Lately, as I’ve come more in contact with the Hard Polytheist community, I’ve become more sympathetic to that view.

Moreover, I’m inclined in my current practice to be a Hard Polytheist when addressing the Gods.

That being said, I’ve also been re-reading Scott Cunningham’s Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner, and I’ve brought the knowledge of the last 16 years of my life to the game this go-around.

I cannot deny that there’s something intuitively appealing about the idea of the Gods being Faces of some kind of Divine Nature.

Moreover, when it comes to a matter of magical operations, it’s not a matter of what is true or false in terms of theory; what matters is the result. Does the method work? That is the question.

However, many people find the idea that all the gods and goddesses of history are really just names for one great big God and one great big Goddess is superficial, ridiculous, or incongruent with what they’ve actually experienced.

Where I would counter is that it’s certainly not Wiccans who invented the idea of syncreticsm or that different deities were, in fact, the same deity mentioned by many names- it seems this was a popular thing to do with the goddess Isis in the ancient Hellenic world, whereby various Greek goddesses were identified as truly being Isis.

So that really poses a problem- how can we discern which gods and goddesses are established and exist as opposed to which ones are, in fact, different names for the same deities?

Certainly the Roman deities generally seem to be the Greek deities renamed, or at the very least, the Romans syncretized heavily their deities with the Greek gods and their mythology.

I digress.

Generally speaking, I think that all things are ultimately manifestations of the same kind of energy or Being or Potential Being or what have you that some would refer to simply as “God,” and so I think that the references to “God” and “Goddess” theologically could well be representative of some sort of “Meta-Deity.”

In other words, there’s a truth that all the goddesses and gods of history are the same- at a deeper level, they originate from the same Energy or Principle- but they, in and of themselves, are individuals in the way that we humans are individuals but are still human and made out of the same “human-ness.”

Years ago, I ran into a similar situation where I saw a competition between the idea of Nirvana and the use of Low Magic- whereby one seemed only to bolster the Ego while the other was the Ultimate Goal, and one would always be compromised for the other.

The solution came as I aged out of my teenaged years and realized that we exist on several levels simultaneously. We simultaneously have concerns about deep spirituality as well as how to pay bills and whether or not we’ll find enough friends and someone to love. So the goals are, in fact, not at odds.

Either way, with the Divine, I now walk a path of greater humility- who am I to tell the Divine what and how to do anything? That doesn’t mean I take things lying down, though; my words are heard, my thoughts expressed, my spiritual practice a consistent aspect of my life.

So far, the deities who have expressly worked with me that I can verify are Hera and Aphrodite. I did call Hecate one night along with Dionysus and asked for their blessings, but I cannot say that they manifested in the same way as Hera and Aphrodite.

Also, I seem to largely be geared toward honoring one deity at a time, which is to say that in a Circle cast, honoring ONE deity and not two or more is the best way to approach things.

Anyway, yes. The solution is that we have to throw away our systems of extreme dichotomy, of the either-or- EITHER the gods are real in terms of being external, OR they’re a part of our mind manifesting. Perhaps it’s “both, and.”

It isn’t that Archetypes are strictly part of the mind- perhaps they’re part of the cosmos itself, and the Gods are part of that.

One thing I do know that- the Gods I’ve called do NOT appreciate being referred to as “just” archetypes or “Just” parts of the unconscious mind or treated as such- they will refuse to answer when that kind of hubris comes from me.

Next blog, I’ll talk about how this relates to Christianity and the conception of the Divine there.

Steve

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