From the Master of Kadosh (May 2018)

posted May 2, 2018, 11:19 AM by San Jose Scottish Rite   [ updated May 2, 2018, 11:27 AM ]

Fraternal greetings!  Just a reminder, we are planning a joint Scottish Rite Consistory, Knights of St. Andrew, Sciots, and Grotto social event at the Sunnyvale Art & Wine Fest on the 2nd of June starting at noon.  So, mark your calendars and plan to attend this fun and relaxing event!

A Discussion of the Letters I-A-O in Relation to Deity, the Gnostics, and the Knight Templars

In my recent studies, I have come across the reference to the letters I, A, and O, as the three primary vowels that represent Deity in some traditions.  Below you will find the original Knight Templar Abraxas seal, in which, amount other interesting details, the letters I, A, and w are found.  The “w” is the lower case Greek letter for “omega”, or the English letter “O”.

In Bro. Timothy Hogan’s book, Entering the Chain of Union, he explains that the name “John”, as in “John the Baptist” and “John the Evangelist”, i.e. “the Holy Saint’s John”, was revered by Freemasons, Templars, Martinists, and early Gnostics.  Timothy goes on to state that the emphasis on the name John in Gnostic traditions is related to earlier Babylonian myths of Oannis, whose feast day, coincidently, was June 24th.  In this myth Oannis, like John the Baptist, was known to anoint Priest Kings who were don in aprons and taught them the liberal arts and sciences required for building civilization.  Also, according to this theory, Oannis became the Greek Ioannes, which became the Latin Johannis, and finally was abbreviated to John.  The name John became important to the Gnostics, as it contains the three vowels I, O, and A.  As such Gnostics considered the name of Deity to be IOA, or IAO.  Hence, the possible portrayal of I, A, and w in the Templar seal.  Timothy explains further:

“The Latin letters IOA were significant from a Gnostic and sacred geometry standpoint, as “I” represented a point extending itself, and therefore the “word” of creation. “O” represented the word extended through space to the point that it comes back in contact with itself, and it therefore represented the extension of the word in creation, or the Christos. “A” represented a triangle that forms as two dualities come in contact with themselves and therefore form a third point of manifestation, and it symbolized the Sophia, or reflection of the word in matter.”

In my meditation on the letters I, A, and O, I’ve found some interesting possible relationships.  In Revelation 22:13, in the Holy Bible, it states that the Lord God said, “I am the Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.”  Therefore I believe I, A, and O, could represent “I” am the “A”lpha and “O”mega.  After further reflection, I believe that if you were to arrange I, A, and O in the following manner, I-A-O-O-I-A, these letters could also represent the name of God as revealed to Moses by the burning bush in Exodus 3:14, “I Am that I Am”.  The “I” and “A” are obvious, but the double “O” is not as apparent.  However, if you consider the O’s forming a symbol representing infinity, ¥, one might see that the “that” in the phase “I am that I am”, might be related, as God is in everything, God is “that”, and God is infinity, omnipotent, and omnipresent.  Finally, if the letters IAOOIA are written vertically, the two O’s could form the number 8.  In numerology the number 8, can represent the balance between the material and immaterial worlds, the world of form, and the formless, which could also be the “that” in the phrase.