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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Archetypes

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  • Virginia Carper
    Virginia Carper says #
    I am, I suppose a "literal polytheist,. I do have a problem with the idea that somehow we are taking over Paganism, because we ha
  • Scott
    Scott says #
    When I look at Jung's Red Book I am in awe of how individualistic his encounter with the gods seemed to me. And yet, he described
  • John Halstead
    John Halstead says #
    Yes, Jung's is a very individualistic approach. I think we have shared archetypes (although we may call them by different names);
  • Scott
    Scott says #
    Oh BTW...I do believe that those of us who think the gods are part of psyche but also transcend us are an offshoot of the contempo
  • John Halstead
    John Halstead says #
    I agree that Jungian psychology lends itself to a kind of post-theism. It is a new religion, but one which is familiar to many Ne

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This past summer, Morpheus Ravenna delivered the keynote speech at the Many Gods West polytheist conference. Her speech was entitled, "Deep Polytheism: On the Agency and Sovereignty of the Gods". It was later published at polytheist.com, and I encourage you to read it in its entirety. I’ve been meaning for some time to write a response to Morpheus’ speech, for a couple of reasons. First, I am always interested in the intersection of Jungian psychology and polytheism. In fact, it was the pairing of these ideas in Margot Adler's 1979 Drawing Down the Moon that drew me to Paganism in the first place. Second, I think Morpheus is one of the most interesting polytheist writers out there, and I am often surprised at how much of what she writes I agree with. Her keynote speech was no exception.

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  • Billybareblu
    Billybareblu says #
    Another great article concerning these concepts.
  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    Thank you. Insightful, clear, and helpful!

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

I recently came across these five questions posed to "Pagans who believe that the Gods are merely psychological archetypes and are created by the mind of [hu]man[s]." I will answer each in turn. (But first, let me say that I object to prefacing the word psychological with the word "merely" -- something I've written about before here.)

1. Do you believe that the Gods can assist you with anything physical in nature? If so how can the Gods assist you with anything physical in Nature given that they are only psychological?

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Over at the blog Son of Hel, Lucius Svartwulf Helsen has written a 3-part response to my post, "The Disenchantment of Hard Polytheism".  Helsen's series is entitled "Let's Disenchant the World".  Here I will respond to Part 2 of Helsen's series.

Helsen argues that the gods are “objective, discrete, and separate beings”.  I’ve explained in Part 1 and in my original post about "The Disenchantment of Hard Polytheism", why the “separate and distinct” language is problematic.  More recently, I’ve written about how we confuse the question of the objective existence of the gods and the question of their subjective meaning — as if something must objectively exist for it to have subjective meaning. If you want to read more on those issues, follow the links above.  

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Over at the blog Son of Hel, Lucius Svartwulf Helsen has written a 3-part response to my post, "The Disenchantment of Hard Polytheism".  Helsen's series is entitled "Let's Disenchant the World".  Here I will respond to Part 1 of Helsen's series.

Helsen begins by describing the two "camps" within Paganism: the archetypalists and the hard polytheists:

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"God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him. How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers? What was holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet owned has bled to death under our knives: who will wipe this blood off us? What water is there for us to clean ourselves? What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we have to invent? Is not the greatness of this deed too great for us? Must we ourselves not become gods simply to appear worthy of it?"

-- Nietzsche, The Gay Science (1882)

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

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Every so often, the devotional polytheistic community comes up with a new way to try to distinguish gods from archetypes.  In the past, terms like "real", "literal", or "separate" have been emphasized.  Now it's "agents".  The gods have agency while archetypes do not -- so the argument goes. 

One of the most visible exponents of this idea has been Morpheus Ravenna. Morpheus has written two essays -- here and here -- about this issue, and more recently delivered the keynote speech at the Many Gods West polytheist conference: "Deep Polytheism: On the Agency and Sovereignty of the Gods" (which I urge you to read in its entirety).  Morpheus argues that "if your Gods are real to you, treat Them like beings with agency." Agency, she says, is "the capacity of an entity to act ... something like will."  This, she says, is what makes gods distinct from archetypes.  And, on this point, I have to disagree with her.

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  • Henry Buchy
    Henry Buchy says #
    Just a point of information regarding this quote-" 'In one passage (I believe in the volume _Alchemical Studies_) Jung argues that
  • John Halstead
    John Halstead says #
    Thanks for the reference to O'Neill. I'll check it out.
  • Billybareblu
    Billybareblu says #
    Very good and thought provoking article John. This is one of those subjects that will be difficult for individuals to wrap their

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