Several years into my path I began to feel a yearning for a more intense relationship with a single Deity rather than the more abstract honouring of the Lord and Lady which had been my main experiences. But I was stuck – there was no particular God or Goddess I felt particularly drawn to so I started reading about the different pantheons trying out ideas for size. I was really unhappy about this approach at the time. I felt like I couldn’t just dive into a book, pick an option that felt right and then go off into the sunset happy for ever more. That seemed to contrived, too mundane almost. I wasn’t helped by the experiences of those around me. Of those who had ties with a particular patron Deity, everyone seemed to have been called, approached or chosen by a that Deity at some time in their lives. Well I wasn’t getting any of that, no-one was choosing me, and I really thought I was doing something wrong. I had a period of intense questioning, questioning what I was doing, what I believed and what I really wanted.
Most of the time everything was fine but there was a prolonged and very real period of self-doubt. Through that doubt I came to the conclusion that as difficult as this path was, I didn’t want to be chosen. That implied a lack of free will, as if some God came down and scooped me up - rather than a mutual coming together. Over the course of the next few years various small signs started to point the way and I found a Deity I was comfortable with. I read all about them, meditated on them and eventually ended up contacting them. Even then, there was no fanfare or a definite sign that this was “meant to be”. More years passed and the relationship just grew slowly and organically until one day I had turned around and realised that I had what I'd been seeking all those years. That relationship crept up on my without my really noticing, I had a real euphoric moment at that point but it was all the more precious because it was so hard won. It wasn’t an overnight experience which overwhelmed my mortal emotions. It was a long, slow road which was full of self-doubt, misinterpretation and days when I felt like nothing was working. Only by continuing to persevere did I get what I wanted, and after all that I was at least certain it was what I wanted.
So this is a message of encouragement to all the Unchosen ones. I wanted to write this because, this it the post I needed to be reading about 8 years ago to give me some sorely needed confidence and determination. If you are not chosen by a particular God or Goddess then Don't Depair!There is a relationship out there for you. It may not come easily, but just because no-one melts your mind in a meditation and calls you by your name the first time you contact them, doesn't mean you won't end up having a meaningful relationship. Sometimes you need to work hard to get someone's attention!
I am polytheistic and firmly believe in a range of deities. Not as simple reflections of my own subconscious but most certainly as entities who exist outside of me. Some Deities I have a close relationship with, others of whom I just acknowledge and we go our separate ways for now. But it has very long journey getting to this point.
I believe that you can have brief encounters with Deity for singular encounters or magic working, you can have life long relationships with some Deities and others you work with them for a specified time and for a specified purpose. This makes it sound as though I am advocating having a smorgasbord of Deities at your beck and call and this is not true at all. Some of these encounters may be initiated by you, the Deities themselves or by taking part in group or coven work where others in the group are in a relationship with Deities and make an introduction. By far and away the most rewarding experiences in my interactions with Deities have been those which were part of a life-long relationship, in the way that long term romantic relationships are usually more rewarding than one-night stands.
All of these ways of interactions have their benefits (and sometimes challenges and trials) and can be important experience on any path. I would suggest being open to opportunities to take part in these. You will find out which Deities you have a connection with and which you do not. As long as you are respectful this is unlikely to be problematic.
I have carefully avoided using words like "worship" in this post for two reasons; for many people (especially pagans) the word has bad connotations, reminding them of a time they perhaps felt trapped by a monotheistic religion. Secondly because this is never how I have experienced my Deity relationships. Powerful, mind blowing, complex, yes - demanding of worship, not really. My relationships have been as sage mentors, ancient friends, challenging teachers, inspirational leaders, and sometimes even parental. They always involved an exchange of energy and definitely respect; but worship, in the usual sense of the word, has never been on the table. They have not demanded it and I have not felt moved to it - what I do give in such relationships is far more complicated than simple worship.
I will be coming back to the subject of Deities and relationships with them again and again I am sure, but for now please post with your comments and views - this is such personal ground and everyone experiences it differently.
This post is brought to you by sunshine and temperatures of 24 degrees C - not usual for April round here.