So this is going to be a bit personal for me. I think it would be for anyone. When we talk about deities and our relationship to them, we are talking about a sacred part of who we are and our beliefs. We are talking about the part of ourselves that looks for something more, looks for answers, and looks for guidance. It is easy to get swept up into the Witchtok version, where deities seem more like best friends who are always there for you, and while that might work for those individuals, to me deity worship in my practice is a bit different.
I have been in my practice for 20 years (actually 21 years in like 4 months if I remember correctly). When I originally got into my craft, it was long before the internet existed the way it currently does. Twitter was just barely being invented, TikTok didn’t exist, and the knowledge of information that was at our fingers was not nearly as powerful as it is currently. I was rather poor growing up so I didn’t even have a computer to try to find resources. Instead, I had to buy books, the library became my best friend, and try to use other computers to find information when I could. And this all worked well for me. I learned quite a bit, but one of the first things I read about were deities and patron deities, and like most teenage witches, was convinced Hecate was calling to me. I distinctly remember reading some of my old poetry to the “Dark Goddess” and now, it makes me almost violently cringe.
I think I knew in my soul that Hecate was not my patron, no matter how much I tried to convince myself otherwise. It felt more like a story I would tell people and myself, a story that was nice enough, but the part that gives a story life and substance was missing. That spark of connection. After about a year of this, I had to come to terms with my own self and admit, that what I had wasn’t real, that I wasn’t really even looking for a patron, but that I was looking for a friend, one who would never leave me. And that is not what working with deities is. Not by a long shot.
Needless to say, my life changed over the years. I grew up, got married, never went to college but worked my ass for a company to be promoted, you know, the normal stuff. I kept my practice close to my heart but never looked for a deity, nor did I want one. I had reached a point in my life where guidance would be nice, but I have the confidence to make any choice on my own. I might feel down and depressed sometimes, yet know that I have the strength to get out of it on my own. I know I don’t know everything, but have reached an age where I am comfortable admitting that, and excited to learn new things. In other words, I was (and am) at a point where a deity feels like it would be more of a nuisance than anything. You can imagine my surprise when all of this changed.
One day I woke up and something felt a bit different, a bit warmer inside myself. Now I live in a desert climate so I assumed it was that, plus the after effects of a bit too much Cabernet the night before. However this feeling persisted. The best way to describe it would be the feeling from hugging someone you love for a long time, being wrapped in just contentment. I realized after a few days this was not simply my onsetting middle age alcoholism showing itself, something was going on. And like any witch worth their salt, that piqued my interest, enough for me to start meditating, journaling, and researching. Things I had not had much time to do lately due to life, but apparently needed.
I believe everyone has a deep dark place in themselves. A quiet place that is just theirs. A place no one else exists, where you can simply live in the void of your existence. To me, it looks and feels a bit like a black room, and I am standing in the middle and there is gentle light coming from above. A gentle quiet place in my heart. When I went there in my meditation to figure out what was going on, I was not alone. Instead, I sensed something had changed. Where the room used to be black, I got the distinct impression there were three glowing spheres of light, one white, one blue, and one green. Each one flitted about and generally ignored me, however I still seemed curious by what I would proceed to do next. So I waited, and I watched, and I learned. Over the coming months of meditations and research, I couldn’t find anything that really explained it. And they were still there, this was not a one time thing.
Over time, I felt that these things were something more than just balls of light. To me, it felt like something bigger and stronger, something as old as creation itself. They didn’t feel like deities, they felt more like an idea. They felt like something that was so large you cannot comprehend them, yet so fragile seeming they would blow away on a breeze. They also let me know a bit of what they were. Not in some telepathic facsimile of a Vulcan mind meld, more by noticing that things changed a bit. When I felt joy and life, when I listened to music and danced in circles in my backyard (yes, a funny sight to see considering I am a 6’4″ 250lb bear of a man, sue me, I like to dance) I would feel that white one grow larger, encompassing everything I am. When I felt curious, learned something new, or expressed myself, the blue light would grow and add a sense of calm to who I am. When I worked with animals, plants, or was around people that were hurting, the green light would grow and I could feel myself trying to take on the care and responsibility to make everything I loved grow.
To me, these things are aspects of the highest forms of power in the world. To me, these are aspects of love, knowledge, and nature. Not the full aspect, to me it is more that I actually found my connection to it. To me, love, knowledge, and nature are the most powerful things in the world, so encompassing and so connected to every person and culture, they have no form. They have no personality, they have no requests, and they are not deities. If anything, I feel that deities are simply fragments of these aspects. To me, the truth is not about which deity you worship, but making sure that you connect with those aspects of life. While it is true I call them by various deity names (Hathor for Light, Odin for Knowledge, and Artio for Nature), for me that is simply an easier way to connect with them individually. I don’t worship the named deities, for I truly feel they are representatives (or Avatars if you will) of these aspects. To me, the aspects are so much more than anything we can understand, and so much more complex than any deity.
I do not worship them, not in the way you would worship a deity. I do not leave them offerings, and do not do daily prayers to them (well, mostly). To me, simply acknowledging them and letting them move through me is enough. To me, trying to embody these aspects is enough, by dancing in the sun, learning everything I can, and being conscious of all living things. I admit I have my good days and my bad, I am only human, and even last night let my temper got the best of me. But that is the thing, these are aspects of truths that are so old and powerful that to me, it doesn’t matter if I have a good day or a bad day, only that I try my hardest. They only care that if at the end of the day, when I close my eyes, I can sleep well knowing I did the best I could for that day.
I know this will not resonate with people as these are my personal beliefs and practices. I know this might help some people and hurt others. But to me, this is something I wish I knew when I was just starting. You do not need a deity, you do not need to tie yourself to something that doesn’t feel right in your soul, you do not need to declare this or that deity to fit in. Everything comes in it’s own time, and quite often not how you expected. Deity worship is deeply personal to everyone, and for me it is not even about deities. To me, this is simply my truth, and that feels right to me.