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“Patron Deity” is a term used in Wicca that refers to the god or goddess who is believed to watch over and protect you. How do you know if your patron deity is calling to you? How can you find out what it means for your life and spirituality? How do we know which deity will be our patron? What’s the difference between gods and goddesses, and how many can we worship at once? This guide will answer all of these questions and teach you how to find your goddess (or god!)
What is a Patron Deity?
Deities play a huge role in Wicca. They aid us in worshipping nature. They help us pray and meditate. The gods and goddesses provide meaning to rituals. They also guide us in all types of magickal activities, including spell casting.
Wiccan belief is diverse, but a great deal of Wiccans consider themselves polytheistic. This means that they can worship and work with a wide variety of deities. Some deities are specially recognized as “patrons” (or “matrons”). Patrons are gods or goddesses that a Wiccan pays homage to and works with very closely.
A patron deity is a particular god or goddess to whom you devote your energies. They are your go-to deity, patient instructor, and source of spiritual growth. They will take you on a journey that will not only deepen you, but expand on your skills and strengths.
You will adopt their unique energy, learn their techniques and skills thoroughly, and become the person they want you to be. Every day, you honor and collaborate with your patron god in order to fully develop your connection with them. They will be your teacher who creates a strong link between you and the energies of the universe.
You can work as closely or as infrequently with your patron goddess as you like. Every relationship is unique. You can check in with them daily, or you can call on them yearly at a particular sabbat.
Why Is It Important to Have a Patron God?
The energies of the patron’s archetype rub off on you as you work with a Patron. You acquire the energy of that god, and while you’re working with them, they’ll try to teach you their abilities.
Most people naturally choose a goddess that they like to work with, often because that deity is linked to their present life’s calling or passion. But that doesn’t mean you can’t learn valuable lessons from a patron who aligns with your interests.
So, the benefit of a patron deity is that you build up your connection with them fully and deeply. You get to know them well throughout your continuing worship and service. A god will teach you a lot over time when you’re under their wing in this manner. Just imagine the lessons you can learn from them.
You may be with the same patron for the rest of your life. But you may also find that your goddess lets you go. It’s a gentle way for your patron to let you know that you’ve learned all you can from them, and you need to move on to another deity.
Do I Need to Have a Patron Deity?
Of course not! For all the talk of patrons you may hear in Wiccan and witchcraft circles, there is absolutely no requirement to have a patron goddess.
A patron deity is someone who you work with on a personal basis. So you need to feel comfortable doing this in order to have a patron.
It may feel overwhelming to find a deity or to do intimate work with your patron. You may also be searching but can’t seem to find yours yet. Or, you may have perceived that a goddess was calling out to you, but you don’t know how to respond or what to do.
Don’t feel pressured to find a patron sooner than you are comfortable. A patron should fit organically into your life, and it should be an enriching and rewarding relationship. Just like finding your soul mate, this process takes time.
The process of selecting a god should be deliberate and one that you take your time with. This is a significant, crucial relationship in your life. You don’t have to accept the first deity who beckons to you.
So don’t sweat it– you can still work with deities even if you don’t have a patron goddess or god.
Can I Work With a Deity That’s Not My Patron God?
Of course you can. You may work with a god or goddess without making any sort of commitment. You may have a productive working relationship with any deity outside of the patron connection. In fact, it may enhance your spiritual relationship because other deities add balance.
Having a patron, on the other hand, does not imply you must shun all other gods. The gods are not envious or demanding of an exclusive connection. It’s fine to conduct rituals for other goddesses. Our relationships with our patron will be unique and honored, and not tinged by jealousy.
Can I Worship Multiple Deities?
Once you’ve chosen a patron deity, it does not imply that you are in for life. Other deities may still enter and exit your life based on what they have to teach you. It’s also possible that you may have more than one patron deity at any given time, which is fantastic!
Worshiping Multiple Patron Goddesses
There’s no hard and fast rule regarding patrons. On the low end, you can have a single patron. On the high end, you might have four or five patron deities.
It is entirely possible to have a working relationship with many patron gods and goddesses. You may have similar relationships with all of them, or you might have one especially intense relationship, with the others being slightly more on the surface.
For example, your “main” patron might be your home base, where you always return by default. Other patrons can important at specific times of the year, during specific struggles, or in conjunction with specific magickal work.
It’s always best to ask any existing patrons for permission, but in general your patron won’t expect a monogamous relationship. The worship of one god does not reduce that for another.
One caveat is if you’re looking at two deities from the same pantheon who have a difficult relationship. For example, one deity slayed the other. In this case they may not get along very well, and you should reconsider having them both as patrons. Or, if you do work with them both as patrons, separate their altars, offerings, and perform separate rituals.
Worshiping Deities That Are Not Your Patron
Deities will enter and depart your life at various times, teaching you things that you need to know at the moment. Each god has a working connection with you, but it does not have to be a deep patron relationship.
So you won’t have to rely only on your patron goddess for lessons. Other gods and goddesses may provide other training, as well as different talents that you may want to utilize in order to reach out to others. This is absolutely acceptable, and you will benefit from it both spiritually and magickally.
Any and all gods can be worshipped as you see fit. Attend rites for any deity you choose. Examine the rest of the gods to see what important truths they might teach you.
Is It Okay to Mix Pantheons?
Pantheons are sets of deities associated with a particular point in time or geographic location. For example, the Romans, Egyptians, or Celts. Each civilization had its own rich legends of gods and goddesses.
If you feel that you have two deities from different pantheons calling out to you, you might wonder if they can both co-exist as your patrons. Will they be angry? Will they get along?
The short answer is: In general there is nothing wrong with mixing pantheons. It’s truly a personal decision, based on your comfort level and your reverence of them.
The long answer is: You can mix pantheons, but you may want to consider separate altars. Out of respect to each unique god or goddess, you can keep their altars, rituals, and offerings apart.
Can I Work With Both a God and a Goddess?
Some Wiccans may wonder how to keep a balance of gender duality with patrons.
You do not need to worry about counter-balancing patron masculine energies with feminine energies, or vice versa. Unless you’re specifically targeting spellwork dealing with these energies, you don’t even need to think about this. You’re not going to get poor results due to an imbalance of energies.
However that being said, if it makes you feel more at ease keeping a balance, then by all means do so. It is a personal choice and the most important thing is your comfort level.
Conversely, you may also choose to work only with feminine or only with masculine patrons. You may only connect to one of these energies, and that is perfectly fine. There are also deities who are a combination of male and female, or have no gender at all, like Anubis/Anaput and Kek/Kauket from the Egyptian pantheon.
Just work with the gods and goddess who appeal to you, and try not to worry about the rest. Create spiritual bonds with deities that agree with you and make sure you feel comfortable!
How to Find Your Patron Goddess or God
Finding your patron goddess or god consists of both reaching out, and listening. Once you start on your search for a patron, the act of looking makes you more aware of subtle hints and patterns that your deity may be leaving for you.
So don’t feel ashamed about actively searching for your patron goddess. It just puts you into the right mindset to receive their connection.
Explore Your Own Interests
Many times a patron deity can be hiding in plain sight. Think about what you like to do. What are you drawn to? What activities do you enjoy? Here are a few questions to ask yourself which will help you uncover your patron god.
- Which cultures did you like to study in school?
- Which countries look interesting to visit?
- What does your typical reading material look like?
- What’s your favorite color?
- Which animals do you like?
- What were your favorite subjects in school?
- What’s your favorite game?
- Which season do you enjoy the most?
- What’s your favorite type of weather?
- Which celestial bodies are the most important to you?
- What keepsakes do you hang on to?
- Which areas of your life would you like to strengthen?
Just as important as looking at your interests, it also helps to look at your dislikes as well. Are you a gentle soul? Then a warrior god might not be the best fit. Do you want to bravely overcome obstacles? Then a hearth and home goddess might not work out.
Note that your dislikes and fears might also signal an area you need to strengthen! For example if you have an ill family member and you are afraid they may pass away, then working with a death deity may actually be helpful and healing.
Learn About Your Ancestry
A great place to glean information is from your own heritage. If you’re able to, ask your parents or grandparents to tell you about the family. It’s usually easiest to start with the oldest member in the family, as their memory will go the furthest back.
If you don’t feel comfortable asking your family, or are adopted, then there is an easy solution. Take a DNA test! There are many companies now which offer mail-in DNA test kits. The results will give you amazing detail into your ethnicity and the areas around the world where your DNA comes from.
Once you have a basic background on your ancestry (it doesn’t have to be exact), use this to hone in on pantheons which might resonate with you. Are your ancestors British? Then focus on Celtic deities. Is your heritage Norwegian? Hone in on the Norse pantheon. Is part of your DNA from Iran? Investigate the Sumerians.
Even if it doesn’t lead you to your patron goddess, getting to know the deities and beliefs of your heritage can be illuminating!
Look for Patterns and Oddities
Your patron deity may leave clues in unassuming areas of your life. Pay attention to unusual or out-of-place things, as these can have significant meaning. Keep and eye on recurring patterns as well.
Often the clues we seek are right in front of us. With a careful eye, these hidden messages can pop out. So be a sharp observer.
Here are a few examples of things to look for:
- A symbol which keeps popping up in different places
- A type of animal which you seeing in various locations
- Recurring images from a particular culture
- A particular phrase you hear mentioned by different people
- A song you hear over and over again
- An advertisement you can’t seem to shake no matter where you go
Even without careful observation, you may find that your patron god ends up in your life anyway! Our patron deities slowly creep in, whether we are aware or not. Many Wiccans find that they wake up one day and realize their patron was there all along, but they just never noticed!
Do Your Own Research
The next step on your journey to discovering your patron goddess is to crack open a book! Use the information you’ve uncovered from the previous steps to lead you in the right direction.
Pick a story from mythology which seems interesting and start reading. Look at books of ancient art depicting gods and goddesses. Read about ancient civilizations which interest you.
What are you drawn to? Did you find anything fascinating? If you see something which catches your eye, dig deeper and read even more. Keep reading until something strikes you. See which of your interests align with a particular god.
You can even take it a step further and do a ritual for a goddess in an interesting pantheon. Send some prayers, give an offering, and see if you get anything back. Check out these two books if you’re not sure where to start.
How Do I Call Out to a Possible Patron Goddess?
Once you think you’ve found a deity who could be your patron, try reaching out to them.
First, you can deepen your research and learn everything there is to know about your potential goddess or god. Read about the culture they serve. Dive into their mythology and folklore. Find out who their enemies are.
And bring it to the present day too. Try connecting with other followers of this deity. What do modern worshipers think about their relationship with this deity?
Taking the initiative to truly understand your deity’s history, as well as showing interest in them, may be all you need to connect with them.
If you find that this is not enough for the deity to notice and send a response back to you, it’s ok. Not all goddesses and gods are so friendly, and others are too subtle and elusive for a beginner to notice.
Other deities may want to see you show a bit more effort, to see how much you mean it. So it’s ok to take things further and actively invite them into your life.
To actively reach out to a patron deity, try these:
- Meditate on the god or goddess
- Hold a small ritual to introduce yourself to them
- Give an offering to them
- Say a prayer to them
- Talk to them as you go about your day
- Beckon them to find your heart
- Request a specific sign from them
How do I Know When I’ve Found my Patron Goddess?
When waiting to hear back from your patron deity, the best recommendation is patience. Remember, the patron relationship is a two-way street. Just as much as you are evaluating your interest in the god or goddess, they are doing the same with you!
The patron relationship is one of consent, so both parties must agree. It takes time for both us and deities to determine if a long term connection is possible.
The best advice is to remain patient. Although you might feel ready now, your deity will call back to you in due time, when you are actually ready.
When remaining open to messages from your patron goddess, keep an eye out for subtle signals. Any time you notice a magickal coincidence, take notice and see if it’s your patron goddess reaching out to you.
Pay special attention to the following, especially if they occur repeatedly or in a series.
- A feeling of being drawn to a particular place, person, book, or activity
- Noticing beautiful things in nature
- Hearing a strange sound
- References to the goddess in dreams
- Unusual behavior of animals
- Feeling a physical pull in one direction or another
- Having a gut feeling
- A stranger who has a likeness of them
- Gifts you receive
Keep in mind the knowledge you learned about this deity as well. It will provide great context to help you discern when they are calling out to you, and understand the symbolism your deity is using. Note their preferred animals, powers, where they reside, and their vices. It helps to know a deity well to understand when they are signaling you.
What if my Deity Doesn’t Call Back?
Not every pairing is suited to one another. If you don’t think your chosen patron is calling back, don’t feel bad about yourself. Oftentimes it’s the deities who call us, and not the other way around.
As much as we’d like for our chosen god or goddess to answer back, it just might not happen. As mentioned, the patron relationship is a two-way street, and you may be super excited, but your deity just knows the two of you aren’t a match.
In this situation, don’t take it personally. It just wasn’t meant to be. You may be better suited to other deities. In fact, those deities may have been calling out to you, but you were so focused on your chosen patron that you missed their signals.
Stay Open to Other Deities
Allow yourself to receive contact from other goddesses and gods. You never know where your patron will come from. Try not to make assumptions, and be open to a deity which you aren’t expecting.
However if a deity that you didn’t choose calls out to you, don’t feel that you have to accept them. Learn about them and see if you feel comfortable. You have a choice! Ask them questions about why they chose you. Pray to them a few times and see what happens. Do a trial run for a month or two before committing to them. And remember, it’s always ok to say “no thanks” if something doesn’t sit right.
It may also be that you are still too new and inexperienced to take on the subtleties of deity work. Don’t worry, you’re not being rejected. You are simply being given more time to mature in your practice. There is no rush, and you have everything you need inside yourself to work magick.
It helps to view the patron relationship as you would a marriage– don’t rush into anything, and make sure the other person is mature enough for you to grow and learn together. You’re building something that can potentially last a lifetime, so it’s ok to take your time.
Once I’ve Found my Patron Deity, How Do I Honor Them?
Your relationship with your patron goddess or god is one which will grow over time. So to get close to them with them, do things which deepen your connection.
Your patron gods and goddesses are the heart of your Wiccan practice. That’s why we perform rituals, celebrate the sabbats, and pray. Forging patron relationships over the seasons and the Wheel of the Year is the essence of Wiccan practice.
Provided you and your patron goddess are ideal matches, it will be a pleasure and a blessing to get in touch with them. You’ll want to repeat it again and again, building your connection and trust over time.
Initially, you may want to set up an altar specifically for them. You can place a figurine of them on the shrine. You can also include items to represent them, like shells, rocks, pictures of animals– anything which shows their symbolism.
Try to worship at your altar every day. Even a few minutes a day will strengthen your passion for them. Light incense or a candle for them. Hold a moment of silence in their honor, or offer them a prayer of reverence. Keep a bowl for offerings at the shrine, and give a bit of food, drink, or flower each day.
Pray for devotion to them, and pay them reverence. Keep them in your thoughts throughout the day. Use their inspiration for journaling or sketching. Meditate on them. Invite them to your other rituals. Keep researching and learning about them.
Commemorate them with a special activity the two of you share. Anything that is connected with their energy. Go for a walk, exercise mindfully, cook, or contribute to a charity in their honor. You can even organize special activities for them on a sabbat too.
How to Set Boundaries With Your Patron Deity
Keep in mind that you’re allowed to set boundaries with your god. Determine what assistance and wisdom you wish to learn from them. Do you need emotional support? Advice? To be pointed in the right direction? Enhancing magickal skills?
Your relationship with them should be one of mutual respect. You should feel enriched by them. You should feel give and take. You should feel that you are being heard.
If the relationship seems one-sided, or that your deity is manipulative, it’s totally ok to set boundaries. Based on what you’d like to get out of the relationship, determine how you wish to be treated. You need a deity who is willing to listen to you and help you in the ways and manner which you need.
It’s always within your power to renegotiate the terms of your relationship, courteously cut off communication with them, or end the relationship if necessary. Always consider your own best interests.
There Are No Mistakes
You don’t need to be concerned about choosing the wrong patron deity. You are making the correct decision as long as your heart is open and your intentions are right!
List of Patron Deities
To give you a head start, here’s a comprehensive list of the various pantheons and the male and female deities present in each one.
Use this list when starting your search for a patron deity.
|Aker, Amun, Anhur, Anubis, Aten, Atum, Bennu, Geb, Hapi, Horus, Khepri, Khnum, Khonsu, Maahes, Montu, Nefertum, Nemty, Neper, Osiris, Ptah, Ra, Set, Shu, Sobek, Sopdu, Thoth, Wadjwer
|Amunet, Anuket, Bastet, Bat, Hathor, Hamehit, Heqet, Hesat, Imentet, Isis, Maat, Menhit, Mut, Neith, Nekhbet, Nephthys, Nepit, Nut, Pakhet, Renenutet, Satet, Sekhmet, Tefnut, Wadjet, Wosret
|Achelous, Aeolus, Aether, Alastor, Apollo, Aries, Aristaeus, Asclepius, Atlas, Attis, Boreas, Caerus, Castor, Cerus, Chaos, Charon, Cronos, Crios, Cronus, Dinlas, Deimos, Dionysus, Erebus, Eros, Eurus, Glaucus, Hades, Helios, Hephaestus, Heracles, Hermes, Hesperus, Hymenaios, Hypnos, Kratos, Momus, Morpheus, Nereus, Notus, Oceanus, Oneiroi, Paean, Pallas, Pan, Phosphorus, Plutus, Pollux, Pontus, Poseidon, Priapus, Pricus, Prometheus, Primordial, Tartarus, Thanatos, Triton, Typhon, Uranus, Zelus, Zephyrus, Zeus
|Achelois, Alcyone, Alectrona, Amphitrite, Antheia, Apate, Aphaea, Aphrodite, Artemis, Astraea, Ate, Athena, Atropos, Bia, Brizo, Calliope, Calypso, Celaeno, Ceto, Circe, Clio, Clotho, Cybele, Demeter, Doris, Eileithyia, Electra, Elphis, Enyo, Eos, Erato, Eris, Euterpe, Gaia, Harmonia, Hebe, Hecate, Hemera, Hera, Hestia, Hygea, Iris, Keres, Kotys, Lachesis, Maia, Mania, Melpomene, Merope, Metis, Nemesis, Nike, Nyx, Peitho, Persephone, Pheme, Polyhymnia, Rhea, Selene, Sterope, Styx, Taygete, Terpsichore, Thalia, Themis, Thetis, Tyche, Urania
|Aesculapius, Apollo, Bacchus, Caelus, Cupid, Fabulinus, Faunus, Hercules, Honos, Janus, Jupiter, Mars, Mercury, Mithras, Neptune, Pluto, Portunes, Sancus, Saturn, Sol, Somnus, Sors, Volturnus, Vulcan
|Aurora, Bellona, Bubona, Carmenta, Ceres, Clementia, Concordia, Cybele, Diana, Discordia, Epona, Fama, Fauna, Fides, Flora, Fortuna, Hespera, Invidia, Iris, Juno, Justicia, Juventas, Libertas, Luna, Minerva, Miseria, Muta, Nemesis, Opis, Pax, Pietas, Proserpina, Pomona, Spes, Terra, Trivia, Venus, Veritas, Vesta, Victoria, Voluptas
|Aegir, Baldur, Borr, Bragi, Buri, Dagur, Delling, Forseti, Freyr, Heimdallur, Hermodur, Hoor, Hoenir, Kvasir, Loki, Magni, Mani, Mimir, Njordur, Odin, Thor, Tyr, Ullr, Vali, Ve, Vili
|Eir, Eostre, Elli, Freyja, Frigg, Fulla, Gefion, Hel, Hlin, Iounn, Joro, Lofn, Nanna, Nerpus, Nott, Saga, Ran, Sif, Sigyn, Sjofn, Skaoi, Snotra, Sol/Sunna, Thruer, Var, Vor, Yggdrasil
|Abarta, Abhean, Aed, Aengus, Ai, Alator, Albiorix, Balor, Belenus, Bith, Bodb Daerg, Borvo, Bran, Bres, Cernunnos, Cian, Cichol, Conand, Corb, Creidhne, Crom Cruach, Dian Cecht, Esus, Gobannus, Latobius, Lenus, Lir, Lugh, Maponus, Neit, Nuada, Ogma, Seonaidh, The Dagda
|Aeron, Aine, Badb, Blodeuwedd, Branwen, Brigantia, Brigid, Cerridwen, Creiddylad, Creirwy, Danu, Epona, Henwen, Medb, Nehalennia, Nemausicae, Nerthus, Nimue, Olwen, Sabrina, The Morrigan, Rhiannon
|Amsa, Aryaman, Ayyappan, Bhaga, Brama, Dhat, Ganesha, Hanuman, Kalki, Kartikeya, Krishna, Mitra, Pusan, Ram, Ravi, Sakra, Shiva, Tvastr, Vamana, Varuna, Vishnu
|Agni, Annapoorna, Bhumi, Dakshina, Devi, Durga, Ganga, Gayatri, Kali, Lakshmi, Manasa, Narmada, Parvati, Radha, Rukmini, Saraswati, Sati, Savibri, Shashthi, Sita, Svaha, Yami
|An, Ashur, Dumuzid, Enlil, Enki, Ishkur, Istaran, Marduk, Nabu, Nanna, Nergal, Ninazu, Ninurta, Utu, Zababa
|Inanna, Bau, Ereshkigal, Gula, Nanaya, Ninhursag, Ninisina, Nintinugga,, Ninkarrak, Ninlil, Ninshubur, Nisaba
|Adya Hounto, Agassou, Age, Agwe, Baron Samedi, Belie Belcan, Bondye, Damballah, Dan Petro, Dan Wedo, Guede-Linto, Joseph Danger, Kokou, Kalfu, Loco, Marassa Jumeaux, Mombu, Ogun, Papa Legba, Shakpana, Sousson-Pannan, Ti Jean Quinto, Xevioso, Zaca
|Anaisa Pye, Ayida, Ayizan, Erzulie, Filomez, Gleti, Maitresse Delai, Maitresse Hounongon, Maman Brigitte, Mami Wata, Marinette, Nana Buluku, Oshun, Yemoja
|Ahuiateteo, Amapan, Centzonmimixcoa, Centzontotochtin, Cinteteo, Cipactonal, Ehecatl, Hyehyecoyotl, Itzcaque, Itztli, Ixtiliton, Mictlantecuhtli, Mixcoatl, Painal, Patecatl, Quetzalcoatl, Tezcatlipoc, Tlacahuepan, Tlaloc, Tlaltecayoa, Xipe-Totec, Xiuhtotontli, Xolotl
|Ayautheotl, Chantico, Coyolxauhqui, Coatilicue, Ilamatecuhtli, Itzpapalotlcihuatl, Ixcuiname, Malinalxochitl, Mayahuel, Metztli, Mictecacihuatl, Oxomo, Tzapotlatena, Tlatecuhtli, Toci, Tzitzimitl
|Baldi, Caishen, Cangdi, Chidi, Fuxi, Guanyin, Heidi, Huangdi, Jigong, Leishen, Longshen, Luban, Pangu, Shennong, Tudishen, Wendi, Wenshen, Yanwang, Yinyanggong, Yudi, Zaoshen
|Bixia, Doumu, Huashen, Hushen, Longmu, Mazu, Nuwa, Xiangshuishen, Xihe, Xiwangmu, Yueshen
|Ataguchu, Catequil, Coniraya, Ekeko, Illapa, Inti, Kon, Pacha Kamaq, Paryaqaqa, Paricia, Supay, Urcaguary, Urquchillay, Viracocha
|Axomamma, Cavillace, Ch’aska, Copacati, Mama Allpa, Mama Qucha, Mama Pacha, Mama Killa, Mama Sara
|Acan, Acat, Alom, Ah-Muzen-Cab, Bacab, Baalham, Bitol, Buluc Chabtan, Cabrakan, Cacoch, Camazotz, Chaac, Cit-Bolon-Tum, Chin, Cizin, Coyopa, Ek Chuaj, Gukumatz, Hum Hau, Hun-Ahpu, Itzamna, K’inich Ahau, Kukulkan, Maximon, Nakon, Nohochacyum, Tunkuruchu, Votan, Xaman Ek, Yaluk, Yum Cimil, Yum Kax
|Awilix, Colel Cab, Ixchel, Ixtab, Xquic, Xmucane
|Fujin, Hachiman, Izanagi, Kuninotokotachi, Ninigi-no-Mikoto, Okuninushi, Omoikane, Raijin, Ryujin, Suijin, Susanoo-no-Mikoto, Takemikazuchi, Takeminakata, Tsukuyomi-no-Mikoto
|Amaterasu-Omikami, Ame-no-Uzume, Inari Okami, Izanami, Toyotama-hime