Polytheism is the belief in more than one god. It also goes by the name paganism.
Historically, most pagans have believed there is one source from which everything emanates, including the gods. For this reason, the Hindu belief in many gods, while at the same time holding to some form of pantheism monism (oneness of everything, which may be termed god), can be held simultaneously. While many pagan traditions honor this unber-god, you might say, they nevertheless focus mostly on the "intermediate" spiritual powers, the gods, elements, spirits of places and objects and animals, and spirits of ancestors, most closely involved with this world in which we live.
- Paganism: Asatru [Norse], Druid, Greek, Roman, Native American, African, Mayan, Aztec, Inca, South Pacific, Shinto, Hindu
- Neopaganism, Technopaganism
- Integrational polytheism, Eclectic polytheism
Belief about God
Does God exist?
How do you describe God?
- There are many gods, not just one.
- Each god was created.
- They are finite -- not all-powerful or all-present.
- They are active in influencing human life & nature.
It is impossible to imagine the universe run by a wise, just and omnipotent God, but it is quite easy to imagine it run by a board of gods. If such a board actually exists it operates precisely like the board of a corporation that is losing money.
- H.L. Mencken (1880-1956)
Is there any kind of spirit world?
Belief about the world
Is there an overall plan or order behind nature?
No -- but the gods try to exert their wills over it.
Belief about humanity
Are human beings different from the rest of nature?
Yes, only humans have the potential to become gods also.
Where did we come from, & where are we going?
- We were created by the gods.
- Although history has no final end, every individual is immortal & will be rewarded or punished by the gods in the afterlife.
2.1 Beliefs about purpose
What is the overall purpose or meaning of humanity?
To serve and please the gods.
What is the main purpose or highest good for each individual?
To win the favor of the gods, which brings blessings in this life & in the afterlife.
Belief about ethics
How does one decide right & wrong?
By doing whatever one thinks the gods want.
Is it possible for humans to know truth?
What are legitimate sources of truth?
Through nature, miracles, intuition, experience, revelation from the gods, shamanism.
HYBRIDS: Mormonism, Satanism, veneration of saints (worshipping "Saints" of the church as if they were gods)
- Reference.com: Polytheism
- Beliefnet.com: 12 Things You Probably Didn't Know about Pagans
- Integrational Polytheism
- For a description of a polytheistic tv show, see The Almighty Johnsons