A Multi-dimensional Paradigm of Divinity
In a religion that has no dogma, no Book of Holy Law, no pontiff, no prophets, why do we even need to study theology? Simply because it seems inherent in human nature to seek God, the Life Force, the Cosmic Intelligence, the Ineffable, the One, the All. Somewhere in the labyrinth of the Unconscious, in the depths of our souls, we know it exists as the Divine Principle.
We can experience this it on a subliminal level, but we cannot completely comprehend it on a rational, conscious level. Language is inadequate to describe the experience of Truth that is the ultimate end of all spiritual journeys. We attempt to describe this mystic, Divine experience through songs, poetry, music, art, and myth whose language is symbolism and speaks to the Soul instead of the intellect. Still, we are unable to describe the indescribable.
Nevertheless, humankind in all ages has felt compelled to bring this Divine Principle into some form that human beings can understand and relate to. Wiccans are no different. We seek ways to comprehend, to relate, to join with our Gods through our rites and rituals.
The Wiccan Book of Shadows (BoS) refers to four different ways or dimensions of perceiving the Divine. In the following treatise, we will use the term "Level" to distinguish between these separate ways of perceiving the Divine Reality. We use this term as a matter of convenience for communication. Bear in mind, there is no hierarchical relationship in this paradigm. Conceptualizing the Divine on the monotheistic level is no "better" or "more right" than conceptualizing the Divine on the animistic or pantheistic level.
Indeed, in Wicca we recognize and honor the Divine on all of these levels.
The Monotheistic Dimension, Level I
On the first level, we speak of "the Divinity," "the Divine Reality," the "One," or similar terms to indicate the ultimate unity of all things. Jung called it the "acausal connecting principle." On this level Wicca can be called "monotheistic."
The Bi-theistic Dimension, Level II
On the second level, Wicca distinguishes between 'the God' and 'the Goddess', the male and female principles inherent in all of nature. On this level of perception, experience, or interaction with the Divine, Wicca can be called a bi-theistic religion.
We will discuss other bi-theistic models a little later.
The Polytheistic Dimension, Level III
On the third level, Wicca studies and works with the many different aspects of the God and the Goddess. Here we generally ascribe names, characteristics and descriptions to complex, individual archetypal entities. On this level, Wicca can be called a 'poly-theistic' religion.
The Pantheistic Dimension, Level IV
On the fourth level, Wicca recognizes the presence of a Divine "spark" in everything "created," be they part of the animal, vegetable or mineral kingdom.
This level is a level that in an African context would be called "animistic" (anima = soul), but is more properly called "pan-theistic" or "pan-en-theistic." In Jungian terms, this would be the "All that is in all" or the "point that is at once the Center and the Circumference."
Now, it is a fact that every theology has to situate itself somewhere between the One and the All, and therefore provide for at least one of these Levels of Divine Reality. It is, however, also a fact that most religions strive to restrict themselves to only one of these Levels, denying and often outright rejecting the others.
The human soul, on the other hand, feels the need at some moment or other to relate to the Divine on each of these Levels. In such a situation the soul will grow dissatisfied when this "inner" need and experience is denied. This will subject most other religions to an inner stress and imbalance, as well as it will cause stress in the psyche of the individual member of the congregation.
The uniqueness of Wicca lies in that it openly recognizes the coexistence, interoperability and intrinsic value of all four Levels. The clergy of Sacred Well will be aware of this and capable of offering guidance to members of the congregation who experience needs on any of these Levels of Divine Reality.