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
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?