A brilliant exploration of a theory that is too often looked down upon by (especially) younger neopagans.
Originally posted on The Allergic Pagan:
Do we worship the same gods?
Over at Patheos, Star Foster recently published an interesting post on the “Problem of the Personal Experience”. In it she explains that she recently turned down the opportunity to edit a devotional anthology to the god Hephaistos, who she worships. She writes: “The reason I couldn’t do it is because I have very strong personal relationship with Hephaistos. And all of those submissions bore little relevance to my personal relationship to him.” She goes on to explain that many of the submissions were beautiful, but she could not relate to them. To give some context, Star is a hard polytheist or deity-centered Pagan who believes that Hephaistos “truly exists” in the same way that evangelical Christians, for example, believe in their God, and she has developed a personal relationship with Hephaistos.
Although Star didn’t take her essay in this direction, I think her experience raises interesting questions about the objectiveness of polytheistic deities. Now, mind you, I know many polytheistic Pagans have had the opposite experience. In fact, one person, Anthony Hart-Jones, said so in the comments. Anthony writes that he developed a personal relationship with the Morrigan. When Anthony met another person who followed the Morrigan, he says their “mental images” bore only a passing resemblance, but the “personality” was the same.