Polytheology

The•ol•o•gy: The field of study and analysis that treats of the gods and of their attributes and relations to the universe; study of divine things or religious truth; divinity.

The Nature of the Gods
The Gods are the powers that be, the forces that move and shape the Universe. They are both active parts of human life and distant beings influencing the shape of all existence.  Some have said that the Gods are not real, that they are in fact mere contrivances of the human psyche with no objective existence beyond our mortal minds. I wholeheartedly disagree. While it is true that the Gods’ names and imagery have been shaped by human minds, their raw power is very real and I believe it is really that raw energy that influences what names we hear for them and what imagery we associate with them. To my thinking, their jurisdictions were identified by humanity and given meaning to human life within varied cultural contexts; their unique constellations of influence were noted by human beings; but that does not mean that the interconnected yet distinct powers of the Universe were blipped into existence when we thought them up. That is ludacrious and makes me wholly uncomfortable. We may have crafted names for the Gods that reflected the aspects of their energy that we could witness at work in human life and recognized the Gods’ power but the power was always there and so was the intelligence behind those constellations of power.

The Scope of Their Influence
Individual Deities are not necessarily omnipotent and omniscient but they do have a bird’s eye view of and influence over infinitely more than any one human being existing in ordinary consciousness has. To state it in a somewhat childlike manner, they are big!

The Personalities of the Gods
Raw energy became dynamic powers became distinct sentient forces became the culturally unique, dynamic, and personified Gods. Different cultures recognized, worshiped, and supplicated different distinct sentient forces. This is why we have thousands of pantheons of Gods each containing a dozen or so to many thousands of Gods each. No matter the number of Gods, the Gods of various cultures are unique unto themselves (dare I say not unlike people who also evolve as a species, develop as individuals, and come into distinct personalities with age and experience). The Gods personalities were not created by us but developed in relationship to humanity. In their interactions with humans, they formed faces that we could know and understand and as a result develop relationships with, if we so choose.

Some Gods are more personable than others, some are more accessible to humans than others, and so on. How one would approach Mercury is different than how one might approach Kali Ma because they are different entities. It should be noted that although the Gods will indeed take on human attributes, they are still something “other” than human, by nature.

Communication Between the Gods
The Gods are individual and unique but they are not isolated. All of the Deities still know and communicate with one another, even across pantheons. When talking across pantheons, Gods with similar areas of jurisdiction may keep closer company than those with dissimilar spheres of influence. Also, those within the same pantheon may keep closer company with one another than they do with Gods from other pantheons. Remember, these comments are from a human perspective! This may appear to be the case because Deities from the same pantheon share a symbol system which is ultimately a system of meaning and thus a method of communicating with humans. However, it should be reiterated that despite the shared cultural context of one pantheon of Deities, they still know Deities from other pantheons and talk across pantheon “lines”. For instance, it was Mercury who connected me to Odin but Kwan Yin is unlikely to get Ares on the line for me so that I can talk to him (though it is not impossible!).

Access to the Gods
The Gods are at once personal and impersonal. They care about individual humans and their psycho-emotional and spiritual trajectories because those trajectories are ultimately part and parcel of the complex and dynamic whole. Our individual paths influence the trajectory of the Universe itself, and so the Gods concern themselves with each of us. In a nutshell, the Deities concern themselves with any and everything that matters and we all matter!

Are the Gods intensely and directly focused on every human being at all times? No.  Each of us might literally vaporize if even one God let alone all the Gods focused all of their immense power on us at one time. Instead, I believe it is more like a very large house in which I may occupy one room and the Gods are several rooms over. They know that I am in the house and I know that they are in the house; we are aware of one another. The Gods can hear me when I talk to myself, they know when I am hurt or upset, and so on. While they will not come running every time that I jump for joy or scrape my knee, they just might look up from whatever cosmic task they are attending to in order to train their awareness on my situation. If I am truly in need, they may shout from the other room to see how I am doing. If I really need their help, they may get up from their work table, current project in hand, walk down the hall, round the corner, and peak in through my room door for a split second and throw me a quick smile and a band-aid before darting back to their work room.

In my experience, the Gods typically do not get much closer than the doorway with any frequency and its usually for only a little while. It is at that doorway when we feel the vastness and profundity of their power very acutely! It can be a meaningful conversation with a deity, a revelation, a sense that a heartfelt offering has been well received, and so on. These types of moments usually provoke fuzzy feelings and oftentimes tears (at least for me).  It only gets better than that when I do heavy mystical work, like a Drawing Down. During these workings, it’s as if the Gods walk into the room, train a significant sliver of their attention on us for a significant moment, and reach out and touch us. That is one of the most powerful magical experiences possible from my perspective. These are moments of ecstasy for me, complete with tears, hot radiating energy oppressing the room, shortness of breath, and the feeling that the dermal layer of my skin is on fire!!

And so, the Gods can be near or not so near but they are never so far away that we cannot interact with them. To those who say that the Gods are too busy to chat it up with humans, I say that the Gods can multitask! They are powerful and large beings, they can probably do millions or billions (or trillions or zillions) of things at once. My random puerile question whispered in the night from a room three doors down may just be answered with a grin and a few words of wisdom between their larger divine projects.

The key is to be respectful of the Gods’ power and only request as much of their energy as you truly need at any given time. You don’t call a world-renowned gastrointestinal specialist for a little indigestion. You can, but you may not be a fan of the price tag attached to such repeated disrespect.

Due Sacrifice
I did not comment on this before because I feel it goes without saying but everything in this and the Otherworlds is about reciprocity. Do not take without giving. Offerings and sacrifices, they are the currency of the Worlds. The Gods generally accept incense, oil, honey, milk, mead, wine, and a host of other items if given properly. It is good to offer both in anticipation of a blessing to come and most definitely in appreciation for a blessing already received!

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