I am making a conscious effort to become more polytheistic in my spiritual life, focusing less on the forms of any given tradition, and more on individual relationships with specific deities.
My first experience as a modern Pagan was a full moon ritual, based on the rituals in Starhawk’s The Spiral Dance. It was powerful, filling me with a sense of divine presence unlike anything I’d ever felt before. For years afterward, this was my primary mode of spiritual practice: eclectic Wiccan rituals, gradually replacing a general Goddess and God with names and imagery from the mythologies with which I was familiar.
This began to change when I first encountered Dionysos, and began relating to him as an individual, rather than as a manifestation of the Wiccan God. I started to feel the difference between the sense of divine presence, and the sense of the presence of a specific divinity. Since meeting Him, I have slowly developed two approaches to the spirit. One of them was a development of what I’d always done, and the other was based around the pursuit of a personal relationship with Dionysos.
Following the dissolution of my Central Valley Wicca coven a few years back, except for attending a few public rituals in the local community, I haven’t done much in the way of Wicca-style religion. My relationship with Dionysos, however, remains strong, and I’ve begun to feel the influence of other gods and spirits in my life. The generalized sense of divine presence is not as satisfying to me as it once was, nor is the lack of specific focus I find in so many public rituals.
I want that experience of encounter with a god. I’ve had the feeling that the other world is there, and now I want to know it through personal relationships with beings with names, personalities, and a solid sense of their own reality.
So I am embracing polytheism, consciously, deliberately, and with as fully as I can.