Let's start with Jim's question:
I've come across a statement in the old book by C. W. King (Gnostics and their Remains Ancient and Mediaeval) about Basilides placing "last of all the god of the Jews, whom he denies to be God himself, affirming that he is but one of the angels." Would you happen to know whom this statement originally came from -- Tertullian, or Clement of A., or Epiphanius, or Irenaeus...? I've looked in such sources without success, and wonder if it came from Helen Blavatsky in altered form without source cited.Indeed the source for the idea (not the quote itself) is Irenaeus, Against Heresies, written about 180-190CE. In book 1.24.4, Irenaeus relates that Basilides taught that Abrasax (whose name numerically adds up to 365) was the astral lord of the 365 heavens in the celestial sphere. These heavens were populated by a number of angels, each of whom ruled its own heavenly realm. The 365th heaven - the one visible to us in our sky - is the domain of a clan of angels of the nations (72 in total). Chief among these angels is the God of the Jews.