Achamoth The lower Sophia as opposed to the original, higher Sophia in Valentinian Gnosticism.
Aeon These are the emanations from first cause, the Unknown Father, who is also known by such names as the One, the Monad, Bythos (depth), Proarkhe (before the beginning). From this first cause comes a series of emanations, often in male-female pairs called syzygies. The Aeons as a totality constitute the Pleroma, the “region of light.”  The word not only refers to the "worlds" of emanation, but to the personalities as well. Sophia, Logos, and the other high principles are aeons. It may be a stretch to consider an Aeon an aspect of God because God is more an impersonal force than a person.
Allogenes The word means “alien”. The existence of spiritual force in the material realm is “alien” to it, as the material realm, the Kenoma, has its source in the fall of Sophia and is by nature separated from the Pleroma.
Androgynous Being both male and female. Adam, the first human, was created as an androgynous being. In Gnostic cosmologies, many emanations are male-female. According to the Gospel of Philip, the separation of the androgyne into two is an image of the fall from unity: “If the woman had not separated from the man, she should not die with the man. His separation became the beginning of death. Because of this, Christ came to repair the separation, which was from the beginning, and again unite the two, and to give life to those who died as a result of the separation, and unite them. But the woman is united to her husband in the bridal chamber.”
Anthropos Greek for man or mankind. For the Gnostic this is the cosmic human as well as the philosophical form of the regular human.
Apokatastasis From Greek: ἀποκατάστασις is reconstitution, restitution. Specifically restoration to the original or primordial condition.
Apolytrosis Sacrament of “redemption” that is performed prior to the sacrament of the Bridal Chamber.
Archons Archon, in Greek, means "authority," and comes from the same root as "arch," as in "archangel." In Gnostic belief, Archons were planetary rulers and guardians of the spiritual planes. The archons were associated with the seven visible planets, and perceived as agents of the Demiurge, predatory beings who inhibit spiritual awakening by convincing humanity of a false reality; they are the forces of sin, fear, and temptation.
Ascetic One who practices a renunciation, or change of worldly pursuits to achieve spiritual attainment. The word ‘ascesis’ originally referred to the training of an athlete, and genuine asceticism is not masochism intended to placate an angry divinity, but the training of the noetic faculties to perceive Pleromic realities.
Assembly of the Paraclete Also known as the Église Gnostique, a Valentinian Gnostic Church established by Jules Doinel. The Alexandrian Gnostic Church (Église Gnostique d’Alexandrie) continues the work of the Assembly of the Paraclete.
Bridal Chamber A Gnostic sacrament that follows the Apolytrosis. The intention of the rite is the uniting of the psyche with its Pleromic counterpart; the Bride is the soul (psyche) and the Bridegroom is an angel, one of the many angels who descended with the Soter Jesus.
Bythos Literally "the Void”. One of the names for the First Father, the Ineffable Godhead.
Chrism The anointing with oil. The second rite of initiation into the Church, chrismation “seals” the initiate with the Holy Spirit.
Demiurge The “Craftsman” or creator of the material world, derived from the Greek term dēmiourgos, δημιουργός (“public or skilled worker”). In Gnosticism he is a lesser being, and is often viewed as a malevolent being. Valentinians believed that the Demiurge gave shape to the kenoma for the purpose of bringing the spiritual seeds to maturity, although he was unaware of this purpose, being secretly directed by his mother Sophia.
Dositheos Believed to be the founder of Samaritan Gnosticism in the first century, an associate of Simon Magus.
emanation The notion that the world is an expression of god.  This concept is also common in Platonism and is akin to monism (that god is in everything and everything is god). From the origination of the world by a series of hierarchically descending radiations from the Godhead through intermediate stages to matter. Hylic or Kenoma being the lowest for of existance and pleroma being the highest.
Eucharist The primary sacrament of the Church, enacting the passion of Sophia and the descent of the Soter into matter for the liberation of Sophia Achamoth and the spiritual seed.
Gnosis Literally translated as “knowledge,” the word gnosis indicates direct, experiential knowledge. Within the context of Gnosticism, it refers to noetic knowledge of the origins of the cosmos, the emanations of the Aeons, the fall of Sophia, the redemptive work of the Soter, and the nature of the body, soul and spirit.
Hylic “Of matter” The lowest level of of existence.
Kenoma The earthly or hylic state of the being. The kenoma (meaning deficiency) is the imperfect world of form and matter and is the antithesis of pleroma.
Logos The word for 'word' in Greek is lexis, as in lexicon.  Many want to translate Logos as The Word when it is used in a technical sense to refer to Christ.  This is correct for the Christian technical use of the term but it has quite a different meaning in Gnosticism.  In Greek, the word logos often means the action or thought behind the word.  In Gnosticism the Logos is an aeon.  Many question whether an aeon is a personification or merely a force.
Mandaeanism Pre-Christian, or first century Gnostic religion of the middle east that has survived into modern times. ‘Manda’ is from the Aramaic language which translates to ‘gnosis’ in Greek.
Mary of Magdala Mary Magdalene, the pre-eminent female disciple of Jesus whom he “kissed often,” according to the Gospel of Philip. She was held in high esteem by several Gnostic groups.
Metanoia Greek μετἀνοια is translated repentance in the New Testament. The sence of the Greek word is a change of Mind, a change in the trend and action of the whole inner nature, intellectual, affectional and moral. For the Gnostic it is the “change of consciousness” that happens to the initiate in the process of Gnosis, or spiritual transcendence. It is the process of turning the consciousnesses away from the lower centers of the Kenoma to the higher centers where Pleromic influences can be perceived.
Monad From the Greek word, meaning “one” or “single.” The source of the pleroma, the region of light.
Nag Hammadi Name of the Egyptian town where the Gnostic texts and scriptures were unearthed in 1947. Also refers to the Nag Hammadi Library.
Nous The eye of the soul; that part of the mind that perceives spiritual things.
Ogdoad From the Greek for eight and refers to eight gods from Egyptian mythology. The eight deities were arranged in four female-male pairs, the females were associated with snakes and the males were associated with frogs: Naunet and Nu, Amaunet and Amun, Kauket and Kuk, Huh and Hauhet. Apart from their gender, there was little to distinguish the female goddess from the male god in a pair; indeed, the names of the males are merely the male forms of the female name. Essentially, each pair represents the female and male aspect of one of four concepts:
  1. the primordial waters (Naunet and Nu)
  2. air or invisibility (Amunet and Amun)
  3. darkness (Kauket and Kuk)
  4. eternity or infinite space (Hauhet and Huh). 

The notion of the Ogdoad is part of some Gnostic systems.

Pachomius Pachomius (292–348) is generally recognized as the founder of Christian cenobitic (comunal) monasticism. He founded the Christian monastery around Nag Hammadi Egypt. Thought by some to have held Gnostic beliefs and his community may have been responsible for stashing the Nag Hammadi texts.
Paraklete The Comforter, an epithet used for the Holy Spirit or for the Logos.
Pharisatha The name given to Jesus in Syriac, according to the Gospel of Phillip, meaning “the one who is spread out.”

Greek πληρωμα Generally refers to the totality of divine powers. The word means fullness.

The Pleroma is the realm of the Aeons; the heavens or spiritual realm above the kenoma (the deficiency). The Soter Jesus is an aeon who was sent from the Pleroma to redeem the fallen Sophia and the Spiritual Seed by overcoming the powers of death and separation and by revealing the origins of the cosmos, the nature of the fall, and the way of liberation.


One who identifies with the pneuma (spirit) as opposed to the physical (hylic) world or the realm of the psyche (normal intellect and emotions).

Psychic One who is driven by the psyche (the discursive intellect and emotions.
Saklas Literally means “fool,” another name for the Demiurge.
Samael The word “Samael” means “blind god” and is another name for the Demiurge.
Seth The biblical Seth, the third son of Adam and Eve, who is believed to be divine, at least in part.  Special revelation through Seth are the basis of the Sethian Gnostic tradition.

The word actually means wisdom but also carries the notion of the divine feminine.  Sophia is variously the consort of the Demiurge or perhaps the Logos.

In some Gnostic texts, Sophia brings forth the Demiurge who, with Aeons, creates the material universe and rules over it. She falls from grace, is redeemed, and is restored in Gnostic myth.

Soter “Savior” is a name for Jesus.
theurgy means 'divine-working'
Yaldabaoth another name for the Demiurge


The footnoting got lost in the conversion and will take some time to rebuild. Here are the references: 10/26/13 10/26/13 10/26/13 5/6/10 5/6/10  5/6/10