Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Phoenix LeFae, author of What Is Remembered Lives.

Phoenix LeFaeOne thing I know for sure is that there isn’t one true way to be a Pagan or a Witch. Our faith is a highly personal one; this is part of what makes it so potent. There is no person that stands between you and the Divine. In fact, you are the Divine. How beautiful! However, even with all the possibility and permission, it is still important to have some foundational practice when embarking on modern polytheism.

Polytheism, simply stated, is the belief in many Godds* (I use this spelling to denote a more gender-full option for deity) In my personal practice I work with several deities that are all from different parts of the world. My flavor of polytheism isn’t stuck to one pantheon, but allows for a broad rainbow of possibilities. And in that potential there are still important “rules” that I follow.

History
The good thing about historical records is that they give a starting point. The bad thing about historical records is that they are written by the victor and are often wrong or very misleading. History is only one part of the equation. You also need to look at culture and context. The Godds were born in cultures very different than our modern one. We can’t ever fully understand that because we see everything with our modern lens. But learning culture, context, and history will give you a firm foundation for having a relationship with a deity.

Experience
When working with deities your personal mileage may vary from another practitioner. Brigid may show up for one person as a calm and tender healer, but may show up for another person as a no-nonsense blacksmith. Neither are wrong and both are right. Allow your personal experiences with Godds to expand what you have learned about history and culture.

It’s also wise to compare your personal experiences with other modern practitioners. There isn’t one right answer, so don’t think that your experience needs to match perfectly with what someone else has said. It doesn’t. But when you find similar words, phrases, energies, feelings, or images, you may find that it is easier to connect into the spirit of that deity.

Grains of Salt
Don’t believe everything you read or are told. Even books that are considered gospel on mythology can be wrong. Many practices that were once considered the one true way have been debunked or proven to be the made up liturgy of one person. It’s just a good practice to take anything with a grain of salt.

Modern polytheism doesn’t have one book, one set of rules, or one ruling Priestess caste. It is a growing and evolving practice based on very individual beliefs. As with all spiritual practices your mileage may vary. Have fun in the exploration.


Our thanks to Phoenix for her guest post! For more from Phoenix LeFae, read her article, “Courting Relationships with Spiritual Allies.”

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Written by Anna
Anna is the editor of Llewellyn's New Worlds of Body, Mind & Spirit, the Llewellyn Journal, and Llewellyn's monthly newsletters. She also blogs, tweets, and helps maintain Llewellyn's Facebook page. In her free time, Anna enjoys crossword puzzles, Jeopardy!, being a grammar geek, and spending time ...