The ancient Canaanites were polytheists. There are some interesting features in the Iluma (Canaanite pantheon) that may differ from other cultures’ deities, for instance our Divine Assembly (pukhru ilima), our doubled deities, our many deities with the title of “Baal,” foreign deities, the Rapi’uma (shades of the dead), deities of objects, syncretisms, and our reluctant associations with the main monotheistic religions of the world.
Polytheism means “the...worship of more than one god,” deities which are separate, individual and acting on their own in their own right. Polytheism generally does not include a belief in aspects of one whole: believe that all deities are aspects of one whole divine force is a form of monism, not polytheism. Monism means a philosophy that “reality is a unified whole and that all existing things can be ascribed to or described by a single concept or system.” Polytheism does not include dual aspects meant to represent balance: this is a dualist philosophy. Dualism is “The view that the world [or universe] consists of or is explicable as two fundamental entities.” (Definitions from The Free Dictionary.)
Polytheism is a belief in and/or knowledge of many deities who ensure the world keeps spinning, order is maintained, and goodness comes to humanity. The deities were real then, and they are real now; they are not constructs of the human mind.
For a short list of Canaanite deities, see my previous post on The Iluma: The Canaanite Pantheon.
The ancient Canaanites believed that the deities were larger and more powerful than humans, typically in a human-like form. They could on rare occasion take animal form: the Kothiratu, the seven goddesses of sexuality, are sometimes described as songbirds. A deity can have physical characteristics that differ from a human being’s, for instance sometimes ‘Anatu the warrior goddess is portrayed as having wings. Many deities are said to have “horns” but this is demonstrated as wearing horned helmets, not as in having horns sprouting naturally from the head, and the horns are those of a bull or a ram, typically not antlers like deer.