Most Pagans begin their journey by studying Wicca, and then they may convert to a different Pagan religion. I was the opposite. I started my spiritual journey by studying Hellenic Polytheism, because I felt a close affinity to Gods such as Zephyrus.
When I was 12, my family lost our house in the recession of ‘07. We moved in with my grandparents, and I entered a long depression. All I could do was wait until we moved back home. For some reason, I felt a strong affinity to Zephyrus, the God of the West wind. In my mind, He represented a favorable change and would sweep me back home soon.
I didn’t connect to Zephyrus again for another dozen years. Now, during social isolation, I’m feeling the same way I did back then. I can only wait for change to happen. Once again, I feel drawn to Zephyrus. But this time, I want to actively worship Him with the knowledge of Paganism I’ve gathered over the years.
Worshipping a lesser deity is hard. Resources on the God/dess are sparse, and few blogs and books even mention Them. If you want to work with a minor deity, you landed on a good article. Here’s how I found information on the worship of Zephyrus.
Find Your Sources
Because few people worship minor deities, you likely won’t find offerings lists or worship guides online. So what do you do? Now, you have to go to the source. Read ancient texts and authors who wrote about this deity.
Search the deity’s name through Google Scholar, which will display verified texts from universities and researchers. You can also scour databases such as theoi.com. If you find an author who wrote about the deity, pull up a PDF of the work (if possible) and search the keyword. On my computer, I can type Control + F to search the deity’s name.
I’m sure this goes without saying, but only trust resources from the culture that worshipped the deity. Looking up ancient Norse guides for Sumerian deities will result in inaccurate information.
If you’re stumped, shake up your keywords. Since googling “Zephyrus” got me little, I switched my terms to “ancient greek wind worship” and “Anemoi.” Those brought up more results and authors that I didn’t find before.
Search for Symbols
In deity worship, symbols matter. They can become objects on an altar, prayers, devotional artwork, or offerings. Write down how your deity is depicted, even (especially) in ancient art.
For instance, Zephyrus is often depicted with wings, so we can assume that wings (or possibly birds) are an appropriate symbol. On at least one occasion, He was portrayed with scattered flowers across His mantle. Now we know that flowers could make a decent offering.
Write notes on any food, animal, epithet, or physical description of the deity. Although modern art can help, it stems from the artist’s perspective and may not reflect how the ancients worshipped the deity.
Read between the Lines
Chances are, the minor deity won’t have correspondence lists of offerings, symbols, herbs, etc. Most ancient texts don’t have those details in list format, either. Some records will outright tell you what an appropriate offering is (i.e., Orphic Hymn #81 attributes “fumigation of Frankincense” to Zephyrus). But if you can’t find these, you’ll have to read in between the lines.
For instance, a story in the Iliad details how Patroclus’s pyre wouldn’t light. To spur the flames, Achilles poured offerings to Boreas and Zephyrus. We now know that some of Zephyrus’s offerings were poured, but what could the liquids be? In ancient Greece, libations were usually wine, water, oil, honey, or milk. So we can assume that any of these liquids are appropriate for Zephyrus.
Even the “Weird” Facts Count
Never discount unexpected or weird facts. Mythology had several writers and a hundred different story versions. Many deities have several different representations, some of which may seem out of character.
When researching Zephyrus, I found that Oppian credited Him as the father of tigers. Not what I expected, but I keep it in mind. I also remember that only one author cited this (that we know of), so I don’t have to go overboard associating Zephyrus with tigers.
Take Your Tools and Worship
After research, you can move on to worship. If you haven’t interacted with this deity before, introduce yourself to Them. Speak or write a prayer, and express that you’d like to work with Them. Give an offering based on what information you’ve dug up.
I often receive questions about how to approach a deity for the first time. People want to know whether to speak formally or informally, what to offer, or what to say. They are (understandably) scared of doing something “offensive” or “wrong.” And I can’t give you an answer on what’s “right.”
Every God/dess is different. When first working with a new deity, be receptive to how They respond. For instance, while praying to Zephyrus, I sensed that He doesn’t enjoy flattery like my other deities do. I praised Him, sensed that He didn’t like it, and stopped. I didn’t get punished or ruin my relationship with Him; most Gods are more caring than that.
Your deity may enjoy informal speaking or praises; They may not. You’ll have to figure that out on your own. Before contacting Them, ground yourself, and remove all expectations. Give yourself permission to feel a bit awkward and possibly screw up. It’s all part of the worshipping process. As long as you remain respectful, you’ll be fine.
There’s also a possibility that the deity doesn’t want to interact. If this happens one time, try again. If it keeps happening, you may want to respect Their wishes. Not every deity/human relationship will work out.
Don’t Expect There to Be a “Right” Way
Everyone worships differently--even with well-known Gods who have millions of followers. If mainstream deities don’t have one-way worship, why should minor deities?
You will receive little information on your deity. Expect that. Know that you may have to improvise your prayers, offerings, and rituals. And that’s okay. Although research is crucial, working with your deity will give you all the knowledge you need.
Because resources on minor deities are scarce, you’ll have to work harder to gain this information. Follow these steps for the most reliable results.
4/27/2020 12:04:33 am
I completely love and empathize with this particular post. When I was 14 or 15 I discovered and fell in love with the Welsh goddess Arianrhod. 16 years later and I am still learning about her, Artio and Mielikki -- all lesser explored goddesses that often elude me. I will definitely try the Google Scholar method for more information! Thank you for this great read and many blessings to Zephyrus!
5/16/2020 05:13:42 pm
I feel you, Ashley. I feel bad for all the people like you who felt connections with minor deities and could find nothing on them. But I'm glad that you're pursuing it. Who knows how great that relationship will become? Thanks for commenting!
5/15/2020 01:20:04 am
Zephyrus came to me during a time of distress too, my craft started... In a messy way, If i may. I was younger, messier and a hot pot of confusion and emotional mess, witchcraft was an escape route for all that, and i felt like working with a deity would help me out. When he appeared to me, i was a bit "Dissapointed", there was almost nothing (If finding information is hard in english, on other languages it's borderline impossible) yet he stayed with me through out all those years, i've messed up, stopped practicing, came back, and his energy, presence, guided me even when i wasn't paying attention, now i'm allways trying and searching different and new ways to worship, make offerings, and continue working with him, Zephyrus is an amazing god and someday i will have an altar at my own house for him.
5/16/2020 05:15:38 pm
That's so amazing. I relate to you feeling like a "hot pot of confusion." That's why witchcraft exists, after all--to help us when we're down.
6/20/2020 11:20:41 pm
I was 10 and my dad was not very nice. We moved alot growing up. I felt something in the warm summer breeze that called to me and I called back. I'm 26 now and have been a practicing pagan since around the time I felt the wind calling back. I know first started reading about Zephyrus a years ago and believe he was the one comforting me all those years ago. I left an offering for him today and invited him in on my solstice ritual. Are any other Zephyrus worshippers also born about this time? My birthday is on June 29th. Btw this article was very helpful ☺️
3/30/2021 06:23:37 pm
Thank you so much for making this! I was honesty searching about Zephyrus and found this, so it's nice to see something that isn't a short little paragraph of not helpful info.
Leave a Reply.