Gods as energy
Most ancient religions did not have such a “black and white” outlook of their gods. Often the gods held within them some sense of duality, and most gods had some sort of flaw that often got them into trouble (think of Oden’s womanizing (more often raping), and Prometheus’ punishment for wanting to enlighten humanity with the “fire of the gods”, even though it was forbidden). In the beginning even Christianity gave their God faults, the Old Testament is full of phrases like “I am a jealous god”, and I think we can all agree he had a bit of a temper. I mean, was wiping out humanity with a flood really the mature thing to do? Then suddenly in the New Testament, he is far more peaceful and loving, no longer the wrathful god that demanded sacrifices, he is now meant to be known for peace and forgiveness.
There are the obvious similarities between Horus and Jesus, and I believe the grieving Isis was transformed into the grieving Virgin Mary (but that’s just my humble opinion). Set has been melded with others (often it seems to be the trickery of Loki) to become the deceiver that we know now as Satan. Ancient goddesses such a Lilitu and Ishtar are no longer the goddesses of power, strength and femininity that they once were. Now they are thought of as frightful demons like Astaroth and shrieking whores like Lilith. In the sad case of Lilitu’s, she has now been all but forgotten by the modern Christian religion.
All of this has been well documented and well theorized upon, by minds far more intelligent than mine. But, the thought that I believe now bares consideration is; what if these similarities go a step farther? Perhaps there is a reason that certain personalities or archetypes have been so well absorbed and accepted through the ages. Perhaps there is more to it that just making a few name changes and then forcefully converting believers. Perhaps, these archetypes exist naturally for all of us.
My theory is that if we remove ourselves from the idea that all of these deities are “literal” creatures, as in anthropomorphic and made of physical “matter”, then a few avenues of thought begin to open up to us. Perhaps rather than seeing these beings as literal deities, we should see them as currents of energy. These deities as we know them may simply be symbolic representations of the forces and the energies that surround us. After all, human history was originally an oral tradition, and things like symbolism, and images of powerful, beautiful, or frightful creatures have a habit of clinging to our memories.
This doesn’t make the “deities” any less powerful, in fact I think it does the opposite. It makes them essentially a force of nature. Similarly, I believe that a working knowledge in chaos magic(k) (if you are unfamiliar start with Peter Carroll) actually gives credence to this path. If these deities are essentially energies that have existed on this earth for (quite possibly) longer than we have, and we are of this earth and made of essentially the same energies then not only would it be beneficial to strengthen our “connection” and our understanding of these energies but also we have the ability to master and enhance these energies in ourselves.
Currently this is just a theory of mine, and I am still pursuing research that may prove me right or wrong, but for now I thought I’d get the basic outline on paper. If you have any ideas or suggestions please share them =)