Terms

Khnoubis

Khnoubis
 

But of all the names found upon Gnostic gems two, i.e., Khnoubis (or Khnoumis), and Abrasax (or Abraxas), are of the most frequent occurrence. The first is usually represented as a huge serpent having the head of a lion surrounded by seven or twelve rays. Over the seven rays, one on the point of each, are the seven vowels of the Greek alphabet, which some suppose to

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refer to the seven heavens; and on the back of the amulet, on which the figure of Khnoumis occurs, is usually found the sign of the triple S and bar. Khnoumis is, of course, a form of the ancient Egyptian god Khnemu, or "Fashioner" of man and beast, the god to whom many of the attributes of the Creator of the universe were ascribed. Khnemu is, however, often depicted with the head of a ram, and in the later times, as the "beautiful ram of Râ," he has four heads; in the Egyptian monuments he has at times the head of a hawk, but never that of a lion.

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