So, here lately I’ve been doing a lot of deity work. I try to keep most of my witchcraft practice pretty secular, but the deity I am devoted to in my religious practices has lately shown interest in becoming involved in my magic.
This is just going to be a basic guide full of suggestions on how to start, maintain and keep a practice with a deity, or deities.
Step 1: Making a Connection
The first step to devoting yourself to a deity or deities is to listen to your heart. Your gut instinct. Is there a specific open pantheon that you feel pulled towards? If there is, go with that. If not, then maybe read up on the different pantheons and go from there. Sometimes being called won’t happen right away, and that’s okay. Sometimes its very subtle, and you really have to pay attention to your surroundings to see what sticks out. It is different for everyone. Something important to remember, however, is that becoming a devotee of a deity is a partnership. Yes, you are ‘serving’ them, but they also must reciprocate and be an active member of the relationship. If at any time you feel uncomfortable, you can easily terminate the partnership and cease to be their devotee. Just like with a human relationship, both parties must be consenting and comfortable with the relationship. Once you have established that a specific pantheon would be right for you, research any deities within that pantheon that you would be interested in working with. If you feel you like or are attracted to one, go from there.
Step 2: Establishing a Partnership
Now that you’ve chosen a deity, you need to figure out whether or not they want to work with you. Again, its a relationship so it has to go both ways. You could do this through meditation, pendulum, tarot, runes, astral travel, etc. If you both feel good about it, its time to write up a contract. This step isn’t necessarily..well, necessary, but I like to do it just to make everything feel official. If you do decide to write up a contract, remember to list what you promise to bring to the relationship, and what you expect for them to bring to the relationship. Also, remember to add ‘if either or both parties should feel uncomfortable or wish to cease the partnership, immediate termination of the contract can take place’ somewhere in there.
Step 3: Maintaining the Relationship
Depending on the deity, the requirements for maintaining the relationship will be different. As their devotee, it is expected of you to make offerings to them on a regular basis. It is between the two of you which kind of offerings they want to receive, and how often they should be presented. Below I have listed just some suggestions for how to strengthen the bond with your deity and maintain that steady flow of communication.
- Give each deity (if you have more than one) their own journal. Deities do not want to feel like they are competing.
- Let the deity pick the journal. Go to a store and stand in their notebook/journal aisle. One of the best exercises that I find really helps my deity work is to let the deity choose. So while you are standing in the notebook section, let them choose the journal that you will use for them. This could happen as a simple ‘feeling’ of wanting a certain one, or finding a journal that kind of matches their associations. Like, for Persephone, a journal with flowers on it. Or something like that. Use your intuition.
- Schedule a time every day in which to spend with your deity.
- Schedule daily or bi-daily meditation or communication sessions.
- Schedule offering sessions, whether they are daily or twice a week, etc.
- Communication methods can be pendulum, tarot cards, rune stones, etc.
- Fill the beginning of the journal with your research on that specific deity. What is their history like? What kind of mythology and stories are associated with them? Do they have specific colors, seasons, foods, plants, crystals, animals that are used to represent them? How did the priests and priestesses of ancient times worship them? How can you modernize that and incorporate it into your daily practice? Etc.
- Write down offering ideas.
- Write down ideas you have for activities you could do to honor or better represent your deity.
- Write down altar ideas.
- Make them their own altar. Altar’s can include any number of things, but the general set up that I follow is: an offering bowl, an offering jar filled with an herb or plant associated with them, their own set of prayer beads, their own pendulum, crystals associated with them, a statue or idol of them or that represents them, artwork of them or of something they enjoy (like scenery), a candle with a color/scent related to their associations, incense related to their associations, etc. Again, though, that is just my personal set up. Do whatever feels natural to you.
- Write letters or prayers to the deity in the journal.
- Write poetry about or for your deity.
- Document everything! Their altar set up, ideas you have, any communication session transcriptions, prayers, etc. The journal itself can be seen as an offering to your deity, and they appreciate it when their devotees take the time to gather and keep all interactions recorded in one place.