Polytheism in Wicca

I’m still seeing people assuming that all Wiccans are duotheists. In my experience, this is simply not the case.

Wiccans can be polytheist, animist, pantheist, monist, duotheist, atheist/archetypalist, or “all of the above depending on the day”. That’s why we need a theologically inclusive practice.

Most Pagans believe that the divine is, or deities are, immanent in the world; and that includes most Wiccans.

This theological diversity works in ritual settings as long as everyone can “translate in their head” and have a certain amount of flexibility as to practice and the wording of rituals.

I am a Wiccan and a polytheist, and I do not believe that the gods are merely archetypes. I believe the gods are real and have agency. I am not sure if the gods are made of energy or consciousness or both, but I am sure that they are distinct identities.

Some years ago there was a flap about “Wiccanate privilege“. People were (rightly) complaining because public Pagan rituals were increasingly becoming duotheist-Wiccan-flavoured. I agreed that there should be more diversity in public Pagan ritual — not least because, as a polytheist Wiccan, I object to the notion that all Wiccans are duotheists (not helped by the number of popular books on Wicca that perpetuate this idea).

I’ve also seen assumptions that all polytheists are devotional polytheists. Nope — I’m a relational polytheist. Whilst the gods are important, because they are the consciousnesses of specific places and natural phenomena, they are not more important than the ecosystem, Nature, the Earth, and other species who share the planet with us.

As a relational polytheist, I feel that it is our job to focus on right relationship with other beings, starting with other animals, including humans, and with the ecosystem in which we live, of which the deities are the conscious emanations.

So, whatever your theological persuasion, please don’t assume that all Wiccans, all polytheists, or even all theists, have the same theological perspective (or, for that matter, the same perspective on gender, sexuality, or any other issue). We are all individuals.


If you enjoyed this post, you might enjoy my books, Dark Mirror: the inner work of witchcraft and The Night Journey: witchcraft as transformation.

6 thoughts on “Polytheism in Wicca

    • Yeah I think relational polytheism rocks — the term was coined by Aine Llewellyn and Niki Ruggiero-Whiting.

      Being a theology nerd, I’ve done several mini surveys of initiated Wiccans over the years, and very few are duotheist. Quite a few are pantheist or panentheist, but I’d say most are polytheists.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. This is pretty interesting – I hadn’t come across the term relational polytheism before, and I’m pretty theologically nerdy myself. You should check out the Divine Multiplicity website – http://divinemultiplicity.com, as it’s a multi-trad polytheist blogging community that you might be interested in being a part of. We have polytheists from a lot of different traditions (including one Catholic), but I don’t think we have any Wiccans. Just an idea, and absolutely no pressure!

    Liked by 1 person

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