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by Bonnie Moss 2007-02


This word holds us in fascination. It seems to evoke a magical effect when spoken. The
dictionary defines it as a word of magical nonsense.

Where is the origin of this word? Some believers connect this word with Abraxas. 
He is painted as a demon with snakes for feet.Since the 2nd century, Abraxas was 
believed to be a god who wards off evil. His symbol was used in rings, bracelets 
and gems.

Abraxas originated with the followers of Basilides, an eccentric Christian who taught 
at Alexandria from about 120-140 AD. Abraxas ruled the 365 days of the year. The numerical
Greek alphabets of Abraxas  add up to 365. They believed that there were 365 orders of 
spirits who occupied 365 heavens, the lowest of which are the spirits who occupied 
the Earth.

The seven letters of Abraxas may stand for the seven planets known in antiquity to 
control the hands of destiny.

Daniel Dafoe published his Journal of the Plague Year in 1722 where he wrote that people 
were terrified of the plague, believing that it was an evil spirit who threatened to take 
possession of their bodies.

They tried to ward it off with certain words, in particular the word Abracadabra, formed 
into a triangle.

Well into the Middle Ages, this word was believed to relieve fevers. The instructions
were in a poem, composed by Quintos Serenus Sammonicus, a doctor who traveled
with the Roman Emperor Severus in the expedition to Britain in 208 AD. It
was written down dropping a letter in each line.

A B R A C A D A B R A 
 A B R A C A D A B R 
  A B R A C A D A B 
   AB R A C A D A 
    A B R A C A D 
     A B R A C A 
      A B R A C 
       A B R A 
        A B R 
         A B

After writing this, the paper must be tied around the neck of the patient with flax,
for nine days after which the paper must be thrown out over the shoulder into a 
stream running eastward.

It was believed that as the words shrink away, so would the fever.

Another possible origin is a poem  that may have been passed down from a Jewish
prayer believed to cure  fever. The paper on which it is written must be hung around 
the neck for 24 hours without looking at it, as the heat of the fever builds up to a breaking 
point, afterward,  the temperature comes down.

Ab Abr Abrak Abraka
Abraka! Abraka! Abraka!
Abraka Abrak Abra Abr Ab
And the people called unto
Moses and Moses prayed to God.
And the fire abated. May healing
come from heaven from all
kinds of fever and consumption-
heat of--- to ---
Amen Amen  Amen Selah Selah Selah.

ref:- Man,  Myth, and Magic
Richard Cavendish

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