Deities

gods-and-goddess1

“All Godhood is good, free from passion, free from change… Neither are they separate from the first cause nor from one another, just as thoughts are not separate from mind nor acts of knowledge from the soul. “
-Sallustius (On the Gods and the Cosmos, I-II)

Julian Hellenism is a polytheistic religion, meaning it has a belief in many Gods (Latin: Dii, Greek: Theoi). Iamblichus refers to the Gods as monoeides, meaning “in the form of singularity” (Clark 2010, 56-57), which tells us that the Gods exist as a single essence prior to becoming distinct, where they are unitary and emanatory as manifestations of their singular divine source, the One Supra-Essential Godhead, as unity precedes the existence of multiplicity (Sallustius, V). This makes the religion monolatrous, where a distinct inferior being emanates from a superior being and participates in its originator. This starts with the One, which subsequently spawns the many Gods through simple multiplication of itself into a multitude (and thus preserving most of its attributes, as everything is multiplied oneness) who functions as horizontal extensions of the same power, who ultimately leads back to that unity. This means that all of the Gods are infinite, unending, perfect and unborn, each with an infinity of attributes, as they are not “separate from the first cause nor from one another” (Sallustius, II). Following the Gods are the Greater Kinds, including human souls, who spawn from the Gods and participate in them. This plurality which derives from the One is made up of “different states or appearances of a single substance” (Urmson 1991, 259), or ousia, which makes up everything with the quality of Being, from the Gods to the Greater Kinds and ultimately us, making the religion a form of substance monism. Julian Hellenism is also a panentheistic religion, with the divine being concurrently both transcendent and immanent, looking over our 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, their origins being prior to the creation of time. They are living immortals who surround and permeating unhindered the entire material universe and act on it. The Gods are not subject to Fate, but rather lay above it and overlook Providence (Sallustius, IX). Their wisdom sees the whole, and so their light puts us on the right path and brings to pass what is best (Flavius Claudius Iulianus, II 261-263). They are the causes of all that is now and all that shall be, and 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 (Flavius Claudius Iulianus, II 323). They are wholly beyond our physical universe and by directing the Logoi (Logic), thoughts that are lower manifestations of the higher principle (e.g., the Forms), and Anagne (Necessity), the moral and natural cause which compels nature, they create the cosmos and produce its laws (Plato Timaeus, 48a).

The divine are Beings (Ontos), not persons (prosopon), as persons denotates human limits which the Gods lack because they are so beyond us. They do not intervene in the realms of actions of other Gods, cease to exist, or combine into one. The soul of a God can be understood in three parts: Essence, Powers, and Activity:

  • Their Essence/Substance (Ousia) is their inner-most and most fundamental independent self. Their essence is “at the summit [of existence], and transcendent and perfect” (Iamblichus De Mysteriis, I.6-7)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. They do not have either gender or any other characteristic of mortal beings, as their substance is entirely alien to us. Their movements are spherical, and thus perfect.
  • Their Power (Dunamis) is their potential expression of their essence. A God’s power “can achieve all things simultaneously, in the present instant, unitarily” (Iamblichus De Mysteriis, I.6-7).
  • Their Activity (Energeia) is their powers in action. A God’s activities “generates and governs all things without inclining towards them” (Iamblichus De Mysteriis, I.6-7). The Gods concern themselves with things of this world and perform activities, however they do not perform these activities out of need since they are perfect and thus without need. This nature links back to the One. Plotinus’ description of the activity of the One is that it overflows of its superabundance (Uždavinys 2009, 27). 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. The Gods are above Necessity (Plato Timaeus, 45a), which isn’t to be confused with want or nature.

Knowledge of the divine is not attainable in mere doctrine [doxa], but rather, it is a natural tendency which is innate in all people, because whether in private or public, whether as individuals or as peoples, there exists a universal striving towards divinity, for we all believe, even without being taught, in the existence of something divine (Flavius Claudius Iulianus, I 321), for there is no one who does not raise their hands to heaven in prayer when they swear by the Gods; if they have any notion at all of the divine, they will turn heavenward, and it was very natural that people should feel thus (Flavius Claudius Iulianus, I 323). It in this innate understanding that we can find true knowledge of the divine, which is not easily comprehended, nor is it able to be easily communicated, for no one in the world can adequately describe the true greatness of the divine without failing to a certain extent in their attempt (Flavius Claudius Iulianis, III 357).

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 (Sallustius, XIV). 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 (Sallustius, XIV). 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 ultimately for our own benefit, since the Gods need nothing; and worship is done by exposing ourselves to their divine radiance (Sallustius, XIV).

Theology of the Three Suns

In Julian Hellenism there are three realms, the Intelligible Realm, the Intellective Realm, and the Visible Realm. In each realm there is one ruler, with Aion ruling the Intelligible Gods, Zeus-Helios the Intellective Gods, and the visible encosmic Sun among the visible Encosmic Gods. Each ruler is the vertical emanation of the ruler prior to it, with Zeus-Helios emanating from Aion, and the visible sun emanating from Zeus-Helios.

Intelligible Sun

Aion: Aion rules between the supra-essential One and the Intelligible Realm, and as a being at the summit of the Intelligible Realm rules over the Intelligible Gods.

Intellective Sun

Zeus-Helios: Zeus-Helios acts as the mean between the Intelligible Realm and the Intellective Realm. Zeus-Helios is the “middle of the middle, connecting all of the realms below Him with those above Him” (Finamore 1985, 139).

Encosmic Sun

Visible Sun: The Visible Sun and the sun is “between the [Intellective] noeric and visible realm” (Finamore 1985, 139).

The Demiourgoi

The Pre-Essential Demiurge

Aion

The Celestial Demiurge

Zeus-Helios

The Sub-Lunar Demiurge

Asklepios / Dionysos

Theological Encyclopedia of Hellenic Divinities

  • Achelous: God of the Achelous River
  • Aeolus: God of the wind
  • Adonis: God of beauty, desire, and vegetation
  • Adrasteia: A Nymph who in secret nurtured the infant Zeus in the Dictaean cave
  • Agathos Daimon: Daimon of the vineyards and grainfields
  • Aius Locutius: God associated with saving Rome from Gallic invasion
  • Ampelos: Satyr divinity of wine
  • Amphitrite (Salacia): Goddess of the sea and wife of Poseidon
  • Ananke & The Moirai: The Goddess of Necessity, and the Goddesses of Fate
  • Anemoi (Venti): Wind Gods
  • Angerona: Protective Goddess who relieves people from pain and sorrow
  • Angitia: Goddess of snake-charmers
  • Anthousai: Nymphs of flowers
  • Aphrodite (Venus): Goddess of love
    • Astarte: Goddess of war & beauty
    • Cloacina: A ferility Goddess who also presides over sewers
  • Apollon (Apollo): God of the arts, oracles, knowledge, medicine, light, and plague
  • Ares (Mars): God of destruction, war, soldiers, farmers, and agriculture
  • Ariadne (Arianna): Goddess of the labyrinths, mazes, paths, vegetation, fertility, wine, and snakes
  • Artemis (Diana): Goddess of the hunt, forests and hills, the moon, and archery
    • Artemis Ephesia: Mother Goddess of Ephesus
    • Bendis: Thracian cult of Artemis associated with the moon and the hunt
  • Asklepios (Vejovis):
  • Asteriai: Nymphs of the stars
  • Astraia: Titaness of the stars
  • Astraios: Titan of the stars and astrology
  • Athene (Minerva): Goddess of wisdom, civilization, law and justice, inspiration, courage, strength, strategic warfare, strategy, mathematics, the arts, crafts, and skill
    • Athena-Allāt: Athena of the Near East
  • Attis: Phrygian God of vegetation and fertility
  • Aura: Goddess of breezes
  • Aurai: Nymphs of the breeze
  • Bona Dea: Goddess of chastity and fertility in women, healing, and the protection of the Romans; solely worshiped by women
  • Britomartis: Also called Diktynna, She is Goddess of mountains and hunting
  • Charites (Gratiae): Goddesses of beauty, human creativity, charm, nature, and fertility
  • Chloris (Flora): Nymph associated with spring, flowers and new growth
  • Collatina: Goddess of hills
  • Consus: Protector of grains
  • Cunina: Goddess of children who watches over and protects infants in their cradles
  • Deimos & Phobos: Deimos is the God of terror and dread, while His brother Phobos is the God of panic, flight and rout.
  • Deo (Ceres): Goddess of agriculture, fertility, harvest, and sacred law
  • Despoina: Daughter of Deo
  • Deverra: A Goddess who protects midwives and women in labour. She is symbolized by a broom which is used to sweep away evil influences, and as such is associated with the brooms which are used to purify temples in preparation for various worship services, sacrifices and celebrations
  • Dike (Justitia): Goddess of justice
  • Dionysos (Liber): God of salvation and liberation
  • Dioskouroi: The twins Castor and Pollux
  • Disciplina: Goddess of discipline
  • Domiduca & Domitius: Marriage divinities who accompanies the bridal procession as the couple arrives at their new home together on the wedding night.
  • Dryades: Tree Nymphs
    • Hamadryades: Dryad nymphs who are bounded to a specific tree
  • Eileithyia (Lucina): Goddess of childbirth
  • Eirene (Pax): Goddess of peace
  • Eleutheria (Libertas): Goddess of liberty
  • Elpis (Spes): Goddess of hope
  • Endovelicus: Chthonic God of medicine
  • Enyo (Bellona): Goddess of war
  • Eos (Aurora): Goddess of the dawn
    • Matuta: Latin dawn Goddess
  • Epimelides: Nymphs of meadows and pastures who nourish and protect the herds and flocks of cattle, goats and sheep which graze their lands. Guardians of fruit-trees
  • Epona: Protector of equines
  • Erinyes (Dirae): The Furies, Goddesses of vengeance
  • Eros (Cupid): God of attraction
  • Euboulos: God of ploughing and sowing of seed
  • Eurynome: Oceanid Nymph worshiped at a sanctuary near the confluence of rivers called the Neda and the Lymax in the Peloponnese
  • Fauna: Female counterpart to Pan
  • Felicitas: Goddess of good luck
  • Feronia: Goddess of health, fertility, abundance, and wildlife
  • Great Mother (Rhea-Cybele, Ops): Mother of the Gods and wife of Zeus-Helios
    • Ge (Terra): Goddess of the Earth
    • Hekate (Trivia): Goddess of theurgy, crossroads, and the guardian of roads
  • Haliai: Nymphs of the sea and shores
  • Harmonia (Concordia): Goddess of harmony
  • Harpocrates: Mystical God of silence
  • Hebe (Juventas): Goddess of youth
  • Hedone (Volupta): Goddess of delight and daughter born from the union of Cupid and Psyche
  • Hekaterides: Goddess of rustic dance
  • Hekateros: God of dance and handwork
  • Hephaistos (Vulcanus): God of the forge, metallurgy, and volcanoes
  • Hera (Juno): Queen of the Gods; Goddess of marriage and protector of women
  • Heracles (Hercules): God of strength, gatekeeper of Olympus and saviour and protector of mankind
  • Hermaphroditus: God of unions, androgyny, marriage, sexuality and fertility
  • Hermes (Mercurius): Messenger of the Gods and God of commerce, travel, and shepherds
  • Heron: Thracian rider God
  • Horai: Goddesses of seasons and the natural portions of time
  • Hostilina: Goddess who allows grain to grow evenly
  • Hesperides: Nymphs of sunsets
  • Hestia (Vesta): Goddess of the hearth
  • Hygieia (Salus): Goddess of good health and sanitation
  • Iacchos: God who is understood as founder of the Eleusinian mysteries
  • Indiges (Aeneas): Deified soul of Aeneas, the leader of the Trojan refugees
  • Intercidona: A Goddess who protects midwives and women in labour.
  • Iris: Goddess of rainbows and messenger of the Gods
  • Janus: God of time, beginnings, and ends
  • Jugatinus: A conjugal God
  • Kabiri: Group of chthonic deities
  • Karme: Goddess of the harvest
  • Komos: God of merrymaking, reverly, and festivity
  • Kore (Proserpina): Goddess of the underworld, springtime, flowers and vegetation
    • Isis: Goddess of motherhood
  • Korymbos: Rustic Daimon of the fruit of the ivy
  • Kronos (Saturn): God of agriculture and the harvest
  • Lacturnus: A deity who infuses crops with “milk” (juice or sap)
  • Laimonides: Pasture Nymphs
  • Lares, Penates & Genii: Gods of the domestic space
  • Lampades: Nymphs of the Underworld
  • Leimonides: Nymphs of flowery water-meadows
  • Leto: Goddess of womanly modesty and motherhood
  • Leucothea: A Nymphe of the sea
  • Libera: Goddess of liberation and female fertility
  • Lubentina: A Goddess of funerals and burial
  • Mainades: Also known as Bakkhai, they are Nymphs of revelry in the train of Dionysos
  • Manturna: A conjugal Goddess who lets a couple remain together
  • Meliai: Nymphs of honey bees and ash trees
  • Melisseus: God of honeymaking and bees
  • Mithras: Solar God of light and salvation
  • Mnemosyne (Moneta): Goddess of Memory
  • Mogounos: God of righteousness
  • Muses: Goddesses of the literature, science, and the art
  • Mutunus Tutunus: Fertility God associated with marriage
  • Naiades: Also called Hydriades, they are Nymphs of streams, brooks, fountains, wells, springs, and other bodies of fresh water. Some are among the Oceanids, daughters of the earth-encircling river Oceanos, while others are born of local River divinities
  • Nehalennia: Goddess of trading, shipping and possible horticulture and fertility
  • Nemesis (Invidia): Also named Adrasteia, She is the Goddess of retribution
  • Nephelai: Nymphs of clouds and rains
  • Nereides: Nymphs of the sea, daughters of the God Nereus
  • Nereus: God of the sea and father of the Nereids
  • Nike (Victoria): Goddess of Victory
  • Nodutus: The divinity who causes the “knot” (nodus in Latin) or node to form
  • Nymphai: A class of worldly spirits
  • Nysos: Daimon of Mount Nysa
  • Nysiades: Nymphs associated with Dionysos
  • Nyx: Goddess of the Night
  • Oceanos: Primordial Titan of the earth-encircling river
  • Oceanids: Nymphs who are three thousand daughters of Oceanos and Tethys. Their numbers include some of the Anthousai, Aurai, Dryades, Epimelides, Leimonides, Naiades, and Nephelai.
  • Oreiades: Nymphs of mountains. Their members include some of the Epimelides, Hamadryades, and Naiades.
  • Ourea: God of mountains
  • Palaimon (Portunus): Sea God associated with keys, doors, livestock and ports
  • Pales: God of shepherds, flocks and livestock
  • Pan (Faunus): God of shepherds and flocks, rustic music, the wilds, the nature of mountain wilds, and companion of the nymphs
  • Panes: Daimons under Pan who were associated with the Satyroi
  • Patelana: The Goddess who opens up the grain
  • Phales: God of phallic processions
  • Phorcys: Primordial God of the sea
  • Picmunus: A God of agriculture, fertility, matrimony, infants and children
  • Pilumnus: A God who protects midwives and women in labour. He is a nature deity, brother of Picumnus. He ensures children grow properly and remain healthy
  • Pistis (Fides): Goddess of faith
  • Pleiades: Nymphs of the constellation of the same name, daughters of Atlas
  • Poseidon (Neptunus): Lord of the sea, storms, earthquakes, soil, and horses
  • Pomona: Goddess of fruitful abundance
  • Pontus: Primordial God of the sea
  • Potamoi: Gods of rivers and streams
  • Priapus: Rustic God of garden fertility
  • Prometheus: Trickster God and benefactor of mankind
  • Proteus: Primordial seer of the sea
  • Quirinus: National tutelary divinity of the Romans
  • Roma: Goddess of Rome
  • Rosmerta: Goddess of fertility and abundance
  • Runcina: A Goddess of weeding and mowing
  • Rusina: Goddess of the fields
  • Satyroi: Daimons who take the appearance of either half-horse or half-goat, and half-men
  • Seia: Goddess who protects the seed once it’s sewn into the earth
  • Selene (Luna): Goddess of the Moon
  • Semonia, Setia and Segetia: Agricultural deities who are Goddesses of sowing
  • Serapis (Dis Pater, Orcus, Pluton): Lord of the Dead, riches of the earth
  • Silenos: Companion and tutor to Dionysos
  • Silenoi: Daimons and sons of Silenos in the train of the Dionysos
  • Silvanus: God of the Forests
  • Sirona: Goddess associated with healing springs whose attributes are eggs and snakes
  • Sterquilinus: God of fertilizer
  • Styx: Nymph and Oceanid who is the Goddess of the River Styx
  • Subigus: Tutelary God of the wedding night.
  • Sucellus: Chthonic protective deity
  • Telete: Daimon of the Bacchic initiation rites
  • Terminus: God who protects boundary markers
  • Tethys: Titan Goddess of fresh-water
  • Thalassa: Primordial Goddess of the Sea
  • Themis: Titan Goddess of divine law and order
  • Thryiai: Goddess of divination by pebbles and bird omens
  • Tiberinus: Daimon of the Tiber River
  • Tityroi: Daimons under the Lord Dionysos
  • Triptolemos: God of the wheat mill and sowing of the grain
  • Triton: Messenger God of the sea
  • Trophonios: Chthonic God who built the site of the Oracle of Delphi
  • Tutilina: A Goddess who watches over the stored grain
  • Tyche (Fortuna): Goddess of Fortune
  • Vanth: Etruscan psychopomp
  • Vertumnes: God of seasons, change, vegetative growth, gardens and fruit trees
  • Vallonia: Goddess of valleys
  • Vaticanus: The God who opens a newborn’s mouth to wail
  • Volupia: A divinity whose name appears to signify “willingness.” She had a temple, the Sacellum Volupiae, on the Via Nova by the Porta Romana, where sacrifices were offered to the Angerona
  • Volutina: A Goddess who induces “envelopes” (Latin involumenta), or leaf sheaths, to form
  • Zeus-Helios (Iuppiter, Iovis, Sol): The Nous, Demiurge, King of Heaven and the All
    • Sabazios: Phrygian Zeus associated with horses and snakes
    • Tinia: Etruscan Zeus
    • Zeus-Ammon: Graeco-Egyptian Zeus
    • Zeus Capitolinus (Iovis Optimi Maximi Capitolini): Zeus the Best and the Greatest
    • Zeus Dolichenus (Iuppiter Dolichenus): Canaanite Zeus

The Olympians

Greek_-_Procession_of_Twelve_Gods_and_Goddesses_-_Walters_2340

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.

This pantheon of twelve divinities expresses the complete and perfect divine fifth element which fulfils and binds the Cosmos together, aether, which is symbolized by the dodecahedron.

The Twelve Olympians are:

Bibliography

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