This week, I discovered the Pagan Blog Project – it’s essentially a blog challenge, focusing on Pagan stuff. I’m supposed to post every week (or every other week) on Friday about something pagan dealing with a specific letter, spending 2 weeks on each letter.
Since one of my goals is to be more consistent on the blog, I think this will help me and help make the blog better.
I chose Archetype for this first post.
Archetypes are sort of a . . . pattern for things.
Carl Jung defined archetypes as:
universal, archaic patterns and images that derive from the collective unconscious and are the psychic counterpart of instinct. (from Wikipedia)
What’s that got to do with modern Paganism?
If you look at different cultures through time, there are different themes that show up over and over.
The innocent, sweet, kind, young woman (maiden).
Wise old teachers, male and female.
Fathers, philandering husbands, and the Hero.
These days, when I read mythologies, I see the Gods/Goddesses as divine archetypes – examples and amplifications of human behavior.
There are still lessons to be learned in the ancient stories, from these archetypes.
I have been away from Pagan politics and the evolution of modern Pagan thought for some time now.
When I went to research and refresh my memory on a few things, I came up with several blogs/articles about people being down right angry about my point of view, as if seeing the Gods as archetypes somehow takes away their. . . divineness? God-ness?
I’m not going to link them, because I found them to be a little too . . . hidebound for me.
I fully admit that I’m not as religious as I used to be, in any sense of the word. I think what I think, I feel what I feel, I work my own way and don’t worry about how others do theirs. I don’t think everyone needs to follow my path, and mine has evolved over time.
Raised loosely in a Protestant Christian tradition, I do still think that there is something we don’t yet fully understand that may be called Divine.
I think every culture has tried to connect with this Divine thing in various ways.
I think our brains are finite, and so by nature cannot fully encompass the entirety of this thing.
And so, we create stories around the parts we can see/find. And as the stories grow, belief in the entity grows, and the entity becomes something new.
To me, using archetypes to define and describe the Gods is not sacrilege – it does not take away from divinity.
It creates a path to understanding of the Gods, of humanity, and of ourselves.