A term used by the Basilidean
s, a Gnostic
sect of the second century, designating the Supreme Being
whom they worshipped and from which Jesus Christ
emanated. They read great mysteries into the name on account of its containing seven Greek letters
which, when computed numerically, equal the number 365, which is the number of days in the year. Taking that last item a step further, Abraxas was further believed to command 365
gods, each possessing a virtue, that there was a virtue for each day of the year.
Abraxas' origin has been traced earlier, to the Egyptian pantheon. Some demonologists describe him as a demon with the head of a king and feet formed from serpents. On amulets he has been represented wielding a whip.
The name Abraxas is widely recognized as the origin of the mystic word abracadabra. Many stones and gems were cut with his symbolic markings (including a human body with snakes as limbs and fowl or lion heads) which were worn by the Basilideans as amulets which frequently also bore the number 365.