IAO is a Gnostic mantra I came across while studying alchemy today. Mark Stavish proposed it as a chant that can be used to charge water. I want to share 333Kephirhet666’s post on the mantra since it’s succinct.
See my previous post on Chnoubis (Yaldabaoth) and Gnosticism.
IAO is first mentioned in the Pistis Sophia: The Gnostic Tradition of Mary Magdalene, Jesus, and His Disciples. It is a mantra very rich in symbolic meaning, and like most Gnostic texts a bit mysterious in origin. Among Gnostics it seemed to take not only the form of a mantra but also almost a shorthand version of the name of God also similar to the tetragrammaton which was the name of the biblical god. The text within the Pistis Sophia that mentions IAO reads as such:
And Jesus made invocation, turning himself towards the four corners of the world with his disciples, who were all clad in linen garments, and saying: “iaō iaō iaō.” This interpretation: iōta, because the universe hath gone forth; alpha, because it will turn itself back again; ōmega, because the completion of all the completeness will take place.
~ Pistis Sophia, translated by G.R.S. Mead
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