This is a fascinating concept to me – and it spans to those devoted to Gods of either gender, such as women worshiping male Gods and Males worshiping Female Goddesses and a mixed bag in between.
I think though, that call themselves ‘Monotheistic,’ is not the right terminology. I know, I think it’s just me.
I think they mean ‘henotheism.’ Being monotheistic is denying the existence of other Gods, except for yours. A henotheist, however – worships only one God but believes in the existence of other Gods as well as acknowledging their validity and power.
No, I’m not calling anyone ignorant, stupid, a moron, etc. Shit, I didn’t know about this until I began examining my own practices at its core. I’m sharing this for my own ‘holy shit,’ moment.
To quote Wikipedia:
“Henotheism is similar by less exclusive than monaltry because a monolator worships only one God (denying that others are worthy of worship), while the henotheist may worship any within the pantheon, depending on circumstances, although they usually will worship only one throughout their life (barring some sort of conversion). In some belief systems, the choice of the supreme deity within a henotheistic framework may be determined by cultural, geographical, historical, or political reasons.”
There are Celtic, Celto-Germanic, Hellenistic, Nordic, Hindu, Egyptian, and even more besides that are Henotheistic. Shit, I’m Henotheistic. It really doesn’t make anyone ‘less Pagan,’ because they’re a devotee to Dionysus, or to Freya, or to Cernunnos, or to Herne, or to Shiva, or to… Shit – INSERT NAME HERE.
Monotheists, believe in only one God with the general (I do have to put that here, because it depends on the actual religion) denial of other Gods. So like I said, worshiping only one Goddess or God does not make you less Pagan. Acknowledging the many Gods and their validity I wish was a fundamental part of our Pagan community. We are all soaking in our own dish-washing liquid, instead of bitching or pointing out how dirty the other person’s water is, why can’t we just talk dishes?
As a henotheist, I view Arta as part of a gigantic whole that is composed of many, many Gods the world over. Each and every one has a part to play, and a part of contribution that makes them vital – even if it’s a seemingly ‘menial’ task. I worship Arta, 99% of my work is devoted to Her, but I will always raise my rum glass and toast to the many other powerful, wise, and important Gods even if I do not understand, nor can relate.
So in conclusion, being henotheistic can be a powerful standpoint for any Pagan regardless of origin. Just some food for thought, is all.
In rum veritas… maybe….