In Monday's post, I gave you the introduction to where the gods fit in, and why you might want to be working with them.
Today, I'm focusing more on the how. Many of you commented that you were interested in possibly selecting some deities to work with, so this is the post for you.
How do you select your personal pantheon and deities? How do you get in contact with them? How do you receive their messages? What should you do once you've established a connection?
Those will be the questions answered today.
What's a Patron?
I've been using the word “patron”. What exactly is a patron god or matron goddess?
A patron deity is a god or goddess to whom you've made a serious commitment to work with. It's not necessarily a life-long commitment, but it is a decision to be made very carefully.
Not all deities you might work with are necessarily patrons. It is possible to simply have associations with certain deities, but for particular relationships to develop into a patron/matron arrangement.
For instance, I have always had a connection with Athena. At first, I thought she was my matron goddess. But, in time I saw that this was not the case. I still pray to her and might invoke her wisdom, but right now it has not gone further.
The analogy isn't perfect, but you might imagine it like a group of friends. There are certain friends you'll naturally get along with better than others. You'll have best friends you want to be with often, and other friends that are not such a big part of your life.
Similarly, your patron deities are those gods you work with the most, and with whom you have the greatest connection. You'll have other deities, generally from the same pantheon as your patrons, though not always, that are still part of your practice, but not quite as much as your patrons.
It's common to have one patron god and one matron goddess. As I discussed on Monday, the Universe is comprised of masculine and feminine. Balance is an inherent quality of the Universe. It brings balance to your spirituality, having both the masculine and feminine energy as part of your practice and day-to-day life.
Discovering Hecate: My Matron Goddess
This will be more of a personal post than usual, because it is a journey that I am undertaking as well. I'll discuss my own journey to discovering my patron gods, then I'll discuss more how you can discover your own patrons and guides.
Initially, I wasn't very sure who my patrons would be. I knew they would probably be from the Greek pantheon, because I've always related the most to the Greeks and their gods. However, I really had no idea whom I might want to work with in such a way.
I considered a few options, such as Athena, as I mentioned above. But, it just didn't click. Though she definitely is the goddess of wisdom, her personality didn't quite match my own.
But then, I started to remember another one of my favorite goddesses from childhood: Hecate. Hecate is the goddess of crossroads, witches, magic, the Moon, lost souls, and the outcast. She is often considered an extremely dark goddess, but I personally believe a lot of it is undeserved. She can most definitely be creepy, however.
I connected with her partly for the obvious reason: she's the goddess of magic. But, she's also the goddess of outcasts. I think I've mentioned before that I've definitely felt disconnected from others for much of my life, partly due to my visual impairment, and partly because I was just always different.
Also, as goddess of the crossroads, she rules over making decisions. She's able to see the past, present, and far future, and realizes how much even seemingly trivial decisions can affect our lives.
Then, I reached out to her. Her energy was very different than I expected. Serious, yes, but not as dark as I thought it would be. Actually I felt a rather calm, loving presence. The more I connected with her, the more I knew that she was my matron goddess.
Discovering Hades: My Patron God
But, finding my patron god was a bit more difficult. I don't connect with masculine energy very well. I may have mentioned this elsewhere, but I grew up in a family of women. My parents were separated, and I haven't seen my father since I was two years old. My aunt is divorced, and her two children are girls. Moreover, my grandfather died before I was born.
So, it's always been a challenge to connect to masculine energy. However, I knew that because of that challenge, it'd also be very beneficial.
But each of the Greek gods I researched, I just didn't feel a connection with. Zeus was too forceful for me. Apollo shared some of my qualities and interests, such as music, but it wasn't a big enough part of my life to really influence my decision. Hermes is the god of communication and travel, which could benefit me, but I didn't feel the connection with him, either. Poseidon was a possibility, but it didn't seem likely.
Then I thought of Hades. That just seemed like trouble waiting to happen, but… the more I thought about it, the more it clicked into place.
Well, eventually. My first tentative reaching out was pretty overwhelming. Immediately I felt his energy, as though he were in the room with me. Actually, as though I were in the room with him, far, far smaller than he. His energy was powerful, to understate the fact.
After recovering a bit, I tried again. I could tolerate his energy better the second time. Perhaps that was just his entrance. 🙂 But, I definitely felt interest from his end.
However, I knew that I had to take this decision especially seriously. I knew he would not have patience for someone who flip-flopped on the matter. Once taken up, he would not willingly be set down again.
I still don't know all the reasons he is my patron god. I suspect he chose me more than me choosing him, which is actually quite common. But there are a few clues:
I think it's to teach me the importance of both the light and the dark. In the spiritual community, there is often an overemphasis on the light. Everything should feel good and be happy and joyful.
But, the realities of life are not always that way. We have things to deal with: our shadow self. We run into obstacles that we must overcome. We are forced to face our own inner demons.
In other words, darkness is just as important as the light. There must be a balance.
That's the biggest reason I can find right now. Other reasons have arisen as I've worked with Hades. I see his personality as very confident and bold, which I often am not. He is decisive about his course of action. It strikes me that he could not respect someone who submits, but only someone who is sure of their path, and sticks to it no matter what.
As I've worked with both of these deities, I've learned a lot, about myself, about magic, and about the Universe. My manifestations have kicked up a notch since working with them. A lot of what I've learned is personal, but the new understanding I've gained will certainly be shared in time.
That was my own journey. Now, how do you find your own?
Realize It Is a Relationship
As I said above, choosing patron deities is not to be taken lightly. They will help you immeasurably, but certain things will be expected of you, too.
When it comes to relationships with other beings, like masters and angels, it is not quite as serious, but obviously you should still treat them with respect.
These are not mere energies. They are not archetypal forces. They are all very real beings with their own personalities and ways of thinking. There are things they will like and dislike.
It's important to keep this in mind both now as you get started, as well as later on as you develop in your relationship. Just like all relationships, it is a give and take. You must do your part, and they will do theirs.
Open Up to a Connection
Whether you're wanting to reach out to the gods, or to a particular master or other advanced being, you must start by being open to the process, and inviting them to connect.
Their interest in you is just as important as your interest in them. If you are a passive person by nature, a war god is probably not going to be very interested, unless you're being called to work on those aspects of your personality.
So how do you show your interest? It can be as simple as a prayer or intention. Something like, “I am now open to connecting with whichever gods and goddesses wish to connect with me.”
Then, you can certainly do your own research, as well as reaching out to specific deities or other beings that you think you might be interested in.
For instance, almost immediately I reached out to Athena to see how we might work. It was only in time that Hecate started to make herself known.
If you'll be connecting with a deity, then start by thinking about what pantheon you feel the deepest connection to. Do some research if necessary. Do you feel drawn to the Greek? The Roman? The Norse? The Celtic? The Native American? Each has a different emphasis that might resonate with you more.
Then, start doing research into the various gods of that pantheon. Read up on who they are and where they came from. Of course, these stories are mythological, but they will give you an idea for their personality.
If one sticks out to you, reach out to them. It's as simple as closing your eyes and mentally connecting to that god or goddess. I will often repeat their name a few times to get a feel for their energy. This will also let them know that you wish to get to know them.
It requires a bit of intuition, but you'll start to get a feel for the nature of that god or goddess, and how you might work with them. If your first impression is good, then start reaching out to them more. Call on them in meditation. Tell them of your intentions, or things you need help with. Let them know they'll need to make themselves known through clear signs, in order to get your attention.
Deepening the Connection
Now you've made your opening connection, and have hopefully started to get a feel for them.
If things are going well, then it's time to do a bit more research into them.
What do they like? What do they dislike? What might they require of you? What is the best way of honoring them?
At this point, if you want to take things further, then you might set up a reminder of that deity or guide on your altar. It could be a statue, or an item that they enjoy, or which is relevant to their mythology.
As you do this, it will set up sacred space around your altar. Start spending time there daily if possible in order to connect with them.
Around this time, you should start getting clear signs from them as well: answers to your prayers, help in certain situations, little synchronicities, etc. Acknowledge these signs and thank your deity for them.
If you're not receiving clear guidance from your deity, then either (1) you're not open to receiving them, or (2) you might just not resonate with this particular deity very much, and it's not a good match.
This doesn't apply so much to masters and angels, but deities generally appreciate regular offerings.
This might seem odd at first, but offerings were common all throughout history. They show your god or goddess that you value and honor them, and want to deepen your relationship with them.
The frequency of offerings is dependent on your deity. Some prefer it frequently, while others might want it during a certain phase of the Moon, etc.
What's the point of an offering? Again, it's to honor your deity. But, it's also to invite them to manifest in bigger ways in your life. That doesn't mean to do an offering for selfish reasons, but simply that your deity will likely give you much more guidance if you give offerings regularly.
Common offerings are bread, milk, or wine. But, you must do research for your particular deity to discover what they enjoy. If your intuition is good, they will also tell you what is satisfactory to them. For some deities, even giving to the poor is an acceptable offering.
So let's say you have decided what your offering will be. I'll use bread as an example, but substitute it with your offering of choice.
To make the offering, you lay it on your altar, in front of the statue or other reminder you have of your deity. As you do so, ask them to accept your offering, either quietly or out loud. At this point, you can imagine them accepting the energy of the offering. Then, you can simply meditate for a few minutes and connect with them.
It doesn't need to be overly complex, but it should be suitably respectful.
The offering can stay on your altar as long as you like. Eventually, you can place it outside, or bury it if it might be of harm to animals.
Sometimes, you might share a meal with your deity. I did this with Hecate, and it was enjoyable. Well, it wasn't as much a meal as a cup of tea with honey. But I sat at my altar and offered the first and last of the tea to her.
For Hades, it's more common to pour the offering on the ground, for obvious reasons that he's the god of the underworld. So for him, I did the offering outside, in the form of wine.
Giving the offerings was one of my favorite experiences, because I strongly felt their presence throughout the process. It's when they became truly real to me.
Choosing Your Second Deity
The second deity will go much the same as the first. I'm writing this linearly, but you might start working with both simultaneously. It just depends on you.
But there are a few important things to note.
When choosing your second deity, you not only want to make sure that you resonate with them, but also that they will fit with your first deity. In mythology, some gods are enemies. For instance, Athena and Poseidon do not get along, because they both competed to become the patron of Athens.
Again, you'll just have to do some research. Discover how these two deities got along in mythology.
As you connect with both deities, you'll find that each is best in certain circumstances. They have their specialties, and these will become evident. Hecate has taught me a lot about magic, while Hades has taught me about how to face my own resistance and confidently choose my path. There may be some overlap, but you'll definitely come to see how each will work in your life.
I find it an interesting dynamic working with two deities. I try to keep it balanced, and work with both relatively equally. Of course, there will be times when one is needed over the other, but you want to give time to both relationships, as well as the requisite offerings.
All this might sound like a lot, but to me it's been enjoyable. It gives me someone specific to go to when I need help. It's given me a way of advancing even more in my spiritual journey. It lets me feel like I am part of something bigger.
How About You?
I know this was a pretty long post. But, I hope that you got something useful from it. So let me know, will you be choosing your own deities? If so, whom do you feel drawn to? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.