“Come to me, Julianos, for without you, my wit is weak to sort the wheat from the chaff, and my eyes should neither know the true from the false, nor sense from folly, nor justice from prejudice and interest.”
I have to admit that I’ve not paid as much attention to Julianos as I have some of the other Divines. Some of this is because I tend to spend my time on other gods, but some of it is also due to his bailiwick being that of Law and Order (or so I thought) and much as I like TV shows with that name I was not particularly interested in deities who oversee such things…unless they are also involved in upholding ma’at.
I say was in that last bit because the things I’ve learned about Julianos in researching this post have changed my mind a bit. Or, rather, the things I’ve learned have convinced me that there is more to Julianos than meets the eye. You see, Julianos’ purview includes that of wisdom, and history, and literature, and contradiction. Oh, and magic – it is not uncommon for those who work magic to call on him for aid, or to worship him. But…a god of contradiction? That’s an interesting concept to explore, really.
There are a number of definitions for contradiction, and I won’t list all of them here because my readers are perfectly capable of their own acts of Google-fu. I will give you my favorite one, though: logical incongruity; a situation in which inherent factors, actions, or propositions are inconsistent or contrary to one another – Merriam-Webster.com. Aside from the fact that I enjoy the sound of ‘logical incongruity’ when it is said aloud, there’s something that tickles me about logic being out of whack, so to speak.
Including contradiction in Julianos’ bailiwick makes sense when I consider the other things he presides over – wisdom, literature, law, and history are all areas in which contradiction is standard. It’s routine for one piece of wisdom to contradict another, for example, or for laws to be contradictory. I’d even take it a step further and say that exploring contradictions leads to greater understanding since you are taking all angles into account…which, ultimately leads to greater knowledge and, dare I say it, wisdom.
Julianos’ decree to man and mer is to “Know the truth. Observe the law. When in doubt, seek wisdom from the wise.” – Ten Commands: Nine Divines. I like this decree, especially the bit about observing the law; note that he does not say OBEY. Observing the law includes understanding how it works both on paper and in the world around you…and recognizing that all things have the potential to reach failstate. Observe, if you will, the law of frisk as case-in-point.
As I mentioned earlier, I do not worship Julianos and, at this point in my life, I probably won’t be adding him to my regular pantheon. However, I can say he is one who upholds ma’at, even though he may not know the word itself. Writers, lawyers, advocates, scholars, and anyone who works with written or spoken language might do well to look on Julianos as a possible patron, and those who use magic routinely may benefit from calling on him. I also have a hunch that Julianos is one of those deities for whom actions are the best offerings; dedicate your work (life’s or otherwise) to him and I’m certain he’ll be pleased.