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.” from The Archetypes are Gods: Re-godding the Archetypes

I happened upon this article by accident today, but it touched on something I’ve noticed in some communities I used to frequent: that for many people in the community, their concept of deity and indeed their practice seems to boil down to therapy-dressed-in-myth. I find it difficult, many times, to sense a person’s connection to the Divine in the onslaught of colorful psychobabble. And I guess that sensing this connection is becoming important to me. Perhaps it’s a side effect of aging. More likely it’s just where I’ve emerged after the past seven years of spiritual cocooning. The therapy-in-mythic-journey work took me a long way, but I am seeking something more. I am seeking the magick and the mystery; the wonder and unknowing.

This emerging has been sort of a painful, isolating experience. Many of the people I used to be able to connect with have moved on to Buddhism and/or this psychologizing of the gods. Community doesn’t exist in the same places it did back in 1999, so finding like-minded folks is lonely work. I’m frankly at a loss – I used to be so good at finding community and now I really have no idea where to begin. They’re not in email groups anymore. They’re not using the internet to get together, at least not in any way I can track down. Websites are more professional, less personal. What’s an aging 90’s era Witch to do?

I’m not sure. Having lots of thinky-thoughts while reading “Isis Magic.” Maybe this is something I need to work through, some kind of life lesson. I find myself kind of retracing steps, going back to the Irish gods to see what they have to say, considering a revisiting of the Greeks, while still feeling the pull of Isis. Maybe this is a pagan mid-life crisis.

Back to the article, a final thought. Halstead sets this up as some kind of humanist v. theist conflict, warning of an isolating swing of the pendulum. Firstly, I don’t sense that, but more importantly, I really don’t buy into the duality of his assertion. I would rather be part of a community that has room for both humanists and theists… I just want to know where the theists have gone (and how to find them)!

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