Finding your patron god or goddess can be a mysterious and deeply personal process. Not every Wiccan does it, but many do because Wicca is a religion that emphasizes an individual’s one-to-one relationship with the divine. Therefore, you may want to live your life in the tradition of a specific god or gods, perhaps ones that your ancestors worshipped, or maybe ones to which you have always been drawn. You want to feel a psychic connection between you and your patron gods, and you would like to place their images upon your altar. But how do you find out which gods are willing to be your patron deities?
Some pagans and Wiccans receive a clear-cut summons by their gods. Suddenly, they sense the overwhelming presence of the distinct personality of a specific god or goddess. They see their patron deities’ images, names, and symbolism everywhere. They are visited by the gods in dreams. They go into trances and doodle the names and faces of their patron gods on scraps of paper. They have no problems figuring out which deities are demanding their attention.
For the rest of us, it can be much more subtle and ambiguous. We might open our hearts and minds and wait for guidance, and not receive any obvious feedback for a long time. We should try to go deeper. Find books of folklore and mythology at the library, and become acquainted with the stories of the gods. Keep a dream journal and look for symbolism and moods that correspond with certain cultures and gods. Meditate to quiet the mind and remain receptive to any messages a god might whisper – whether in words, music, images, or even moods and colors.
One thing not to do is to fixate so hard on the god or goddess whom you hope will choose you that you shut out all possibility of hearing a different deity. For example, a very young Wiccan might see Norse god Loki as “the god of chaos” and decide to increase his coolness quotient by declaring allegiance to Loki in the same way that he might accessorize his clothes with images of his favorite pop band. In doing so, he might miss the more subtle call of, say, Tyr, the god of wisdom and law, and his true patron.
To avoid this situation, feel free to research the gods and goddesses who interest you, but do so with emotional detachment. Read up on the gods whom your ancestors worshipped. Investigate the gods who share important attributes with you. For example, if you are a musician, you might feel an affinity for Greek god Apollo. If you are a woman and a healer, you might look to Celtic goddess Brigid. Reach out to gods and goddesses with whom you share similar personality traits much as you would see out friends in everyday life. For example, you might find a death-entity such as Egyptian god Anubis to be fascinating, but at heart you would have more in common with a maternal figure such as Isis. Do all these things, but cultivate detachment so that you remain receptive to any message, however quiet, from any deity, however unexpected.
As you continue in your studies, meditation, and contemplation of which god or goddess feels intrinsically right for you, include his image on your altar. Customize your rituals and sabbats to reflect her cultural traits. Proceed as if you and he have already chosen each other. Eventually, you may receive a dramatic, psychic acknowledgement from your god of interest (or possibly another god or goddess who has been waiting in the background). Or you may find yourself looking back one day and recognizing the subtle signs that one deity has always been with you through all your years of reading, seeking, thinking, and dreaming (as is the case with me and Wotan, aka Odin AllFather). Either way, you have the answer that you are looking for.