Monday, November 3, 2008

Yes! I Am A Neo-Pagan Polytheist!

Over at The Wild Hunt, Jason Pitzl-Waters reports on an AAR session on Polytheism in Practice. He tells us about David Miller's response to the presentations. Miller wondered if kathenotheism rather than polytheism might be a more accurate term to describe the diversity of new religious movements, including Neo-Paganism.

Kathenotheism, according to the Ethnographic Thesaurus, means:

The worship of one god at a time while accepting other gods exist.

Polytheism, according to the New World Encyclopedia, means:

Polytheism (from the Greek: polus, many, and theos, god) refers to belief in, or worship of, multiple gods or deities.

What an interesting distinction. Although I'm not so sure that it will aid practicing Neo-Pagans as much as the folks who study them.

What crosses my mind is that essentially postmodern spiritual movements constellate their deities and work by the illumination of those constellations of deities differently than more traditional or conventional movements have.

Time and number may become more relativistic, more of the moment's circumstances. Practitioners may, at need, shift their categorizations.

Here's the comment I left at The Wild Hunt:

But I am a polytheist. I have, in the best tradition of bricolage, put together my own Neo-Pagan metapantheon from the pantheons of several historical cultural traditions. And, once in a while, deities from other traditions have joined my metapantheon on their own.

It's probably accurate to say, though, that I do not allot equivalent weight and devotion to all the many deities of all the known pantheons. I do focus on the metapantheon that suits me and my practice.

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