The archetypes are gods: Re-godding the archetypes, by John Halstead

“As Neopagan discourse moves increasingly in the direction of radical polytheism, those Humanistic or Naturalistic Neopagans who find this position rationally untenable may find themselves (more) marginalized in the Neopagan community. The pendulum which previously swung to the humanistic extreme by reducing the gods to symbols is now swinging to the other extreme of transcendental theism, denying that the gods are part of the human psyche.”

Humanistic Paganism

Put your thinking caps on today, boys and girls – this essay is worth it.  The critique of Neopaganism given here is provoking me to completely rethink the way I relate to the gods.  –  B. T. Newberg

We Neopagans often say that the gods are archetypes, but rarely do we hear how the archetypes are gods.

In the 1960s, Neopagans grabbed onto Jung’s conception of archetypes as a way of making polytheism seem legitimate in the modern world.  In the process, however, some Neopagans lost the sense of the gods as numinous.[1]

Psychologizing the gods

By psychologizing the gods, we have contributed to the ongoing disenchantment of the world which began with the Enlightenment.   We have humanized the gods, but in doing so, we have sometimes lost the sense of the gods as gods.

In reaction, many Neopagans in search of communion with the numinous Other have…

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