Last summer, I wrote a post about how to choose a Pagan deity to worship. This week, I’m doing the reverse: what to do when a deity chooses you.
Perhaps a deity popped up during divination. Maybe you keep seeing signs associated with a deity. Or maybe you feel suddenly drawn toward a deity, despite not knowing why.
What do you do now? I’ll answer based on my experiences and shared experiences from others.
Ever since I started posting about Hades worship on Tumblr, I’ve received messages similar to this: “Hades is reaching out to me, but I’m not a death witch, and I’ve never had any significant experiences with death. Why me?”
I can’t answer that. The Gods and Goddesses think in ways that are beyond our comprehension.
That said, deities are more complex than many of us realize. For example, Hades doesn’t just aid with funerals and grief. He also governs justice, fair treatment, the fear of mortality, wealth and finances, fertility of the earth, and major life transitions. There could be a reason why you need this deity or vice-versa. But you won’t know until you start studying/working with Them.
You Can Say No
For some reason, many authors don’t mention that you can say no. A deity might invite you to work with Them, but it’s just that: an invitation. You may politely turn it down if you are uninterested or not ready. Even in Paganism and witchcraft, relationships are a two-way street. You won’t be punished or screw up cosmic law by declining.
In the same vein, some deities enter our lives momentarily. A God or Goddess might work with you for a while and then withdraw. If this happens, don’t panic. It’s normal. If you want to continue the relationship, then They will likely come back later.
If You Want to Proceed
One more thing. Notice that I have been saying “working with a deity” instead of “worshiping” throughout the post. Many practitioners will work with deities–pay respects, ask for support, and harness Their power for spells–without worshiping Them. If this sounds like you, then these tips still apply.
Study the Deity
Like I mentioned before, deities are more complex than most people believe. If you only know the deity through myths, then you do not know enough to start working with Them.
The ancients treated Gods and Goddesses differently than the myths did. After all, myths are only stories, and even some Pagans didn’t believe they were real. So if you really want to know who the deity is, research how the ancients worshiped Them.
Don’t know where to start? Here are some ideas:
If you want to worship this deity, then also research modern worship. Modern practitioners often tweak ancient rituals to be appropriate for the 2020s. You could get some creative ideas from them.
If you're approached by a minor deity, these might be harder to research. Check out this post for more guidance.
Decide How to Reach Out
These answers will help you decide what to say (or ask) when you first approach the deity.
When You Reach Out
There is no “right way” to reach out to a deity, as long as you’re respectful. That said, I know that many practitioners worry about being disrespectful. So I will give you an example ritual to introduce yourself to a deity. Feel free to adjust if appropriate.
If you're struggling with prayer--how to do it, what's appropriate, etc.--then this post might help you.
What Happens Afterwards?
What should you do after reaching out? I cannot answer this for you. That would defeat the purpose of establishing your own relationship with the deity.
You might not have received an answer after that ritual. Be patient. You might want to repeat divination (similar to how you do it with spirits), or you may wait for signs. If you don’t know whether something is a sign, read this post.
I hope this helped you start a relationship with a deity who reached out. If you have any other tips or experiences you want to share, please comment below!