ABLANATHANALBA A Gnostic charm triangle, similar to the ABRACADABRA triangle and used by magicians in ancient times for protection against evil forces. It was traditionally writ­ ten on parchment, using a special ink obtained from the acorn of a valonia oak tree. It was written out as follows:

A B L A N A T H A N A L B A B L A N A T H A N A L B

L A N A T H A N A L A N A T H A N A

N A T H A N A T H A

T H

ABRACADABRA : A cabalistic word derived from the name Abraxas, a mighty Gnostic deity whose name means “hurt me not.” The word Abracadabra, when chanted or when its letters are arranged in an inverted pyramid (a holy figure and symbol of trinity) and worn around the neck as a talisman for nine days, is said to possess the magickal power to ward off illness and to cure fever. At the end of that time, it is taken off and tossed over the shoulder into a stream flowing east. It is believed that the cool, rushing waters draw the heat of the fever.

The ancient charm triangle known as the Abracadabra. It is reputed to possess great healing powers, especially in reducing fevers.

The first known mention of the word was in the second century AD in a book called Liber Medicinalis (sometimes known as De Medicina Praecepta Saluberrima) by Serenus Sammonicus,[7] physician to the Roman emperor Caracalla, who in chapter 51 prescribed that malaria sufferers wear an amulet containing the word written in the form of a triangle.[8][9]

The power of the amulet, he claimed, makes lethal diseases go away. Other Roman emperors, including Geta and Severus Alexander, were followers of the medical teachings of Serenus Sammonicus and may have used the incantation as well.[7]

It was used as a magical formula by the Gnostics of the sect of Basilides in invoking the aid of beneficent spirits against disease and misfortune.[10] It is found on Abraxas stones, which were worn as amulets. Subsequently, its use spread beyond the Gnostics.

The Puritan minister Increase Mather dismissed the word as bereft of power. Daniel Defoe also wrote dismissively about Londoners who posted the word on their doorways to ward off sickness during the Great Plague of London.[11]

The word is now more commonly used as a magic word in the performance of stage magic. The word is one of a limited set of words that can be typed in its entirety using the left-handed side of a QWERTY keyboard.

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ABRACADABRA

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