OrangeOpal wrote:Basically, I’m wondering how polythiesm works, do polythiests believe in the two masculine and feminine energies, in ‘the’ Goddess and God, with the individual Gods and Goddesses existing too, seperate from them? Or are they seen as different interpretations of the Goddess and God? Or are ‘the’ Goddess and God not believed in at all?
The God and Goddess are not included in my personal practice whatsoever. This is not to say I don't 'believe' in them, necessarily. I know many pagans honor these deities, I don't mean to discount them entirely. But the concepts of a God and a Goddess as seen within much of modern paganism (the sun god and triple moon goddess you describe) are not ancient concepts. Again, I don't say this to discount them, everything was new at some point, yeah? But, it does mean that for a lot of us pagans who lean more to the reconstruction/revivalist side of things, this particular God and Goddess pair will not really ever factor in to our beliefs.
Which is also not to say the idea of all being aspects of one is a new concept, that itself is also quite ancient. The Metamorphoses of Apuleius shows this when Isis says she is known by many names in other lands. Ancient pagans often looked at other deities from other lands and said, well, that's X deity from our pantheon. Though at the same time, they also incorporated foreign deities into their pantheon, as if they were separate beings...
Either way, often it seems the split into 'masculine' and 'feminine' isn't emphasized as much when that is done. Many schools of Hinduism believe that all their deities are one (and some, that ALL are one, all of us, everything), but the divide into God and Goddess might be skipped. Same with some modern Egyptian reconstructionists, they believe all their deities are aspects of One, but there is no God and Goddess split with this, if that makes sense. But, all that said, there are also a great many polytheists who do not believe all deities are one. They see all deities as distinct, separate entities. Ancient paganism wasn't a monolith, there were so many different cultures, and individual schools of thought within those cultures, so many, many, many different beliefs and ideas were represented. The same can be said of modern paganism. What one polytheist beliefs might be quite different from another.
I sing of you, blessed, night-winged Dream, Messenger of things to come, greatest prophet to mortals, in the quiet of sweet sleep you come silently and speak to the soul.