(Though I’m not quite sure why I’m making them; they’ve been pointed out, but it seems people either aren’t understanding or aren’t listening. I suspect the latter.)
Pop culture spirits do actually respond to prayers and petitions and can perform healing and other works. Not all of them, but certainly some. Just because they haven’t responded to you (perhaps because you’ve never reached out to them) doesn’t mean they don’t respond to other people.
While some people believe thought-forms are only ever in the control of their creator, my experience and the experiences of people I know and trust have all shown that to not be the case. Autonomy and independence are possible. Just because a human helped birth something doesn’t mean it does not deserve respect. Adding in that I know of at least two spirits focused entirely on creating independent, self-controlling spirits out of thought-forms and ideas, I find myself wondering why there is this assumption that thought-forms equal pets or toys. I’m not a magician of any sort and I don’t work in that paradigm, so why are we only using one concept of thought-forms and human-birthed spirits?
Not all of us are on traditional paths or interested in reconstruction or revival. Acting as though the only good polytheism is old polytheism is hostile to new gods.
I’m more concerned with honoring the gods and spirits than proving their literal existence on earth. One of the stories my spirits have given me involves a human boy falling off a cliff into Faeryland, but I’m not going to comb through newspaper clippings to try to find ‘proof’. What is important to me is acknowledging and working with the story (and spirits) to better understand it fully.
New stories are just as capital as having capital-T ‘Truth’ to them as old ones.
If someone is telling you they engage in [x] practice you have ranted about and you respond with any variation of, “Oh I didn’t mean you,” or, “You would never do that,” you’re being patronizing.
I’m incredibly confused as to whether we are children than need to grow up (an argument which I usually only hear from atheists towards religious folk) or whether we are so powerful as to be a threat, a wound, a danger to polytheism.
My experience with the spirits takes precedence over your discomfort with their faces or how they were created. The spirits are more important than you, including the ones you don’t think exist.