Photo courtesy of Cottonbro Studio.
Within the spiritual community, there are often many people who work with gods or goddesses, or in short, deities. Many modern pagans work with deities, but it’s not the only spiritual group that works with deities. Many polytheistic religions and cultures have been working with multiple deities for centuries. There are also many monotheistic religions that work with one deity, and this work is essential to their understanding of the world around them. Whether you want to work with multiple deities or just one, beginning your research for your decision can feel overwhelming.
Deity work can seem daunting and confusing, especially as a beginning in your spiritual journey. While deity work is ideal for those who have been practicing for quite a while, it doesn’t mean that a beginner can’t look into deity work. This article will help as a guide on where to begin your journey into deity work. The first and most important piece of information to know is what exactly is a deity.
The Oxford Dictionary defines a deity as a god or a goddess. The word deity derives from the Latin word deitas. Throughout human history, many cultures have worked with or worshiped a deity or deities. Gods and Goddesses have created a significant impact on society's laws, morals, and choices. There are gods from different cultures such as Egyptian deities, Greek deities, Native American deities, Aztec deities, Celcetic deities, and so much more!
All spiritual groups that work with deities are welcoming when someone is trying to gain knowledge about a certain deity. In this article, we will be focusing on pagan and polytheistic religions and spiritual groups. These groups often have patron deities but each practitioner can also work with a deity of their own choosing. There are also many practitioners who don’t work with deities at all. How do you know if deity work is right for you?
Within the spiritual community, there is a lot of conversation about working with deities, but it’s harder to find information on whether or not it’s the right decision for you and your practice. You definitely don’t have to work with a god or goddess, it’s not required or expected from anyone. Remember that your practice is unique and choosing to work with a deity or not doesn’t mean you’re any less than your fellow practitioners who do work with deities. If you’re doubting it, then perhaps it’s not the right time for you to work with a deity or multiple deities just yet.
Take time to reflect and meditate on this question: is deity work right for me and my practice? This is not a decision to rush, but a decision you must ponder before reaching a definite answer. Remember to listen to yourself and your needs during this process and your intuition will guide you to the right answer.
There are many questions to ask when you decide that you want to work with a deity or multiple deities. While many practitioners work with multiple deities, there usually is one that can be considered their “cosmic teacher.” Having a patron deity doesn’t mean you are only with that deity, but it’s totally acceptable if you do as well, but if you’re working with multiple deities, it can help you focus your practice.
Finding your patron deity can be an interesting experience because you are able to explore a multitude of deities to find the right fit for you and your practice. There is so much information on deities online, in books, and in videos. Start with some interests that you have and look up deities that are patrons of the activity, symbol, or object you admire and this will be a good place to start.
Over time you will begin to develop relationships with different gods and goddesses and you’ll know what type of deity you would like to work with that way. Take your time and enjoy learning about new deities along the way. Remember that you’re not worshiping this deity but you’re working with your deity.
Your patron deity will be your right hand in your spiritual path and will guide you as you pave your own path within the spiritual community. The deity you are working with is there to help you with your magical workings. It is vital to connect with your deity before starting to really work with them. How exactly do you connect with them? These are a few basic ways to connect with your deity:
Creating an altar for your deity is a common practice shared between different religions and cultures. Once you choose your deity, it is essential to offer a sacred space for you and your deity to work together. Each deity altar will look different because each deity symbolizes different things. For example, if you’re working with goddess Brigid, your altar may look different than an altar dedicated to Hekate or Apollo. There are a few basics to follow when setting up an altar:
Once you have a sacred space set up, meditating can be an important part of bonding with your deity. Meditation can be simple and only involves you and your deity. There are no other embellishments needed, but if you’d like to add elements to your meditation. There are different ways to meditate and with your research, you can look into the most important way to meditate when working with your deity.
There are different ways to meditate but a few can be as simple as using a singing bowl, writing in a journal, reciting chants or prayers, or body movements such as yoga. Again, each practitioner has their own way of meditating so you are able to choose which type of meditation practice you want to use.
Similar to meditation, rituals are usually conducted at an altar or sacred space. Rituals can be as complicated or simple, it all depends on you and your intentions. Rituals are definitely something that you want to research before doing. Work closely with your deity to find the right type of ritual for you. There are many places to look, such as online, through books, videos, or podcasts. This is your practice so do what feels right and comfortable for you.
It’s important when working with a deity that you offer them gifts in exchange for their guidance. It depends on which deity you working with but a simple list of offerings usually includes:
The process of choosing, working, and maintaining a relationship with a deity is a lot of hard work, but keeping the bond between you and your deity could be the most important aspect of working with a deity. The first few times you and your deity work together, will not be as powerful as when you continue to strengthen your relationship between you and your deity. Once the connection begins to establish itself, your practice may look a lot different than when you first started.
A simple way to continue working on the bond between you and your deity is to practice veneration. Veneration is paying great respect and attention to your chosen deity. Many seasoned practitioners advise working with your deity every day, even if it’s only for a little bit, which will prove to be beneficial to you and your practice. There are many guides within the spiritual community that can lead you in the right direction.
Remember that it’s okay to feel like you can’t communicate with your deity. This can be a sign to change up your routine in order to really engage with your deity once more. It could also be a sign that your work with this certain deity is done and it’s leading you to perhaps another entity to work with. This feeling is only temporary because you have many tools under your belt so you are more able to connect with deity once again.
This article has gone through many different ways that you are able to work with a god or goddess. This isn’t the ultimate guide but can offer you some sort of direction when looking to work with a deity. Keep an open mind and what is meant to come into your spiritual path will make itself known. What deity are you interested in and what does the start process look like when you do decide to work with deity?