Getting Started with Deities

First off – What is a Deity?

A deity is a supernatural being considered divine or sacred.  It is a supernatural being, like a god or goddess, that is worshipped by people who believe it controls or exerts force over some aspect of the world.

  • *EXTRA NOTES: The Oxford Dictionary of English defines deity as “a god or goddess (in a polytheistic religion)”, or anything revered as divine. … In the English language, a male deity is referred to as a god, while a female deity is referred to as a goddess. A Deity, however, is not limited to genders, for forming their identity. They may have one, several, or none at all, in fact.

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Let’s say that You’re new to paganism and/or recently discovered your god or goddess. or a deity. Maybe both. or neither. 

  • *FURTHER NOTES: While there are many forms of paganism and having a god or goddess or other deity in your religious practice isn’t required, for many it comforts and helps them through troubling times. It also gives them a sense of peace knowing their god and/or goddess or deity are in their corner. Protecting them. Healing them. Working favors for them.

So you’ve found your god and goddess, but now you’re left wondering what’s next? How do I start a relationship with my god, goddess, or deity in general? 

  • NOTE: Everyone’s relationship with their gods will be different and unique. 

Okay, I’ve found a deity I’m interested in, what now?

  • Get to know them through study. – Your deities came from somewhere, right? You didn’t just make them up in your head, so look up where they came from. Research what their name means, who venerated them in ancient times, and where their sacred temples might have been. Keep a special part of your notes or grimoire – and dedicate it to your god or goddess. Heck if you like start a blog for the studies or Write down all you learn about them in your journal so you can refer back to it at any time. After you’ve learned the basics, then dive into the deep stuff. This includes the mythology of your god or goddess—don’t forget that they might have been passed down through folklore as folkloric figures, and if this is the case you should study them in folklore as well.

Communication – Prayer and recurring Signs or Symbols

  • When starting to work with a deity, having a means of communication is key. You can call it prayer or simply talking. Talk to your god or goddess in your mind or out loud, either way, they’ll hear you. As mentioned previously, you do not have to kneel down or bow your head to pray to your god or goddess. You can literally drive down the road and talk to them—you can talk to them at any time and literally anywhere, and you don’t need a fancy prayer to do it. This is how you can communicate with your god or goddess, but learn to figure out, how do they communicate with you?

In my experience, working with pagan gods and goddesses is different in that they will answer your prayers through nature and through recurring signs and symbols. What I mean by this is that you might see a large crow following you to work one day. Then you see the same bird the next day. This might be your sign that Odin or The Morrighan is watching over you and protecting you. Maybe you asked for them to protect you and this is their confirmation. They will send you signs and symbols via nature, random conversations, and mainstream media (TV, radio, online, books, etc), and these signs will keep coming at you until you realize. Recurring signs and symbols are one of the most common ways a god or goddess will talk to you. So pay attention and open your mind, eyes, and ears. These can even occur in dreams or Astral work.

What is an OFFERING?

Offerings Are Gifts for the Gods

You are starting to establish a relationship with your god or goddess and you want to show your gratitude. You can do this by giving offerings.

  • If you’d like or feel like it, Set up an altar or a small space on a tabletop and leave offerings you feel your god or goddess appreciates.  This is NOT required, however. 
  • Offerings can be any of the following: food, candlelight, incense, water, beverages, crystals, artwork, crafts, poems, and more! 
  • A good practice to develop is to give an offering at least once a week and then build up to once a day, or however often you’re able to.

 What you’re doing is saying you appreciate your god or goddess as a friend. You are essentially giving them a gift. And guess what? In return, they will give you gifts that could include: protection, love, abundance, healing, guidance, and more. It’s an energy exchange.  Keep in mind your offerings don’t have to be expensive—you can burn incense once daily, for example. Or you can provide a bowl of herbs once every other week. You can even give a glass of wine or water as an offering. If you want to give an expensive offering, that is okay too, but not required. The gods also enjoy artwork to honor them, as well as writing poems or songs for them. It is about your time and effort and intention.

What is a patron/matron deity?

Simply put, a patron deity is a religious figure who acts as your guide and protector. In antiquity, cities would have protector deities associated with them. For example, in Homer’s Iliad, Apollo is Troy’s patron deity, who causes a plague by raining arrows on the Greeks. 

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written by @omgwitcherry

Witch tip: adding strength to Your day

A little witch tip for the season: If you’re able to or wish to add a little extra flavor and spice to your upcoming chilly mornings, this winter, and don’t have much time to  practice, consider adding a spoonful of cinnamon to your morning brew of choice. 

This works with regular (unflavored) coffee or, alternatively, you can do a couple sprinkles instead on your favorite kind of hot cocoa, if you’re not a coffee drinker. 

If you’re allergic to cinnamon  – you can do a bit of a flavor boost by adding a small piece of peppermint candy to your drink while it’s hot and stirring.

SPELL CHANT: “Warm your belly, warm your heart, make this cup add strength to my start.”

by @omgwitcherry

Witch tip!

Oh if you ever have old pillowcases – that you no longer want, but like the pattern or color of, you can cut them into rectangles or squares, and make your own tarot/deck/rune bags out of them fairly easily.also nice for storing crystals in – just make sure to fold over the top rim of the bag and put a string or elastic in it, or even a ribbon,  then sew the rim closed for a string to pull it closed.

On Incense

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  • Make sure to blow out the initial flame after it starts to burn and turns a bit grey. It will continue to burn and smoke, even without the fire. 
  • It is okay to burn more than one or only one, just be safe with it.
  • Do keep your incense in a holder of some sort when burning it. This keeps the ashes from smoldering on flammable surfaces or items. 
  • Don’t be afraid to substitute one scent for another. Most of the time, this is okay!
  • Use your favorite scents, don’t be afraid to do this. It can be one that smells pleasant to you.