In theourgia, the theurgist will engage the practitioner with divine synthemata and symbola, which will in effect prevents the impure from entering sacred space. This makes purification an inherent part of theurgic practice, with the purifying effects of fumigation (e.g., incense/resin, saffron, torches, etc) and lustration (khernips) being some of the most important parts of theurgic ritual. They work through a sympathetic connection to three cosmic teletarchs; the Pre-Essential Demiurge, the Celestial Demiurge, and the Sub-Lunar Demiurge, who all engage in this vital part of theourgia and purify through the three virtues that are connected to them respectively: Love, Truth, and Faith.
It is revealed through the Chaldean Oracles that everything “governed by and exists in these three virtues” (Chaldean Oracles 48); and it is by means of this triad do we commune with the divine levels (Chaldean Oracles 144). They are uplifting powers which cause henosis.
Faith (Greek: Pistis/πιστις, Latin: Fidés) is the substance of the Sub-Lunar Realm, and the primary virtue from the Sub-Lunar Demiurge, Dionysos/Asklepios. It is represented by the visible sun’s divine rays. It is the sole theurgic power through which henosis occurs.
Faith in the context of ancient Hellenism is typically defined as “good faith”— the honour that obliges mortals to perform our commitments. However, Faith can also be understood in terms of belief, as shown in the divine Plato when he speaks of “faith [pistis] in the Gods” (Plato Laws, 966c). Here, Plato was already trying to push Faith in the direction of demanding that at least people who were to be in positions of authority in society ought to hold some proper beliefs about the Gods and have some ability to justify these beliefs through rational argumentation. And with the revelation of the Chaldean Oracles, Hellenic Platonists of Late Antiquity began to see Faith as a primary virtue. Simultaneously, the divine Plato also recognized that there is much we do not grasp about the Gods (Plato Phaedrus, 246c-d), and that this fact is, at the same time, not destructive of piety or of belief. We should try, as Plato tells us, to “hold beliefs about the Gods that would be pleasing to Them and that are true, so far as we can ascertain . . . ; and we ought to believe as well the things that follow logically from these beliefs, and live accordingly” (endymions_bower, 7 April 2019 11:57 AM).
However, some will say that “belief” or “faith” connotes a kind of dubious position, a state opposed to knowledge and experience, and therefore assert that we ought not to use such language. And to an extent such objections are understandable because the language is often irrelevant to practicing polytheists. Polytheists see the Gods’ existence as axiomatic, and thus do not need “proofs” of the blunt reality of Their existence to believe in Them. And as Edward Butler writes, “we are also not commanded by our Gods to believe certain things at threat of punishment” (endymions_bower, 7 April 2019 11:57 AM). But regardless, to say that we don’t have beliefs is also not correct. This makes it sound as though Hellenes simply perform rituals mechanically. Hellenism honors knowledge (gnosis), not in opposition to belief, but in continuity with it. And this is the original sense of Pistis, which derives from the Greek word peithomai, meaning “to be persuaded.” Faith is “allowing ourselves to be persuaded by our experience; it is to be open to the Gods, rather than cloaked defensively in skepticism” (endymions_bower, 7 April 2019 11:57 AM).
Truth (Aletheia/ἀλήθεια) means to reveal, is is the primary virtue of the divine Sun, who is the Celestial Demiurge Zeus-Helios, the “ruler of the soul” (Chaldean Oracles 86) and the aetherial, who consecrates all within His realm through Truth. It is the substance of the Intelligible Realm and/or the Psychic Realm.
Love (Eros/έρως) is the virtue associated with the Pre-Essential Demiurge, Aion. It is the first quality of the “substance” of the Intelligible Realm. Through Love, Aion directs the “wings of fire” (Chaldean Oracles 85), the wings of the soul found in the divine Plato’s Phaedrus, which are shed and need to be regrown to once more rise into the heavenly realms. This is associated with Immaterial Theurgy.
endymions_bower. Dreamwidth Post. 7 April 2019 11:57 AM. https://endymions-bower.dreamwidth.org/56499.html?fbclid=IwAR3FAzSysIJurupZQnuZNyuBvylCFNuWHSePBiCC5YaTek51qMnHr5oAWlE
Kupperman, Jeffrey S. Living theurgy: a course in Iamblichus philosophy, theology and theurgy. London: Avalonia, 2014.
Majercik, Ruth. The Chaldean Oracles: Text, Translation and Commentary. Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1989.
“NATURE OF THE GODS.” Deo Mercurio. Accessed February 04, 2018. http://www.deomercurio.be/en/natura.html.
York, Michael, Pagan Theology: Paganism as a World Religion, New York: New York University Press, 2003.