Being Chosen By a Patron God

How Does a God Choose You Then?

eeny, meeny, miney, moe

At some point when you become Pagan, or sometimes even before, the Gods begin to take notice of you. Gradually, those you have a greater affinity for pay closer attention and may start coming to you in your dreams or through other means.

Some Gods may decide to “test” you. This isn’t to prove your worthiness, far from it. That is a concept conceived in the idea that people are inherently unworthy and must prove themselves otherwise.

These tests are more to make sure that you are capable of handling the energies that particular God may bring into your life by combining His energies with yours.

In my own life, I found myself being tested a lot when Lilith decided she was going to be part of my life. To the point that I finally told her to back off and leave me alone for a while as it was getting way too much for me.

Once a God Tries to Contact You

What do you do next?

When you start getting these messages, however they may come, it is time to start your investigations.

If you have a clear idea on who it is, then find all the information you can on that particular God and study Him, or Her, in depth. Look in books, on the internet, record your dreams if He is coming to you in that way. Meditate. Ask questions and listen for His answers.

As a side note, if the images and impressions you are getting about a particular God don’t match what other people have written or are telling you, this doesn’t mean either of you is wrong. It just means you are both seeing a different aspect of that God. Think about it, do you act the same way with your boss as you do with your friends? Do you talk about the same things with your colleagues as you do with your parents? No, and neither do I.

If these messages are coming to you as symbols, then you have a bit more work to do. You’ll need to pull out your reference books and websites and find out what you can about the symbolism of what you are smelling, seeing, or otherwise sensing or experiencing. Seek guidance from outside sources such as books or by asking questions of other people. Listen to your gut instincts here as well. If you find yourself being drawn towards one particular Pantheon over another then look that direction. The ultimate answer of Who it is trying to contact you will come from within your own heart.

For instance, when I was smelling cinnamon everywhere I began by looking at where cinnamon had been used in ritual and what deities were associated with it. That led me to information about the early Babylonian and Sumerians and from there to Judaism, all of which led me to Lilith. Cinnamon was burnt in the Jewish temples and was associated with Lilith.

Other people have reported seeing a particular bird a lot, in situations where they wouldn’t normally expect to see that bird. Or hearing a particular sound, or having repeating dreams. Some may continually find themselves drawn to books which contain information about that Deity.

It is thought within a shamanic context that if you see a particular animal from 3 different perspectives within a journey that means the animal wants to speak to you and may be a power animal or have a gift for you. The same applies when looking at potential Patron Gods. If you are receiving messages from the God from several different sources, it’s time to take a closer look.

This brings up another point. Not everything is a symbol of something else. Sometimes a cigar, is just a cigar. It’s when you start seeing or hearing or experiencing things outside of their normal context that you need to sit up and take notice. Seeing pigeons where I live is not symbolic. They’re everywhere. Seeing a swan 3 times when there aren’t any currently living in the nearest water source? That’d be symbolic.

But I don’t want to be chosen!

It’s okay to say no.

At no time, ever, do you have to accept a Deity as your Patron. You always have the choice of saying no thank you. Of telling Them to go away and leave you alone.

I don’t want anyone to come away from this thinking that when a God notices them they have no choice but to accept that Deity.

I have lost track of the number of times I have told different Gods to bugger off (sometimes I haven’t been that polite) and leave me alone, or told them to just back off for a bit.

Sometimes, They can be persistent and may still be hanging around on the periphery. I have found that for the most part however, the Gods will respect your wishes. And if One didn’t, would you really want to have any sort of relationship with It?

Not everyone wants or needs a Patron God. Not everyone has to have one. And just to be clear, having a Patron God or two or 10 does not make someone a better Pagan.

I’m always willing to answer questions that people may have about Patron Gods. Feel free to leave me a message in the comments section, or send me a note via the Contact Me page.

Read the previous entry: My Patron Gods

Coming next week: Dedicating Yourself to a Patron God

My Patron Gods

What purpose do they hold

For most Pagans their Patron God is not some far off entity. This is a being that they have a strong personal relationship with. This is who they call upon when doing rituals and spells, if they practice magic within their beliefs. A Patron God provides guidance and support as they grow and develop in their own spiritual and religious practice.

In my family, our Patron God is Herne. He has been with me since around 1998 and has stuck with me even as I was telling him to “bugger off” and go away during my own times of crisis. Herne used to speak to me a lot before I married, but during the marriage mostly spoke through my husband. When I separated from my husband in 2012, Herne once again began appearing to me, and let me know quite clearly that He was still very much my Patron God.

My Patron Goddess had been Modron from about 1998 until recent years. She arrived in a time when I was starting to focus more on my role in life as a mother and finding myself ready to be a wife. In recent years, while Modron had still part of my life, She did not have as strong a presence as a Patron Deity. And now, I realise that she is no longer here.

I am not without a Patron Goddess though. I have needed the inner strength of a warrior in recent years, and for this reason Brigid has stepped up to take Her place as a Patron Goddess.

How do I know when a God is my Patron?

To be real honest, I don’t know how to express this in words. It’s a knowing deep in your heart. It’s lots of discussion and negotiating. It’s listening to the signs, that don’t always come in words that we can hear.

Telling you the ways in which different Gods have made themselves known to me may help.

Herne, I have detailed this elsewhere, came to me through dreams and by possessing my body during a formal ritual and energy raising. Most recently, He let me know that He was still a part of my life and He wanted me to honour him by sitting on my head while I was doing shamanic journey work and while I was receiving energy healing from others. I felt a physical pressure of someone pressing on my head and shoulders. When I asked another person, who sees things, what he saw on my head, he described a rather large man with horns growing out of His head. Ahhhhh.

Turns out Herne knew I was doing a daily devotional with Brigid and wanted the same for Himself.

These following Goddesses were not Patrons but they did come to me at times in my life when I needed Their energy.

Lilith came to me through smell. I kept smelling cinnamon everywhere! In places that I knew no cinnamon could be found. She came when I was discovering my womanhood and sexuality.

Blodeuwedd also came to me through scent. But this time, it was people around me who kept smelling wild flowers. She came as well when I was exploring my own sexuality.

Kali made Herself known in a somewhat more direct manner. Until I actually acknowledged that She was there, I couldn’t open a book or a magazine without seeing mention of Her. Later, when I asked for a greater understanding of Her nature through my dreaming, She sent a dream to me in which I caused my son to be killed and brought back to life, over and over again.

Lesson learned. I knew a great deal more of Her nature. I also learned to be careful of what and I ask for things.

She came to me when I was working in the critical care setting as a nurse and frequently cared for people who were dying and their families.

Modron came to me when I was embracing my role as a mother and a wife. I first learned of her presence when I received my 3rd degree initiation within a Wiccan coven. Through Her I was given the craft name, Maedrona, and in exploring the meaning of this name I came to know Her.

Brigid is now with me as I embrace my self as an independent woman and warrior. She made Herself known to me through web sites and internet forums. Like with Kali, every time I read something or went to a web site I came across mention of Brigid and Flame keeping. It is Brigid who encouraged me to cover my hair when I needed that protection. And Brigid who told me I no longer it.

It is also Brigid who showed me very clearly that I am not helpless, I am a warrior. And I can stand on my own.

My Patron Gods today

altar to herne and brigid

Brigid and Herne are very much a part of my life today. I still don’t worship them, but I do honour them regularly. Herne gets a shot of whisky and Brigid gets a drink of water. I also speak to Them when I am doing journey work and through the Amulets. But most often, my talks with them happen when I am engaged in mundane tasks around the house.

Do you have a Patron God? Do you have another type relationship with a God or Goddess? How did you come to know who It was?