noun: the belief in or worship of more than one deity. [OxfordDictionaries.com]
deity (noun): a god or goddess in a polytheistic religion [OxfordDictionaries.com]
god (noun): in polytheistic religions – a superhuman being or spirit worshipped as having power over nature or human fortunes; a deity [OxfordDictionaries.com]
These are specific words, especially “polytheism”, which is a compound of ancient Hellenic words, a very specific dialect, when compared to English.
If you think the gods are aspects of our inner selves — you are not a polytheist.
If you believe the gods are archetypes of a cultural consciousness — you are not a polytheist.
If you don’t believe that deities actually exist as a superhuman entity with Their own agency outside the human mind and experience — you are not a polytheist.
Now, you can pull some lame-ass,”oh, but Ruadhán, you’s an English major, don’t you know that language changes?” Well, yeah, in theory the words we use daily are subject to morph in nuance, or in the realm of slang, take on a whole new meaning (thus why, in formal writing contexts, “faggot” means “a bundle of kindling sticks”, but in informal and slang uses [yes, they are two different things], “faggot” is regarded largely as a pejorative for a homosexual man), but here’s the thing: Language is a social construct that exists to ease communication of needs, wants, and more complex ideas amongst people. In theory, I could start saying “wort” instead of “deity”, and intend to mean the exact same thing that “deity” means, but who is going to find that easy to follow? Especially since there is already a perfectly good word to convey what I intended to with “wort” in that hypothetical.
Furthermore, there is already a perfectly good word to convey what “atheist pagans” might honour instead of deities: It’s called an egregore, a thought-form. It’s a loan from occult terminology, but it works. It’s not a deity, and its etymology implies an origin in the human experience.
Furthermore, as has been previously said by PSVL: Traditional polytheists have always been a rather tiny minority in the Western neo-pagan community. Pantheists, panentheists, monotheistic goddess-worshippers, christo-pagans, and even atheists tend to outnumber us many timesover. Also: The neo-pagan community has a massive problem with appropriation of terms that don’t really convey the concepts they want the words to (like “karma”), or are specific to cultures that have nothing to do with the religion one practises, but I guess it just sounds “cooler” than the more-generic term (like “totem”, when “animal spirit” will suffice). I don’t see a huge difference here, with the insistence of such oxymoronic, contradictory nonsense as “archetypal polytheists” and the other bored, educated stupid white kids who think that Silver Ravenwolf, or whatever other Llewellyn-published hack has any sense in defining “karma” any more than some-one raised in religions that created the concept.
“Polytheism” is a practise of people who worship deities, not people who honour archetypes and / or thought-forms, and unless you worship actual deities, you have no right to contribute to the definition of the word, on any level. It’s just not your say.