My study group has begun discussing deity. The conversation has been a little lacking, so I got the conversation started by offering up the deities from various pantheons that I have established a working relationship with over the years. One of the members of the study group then asked if how to best go about finding a patron. I thought it was a great question and wanted to “test-drive” my response here before I shared my response with the group.
People in my study group tend to fall into two camps. The first group has never worked with deity before and may not be well-versed in mythology making it more difficult to pin down a deity to work with. Since several of them don’t see research as particularly magickal, I wanted to develop a ritual to open themselves up to a deity’s presence.
For this ritual, you should gather a few offerings. It doesn’t necessarily matter what these offerings are, as long as they speak to yu. After arranging the offerings on your altar, cast a circle. Then, light a new candle, in any color, and make the following call:
“I open myself up to the higher power that I need at this moment in my life. I ask that you, my Patron, make yourself known to me. Light the path that leads to you. Accept these offerings as a token of my commitment. So mote it be”
The candle should be allowed to burn down, even if you must extinguish and relight the candle over the next several days. Allow the offerings to remain for as long as possible as well. If you must dispose of them, leave them in a natural place.
You should begin feeling pulls from or receive signs to identify the deity that wants to work with you. Research this deity and determine how working with this deity will be of benefit to you.
The second camp of study group members have an idea of which deity they want to establish a relationship with, but don’t know the best way to go about this. The next ritual is to help make the initial connection. For this ritual, I will use the Goddess Hecate as an example.
As with the first ritual, I would assemble an altar with offerings and images of Hecate. I would lay out a vase of red poppies, a chalice of dark red wine, three candles (white, red, and black), and maybe some salt arranged in the shape of a crossroad. After casting the circle, I would recite a hymn to the Goddess. For Hecate, I would borrow from Ovid and say:
“O night, most faithful guardian and Mother of these mine Mysteries, and all ye golden stars who with the moon floating near, succeed the fires of day, and thou, divine three formed Hekate, who knows my desire and strengthens my arts of magic; and you, O kindly Earth, who offer your potent herbs to my power; and airs, winds, mountains, streams, and lakes, and all you spirits of the groves and of the night! Be with me now!
By your enabling power, at my Will, broad rivers shall flow from their astonished banks, back to their source; My magic song shall sooth the angry sea and rouse when quiet; At my whim, I bring the clouds and make them flee, I both call the howling winds and quell them; By my art I break the throats of serpents; the living rocks and mighty oaks from out their soil I tear; I move whole forests, bid the mountains tremble, the deep earth to twist and groan, and for ghosts to rise from their tombs. Thee too, bright Moon, I draw down”
Afterwards, I would state my reasons for calling Hecate to me. I would explain why I feel drawn to her and ask that she become my Patroness. I would then present the offerings to her. Finally, before closing the Circle, I would release her, but ask her to stay if she wished.
Ongoing, I would pray (yes, pray) to Hecate each day and evoke her presence into any ritual or magickal work I undertake. This would allow me to get to know her on a spiritual level and to continually open myself up to her guidance.
Hopefully, these rituals will work for you, as they have for me in the past. Let me know what other practices would be helpful in establishing a relationship with a deity.