Julian Hellenism is a denomination of Hellenism, the polytheistic religion of the classical Graeco-Roman world. Julian Hellenism is a polytheistic, monistic, 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 name Julian Hellenism itself is derived from Julian the Philosopher, Julian the Chaldean and Julian the Theurgist.
Julian Hellenism has a hierarchical pantheon of Gods, with a focus on the three suns. The first sun is Aion, who is the Idea of Being that gives rise to the quality of Ousia (Being). Following Aion is the second sun, Zeus-Helios, the Celestial Demiurge and King of the Gods. Lastly, there is the material sun, who is merely the body of the Celestial Demiurge that humankind naturally reaches out towards in the heavens when they pray. Co-reigning with Zeus-Helios is the Magna Mater, the Mother of the Gods, who birthed the Intellective and creative Gods and co-reigns as both the mother and spouse of mighty Zeus-Helios.
Under the Celestial Demiurge lies various realms with a variety of Gods residing in each, with the three Intelligible Realms divided by Zeus-Helios to create 12 divinities that rule the Hypercosmic Realm in the Phenomenal Cosmos, who are then divided by the zodiac again to create 36 Deacons who rule the Encosmic Realm, who are then divided a final time in the Sub-Lunar Realm, where our existence resides, where they are divided into 72 Sub-Lunar Gods who are ruled by Dionysos and Asklepios, who reign as the Sub-Lunar Demiurge and saviours of the world. Among these Gods are also a wide variety of guardian divinities of particular individuals and nations.
Theurgic ritual has a special importance in Julian Hellenism. Theurgy is ritual activity, such as prayer and sacrifice, as a means of uniting us with the divine through imitation as means of achieving perfecting oneself to achieve henosis (unity with the divine). Theurgic prayer 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.
Ritual practice serves to animate prayer, as without imitation of the divine to bring life to the words, they are merely words, while with ritual and sacrifice those words are animated and become live words.
Holy and important texts include the writings of Julian the Philosopher, most notably the two orations “Hymn to King Helios” and “Hymn to the Mother of the Gods”, as well as the writings of the divine Iamblichus, Plato, Aristotle, Pythagoras, Sallustius, Homer, Hesiod, Julian the Chaldean and his son Julian the Theurgist, among others.
There are three primary principles in Julian Hellenism affirmed by the divine Julian in his Letter to a Priest, and they are:
- The Gods exist.
- The Gods concern themselves with things of this world.
- The Gods are responsible for all kinds of good and are responsible for no evil or injury, neither to humankind nor one another, being incapable of jealousy, envy or enmity.
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.