An oneiros, who gained apotheosis through capriciousness.

Foliat is a trickster figure, and may be founded on an archetype or early legendary figure, rather than on a real person. The truth on this point is immaterial—the process of emulation and reinforcement by avatars is the same. In legend Foliat and his/her avatars invent and give to the community many arts, crafts, and good things, and also take on and defeat various threats and enemies. On the other hand, they are given to violent, destructive rages, and to playing cruel practical jokes (which sometimes backfire). Among the reputed gifts of Foliat are included fire (stolen from Helios and carried in a hollow bamboo stem), bhang, and the secret of smelting. The stories of Foliat and his/her avatars are popular, especially with children, and form the basis of many favourite traditional plays, songs and dances.

In art and iconography Foliat is depicted as a lithe, athletic hermaphrodite, with androgynous build and features, small breasts, a vulva, a penis, and one testicle. He/she is shown with carrotty hair, fair skin, brown eyes, and freckles, and is usually nude or clad in a brief orange zoma. (See Gehennese local races.) In iconography, Foliat is usually depicted stealing fire, making a discovery (such as bronze), or presenting a gift to the world. In secular art he/she is more commonly shown performing some famous prank, or suffering the backfire of a practical joke. The symbols of Foliat are fire, the phœnix, and hemp.

Foliat is worshipped by artisans and artists, and particularly by craftsmen. An aberrant cult worships him/her as Foliat Demiourgos, the creator of the world. His/her avatars are inventors, craftsmen, and pranksters, sometimes even great leaders.

Foliat’s major realms are fire, trickery, and crafts. His/her minor realms are lust, disorder, volcanoes, and art.

Copyright © 1991 by Brett Evill. All rights reserved.