I had a go at explaining what I believe on the Caer Feddwyd forum earlier and feel it looks a total mess. So, I am going to have another go at it and do so in the form of an analogy (I do a lot of analogizing).
I see all existence as a stream, a slowly moving smooth surfaced ribbon of water in which the physical is the stream bed and the spiritual the water flowing over and with it. The surface of this stream is calm. No movement.
A living thing – a human in this instance – is a small pebble in that stream, rising just above the surface and causing ripples and eddies all around it. It is a meeting of the physical and spiritual, a lynchpin that pulls them both together for a short time. I think that this conjoining is the product of life itself, not necessarily conciousness. This I think largely because I think/feel that all living things are able to make this meeting of the two happen. Take the human out of the stream – they die – and the ripples fade out and the water resumes its stillness. I hope this is clear and makes a degree of sense so far.
On to spirits of place, wights and the like; I dont know if they exist as they are without humans getting involved. However, I see them as points in that stream where there are ripples and waves not caused by humans as such, perhaps points where the ripples from living things conjoin and are amplified and grow. Lots of people being drawn to them add their own ripples if only for a short time and as such perpetuate these points in the stream. These points are wights, spirits of place, genius locii and they too have sentience though if that is their own or the product of lots of human interaction I don't yet know.
Again, I hope I haven't lost you.
The Gods. I am sure that many are merely 'popular' spirits of place, beings that have become strong and powerful after a lot of human interaction – a tsunami in the stream if you like. The other gods I am sure are ancestors, humans who were very real and very alive many 1000's of year ago. Roll back to the neolithic when ancestor worship was the norm (see the many current traditions in various parts of the world which have retained this element to their religion), somehow and by a mechanism I wont even begin to fathom, the ripples and patterns caused by those individuals are perpetuated and continue beyond their death until they become like wight or god in the sense described above – they exist independent of the physical aspect.
The gods I think exist regardless of humans and their activities. However, they become – more – with our interaction, they are shaped by us and evolve as we do and our needs change, indeed, their influence in the stream is also shaped and fed by our own.
It is getting a little late now, so tomorrow I will carry on with this line of thought and have a muse on ritual, celebration etc