I’m going to say it again, there is NO heirarchy of worship. I’m not saying that those who take on the roles of priest/ess, oracles, nympholepts and god-spouses, or ordeal makers/runners are all on equal footing with Joe Blow polytheist/pagan/whatever. I’m saying there’s nothing wrong with being Joe Blow. I’m saying that while those callings may be “deeper” or “harder” they are entirely individual, as your experiences will be as well. The relationship you have with your holy powers is determined by you and them alone. I’m sick of the attacks on lay worship. You have nothing to prove to me about your faith, nor I, you. The only thing that should matter is the sincerity of your worship.
Sincerity matters. We, all of us, are ready and happy to pay lip service to the gods, because waving their banners quiets the conscience for a bit. Talking about your love of the gods, your research, or joining in talk with others isn’t inherently worshipful, but it could be! I’m happy to pay service to the gods with my lips, but not lip service! I’d much rather hear about the holy powers from an enthusiastic flag bearer than bored parade marcher. To again quote the classical ext “many are the wand-bearers, few are the Bacchoi."
And to drive the point home, some will be called to weild their flags as a battle standard. Some will bear their battles and sacrifices in silence, some will share, and some blaspheme. They have an arduous road ahead of them, and their calling is different from yours. But that doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with being in flag corp. marching, and twirling! The gods are social and they likely want it all! Be sincere with and about the gods because there is no heirarchy of worship, only the relationships you make with them. Do not pay them lip service, service them with your lips!