The idea of deity, of a higher power has been with us since time immemorial. As a species we don’t want to feel powerless, we want to feel that there is something out there that can help us and guide us. Something more than us.
Whether you believe in deity is a personal thing. I have met atheist witches, though they do seem to be in the minority in pagan circles. Many follow certain pantheons, while others are more eclectic and honour different gods and goddesses from around the world. I seem to be of the latter, I have not really chosen which gods and goddesses i honour, they have picked me, and that is how it is meant to be.
When we start treading the paths of paganism, we generally think “who will my goddess be?” My advice would be to not force it. Don’t force anything within witchcraft and paganism, you will end up with things that don’t feel “quite right”. Don’t just pluck a goddess out of anywhere and say “i will honour her” when you really don’t know anything about them. That can lead to disappointment.
If you feel drawn to a god or goddess or indeed an entire pantheon, do your research. Read the myths and legends, meditate on that deity, explore. More often than not something will just click with you. When that clicking happens, you’ll know exactly why. My clicking has happened with the Goddess Isis. I connect with her for her devotion to her consort Osiris, her role as mother and wife and as a protector of children. I feel her presence, and admire her completely. I am constantly striving to be a better partner to my husband and mum to my children. I believe Isis is there, giving me the strength to better myself in those roles.
Gods and Goddesses may also appear to you in dreams. I have met Cernunnos in my dreams, most notably when I was pregnant with my daughter.(Fertility is a big deal with Cernunnos). It is a comforting thing, and can forge a great relationship. You may feel drained with such a meeting, my mind was racing all day, so take care of yourself the next day.
Through meditation you can sometimes seek a deity too, though I would recommend casting a circle around you in case anything negative tries to come back with you. Listen to whoever you meet, they will most assuredly have something important to say.
Within magical workings, you can call upon a God or Goddess to aid you, but they tend to do so only if they agree with the workings. If casting to get a fair outcome in Court, you may call upon Jupiter, for healing spells you may invoke Brigid, but remember to thank them for their help and guidance after you are finished. Do not take without giving. An offering would not go amiss.
Prayer is not a christian construct. We would offer up our pleas and praise to our gods before our lands were converted. Don’t be afraid to speak to the gods, they will listen. They may even speak back. Dedicate part of your altar to them, make offerings to them, honour them and do not neglect them.
Until next time, Blessed Be
The Basic Witch