Iamblichus, Divine Theurgist (Might 30)
“Most Divine Iamblichus” as he is referred to by neo-Platonists is the ‘second founder’ of the philosophical school of neo-Platonism, reintroducing theurgical practices (which he called the ‘Egyptian Mysteries’) into it. He lived during the rise of the dominion and his views, to the hermetic eye, convey an understanding of the realms rare in authors of this period. Theurgy within the order of Hermes is deeply influenced by his teachings.
In the worldview of Iamblichus the purpose of the soul is to perform “godlike action” (theurgy) to commune with the higher magical and divine powers of the cosmos and thus receive grace. In his paradigm the soul itself is incapable of divine ascent simply by meditation and thinking – it is the actions of the embodied soul which allows the mortal soul to touch the divine.
Ideally the theurgist aims to replace his personal Daemon, his guardian spirit, with a powerful god or spirit and to follow the guidance and example of that spirit so closely that there ceases to be distinction between the actions of the god and the actions of the man, and in ways between the god and the follower entirely. This practice is essentially becoming a spirit votary (see RoP:Magic) but is also similar to binding a daimon as a familiar which is done by some hermetic theurgists.
He pioneered a way of viewing the world in which pagan gods and spirits were identified with abstract concepts and principles but subservient to ‘the One’ (the neo-Platonic concept of the Divine). Students of hermetic theurgy recognise in his writings the roots of aspects of hermetic theory.
Iamblichus is the originator of the term ‘Synthemata’ used by hermetic theurgists, though the concept long predates him.
For Iamblichus theurgy is a religious practice and the theurgist must be both virtuous and wise. He is a patron of worthy theurgists and is invoked as much for his wisdom as for any power that might be gained. He can teach magi the secrets of holy magic and some holy abilities, though few hermetic magi desire this.
He appears as he did in life – an Arab man of advanced years dressed in the robes of a philosopher.
Characteristics: Int +9, Per +2, Pre +5, Com +7, Str 0, Sta 0, Dex 0, Quik 0
Personality Traits: Pious +5, Teacher +3, Humble +1
Combat: Brawl: Init 0, Attack 0, Defense 0, Damage 0
Wound Penalties: –1 (1-5), –3 (6-10), –5 (11-20), Banished (21-25)
Abilities: Philosophiae (neo-Platonism) 14, Magic Lore 11, Dominion Lore 7, Infernal Lore 3, Synthemata Magia 16, Holy Magic 5
Divine Theurge, variable points (Init -10)
Iamblichus can perform any theurgy spell at a cost of 1 point per three levels of magnitude. He will only perform this service if he deems it to be for pious reasons, not for the sake of power.
Teach Holy Magic, 5 points
When invoked as part of an induction into Holy Magic Iamblichus can add +5 to the initiation total.
Teach Theurgy, 5 points
When invoked as part of an induction into hermetic theurgical mysteries Iamblichus can add +5 to the initiation total.
Teach Holy Powers, 5 points
When invoked as part of an induction into Invocation, Adjuration, or Ceremony Iamblichus can add +5 to the initiation total.
Draw Out the Hidden Truth, 2 points (Init 0)
Iamblichus can compel a single truthful answer from a supernatural being within 100 yards so long as this effect penetrates. This can even compel truth briefly from a demon.
Aegis of the Enlightened, 8+ points (Init -10)
Iamblichus will only grant this power to holy theurgists who invoke him as a patron. Any believer not in a state of sin in his presence (100 yards radius) is imbued with magic resistance. This is 20 points by default, but for every additional might point spent can be increased by 5. This magic resistance cannot be voluntarily lowered. The resistance lasts as long as each individual remains in a state of grace. If they commit a mortal sin it fails them at once and does not return. This resistance does not stack with other forms of magic resistance.
Sacred Theurgy: Neoplatonic Theurgy for Holy Magi
Though rare there are a few Holy Magus theurgists, mostly neo-Platonists and one or two renegade Invicti who broke away from their core doctrine. These magi practice holy magic in conjunction with theurgy as a means of spiritual growth and enlightenment. The theurgical spells of purely magic-aligned theurgists are useless to them but they can still invoke daimons by a similar means using holy magic principles. Holy Theurgists always have the holy powers Adjuration and Invocation and usually the Ceremony ability as well.
Rather than using an ‘Invoke the Pact of Daimon ’ ritual spell holy theurgy uses a level 25 ReVi formulaic spell (this must penetrate the magic resistance of the Daimon) as given below:
Invoke the Sacred Pact of (Daimon) ReVi 25 (Invocation, Adjuration)
R: Holy Connection D: Momentary T: Individual
This spell summons the aspect of a daimon to which the magus has a holy connection. It uses the holy magic methods of Adjuration and Invocation so the magus must have these abilities.
(Base 5, Holy Connection +4)
To acquire a holy connection the holy theurgists must perform a special religious rite that allows them to commune with the divine mind and through it the Daimon being invoked. This takes the form of a special type of ritual spell available to any Holy Magus with the Hermetic Theurgy virtue:
Form the Sacred Connection to (Daimon) ReVi general
R: Arcane Connection D: Momentary T: Individual
This holy magic ritual spell acts as a mean to create a holy connection between the theurgist and a Daimon. The true name of the Daimon or some other arcane connection is required. The level of the ritual must be twice the might of the Daimon and must also be able to penetrate. So long as the theurge remains spiritually pure, does not act against the wishes of the Daimon, and does not form a holy connection to another Daimon this connection lasts indefinitely.
Holy theurgists cannot accrue summoning points through multiple rituals as normal theurgists can but must create the holy connection with a single spell. Usually to invoke a powerful Daimon the holy theurgist will need a group of acolytes to assist him by adding their scores to his casting total with the ceremony ability. If ceremony is used all participants gain a holy connection to the Daimon but if any lose it so do all other participants. As with other holy magic long-term fatigue may be substituted for some of the vis in the ritual. The great advantage of holy theurgy is that once the holy connection is formed the theurge may summon their patron Daimon very easily with a non-ritual spell. If this is done too often, however, it will be considered acting against the Daimon and break the holy connection.
You can also read this post here: https://lexhermetica.wordpress.com/2019/11/05/iamblichus-30-daimons-for-november-5/