Taken in Washington DC at the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear, October 2010

In both my personal writing and the stuff I do in preparation for the roleplaying games I run, the meaning behind a name is often important. Wherever possible, I try and find names that will best foreshadow the type of story I’m going to tell with them (especially with the protagonists). So Abraxas got me to thinking, why Abraxas?

Visiting their site and Facebook page, very little was provided as to the mythos behind Abraxas. Researching the name itself I discovered that it was given to a being with great significance under Gnostic thinker Basilides’ system of belief. Abraxas is said to be the Great Archon over the 365 Heavens, whose name not only under this Gnostic system mathematically works out to 365, but is also spelled with the seven letters representing the seven classic planets (Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, & Saturn). A name of great mystic significance, it is found on many antique stones meant as charms to ward off ill luck.

The truth however is in question as in recent centuries Abraxas is said to have been an Egyptian god or a demon, while Carl Jung even wrote on him, calling Abraxas a God higher than the Christian God and Devil for being capable of being both sides simultaneously. All that said and done, the name has appeared in numerous mediums (Harry Potter, Babylon 5, and a Santanas album to name a few).

I guess while Nic’s trying to get us on the next time we run into Abraxas and her samurai caretakers, I’ll try and remember to ask them where they got the name from.