“While generally regarded as polytheists, the pagans gained this reputation not because they worshiped more than one God but rather because they personified the attributes of this God, thereby creating a pantheon. … The various pantheons of ancient religions therefore actually represent the cataloged and personified attributes of Deity. In this respect they correspond to the hierarchies of the Hebrew Qabbalists. All the gods and goddesses of antiquity have their analogies in the human body, as have also the elements, planets, and constellations. Four body centers are assigned to the elements, the seven vital organs to the planets, the twelve principle parts and members to the zodiac. …
“It is difficult for many to realize that they are actual universes; that their physical bodies are a visible nature through the structure of which countless waves of evolving life are unfolding their latent potentialities.” ~Manly P. Hall
Pantheons of Many Gods in One
Many myths exist about the nature of the ancient religions and their pantheons. Much of it is based on assumptions about those people that are often untrue. We assume they were so primitive that they didn’t understand the basics of science, the seasons of the year, and so on. They therefore made Spring a goddess who brought new life back into their crops and herds after the winter. They made gods and goddesses of lightning, fire, and gravity. In short, they were pretty stupid. Yet according to Hall and others who have taken the time to make detailed studies of these religions, they were not primitive nature worshipers at all. While there probably was an age of that kind of religion, the ancients of Greece, Rome, and Egypt were not that primitive. In fact, their spiritual knowledge was probably greater than ours today.
In short, they saw the One True God as so complex and powerful that they divided him into many to better understand His greatness. So the god of wine, the goddess of spring, the god of fire, and so on were understood by most of them to merely represent aspects of the One God. Like looking at a single dimension of a being with many dimensions. This is not so different from the way modern science studies a new discovery. A Chemist, a Botanist, a Herbologist, and an Environmentalist all look at a new plant differently. Yet they all understand that it is just one plant. The same is true of the pantheons of most of the ancient religions.
Analogies in Man
Mr. Hall says that the ancient pantheons of gods may have analogies in the human body. He also explains that analogies exist between man and the structure of the universe. On the physical level, he compares the four centers of man with the four elements. What he considers to be the four centers of man he doesn’t say. He compares the planets with the vital organs. I would instead compare the planets with the physical level energy centers generally known as Chakras. Likewise, he relates the twelve signs of the zodiac with the “twelve principle parts” of the body, but doesn’t identify those parts. Still, we can accept what he says as true following the principle of Hermes: as above, so below.
Pantheons Beyond Matter
On a spiritual level, we will find this relationship between man and the cosmos continues. We could think of the pantheons as a representation of the many dimensions of the universe. There are nine major dimensions and man has nine major energy centers. The four highest dimensions relate to the four spiritual energy centers in our spiritual bodies. The dimension of Intellect is also linked with our brain-mind. The dimension of form is linked with our physical body, etc. So the spiritual dimensions link to the spiritual centers in our spirits and the physical centers (chakras) in our physical bodies. There’s a pantheon that matters far more than a pantheon of mere matter.