available in various forms which are listed below:

  1. The Abrsax-image alone, without external Iconisms, and either without or but a simple, inscription.
  2. Abrsax with Jewish symbols.
  3. Abrasax combined with other Gnostic Powers.
  4. Abrsax with Jewish symbols.
  5. Abrasax with Egyptian deities.
  6. Abrsax with Grecian deities.
  7. Simple or ornamental representations of the journey of departed spirits through the starry world.
  8. Representations of the judgment.
  9. Worship and consecrating services.

In Literature

In Literature
In Literature

In the literature, the Abraxas is mentioned in various sources and chapters. All these are listed below with their citations:

  • In the 1516 novel Utopia by Thomas More, the island called Utopia once had the name “Abraxas”, which scholars have suggested is a related use.
  • Abrxas is an important figure in Carl Jung’s 1916 book Seven Sermons to the Dead, a representation of the driving force of individuation (synthesis, maturity, oneness), referred with the figures for the driving forces of differentiation (emergence of consciousness and opposites), Helios God-the-Sun, and the Devil.
  • There is a God about whom you know nothing because men have forgotten him. We call him by his name: Abrxas. He is less definite than God or the Devil… Abrxas is an activity: nothing can resist him but the unreal … Abrxas stands above the sun[-god] and above the devil. If the Pleroma were capable of having a being, Abrxas would be its manifestation.

— 2nd Sermon

  • That which is spoken by God-the-Sun is life; that which is spoken by the Devil is death; 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 the same act. Wherefore is Abraxas terrible?

— 3rd Sermon

  • Several references to the god Abrxas appear in Hermann Hesse’s 1919 novel Demian, such as:

The bird fights its way out of the egg. The egg is the world. Who would be born must first destroy a world. The bird flies to God. That God’s name is Abrxas.

— Max Demian

… it appears that Abraxas has a much deeper significance. We may conceive of the name as that of the godhead whose symbolic task is the uniting of godly and devilish elements.

— Dr. Follens

Abrxas doesn’t take exception to any of your thoughts or any of your dreams. Never forget that. But he will leave you once you become blameless and normal.

— Pistorius

Read More: Beliefs in Judaism

The Seven Letters

The Seven Letters
The Seven Letters

The seven letters spelling its name may represent each of the seven classic planets. The word may be related to Abracadabra, although other explanations exist.

There are similarities and differences between such figures in reports about Basilides’s teaching, ancient Gnostic texts, the larger Greco-Roman magical traditions, and modern magical and esoteric writings.

Speculations have proliferated on Abrxas in recent centuries, who has been claimed to be both an Egyptian god and a demon.

The 7 letters spelling its name may represent each of the 7 classic planets—Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn.

The word is found in Gnostic texts such as the Holy Book of the Great Invisible Spirit, and also appears in the Greek Magical Papyri. It was engraved on certain antique gemstones, called on that account Abrxas stones, which were used as amulets or charms.

Quick Read: Mention in Christianity

Abraxas Means Good and Evil

Abraxas Means Good and Evil
Abraxas Means Good and Evil

In the book Demian, Abrxas is a representation of good and evil. What the boys need to accept but they cannot is exactly that state. Human nature by itself involves both good and evil characteristics.

The boys thought that human nature is completely pure. However, through their exposure to evil through the other members, they gradually understand that human nature consists of both good and evil. This is just the way it is.

The idea that human nature is completely pure is utopian, a perfect human nature, which does not exist.

In both versions of BST, the boys come to this realization and the MVs are the symbolism for their psychological battle that they have to go through to finally realize and accept that their nature consists of these two things.

In Popular Culture

In Popular Culture
In Popular Culture
  • In the Marvel line of comics, the character Abraxas has killed every instance of Galactus.
  • In the Charmed season 2 episode “Witch Trial,” Abrxas appears as a demon residing on the astral plane who tries to steal the Book of Shadows. He is vanquished at the end of the episode when the Charmed Ones reclaim the Book of Shadows and pull Abraxas out of the astral plane in the process.
  • In the Supernatural season 14 episode “Unhuman Nature,” Nick learns that the demon Abraxas brutally murdered his wife and infant son while possessing a police officer named Frank Kellogg. In “Damaged Goods,” Nick tracks down Abrxas, who was trapped in an Enochian puzzle box by Mary Winchester. Abrxas reveals that he killed Nick’s family on the orders of Lucifer before Nick kills Abrxas with an angel blade in revenge.
  • In the visual novel 11eyes, Kukuri can summon her soul in the form of a chained guardian angel named Abraxas. When released from his chains, he becomes a godlike entity named Demiurge.
  • In the third installment of the Darksiders game, a demon sub-commander named Abraxis appears to be in charge of constructing the massive Black Tower that will eventually become home to the demon Straga, his prisoner the angel Azrael, as well as the home base of the Destroyer.
  • South Korean band BTS’s videos frequently mention Abraxas and much of their storyline is based around the deity.
  • The second studio album by Latin rock band Santana is named Abraxas, derived from a passage in the Hermann Hesse novel Demian.
  • In the 2018 thriller Mandy, the “horn of Abraxas” is a sort of stone flute with magical properties. Brother Swan uses it to summon the Black Skulls, a demonic biker gang.
  • In Fire Emblem Three Houses, Abraxas is the name of a damage-dealing Faith spell.
  • In the song “Lead Poisoning” by Alkaline Trio, Matt Skiba sings the line “Now I pray to Abraxas my soul to keep”.
  • In season 1, episode 2 of Netflix’s animated show The Midnight Gospel the main character, Clancy Gilroy, purchases an avatar named Braxis, which he then uses to explore alternate universes. Braxis looks like the traditional images of Abraxas where the creature has a human body and the head of a rooster. Like the traditional images, Braxis has serpents for legs and his arms are also like those in traditional representations.
  • In the 2018 videogame Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, Abraxas is the name of the legendary fiery horse the player acquires if they reach the Tier 1 level in the hierarchy of mercenaries.
  • In J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, Abraxas is the name of Lucius Malfoy’s father, as well as the name of a race of winged horses in the same fictional world.


The Abraxas is a demon related to the Gnostics. This demon is related to the concepts of the good and evil mentioned in very famous textbooks and is also believed to be the representation of the form of God in various sources.

The Abraxas engraved coins are very famous all around the world and have historical significance. This demon has also been mentioned in various Marvel films and also in the world-famous Harry Potter series.