I can be a bit of a hellenic polytheist stereotype sometimes, and I love to contemplate the nature of the gods. Often I end up confusing myself and then saying, ‘oh it doesn’t matter because no mortal will ever know anyway’ and then I stop thinking about it for a while.
Yesterday I was listening to an interview on T. Thorn Coyle’s ‘elemental castings’ (one of the ridiculous number of pod-casts I listen to), and her interviewee said something along the lines of believing that the gods had three parts to themselves (upper middle lower) like we do. The other things he said didn’t really apply to me, and I did somewhat take his idea out of context, but it stuck with me.
The idea of there being three aspects to a god (which are all united and in fact not truly separate at all. To bastardize Sallustius a little, it’d be more like rays extending from the sun) really makes sense to me. The ‘lower’ aspect is the aspect that attends our rituals and communes directly with us. The almost ‘diluted’ bit of the gods that we can experience without bursting into flames.
Next is the ‘middle’ aspect. The bit where Zeus is sending rain and Poseidon is governing the seas. This is the combination of the three aspects to respresent the whole deity in their form as Zeus or Poseidon.
The final ‘upper’ aspect of the deity is that of pure divinity. The deity completely unhindered by archetype or cultural boxes of any kind. The part that is closest to the ‘source’. At this level, deities from different cultures that are most likely the same being known by different names (e.g Poseidon and Neptune) would be unified (in the same way that different facets of my personality may show to different people but overall I am still ME).
I really liked this idea and thought I’d share my ramblings. As I mentioned above…none of this matters. I will honour the gods in the same way regardless of how I view them. If I thought Poseidon was actually a huge monkey, I’d still honour him just the same. I don’t care if you are a soft, hard, medium or anything else polytheist. Just honour your gods! 😉