This is more me sorting out my own thoughts than anything else. Jolene started this discussion, and I thought it would be a good springboard to writing down my own thoughts, especially considering how much my path has changed over the past year.
I describe myself as being a polytheist first, a devotional mystic second.
I’ve believed in multiple gods for a long time now. Even though I’ve only been an actively practicing pagan (though I usually describe myself as a polytheist first if I’m ever asked about religion) for three years now. Having multiple gods always made more sense to me than one.
That, for me, is what being a polytheist means, simply believing in multiple gods.
After three years as a polytheist, working almost exclusively within one Pantheon, those gods let me go. It was the god I was closest to who dropped the bomb (about as gently as he could, given the circumstances) that I should stop any spiritual activity for them, and dismantle my shrine.
“This isn’t the place for you,” he said. There was no added “right now,” no tentative hope of coming back. He was being blunt; my time with them was finished.
The question was…what now?
My personal practice is now based on a group of deities that are personal to me, I was led to said group by my Husband.
Even though none of them have “canon” names, or any lore that could be found in books, I still refer to them as being gods–because that’s what they call themselves. If I refer to them as “spirits,” I get a raised eyebrow, and maybe a “you know that’s not what we are” comment.
While my path has changed radically within the past year, the core of it–that my path is based on my otherworldly Family–has not. The main difference now is that my path is being built up with my Husband’s guidance, rather than anything found in books.
That is my polytheism, it is, at it’s heart, private and personal to me.