This fantastic article appeared on the Witches’ Voice this week: Soft Polytheism: Cultural Appropriation for a New Age, by BellaDonna Saberhagen .
Venerating all gods as “aspects” of your gods is insulting to the intelligence of your ancestors. It insinuates that the concept of “One Goddess” and “One God” was too complex for their uneducated brains and therefore they had to break them down into simpler pieces. This would be believable if the gods they believed in had one-dimensional personalities and never crossed paths in mythology. However, the myths paint the gods as very complex individuals with their own driving wants, needs and ambitions. If the myths only ever showed one god and one goddess interacting with each other at any given time, this thought could be forgiven, but that is not the case.
This is something that I have taking more and more issue with lately as I become more established in my Roma Religio, Especially when dealing with my Wiccan friends. Put simply, don’t tell me that my gods and goddesses are simply “aspects” of your “Great God and Great Goddess.” Aside from apparently suggesting a bit of laziness on Gardener’s part when he invented Wicca, and the fact that Wiccan duotheism essentially adds a spouse to a newage-ish version of Yahweh, it’s really condescending to be told that your gods are actually just bits of someone else’s. Or as I put it in my e-mail of praise to BellaDonna, my gods and goddesses are not your god and goddess playing dress-up.