The Hellenic (Greek) religion of Dodecatheon is a traditional religion as are the religions of ancient Egyptians, Hindus, Scandinavians, Incas, Mayas or the Indians of North America.
However, in ancient Greece, Hellenic Theology evolved and was developed as a philosophical approach of religion based on cause using logic and arguments in the search of truth. In this way Greek Religion was differentiated from other religions as it did not remain embroiled or limited in the acceptance of a “revealed truth” but to the search of that truth using rational means.
This theology came to us through the millennia and centuries with the texts of Orpheus, Homer, Hesiod, the Pythagoreans, pro Socratic philosophers, Plato and his successors of the Platonic Academy, Plutarch, the neo Platonic philosophers like Plotinos, Iamvlihos, Proklos, Plethon Gemistos and many others. (All in the same line of philosophy)
We use the word THEOLOGY as the word religion does not convey the real meaning and difference between Hellenic Religion and other religions. The main purpose of our Theology and sacred Mythology is the perfection of the human soul and comprehension of the divine worlds (to the maximum possible degree) through philosophy and exercise of virtues. Since there is no revealed truth but only rational and logical search there is no savior. Each one of us is expected to perform feats and achievements like the Labours of Hercules, purify his/her soul of all human passions so as to achieve his/her rising to the upper level – that of Heroes* and Demons*. We can neither expect nor hope of any external or superior help. If we insist on the expectation of saviors (divine or earthly ones) then we are leading ourselves to havoc. These are deceiving perceptions and ideas guiding our intellect to sleep so as not to resist anything and passively accept everything, even the selloff of our country.
In the theological approach of the Greek Religion we find no commandments given by the Gods but only the Delphic Maxims (as written by the seven sages of Greece or perhaps – according to some historians – popular proverbs) and Pythagoras Golden epics. These are not commandments that believers have to obey, but only philosophical advises dictating certain ways of human behavior and decision making, so that us mortals, in free will, can aspire the knowledge of our selves. In other words we have to identify the divine part of our entity, as according to our philosophical tradition humans are children of Gods and not earthly creations. Human soul is immortal and is to live many lives to gain experiences in order to become perfect. Free will is exercised for the kind and style of life to follow before coming for incarnation and also during lifetime. Exercising measure, recognition – acknowledgment and consequent awareness of mistakes and earthly passions, the control of emotions, feelings and instincts by the intellect as well as exercizing all vertues*, is the only way for the progress of the soul.
The basic position of Hellenic Theology and Philosophy is the equality of Gods and Goddesses. The Olympic Dodecatheon consists of six Gods and six Goddesses. Given this principle, of male and female element, complete harmony exists in the Cosmos. For this to work something is needed to unite, motivate and attract these divine entities with infinite bonds of friendship. That something is Eros. Law and Justice are also needed for the good function of the system. Finally a governor is needed to direct and coordinate the actions of Gods. Supreme Authority, Commander and Creator of the universe is Zeus, who as described in Hellenic Theology and given to us in the book of Plato “Timaeus” is the creative intellect. All other Gods are following implementing the decisions taken. Performing their duties they have to depart away from Him so as to deploy and exercise their provision upon all their creations. They return to him when all tasks are complete.
Our mind cannot perceive or understand what exactly Gods are as they are not material beings but we can come closer to their understanding through the texts. Being perfect cannot become any better, they lack nothing as they are self sufficient, conserve their position unchanged always being same. Absolute purity, the undivided, the unbiased cannot mix with the divided, dipped into matter and egocentric human species. Gods do not communicate with us. We have to turn our soul to them in order to achieve contact through our superior beings of, as mentioned earlier, Heroes and Demons. Our intellect is not in position to understand the work of the Gods, so we can have no participation to it.
Heroes: According to neo – Platonic philosophy Heroes are semi gods, a mix of Gods and the human species e.g. Achilles.
Heroes are incarnated to accomplish great acts and achievements and are characterized by superiority over humans. Using Eros, their goal is to benefit, assist and elevate the moral of human soul, during lifetime, so as to achieve perfection.
Demon: The one who possess knowledge
Myth: A story told (a tale) – NOT a fairy tale
Charioteer of Delphi: A statue found in the sanctuary of Delphi, near the temple of Apollo, (180 kms Northwest of Athens) presenting a charioteer on his two horse chariot (one white horse and one black horse).
According to the Hellenic Theology – Philosophy the human soul consists of three parts. The intellect, the emotional and the desiring part. The white horse represents our emotions while the black horse represents our instincts and desires. The charioteer has to control both horses so that the chariot can run in balance.
ΑΡΕΤΗ: The meaning of the word “APETH” (pronounced in greek “ARETI”)has been changed and distorted in the course of time, as every different race understands greek words according to its cultural background and mentality. Thus the word was translated in Latin as “Virtus”, a word that was later adopted by the British as “Virtue”.
The greek word “APETH” comes from the word “ΕΡΟΣ” also meaning continuous and eternal flow thus a product of Eros, desire and free will whereas its Latin version includes the word “VIR” meaning power. The deference is enormous as it implies forceful infliction by a superior authority.