From a post in a group discussion on the nature of Gods:
Most of what I know on this topic has been taught or shown to me initially. In my experience, there are several definitions of 'god/gods' depending on which aspects of reality you happen to be observing. Here are some of my thoughts on this based on my own work and viewpoints:
I tend to view the whole god/goddesses/gods concept in several ways at once depending on the nature of the working and the forces being contacted. God in the universal sense, to me, is just pure consciousness, the Point Source from which all things come (or 'The All'), and the entire universe itself. It encompasses the manifest and the unmanifest, and is that which permeates all things. It is beyond concepts of opposites. This is the level of ultimate reality and complete interconnectedness where all is 'one'. We are all functional aspects of the mind of 'god' by this definition.
I view 'gods' and 'goddesses' (in the sense of them not referring only to aspects of the Point Source specifically) in 2 different ways depending on what sort of manifestation they are. From my own experience, there are both gods in the sense that they are separate beings that are at a higher stage of evolution, and there are god-forms that are visualized astral images for the purpose of tapping into some universal archetype in the collective consciousness. They are not one and the same in my experience of them. Typically what the magickian looks for he will find according to his personal beliefs and biases, and reality being infinite, all has potential to exist, so accepting that there is an 'Isis' who is her own individual being separate from me is not a problem for me. In actual practice, I have had invocations where such higher beings answering to those god-names actually informed me (and others standing nearby) that they were not just figments of my imagination, and went on to describe themselves as vast formless consciousnesses that existed in the universe while possessing a will of their own. This suggested that beings of that caliber could exist and not just be personifications of natural forces set to a mythological system of stories. Such beings seem to be either created that way, or evolve to that state over countless eons. Something interesting I noted during these invocations was that only a tiny sliver of any one of those beings was ever able to be invoked at one time. It would have been completely arrogant of me to think that a tiny human would have been able to contain the amount of energy and vast consciousness as was found in such a more evolved being as that. Something else that was interesting was that successfully invoking such a being is not an easy task. I had to be personally shown by another highly skilled practitioner in order to even have a clue as to what those energies/consciousnesses felt like and to begin to establish contact with them. Even so it's still not easy - if those beings don't wish to be invoked and worked with, they won't be. The first time I stupidly tried to communicate with an entity like that it felt like drinking from a high power water-hose and I thought my brain was going to fry to a crisp. On another occasion, a working from a previous night continued spontaneously the next day and led to a sudden influx of a lot of energy into a small living area. My friend who was upstairs and new to psychic/magick work and under my care at the time was thrown unconscious and felt extremely nauseous after seeing 'colors and ripples.' I suppose he did benefit from the experience of knowing that this shit can get very real very quickly. However, I now make it a point not to do certain types of working around people who might be susceptible to damage from them such as the elderly or the inexperienced yet psychic. Invocation of that sort is certainly nothing to fool around with. It's all been a reminder to me that we're all a bunch of really little fish swimming in a vast sea of consciousness, and we're neither alone nor invincible.
In a 2nd aspect or definition of a god (from what I could see), there are also god-forms which may be used as templates for invoking certain aspects of pure consciousness or 'Allness'. I found that there was often a significant difference between invocations of god-forms (as aspects of Allness) and the energies/consciousnesses of those higher beings that I was taught about and shown personally by my mentors. (The actual beings themselves that I was shown generally don't have any astral form other than the one they borrow from your mind in order to communicate with you if they choose. Otherwise they might appear as splashes of color, eyes in a cloud of energy, an intense feeling with a sensation of infinite void which is their consciousness etc.) I had come to the conclusion previously that there are 2 forms of 'gods/goddesses' in common knowledge and usage. But…the more I think about this the more these 'definitions' seem to blur around the edges with the actual experiences of them allowing for a wide range of interpretation. In some ways, I can see where the god-form can be simply a way to contact aspects of one's own mind, or aspects of Allness, OR actual entities that exist outside of one's self. It is also possible to consider the idea that perhaps all of those views are simultaneously true. Considering the interconnectedness of all things and when viewing the self as a collection of 'selves' though still a complete unit, anything is possible.
Conclusion: There are several possibilities. 1. God is the universe and all things in it. 2. Gods (plural) are just archetypal aspects of collective consciousness that may be accessed through symbolic astral forms. 3. Gods are higher beings which exist as part of the All (like everything else) but still have a will and intelligence of their own. 4. Gods are just the personifications of natural forces. 5. It's all in your head. 6. It's not all just in your head. 7. All of the above. I'm all for #7 personally.
One last thing I will mention that I've noticed, is that 'gods' from possibility #3 don't seem to require the belief of humans in order to exist, whereas thought-forms in the collective human unconscious do appear to require belief to maintain or revitalize their existence.