Hellenism (and with that Julian Hellenism) is a polytheistic religion; meaning it has a belief in many Gods and Greater Kinds. Julian Hellenism is also monistic religion, with the plurality of substances being due to different states or appearances of a single substance derived from the One, as well as the emanation of divinity that derive from the One and subsequent divinities through a process where a distinct inferior being comes from a superior being and participates in its originator. Atypical of monism, however, is that Julian Hellenism has a duality, which makes it also a panentheistic religion, with the divine being concurrently both transcendent and immanent, looking over the universe from the outside while also animating it and manifesting throughout the cosmos through a divine illumination which fills all things eternally.

The Gods are eternal beings that surround and permeating unhindered the entire material universe and act on it. They are infinite, unending, perfect and unborn, their origins being prior to the creation of time itself. The Gods are not subject to Fate, but rather are above it and overlook Providence. Their wisdom sees very far, or rather sees the whole, and so their light puts you on the right path and brings to pass what is best. They are the causes of all that is now and all that shall be.

Iamblichus refers to the Gods as monoeides, meaning “in the form of singularity.” (Clark 2010, 56-57) The Gods exist as a single essence prior to becoming distinct, as unity precedes the existence of multiplicity. In this they are unitary and emanatory as manifestations of their singular divine source, the pre-essential One. They derive from the One through simple multiplication of itself into a multitude (and thus preserving most of its attributes, as everything is multiplied oneness) and functioning as horizontal extensions of the same power, which leads back to that unity.

They do not intervene in the realms of actions of other Gods, cease to exist or combine into one. They do not have either gender or any other characteristic of mortal beings; instead, their substance is entirely alien to us. Their essence is wholly intelligible and beyond our material realm, and their bodies present in the material cosmos, such as the stars and the planets, are merely ruled from the outside. Their essence is wholly Intelligible, and the movement of the Gods are spherical, and thus perfect.

Each God can be understood in three parts: Essence, Powers and Activity. Their essence is their inner-most and most fundamental independent self, their powers are their potential expression, and their activities are their powers in action.

The Gods concern themselves with things of this world and perform activities, however they do not perform these activities out of need because they are perfect and thus are without needs. This nature links back to the One. Plotinus’ description of the activity of the One is that it overflows of its superabundance. It gains nothing from this overflowing, nor has any need to overflow. Rather, it is simply its nature, and hence in turn it is also simply in the nature of the divine. Need/necessity isn’t to be confused with want or nature.

The divine are beings (Ontos), not persons, as persons denotates human limits which the Gods lack because they are so beyond us. Though they are not seen by us, they can direct their divine gaze, which is more powerful than any light, towards useven as far as our hidden thoughts.

We know of the Gods innately because in all people, whether in private or public, whether as individuals or as peoples, there exists a universal striving towards divinity, for we all believe, even without any instruction, in the existence of something divine; for there is no one who does not raise their hands to heaven in prayer when they swear by the Gods. It is here in this innate knowledge that we can find true knowledge of the divine, which is not easily acquired by everyone, and even by those who attain it, it is unable to be communicated at all, or at best with mediocrity.

The Gods are beyond us and need nothing, and we worship them because they are beings worthy of worship, being so beyond us and responsible for all kinds of good and no evil. As a result of this it can be understood that worship, prayer, and sacrifice aren’t given to the Gods to “appease” them. The Gods are not angry with sinners, for to be angry would be to passion. The Gods do not rejoice- for what rejoices also grieves. Nor are they appeased by gifts – for if they were, they would also be conquered by pleasure. The Gods are always good, always do good and never do injustice, instead always being in the same state and like themselves. Rather, when we are good, we are joined and cling to the Gods when we show likeness to them by living according to virtue, and when we become evil we make the Gods our enemies – not because they are angered against us, but because our sins prevent the light of the Gods from shining upon us, and thus putting us in communion with spirits of punishment. If by prayers and sacrifices we find forgiveness of sins, we do not appease or change the Gods, but instead, by turning toward the divine, we heal our own badness and so again enjoy the eternal and infinite goodness of the Gods. To say that the Gods turn away from evil is like saying that the Sun hides Himself from the blind. Because of this, it is to be correctly understood that we provide the Gods with worship for ultimately our own benefit, which comes about by exposing ourelves to their divine radiance.


The Demiourgoi

The Pre-Essential Demiurge



The Celestial Demiurge



The Sub-Lunar Demiurge

Asklepios / Dionysos


Theological Encyclopedia of Hellenic Divinities


The Olympians


Fragment of a relief (1st century BCE – 1st century ACE) in the Walters Art Museum which depicts the Twelve Olympians carrying their attributes in procession; from left to right, Hestia (scepter), Hermes (winged cap and staff), Aphrodite (veiled), Ares (helmet and spear), Demeter (scepter and wheat sheaf), Hephaestus (staff), Hera (scepter), Poseidon (trident), Athena (owl and helmet), Zeus (thunderbolt and staff), Artemis (bow and quiver), and Apollo (lyre).

The Olympians, otherwise known as the Dii Consentes, are the 12 divinely revealed Hypercosmic powers of Hellenism. The Olympians are comprised of six Gods and six Goddesses. The concept of twelve Gods is ancient and sacred, being older than any extant Greek or Roman source, though truly coming to fruition in ancient Athens. It is understood to have been present among the Etruscans as well. In Rome, the statues of the Olympians stood in the Forum and later the Porticus Deorum Consentium, one of the last public Hellenic shrines that were still functional in Late Antiquity.

The Twelve Olympians are:



Adluri, Vishwa. Philosophy and Salvation in Greek Religion. Boston: Walter de Gruyter, 2013.

Clark, Dennis. “The Gods as Henads in Iamblichus.” The International Journal of the Platonic Tradition 4, no. 1 (2010): 54-74. doi:10.1163/187254710×492901.

Ekklesia Neoplatonismos Theourgia. “Ekklesia Neoplatonismos Theourgia Catechism.” Ekklesia Neoplatonismos Theourgia. Accessed July 17, 2017.

Flavius Claudius Iulianus Augustus, and Wilmer Cave (France) Wright. The works of the Emperor Julian. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2006.Adluri, Vishwa. Philosophy and Salvation in Greek Religion. Boston: Walter de Gruyter, 2013.

Iamblichus. De Anima. Translated by John F. Finamore and John M. Dillon. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2002.

Iamblichus. De mysteriis. Translated by Emma C. Clarke, John M. Dillon and Jackson P. Hershbell. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2003.

Kupperman, Jeffrey S. Living theurgy: a course in Iamblichus philosophy, theology and theurgy. London: Avalonia, 2014.

Sallustius, “On the Gods and the Cosmos”, 4th Century AD, accessed May 17, 2017,

Shaw, Gregory. Theurgy and the soul: the Neoplatonism of Iamblichus. Second ed. Kettering, OH: Angelico Press, 2014.

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