If I could zap one word from the pagan vocabulary, it would be “archetype.”
Don't ask me what it means. When I press people for a definition, they're mostly hard-put to provide one. So far as I can tell, archetypes seem to be something like Platonic Ideas.
If so, what does it mean to say that the gods are archetypes?
Me, I'm an Old Style Pagan. I worship (to name only some) the Sun, the Moon, the Storm, Earth, Sea, the Winds. Whatever it is that They may be (when asked “What is a god?” the poet Simonides replied, “I find that the more I think about the question, the more opaque it becomes”), it doesn't seem to me to be in any way meaningful to say that they're archetypes.
Whatever that may be.
Craft historian Michael Howard has contended that the reductionist tendency to regard the gods as archetypes—essentially, as parts of ourselves—has actually stood in the way of entering into any sort of real relationship with Them.