The gods and goddesses of pagan religions are common in witchcraft circles. The spirits can be found from Dionysus to Freya to Brighid. My favorite to work with is Ganesha. There are more than a million deities that weave themselves into modern practice. Other witches may have different patron saints and angels they weave into their practice while yet others work with demons. With all this talk of working with various gods, goddesses, and other spiritual beings it can be easy to feel lift out when you do not have anyone you work with. This can leave you wondering do you need a deity? You do NOT have to work with a god to be a witch. Do You Need A Deity? The first thing you need to do is figure out how much help you are looking for. If there is a deity that has been calling your name, it's time to start investigating by reading their stories and seeing if any of them appeal to you. If no one seems right or if you want support but don't know which direction to go in then it might be best for now just focus on grounding yourself with practices like meditation. Grounding can give us the sense of belonging we crave while at the same time giving us an idea about what our spiritual path may look like when it finally comes into view. Keep in mind that deities often work together so even though they don't seem perfect individually, combining two or more different gods in your practice may be just what you need. If you're ready to start a spiritual journey with your patron deity in mind, go for it! There's nothing wrong with exploring what things might be like and how much more fulfilling this relationship could be. If not, then stay tuned because we'll have some fun resources coming soon on how to do spells without any deities or magick at all. If you are not interested in working with a deity that is fine too. you don't need a deity to be a witch. There are many ways to do witchcraft without the help of deities and many of us rarely being a deity into anything we do. Why should you Work With A Deity? Some people believe that working with a deity is the key to unlocking our full potential. Others feel like it's just not for them and they're happy without one in their life. There are many benefits of having a patron, but there’s also an upside for those who don't work with deities at all. Ultimately you should do what makes sense for you! It sounds cliche, but if something feels right then go with your gut on it. For me adding Ganesha into my practice happened unintentionally and evolved in when a friend that works with him kind for directed me that way. She thought me his Mantra to help relieve obstacles to use in my meditation but when my mother died I had a major connection to Ganesha over this mantra. My mother was holding on after the removal of life support even after her brain function was all but gone after weeks in the ICU. After 24 hours of doing everything we could to calm her racing heart so she could let go, I began rubbing her head like you would a baby and chanting "Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha." Slowly her heart rate dropped and a wave of energy rolled past us as she moved on. What can a god or goddess do for you? Gods and goddesses can be a major driving force into improving your life and circumstances.• Helps with love, money, health and more! :: New perspective on life :: Support your magickal workings :: Self-acceptance :: Improved focus :: Personal growth But, not every god or goddess is right for you. Some are better at love than others, some are more suited to money and wealth. Others may be your perfect match with health concerns or protection magickal needs! The most important thing to remember when working with your patron deity is that they are a living being who may or may not have the same needs and desires as you do. It's up to you how much of them you want in your life but be very clear about what it is that you're asking for, otherwise things can get messy quickly. When should you not work with a deity? Working with gods and goddesses is not fit for everyone. If you feel the working will interfere with your spiritual path. If no gods and goddesses resonate well with you or your needs. Don't work with a deity if you are not interested in a give-and-take relationship. While a patron deity can be a great asset in your magickal workings and in your everyday life. These relationships like all others have a give and take to them and the god or goddess you work with may challenge you in new ways or request something of you in return. If you are not ready for this then it is best to wait on bringing a deity into your magickal practice. Should You Work With Both A God & A Goddess? If you are drawn to both the masculine and feminine voices of divinity, then it makes sense that working with a god and goddess simultaneously is right for you. Many witches work with a masculine and a feminine deity at the same time, either as their primary deity or to balance out energies in the ceremony. If you are drawn to both masculine and feminine deities but want one of them to be your primary patron, it is important that you choose which one first before working with a second. Working with more than two gods can lead into unintentional complexities so make sure you know what type of relationship will work best for who you are trying to serve. What Is The Difference Between A God & Goddess? A god is traditionally depicted as male while goddesses are shown female; however, this definition does not apply across all faiths such as Hinduism where some deities may have multiple genders or no gender at all. Whether they appear in statues or paintings or are part of a story passed down for generations. How Do You Find Your Patron Deity? There are many ways one could go about finding their patron deity; some prefer the more traditional route while others take a less conventional approach. A few examples would be: :: Reading through an index such as The Futhark Runes by Edred Thorsson then choosing which deities seem appealing based on how closely they relate to personal traits and values. :: Gathering information from a wide variety of sources such as mythology, folklore, or even tomes on the occult. This might be an especially good method for those who are looking for gods that they have yet to hear about before and want to explore unfamiliar territory. :: Reading over your horoscope and cross-referencing it with deities associated with specific traits in said zodiac sign; not all signs will match up but astrology can often offer insight into what type of deity one may work best with. :: Talk to others who have been working with the same deity for a long time and see how they feel about it; in addition, this can be an excellent way to find out why they were drawn to that specific god or goddess. :: Ask your spirit guides if you are struggling with finding which one is right for you; these beings may offer insights into how deities interact and what their individual purposes might be. :: Explore other religions of the world such as Catholicism, Buddhism, Islam etc.; while not all people who practice those faiths will work with many gods/goddesses outside of them (such as Catholics only using Jesus), some do prefer to use others from pantheons like Zeus should they decide on worshipping him rather than Christ. :: Be open to the idea that even if you feel drawn to a deity, it doesn’t mean they are right for you; there is no rule saying that one has to have just one patron. :: If the discovery of your personal god or goddess feels difficult and stressful, never fear! Just be patient with yourself as exploring spiritual paths can take time and energy so make sure to pace yourself when seeking them out. :: Do not give up on finding who might be suitable for you without first trying all appropriate options. It's ok if it takes time to find the right patron deity for you. :: Reading about the deities of different cultures and seeing if any seem familiar or make sense for you. (Keep in mind that this method will work differently depending on how much culture is part of your life). :: Doing a lot of research, reading books from various sources (both popular works as well as academic ones), looking at different types of materials such as mythology, art history, religious texts, etc—to help yourself see what qualities might be important to you when it comes to choosing who is right for you. Can I work with a Deity without them being my Patron Deity? Yes! Working with a deity is not one-size-fits all. You can work with any of the gods and goddesses as long as you are respectful, open minded, and willing to learn about new things. If that's your path then I'm happy for you—keep going down it. It’s worth discussing how this might look first so there are no surprises or misunderstandings on either side: make sure whoever you're working with knows what they will need in terms of offerings, time commitment etc., if possible before signing up for anything official. Be honest with any beings you choose to work with about your intentions before you begin. How Should You Approach Deity Work? If you're looking for a deity to work with, the first thing I recommend is figuring out what your goal is. Is it prosperity and general well-being or do you have something specific in mind like an illness that needs healing? If you can't decide on one then start by focusing on how to make any change happen quickly so momentum builds from there. It’s easier than starting at the beginning of this list! How much time will I need? It really varies depending on how often you want to engage in ritual and/or divination-related activity—once every week or month may not require as much dedication as once every day, but more attention you require the more you should offer in return. Signs that a deity is trying to get your attention :: Finding mention of a specific god or goddess repeatedly in your readings—for example, if you’ve been reading about Hecate for a few weeks and see her name come up again in another book. :: Finding that your life seems to be adopting the qualities of one or more deities over time (eg: an interest in animals like Sekhmet). :: Manifestations such as getting sick when Mercury is retrograde or feeling energized on Beltane. :: A sense that something important has gone missing from your spiritual practice/life after many years of faithful service; this could mean it's time to look at how religion fits into my life instead of just continuing with what I've always done because "it works". :: Signs within yourself, like a lack of direction or a missing link. :: There are many ways to find your patron deity. :: Some traditional methods include: :: This could also mean doing research into the modern-day worshipers and how they relate with their specific gods/goddess Do I have to be religious to work with a deity? No! You just need some belief in divinity/a deity who wants earthly representation so it can work with humans on this plane of existence. If religion isn't your thing then think about how another person might do what needs doing instead—like an animal totem (if there's any) or even the elements themselves.