A Mystic Word - "Abracadabra"

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A Mystic Word - "Abracadabra"

#1 Postby Tau Malachi » Fri Feb 18, 2005 11:39 am

The mystic word or magical phrase "abracadabra" is well known by initiates and non-initiates alike, and it has often been the subject of all kinds of speculation among pop-occultists. In fact it is so well known and so much speculation has occurred surrounding this word that it has become something of a joke. :lol:

Nevertheless, did you ever wonder what it might mean and where it might originate from? Interestingly enough this mystic word or magical incantation occurs in Hebrew: abra k'adabra (Alef-Bet-Resh Alef Kaph-Alef-Resh-Bet-Resh-Alef) and it literally means, "I will create as I speak." :shock:

This simple meaning can lead to some profound contemplations, for according to Scripture creation comes into being by God speaking and, in effect, as human beings we create ourselves and our lives through the power of speech - creating by speaking is also a principle power of the Human One, who is the image and likeness of God.

One cannot help but think of one meaning of the word gospel; hence "God-spell," and all of the implications.

Perhaps this word is not a joke after all, but holds wisdom teachings and real power if its actual meaning is understood.

I could not help but share the meaning of this phrase in Hebrew and see what contemplation it might invoke! :D

Blessings & shalom! 8)
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re: abracadabra

#2 Postby Perseverando » Mon Feb 21, 2005 12:11 am

Greetings All!

This word captured my imagination some years back. I thought I might share some of the fruits of my own quest for it’s meaning with you here.

It seems that the word abracadabra first appears in a verse written by the Roman poet Quintus Serenus Sammonicus in the second century AD. I also read somewhere (I’m terrible at citing my sources – too much of what I've read I can’t find later when I want it) that the word originated as a secret and mystical word with the Basilidian Gnostics associated with the God name IAO Sabaot. In Greek it was often written abrasadabra. As such, some writers have also connected the word with Abrasax, the name of the Gnostic concept of the solar or divine Light aspect of the Christ as the Son/Sun (Abraxas in Latin sources). In fact, the name Abraxas itself was said to have magical powers of its own, particularly healing powers, as a word that represented the number of days in the year, it's number value adding to 365 (thus the association with the Sun), the number of Emanations in the Persian Mithraic mysteries as well (Mithras also adds to 365 in Greek). The name Abrasax also seems to have been associated with the Vernal Equinox, being as this is when the new Zodiac year begins again in Aries. The Gnostic divine name IAO Abrasax should surely generate some additional commentary here!

Because of it's association with the healing solar energies, abracadabra was often engraved on amulets and precious stones, which were used as charms by various Gnostic sects in the first centuries of the common era. Archaeologists have found amulets written in the shape of a triangle on a piece of parchment, which was rolled up and placed within a small brooch worn round the neck. This amulet was not only believed to have the power to cure toothaches, malaria and other common scourges, but apparently was also used to banish or ward off any evil influence. When chanted, it was reduced letter by letter, and as the formula was reduced to the final Alpha (or Alef) the fever or malaise was diminished. It was written on the parchment like this (though they sometimes used the letter K and left out the middle A to yield nine letters and ten lines rather than ten letters and eleven lines, in apparent homage to Pythagoras’ base ten tetractys):


David Hulse attributes the Hebrew DBRA K ARBA as meaning “the fourfold word” in his encyclopedic books The Eastern and Western Mysteries, and cites the same triangular talisman, though he doesn't attribute it to the Gnostics. He asserts that this Hebrew rendition adds to 432, which is also the gematria value of ChDVDITh, a pyramid or cone and KThIB, spelling or the lettering of a word. Both of these meanings are consonant with the Gnostic talismanic use cited above.

According to an online resource, abracadabra was translated by G. Davidson in his Dictionary of Angels as “I bless the dead”, and as one of the three Holy Names used when blessing a sword. According to this resource, abracadabra is found in several Hebrew magical and mystical texts including The Sword of Moses and The Book of the Angel Raziel, though I have never looked into these assertions.

In my own research, I found that the word also could have been constructed as a contraction from six Hebrew words: Ab, the father, Bar, a word with many meanings including: the son or heir, beloved, or something clean and pure, Barah, to create or to select, Ra’ah, to see or experience, Achad, one, and Arba, four (as in the fourfold YHVH). Another idea is that the word might allude to the Hebrew “ha brachah dabarah” or “Speak the blessing”. My meditations on the word also suggested a possible Egyptian contraction: Ab, the heart, Ra, the Sun, Ka, the soul, and/or Khabs, Star/God, with the Ab and Ra repeated.

These various attributes for this enigmatic voce magica are all potent points of departure for contemplation. All in all, they all describe a talismanic use of the word in theurgy/magic. We shouldn’t be at all surprised that it has become dragged down by popular culture as the word uttered by stage magicians when performing their sleight-of-hand legerdemain.

Still, the source most aligned with it's meaning in relation to divine theurgy has to be the one cited by Tau Malachi in his original post - the Hebrew abra k'adabra, "I will create as I speak." As the thought forms the word, so this word might be aligned with Proverbs 23:7 "As the man thinketh in his heart, so is he." Though the context of Proverbs is a warning to be wary of a man with an evil eye who offers fine food and drink, it also has much to say also of one whose acts are a refelection of the divine will of their Neschama.

The inherent power in the spoken word is reflected particularly in Yeshua's sayings: "For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned." Matthew 12:37. And, "Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man." Matthew 15:11

On that note, :cry: I think I'll be silent for a bit...


Last edited by Perseverando on Mon Feb 21, 2005 12:22 am, edited 1 time in total.


#3 Postby Guest » Mon Feb 28, 2005 6:02 pm

Greetings Malachi & Shane,

That is a fascinating contemplation. If abracadabra represents speaking into creation it sounds like a focus for theurgy. A reminder that what we speak will create.

I have been contemplating the fact that what we expect will manifest. How much more so will something we speak manifest since language is a form of sound vibration which is at the center of true creation.

I read somewhere that the ancient Kabbalists believed that vocalized prayer was much more powerful than prayer in the mind because of the power of sound and language.

I'm thinking that abracadabra could be both a theurgic tool to help focus will and also a reminder that as children of God we are co-creaters and that our spoken word and intent will manifest.


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Vocalized prayer

#4 Postby Tau Malachi » Tue Mar 01, 2005 11:04 am


Indeed, the word abr k'adabra is theurgic, as though a statement of intention before speaking an invocation or something willed to be. The practitioner charges the words that shall be spoken with this word of power, and it serves to bring kavvanah-concentration to the mind.

If one looks at the plethora of interpretations given in Shane's post one will notice that most indicate the generation of kavvanah or a drawing in of divine influence in association with invocation/evocation. Specifically, it is a word of evocation - something being manifest on an apparently external level. In terms of "I will create as I speak" one is reminded of the teaching of the Zohar that human beings have the power to create angels and spirits, which in turn can be flows of spiritual force manifesting the will/desire of human beings.

The virtue of vocalized prayer, according to Judaic Kabbalah is that is brings down the spiritual influences invoked from Atzilut, through Beriyah and Yetzirah, into Asiyah and the material world. Thus, the human being becomes the channel or vehicle of the spiritual forces invoked in the material dimension by speaking the prayer aloud. This alludes to a secret power in human speech which is connected to the human being as the image and likeness of God and in Christian mysteries one cannot help but be reminded of Christ as the power of the Logos-Word. Likwise we are reminded of the full power of the word in the human being on earth, as though we give conscious voice to nature and all good creatures of the earth - as we see in Native American Spirituality we pray for all creature/people and the whole of this good earth. If we do not pray, then prayer is lacking on earth, for it is only the human being who can consciously pray and invoke the divine powers of the Great Spirit (Agatho Daimon, in Greek).

One cannot help but think of Malkut-kingdom as the 'Gate of Prayer' in this contemplation, which is also called the 'Shekinah,' or of the manifestation of Malkut at the level of Beriyah as Sandalfon, the archangel associated with uplifting the prayers of the faithful and elect.

There is great power in prayer, and in praying we are blessed in the action itself.

May the Mother lead us in prayer and empower our prayers, amen.

Blessings & shalom! :)
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#5 Postby lleyr » Wed Mar 09, 2005 5:41 pm

Greetings Malachi!

This thread is a very interesting contemplation with lots of aspects to ponder.

What I'm wondering now is why is the spoken prayer the key to channeling the spiritual forces vs. an unspoken one? One thing that comes to mind for me is the idea that words could be talismens for the spiritual forces and beings they represent. And there is always the idea of vibration. Are these ponderings on the right track?

Blessings, Mark

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Vocalized Prayer

#6 Postby Tau Malachi » Sat Mar 12, 2005 2:23 pm

Greetings Brother Mark!

The idea that vocalized prayer is more powerful in Judaism is based on the view that by speaking a prayer out loud it brings it into action; hence a shifting of energy into Asiyah. It also reflects the ancient tradition of temple sacrifices in Judaism (external offerings to be made), for the prayers of Judaism are meant to replace temple sacrifices. Thus, this idea accords with the old covenant.

In the Christian Tradition, under the new covenant, we do not make any distinction in the relative effectiveness or prayer, whether verbilized or in silence. The Scriptures certainly do not make such a distinction. For example, when raising Lazarus from the dead Lord Yeshua says he only prays outwardly for the sake of the people, suggesting that inward and outward prayer is the same. This is certainly reflected in our own experience, for we find both verbalized and silent prayer equally effective. Yet we can say this, in terms of manifesting something in the material dimension, speaking outwardly can be a talismanic act, as in theurgic invocations. In our own tradition it is all a matter of the context of the prayer (or invocation) and the inspiration of the Spirit as to whether we pray aloud or in silence.

Blessings & shalom!:-)
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