A magical spell consisting of a single word, which was popular in medieval times to get rid of illness, misfortune or Demons [There were both good and bad demons and demons capable of both kinds of behaviour. The study of demons is called demonology. The term means “replete with wisdom”; good demons were once called eudemons and evil demons were called cacodemons]. The word is inscribed on an amulet or written out on paper in a magical inverted triangle, in which one letter of the word is dropped in each succeeding line, until nothing is left. The evil is supposed to fade away just as the word does. The diminishing word technique is used in many other spells [a spell is spoken or written formula that, in an act of Magic, is intended to cause or influence a particular course of events] for the same purposes.

In medieval times, abracadabra was believed to ward off the plague aka Black Death. The triangle was written on a piece of paper, which was tied around the neck with flax and worn for nine days, then tossed backwards over the shoulder into a stream of water running towards the east. The words origin is unknown. It is said by some to have been invented around A.D. 208 by Quintus Serenus Sammonicus, physician to the Roman Emperor Severus, as a cure for the fever. Some hold that Sammonicus merely borrowed a formula that was much older.

According to others, the word comes from the old Aramatic phrase, abhadda kedhabhra, “disappear like this word”, or the Hebrew phrase abreq ad habra “hurl your thunderbolt even unto death”. It is also said to be derived from the name Abraxas, the Gnostic god who appears on charms against the evil eye dating from the second century. Another possibility is that is the name of some long forgotten demon. Increase Mather 1639-1723 [Illustrious Puritan minister and intellectual who viewed witchcraft and supernatural happenings as evidence of God’s growing displeasure with New England] dismissed it as a ‘hobgoblin word” that had no power at all. Aleister Crowley, on the other hand, said it is a magical word of great power and that its true form is abracadabra.

Some of the oldest charms are magical words or phrases written on parchment and worn around the neck. The term Abracadabra, which dates back at least to 2nd century Rome, and probably is older than that, is suppose to cure fever.


This is typically done without spacing in this formation for healing, blessings and more, it is believed to have originated from a demon or spirit by the name Abraxas.