Blogger Teo Bishop has challenged us to write our own Pagan theology; I think I’m up for that challenge. My own beliefs seem to sweep by like a the ocean as seen from a ship: some aspects rush in with great power but vanish just as quickly, while points land masses in the distance don’t tend to move much at all.
The gods are, plain and simple, unknowable to the meaty bits in my head. Our attempts to explain, categorize, and anthropomorphize them are impossible to verify through our senses, and are filtered to the limited lens of language. It could be that all gods are one god, faces and aspects of a vast, incomprehensible One; they might also be separate and distinct entities.
Truth is, I no longer care. We Pagans are a brainy bunch, full of philosophy and analysis. Religion, though, involves faith, and faith sometimes asks that we believe in things without understanding them. (What faith does not ask of me, at least, is to ignore new information which might help me understand things better. See science.)
Paganism is a lot like Google in that it offers an infinite number of choices, and damned few tools to help whittle them down. While I acknowledge that all truths are true, even false truths, I have had to focus on beliefs down to a single practice relating to specific, ancient pantheon. Until I did, my thoughts were entirely of abstraction, and my beliefs were broad, but not deep. My practices were somewhat Wiccan, but I didn’t have faith.
Once I understood that it was time for me to commit to a singular path, I discover that I have lost nothing. My relationships with my gods are deeper, and my experiences — even when I utilize the tools of another religion, such as a sacred circle or silent worship — are more profound. For me, specificity helped me anchor, and gave me a lens through which to view my world.
That’s my theology in a nutshell: the more specific my beliefs, the more powerful my divine relationships. It doesn’t include much about my gods and practices; I see theology as the distant hills I see from the ship, the mountains beyond the shore that change, but ever so slowly. My beliefs are more like the beaches and the fish in the water; they belong in a statement of faith, which is yet to be written.