Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.
View your shopping cart Shopping Cart | My Account | Help | Become a Fan on Facebook Become a Fan | Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us | Watch Us on YouTube Watch Us | Subscribe to our RSS Feeds Subscribe
Browse ProductsAuthorsArticlesBlogsEncyclopediaNewslettersAffiliate ProgramContact UsBooksellers
Advanced Search
ENCYCLOPEDIA
Glossary
What's New
Most Popular
List of Articles

Email Exclusives
Sign up to receive special offers and promotions from Llewellyn.

Get the Latest Issue of New Worlds

March/April 2015 Issue

New Worlds Catalog

Get the FREE app for your tablet and mobile device. Now available in the iTunes Store and the Google Play Store

Also available as a PDF File.

Click for more information about New Worlds or to receive issues via mail.


The Llewellyn Encyclopedia
Print this Term Print this Article

Abracadabra

This article was written by Donald Michael Kraig on January 20, 2014
posted under Abracadabra

Some people have tried to associate the word with ancient Jewish mysticism and Kabalism. Typical examples say that it is derived from ab, ben, and ruach acadasch, words that respectively mean father, son, and Holy Spirit. Another supposed source is that it is a variation of the Hebrew abreq ad habra, which means, "hurl your thunderbolts even unto death." Another version has it meaning "Speak the blessing" from the Hebrew "ha brachah dabarah." There are a wide variety of other variations and supposed sources for this word.

The first written record of its use is in the poem "Precepts of Medicine" by the second century physician and Gnostic, Quintus Serenus Sammonicus. Some occultists believe that it was a magical word used by the Gnostic sect, the Basilidians (their founder was Basilides), and may be related to the name they use for their Deity, Abrasax (Abraxas in Latin). In her book, An ABC of Witchcraft Past and Present, Doreen Valiente claims it comes from a Sufi saying, Ha Brachab Dabarah, which means, "speak the blessing."

Beside the formation shown in the definition of the word, abracadabra has been used in other talismans using a similar pattern but other geometrical forms.


The science of alchemy is first and foremost a spiritual process of transformation and purification. However, there are two types of alchemy that often overlap. Practical alchemy, also called laboratory alchemy, is concerned with transforming a base material into a higher and more purified substance, such as the turning of a base metal into gold,... read this article
Why the Waite-Smith Tarot Was the Almost Perfect Tarot
Demons, Fairies, and Saints in a Renaissance Manuscript of Magic
5 Reasons to Combine Crystals, Oils, and Essences to Facilitate a Life Well Lived
May Bush and Wishing Tree Magick for Beltane
Improving Your Habits with Lunar Help

Most recent posts:
Wisdom of Swords Spread
Sasha Graham’s book 365 Tarot Spreads has a spread for every day of the year. She also includes an important historical moment from that day and...

Driving Our Own Bus Called "Life"
Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Kerry Nelson Selman, author of the new Crystal Resonance. Recently, as I was meeting and greeting...

The Secret in the 7 of Wands
Secrets of the Waite-Smith Tarot It is not often that book comes along that really changes the way we understand tarot. Marcus Katz and Tali...




Zeroboxer Zeroboxer
By: Fonda Lee
Price: $11.99 US,  $13.95 CAN
Secrets of the Waite-Smith Tarot Secrets of the Waite-Smith Tarot
The True Story of the World's Most Popular Tarot

By: Marcus Katz, Tali Goodwin
Price: $19.99 US,  $22.95 CAN
Evidence of Eternity Evidence of Eternity
Communicating with Spirits for Proof of the Afterlife

By: Mark Anthony
Price: $15.99 US,  $18.50 CAN
Dating Down Dating Down
By: Stefanie Lyons
Price: $9.99 US,  $11.50 CAN
Easy Tarot Easy Tarot
Learn to Read the Cards Once and For All!

By: Josephine Ellershaw, Ciro Marchetti
Price: $19.95 US,  $21.95 CAN