Lots has been written about the so-called IAO formula although it’s not easy to define exactly what this means in a magical sense. A. Crowley likes to use it a lot (1*) . We wont get into the philosophy and symbolic meaning of the IAO formula, sense personal experience and practice is much more important right now. Besides I wont to prove that a majority of magical techniques will work automatically without a lot of ideological background knowledge/philosophical “facts” as long as the appropriate gnosis (trance/state of mind) is rendered. Instead of making a bunch of philosophical, mystical statements here, I’d rather introduce a practical exercise and explain in full detail. It’s an energizing and protection exercise with effects similar to those of the Kabalistic cross, but not as complicated and in some ways even more affective. It’s predominantly used to harden the magicians aura , which in turn allows for optimal magical protection. The IAO formula should be always practiced while standing but after awhile try other positions as well.
The I Formula
Stand upright with your feet together; you can face east if you like. With your eyes closed/½ closed if you are already experienced with this meditation technique; Vibrate the vowel I long and sustained: “Iiiiiiiihhh” at the same time imagine a vertical ray of light entering your body at the top of your head, traveling through your body and exiting at your feet, disappearing into the floor. The current doesn’t flow in any certain direction, however with a bit of practice it will usually feel like it’s flowing up and down at the same time in rhythm with your breath. This is a continuous current, so it’s not like a single “lighten flash”. Feel the strong flow of energy in your body. Often it well feel like a warm, prickly, sensation, or a feeling of power and magick. If you feel up to it, try imagining this light ray in shimmery white, right from the start. If you have trouble doing this, just practice for a few weeks without visualizing the color and then try again. This joins the macrocosm with the microcosm: the Chinese called this “union of the heavens and the earth” it harmonizes your power and creates a feeling of union between your “above” and “below”. This part of the IAO formula also supports inspiration and opens the crown chakra to your universe of information.
The A formula
Still standing up right with your eyes closes/½ closed eyes spread your arms out to your sides and vibrate the vowel A long and sustained: “Aaaahhh” at the same time imagine a continual, horizontal current of energy penetrating your body horizontally and exiting for left and right sides, shooting far out in both direction it came from. The current doesn’t flow in any fixed direction: it actually feels like it is moving from left to right and from right to left at the same time. Feel the strong flow in your body. Often it will feel like a warm, prickly sensation or of power and might. If you think you are up to it try imagining the this light ray in shimmery red light from the start. If you have trouble doing this, just practice for a few weeks without visualizing the color and then try again. This joins the left and right sides giving and taking, doing and enduring. The Chinese called this “union of yin and yang”. It activates your power and creates the feel of union between your “right” and “left”. This part of the IAO formula is also used for creating and maintaining a spiritual and physical balance and opens the hand chakras to your universe of information.
This is inner centering and it is similar in function to that of the magical circle. It concentrates your powers and puts yourself in the center of your own cosmos.
The O formula
Still standing up right with your eyes closes/½ closed eyes, let your arms hang to the sides or your body and vibrate the vowel O long and sustained: “Ooooohhhh” at the same time imagine a continual current of energy shaped as a double horizontal circle of about 5ft in diameter that surrounds your body vertically and horizontally. The current doesn’t flow in any fixed direction: it actually feels like it’s rotating to the left and the right. From above and below at the same time. Feel the strong flow of energy surrounding your body. Often it will feel warm, prickly sensation just above your skin/a feeling of power and might. . If you think you are up to it try imagining the this light ray in shimmery blue light from the start. If you have trouble doing this, just practice for a few weeks without visualizing the color and then try again. Now you can expand the double O circle to 20ft regardless of how well you can visualize it at this stage (2*). This is inner centering and it similar in function to the magical circle. It concentrates your powers and puts you in the center of your own cosmos.
This part of the IAO formula is also used for creating and maintaining a spiritual and physical balance and a sense of security and confidence, and it reduces your magical vulnerability and makes you the master of your own universe of information. You don’t need to vibrate the letters real load, but you should try to do it as powerfully as possible. With a bit of practice you’ll find the exact method that’s just right for your volume, pitch, length, of vibration ect. The IAO formula is used for magical protection as well as for centering and storing energy. It can also be used effectively prior to healing operations. I like to use it before and after the LBR as well as after strenuous magical operations that require great deal of energy. Furthermore it can be used when working with your magical double or in magical other magical operations and can be used by the magician who prefers it over the Kabalistic Cross and can be used in it’s place as well as in the excursive for centering and storing energy. Plus the IAO formula can be performed without risk at anytime.
(1*) Applied to magic there is another definition for the formula “A short sentence or expression used to clarify thought”. Magical formulas are often a combination of the two dictionary term and the magical term. Sometimes there’re just letters abbreviations such as the IAO formula or our mathematical structured formulas, but at times there made up of “Mnemonics” phrases or words with a particular background such as in the formula “V.I.T.R.I.O.L” Thelema or 93/93 a Thelema greeting that combines the word Thelema and agape by using their Kabalistic numerical values.
(2*) These are merely suggestive distances: in case of doubt, always go by your own intuition.