Why ‘old?’

This post is mostly addressed to Pagans and to those who write or comment about Pagan gods. I have noticed in a lot of places where Pagan gods are referred to as ‘the gods of old,’ or ‘the old gods,’ or ‘elder gods.’ My question is: why? Is this done because the word lends a certain degree of authority to the gods? Or is this a remnant from Abrahamic religious influences, where the gods are regarded largely in the past tense? If the former, do the gods actually need such a word to lend them greater authority, or increase our regard and respect for them? If the latter, then it would seem this is a habit that should be seriously reconsidered by modern adherents.

I have been seeing this a lot lately, as I already said – it is possible that it is no more than normal, and that I’m simply sensitive to it because I’m looking to the Cailleach, and seeing the Stone Age. But even if she has been in human awareness for so long, I regard her very much as a deity for the present and the future. She is, to me, perhaps ancient – but no more ancient than any other god, at least not by human reckoning. I’m hesitant to regard the gods in a human form as it is, let alone try to assign to them a human reckoning of age. Deity is deity to me, at least as far as age goes.