Julian Hellenism

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Julian Hellenism is a denomination of Hellenism, the polytheistic religion of the classical Graeco-Roman world. Julian Hellenism is a polytheistic, substance monistic, monolatric, and panentheistic religion, based on the teachings and writings of Flavius Claudius Iulianus Augustus, also known as Julian the Philosopher, the last great Hellenic emperor of Rome, as well as other individuals such as the divine Iamblichus, Plato, Numa, Pythagoras and Sallustius among many others. Julian Hellenism is largely philosophically backed by Iamblichean Platonism. The namesakes of Julian Hellenism are Julian the Chaldean and Julian the Theurgist, the father and son who revealed the Chaldean Oracles, and the later Julian the Philosopher. Julian Hellenism understands that the noblest ambition is to imitate the Gods by having the fewest possible needs and doing good to the greatest possible number.

Julian Hellenism affirms that the supra-essential principle is the One, the supreme and unknowable Godhead which manifested the Cosmos through the overflowing emanation of its superabundant goodness. The One is of a singular, unitary nature and is totally transcendant, being beyond the quality of Being (Ousia).

Julian Hellenism affirms that below the One is a hierarchical pantheon of Gods, who are lead by the three suns:

  • The first sun is Aion, the One reflected in the Intelligible Realm which acts as its ruler. Aion gives rise to the quality of Being and can only be worshiped through silence. From Aion comes the Magna Mater, the Mother of the Gods, who births the following Intellective and creative Gods and co-reigns as both the mother and spouse of the second sun.
  • The second sun is Zeus-Helios, who reigns as the King of the Gods, ruling over the Intellective Realm. He is the Celestial Demiurge, the creator God brings the superabundant goodness of the One into order through His shaping of the Phenomenal Cosmos through His Logos.
  • The third sun is our own Visible Sun, the pneumatic vehicle of the Celestial Demiurge that we naturally reach out to when we pray towards the heavens.

Julian Hellenism affirms that under the Celestial Demiurge lies various realms with a variety of Gods residing in each, with the three Intelligible Realms divided by Zeus-Helios through the zodiac to create 12 divinities that rule the Hypercosmic Realm in the Phenomenal Cosmos, who are then divided by again to create 36 Deacons who rule the Encosmic Realm, who are then divided a final time to create 72 Hylic Gods in the Sub-Lunar Realm, a portion of the Encosmic Realm where we resides, which is ruled over by the Sub-Lunar Demiurge. Among these Gods are also a wide variety of guardian divinities of particular individuals and nations.

Julian Hellenism affirms that the human soul is immortal and a fallen divinity, and that salvation is attained through theurgic rites, ritual activity (such as prayer and sacrifice) which through imitation of the Gods aims to perfect oneself to achieve union with the divine, or henosis. Theurgic worship has three levels:

  • Material, which first introduces us to the Gods
  • Median, which connects us to the divine in demiurgy and intuitive knowing, realizing the benefits from the divine through participation
  • Immaterial, which brings about henosis.

Julian Hellenism affirms that ritual practice serves to animate prayer, as without sacrifice to bring life to the words, they are merely words, and without prayer, sacrifice is merely empty expidenture. However, with both those words are animated and become live words.

Wisdom literature include the writings of Julian the Philosopher, most notably the two orations “Hymn to King Helios” and “Hymn to the Mother of the Gods,” along with the writings of the divine Iamblichus, Plato, Aristotle, Pythagoras, Sallustius, Homer, Hesiod, Julian the Chaldean and his son Julian the Theurgist, and many others.

There are three primary principles in Julian Hellenism declared by the divine Julian in his Letter to a Priest, and they are:

  1. The Gods exist.
  2. The Gods concern themselves with things of this world.
  3. The Gods are responsible for all kinds of good and are responsible for no evil or injury, neither to humankind nor one another, being without jealousy, envy or enmity.

 

Bibliography

Flavius Claudius Iulianus Augustus, and Wilmer Cave. Wright. The works of emperor Julian. London: Heinemann etc., 1962.

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, http://www.platonic-philosophy.org/files/Sallustius%20-%20On%20the%20Gods%20(Taylor).pdf

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

Plato, and Benjamin Jowett. The complete works of Plato. United States?: Akasha Pub., 2008.