Choosing a deity is an important part of becoming a Wiccan, if you view this as a religion, rather than witchcraft as a practice. There are two camps. Some people practice the craft, without any religious overtones, while others are seeking a more spiritual path. In this post, I’ll be discussing the religious side of Wicca. I’ll focus on how to find your patron god or goddess, as well as tell you how I came to this decision myself, so you can learn from my experiences. Hopefully, it will help you on your journey.
As I’ve mentioned before on this site, I worship Artemis. She’s the Greek goddess of the moon and the hunt. She’s my particular “version” of the Triple Goddess, which you’ll read more about below. Some people choose to personalize this religion even further by picking their very own deity.
I chose Artemis because I admire her strength and independent spirit. Artemis is depicted as a virginal warrior goddess, and I love the feminine power of that. I’m hardly virginal or chaste, but I love the fact that she puts herself ahead of romance. Artemis does her own thing and she’s an excellent role model/mentor.
Now, I didn’t come to this decision lightly. When I first studied the craft, I wasn’t sure which goddess I should pray to. And yet, there were signs all around me. For example, I LOVE Wonder Woman. She is my favorite superhero and she’s closely associated with the goddess Diana, which is the Roman counterpart for Artemis. I happen to have Greek heritage, which is yet another sign. Another factor is my name itself. My name is Cynthia and it comes from Mount Cynthus where she was born, along with her twin brother, Apollo.
At an early age, I learned to bow hunt. I used to go target shooting with my father every Saturday. While I never wanted to shoot animals, I loved hitting the bullseye. Again, just like Artemis. Another obsession of mine is the moon. I have lots of artwork, jewelry, and knickknacks with moon themes. So, once I tuned into the signs, it was easy to pick a deity. Artemis was practically shouting at me, trying to get my attention. All I had to do was listen.
Right now, you might feel a little lost, but once you tune into your intuition, it will become clear. Of course, you can always worship the Triple Goddess or the Horned God, without picking a particular deity of your own, but I urge you to consider doing so, especially if you are a beginner.
In Wicca there are two main deities, the Triple Goddess and the Horned God. The Triple Goddess has three distinct forms, the Maiden, the Mother, and the Crone, or three stages in a woman’s life. Of course, not all women become mothers, but this represents the human life cycle. This is emphasized by her symbol, the three phases of the moon.
The Horned God
The Horned God is depicted with horns like an animal and he symbolizes duality, beast and man, light and dark, summer and winter. He is dualistic, while she has three faces. Together, they are a formidable pair.
How to Find your Patron God or Goddess
So, what can you take from my story? Here are some practical tips below.
Consider your Heritage
A good place to start is your heritage. Once you determined where your family is from, start researching the deities associated with those locations. For example, if your family is from the UK, you might consider Celtic deities. If you are Italian, check out the Roman gods and goddesses. And if you are Native American, find out what gods or goddesses the tribe worshiped.
If you are adopted or your family doesn’t have ancestry information, check out Ancestry.com where you can trace relatives and their locations. Birth certificates will tell you where the person was born. Or, if you have the money, consider getting a DNA test. This will give you an overview of where your family comes from.
Check out Pantheons
One of the first things I did was research pantheons, and not just the familiar Greco-Roman ones either. Look into deities from other cultures. Another one of my obsessions is Egypt, and I looked through all of their gods and goddesses, but I never found one that suited me perfectly. However, I was pretty taken with Bast, the cat goddess, but she ultimately wasn’t right for me. The Crash Course YouTube channel is a fun way to research these. No books necessary.
Trust your Gut
Pay attention to your intuition. One way to jump start this process is to make out a list of things you love. Love. Not like. Look for patterns. And while you are researching, consider your feelings. Do one of the gods or goddesses appeal to you on a deeper level? Does it just “feel” right? Tune in to your emotions and ideas.
You might even want to ask for a sign. Light a candle and center yourself and then ask for a sign. There might be a god or goddess already watching over you, just waiting for you to find him or her.
What if I want a god and a goddess?
By all means, you don’t have to stop at one. You can choose several deities. Go ahead and mix members of different pantheons. I found a distinct need for feminine power and energy, but you might feel differently. Just make sure it “feels” right to you.
I did a short dedication ritual, where I pledged myself to Artemis. This doesn’t have to be anything formal. I did this in the woods at dusk, so I could see the moon overhead. I stood and spoke to the moon, asking Artemis for her assistance and swearing my devotion to her.
Keep in mind that you are not “bound” to this goddess or god forever. Some people worship different deities as they become more familiar with the craft. You might start out with one particular deity and then switch to another, as you grow and change. I’m a little unusual, because I stuck with one and haven’t sought out another.
Altars and Rituals
Once you’ve made your choice, make sure your deities are represented on your altar. Some people use pictures or statues of the god or goddess. Some use symbols to represent him or her. I often use silver because it shines like the moon. If you’d like an example of an altar, check mine out here and here.
Make sure you do occasional rituals to thank your god or goddess for her assistance. Every morning, I stop by my altar, light a candle and speak to Artemis like I would talk to a friend, I tend to plan my rituals around the moon, and I often wear a moonstone necklace when I cast, so I feel a stronger connection to Artemis.
If you have any questions or comments on how to find your patron god or goddess, please leave them below.