This article is about deities or gods from a non-montheistic perspective. See God for information about the monotheistic entity.
A postulated supernatural entity, a deity (from Latin, deus, "god"), or a god, is usually, but not always, of significant power, worshipped, held in high regard, or respected by humans. Traditionally, most gods have been assumed to possess intellects, desires, and emotions much like the human beings who believe in them. Such natural phenomena as lightning, floods, storms, and other "acts of God" are attributed to them, and they are often thought to be the authorities or controllers behind every aspect of human life (such as birth or the afterlife). Some deities are asserted to be the directors of time and fate itself, and to be responsible for the existence of the Earth or the universe.
In the English language, the common noun "god" is equivalent to "deity", while "God" (capitialized) is the name of the unique deity of monotheism.
In Buddhism sentient beings in God realm are referred to as gods. They, however, are not normally worshipped. They are said to have total control of their realm of Samsara and do not engage in disputes with beings apart from Asuras (Titans) when latter ones create a provocation.
Polytheism is a belief in a multitude of gods, not necessarily all possessed of equal power. Different forms of polytheism state different numbers of gods, ranging from the dozens to the thousands. It is likely that the best known polythistic belief is Roman mythology.
Animism is the belief that spirits inhabit every existing thing, including plants, minerals, animals and, including all the elements, air, water, earth, and fire. The first form of worship probably expressed animist ideas. The anthropologist E. B. Tylor argued that religion originally took an animist form. Dualism, sometimes also called Manichaeism (although, strictly speaking, Manichaeism is but one dualistic religion), holds that there is both a perfectly good God and an opposing evil deity of equal potency. It is the belief that there are only two fundamental things or substances or constituents of things in the world at large or in the human soul. An example would be that both good and evil simultaneously exist and that one cannot survive without the other. That they balance each other even though they are independent of each other. An ancient form of Zoroastrianism which was known to the ancient Greeks was dualist in nature
Monolatrism forms a type of henotheism. Its adherents believe that many gods do exist, but these gods can exert their power only on those who worship them. Thus, a monolatrist may believe in the reality of both the Egyptian gods and the god described in the Bible, but sees him or herself as a member of only one of these religions. The gods that he/she worships affects their life; the other gods do not.
Henotheism is the worship of one god as supreme, yet also the acceptance that other gods exist. It is a variation of polytheism. In this view the other gods are ancillary and don't have the same level of "god-ness". Some forms of Greek and Roman classical polytheism may fall into this category. The gods of Norse mythology, who are subsidiary to Odin may be considered an example of henotheism. Some pagans of the Roman Empire were henotheistic, as are some modern-day Neopagans. Some sects of Hinduism possibly fall under this, but are more appropriately termed monist deists.
Neopaganism allows for diverse personal beliefs about the nature of God. There is little specific dogma. Most Neopagans hold a Polytheistic, duotheist, pantheistic or panentheistic belief, often with some elements of Animism. Among Neopagans, and especially Wiccans, God is commonly expressed through the duality of the Goddess and the Horned God. However, there are those Pagans who align themselves with the Left-Hand Path. Such Pagans are generally autotheists, believing that they themselves are gods or can become gods.
While on the surface neopagans worship many gods, many practice a kind of monotheism, believing "all gods are One God". Many others practice duotheism, for example in many forms of Wicca all gods are considered aspects of the Lord, and all goddesses aspects of the Lady.
Most heathens consider themselves strict polytheists, but some are duotheists, animists, or even monotheists.
Most Neopagan traditions, such as Wicca, believe in both male and female deities. A few (especially Dianic Wicca) see the Divine as entirely feminine, and call her the Goddess.
Neopagans teach that communication from the gods is usually direct and experiential, and do not have the concepts of "scripture", "prophet" or "revelation" in the sense used by the Abrahamic religions. Divine messages are believed to usually be given directly to the person or persons for whom they are meant. In some traditions, a ritual sometimes considered revelatory is called Drawing Down the Moon, in which a high priestess (or sometimes High Priest) invokes the Goddess and speaks by Divine inspiration to an assembled coven. This ritual occurs most commonly in the Wiccan traditions.jordans for sale dress