Wicca for Beginners: How to Find Your Wiccan God and Goddess
Finding your God and Goddess in Wicca
Your Wiccan God and Goddess are really what it’s all about. That’s what the rituals are for. That’s why we celebrate the Wheel of the Year. That’s why we pray and meditate.
Anyone of any religion can love nature. Anyone of any religion can cast spells. Anyone of any religion can work with tarot cards or crystals and such. None of these things particularly make anyone Wiccan—in fact, plenty of people who do these things are not at all Wiccan. People have been doing these things long before Wicca existed.
However, fostering a relationship with the Gods as a Wiccan, connecting through Wiccan ritual, honoring them through the cycles of the seasons and by the way you live your life—this is what truly makes one Wiccan.
Finding your Goddess and God
Patron God and Matron Goddess
Wicca is traditionally polytheistic, and many Wiccans will speak of their ‘patrons’… that is, a patron God, and a matron Goddess. Patrons and matrons (or just ‘patrons’ when referring to both) are the specific God(s) or Goddesses(s) a Wiccan honors and works with.
There’s no rule about patrons. I’ve known people to have as few as one, and as many as four or five. They are usually of the same pantheon (not always, though mixing pantheons is always tricky and never should be taken lightly).
The benefit of being in a relationship with patrons is that it gets fully developed. In your ongoing worship and serving your patron Gods, you get to know them intimately. In taking you under their wing like that, a God or Goddess will teach you a great deal over time and you can learn many lessons from them.
Sometimes you can be with the same patrons for life—other times, you’ll be with them for a time (usually a few years) before you reach the ‘end of the road’ with them. This is not a terrible thing, when a God or Goddess ‘cuts you loose’; it’s not because you did anything wrong, but because you’re ready to move on. This is when you've benefited from the relationship all you can, and they realize that you are ready for a new patron—a new teacher, who can bring you yet to the next level of lessons that need to be learned.
Having a patron does not mean you need to exclude all other Gods. In Wicca, we don’t believe the Gods are jealous or have the ‘have no other Gods before me’ policies as found in other religions you may be more familiar with. It’s okay to go to a ritual that worships another God, or to hold a ritual to a different Goddess if you wish for specific purpose.
It’s just that our patrons will be a special, ongoing relationship.
Being Called by the Gods
A lot of Wiccans will tell you they did not choose their Gods, but that their Gods chose them.
Like many religions describe it, it feels like ‘a calling’, and as such it’s hard to explain. Many Wiccans feel they get signs of some sort. This may be an image or animal associated with a certain God or Goddess popping up a lot unexpectedly, dreams or visions. Often these are accompanied by those gut feelings, or an inner voice.
In my own personal experience, I had a vision— I’d already been meditating for years for health and stress-reduction purposes. I had also spend the last year as a religious seeker, learning about different religions and wasn’t sure about which path to take. When I was doing my normal meditation one night, I went particularly deep and my Goddess came to me, told me who she was, introduced me to my God and they welcomed me on the Wiccan path.
Where is this calling coming from? Is it truly a divine being who has chosen you and is communicating with you? Is it an internal, a simple ‘knowing’ in your own brain of what you need? I have my own ideas, but the truth is—no one knows.
Once you become Wiccan, though, it’s something you should look out for.
Signs May Be Subtle
Not Getting a Calling?
If you don’t feel the calling, you certainly should not feel bad. For one thing, maybe you’re just too new to Wicca and not ready to work with a personal deity yet. For another thing, perhaps you are just missing the signs. Don’t get discouraged—the deities aren't rejecting you.
You may need to simply employ a little initiative. Start seeking deities, and approach them to see which ones will have you (or have been waiting for you to come to them in your own time).
In other words, you don’t have to sit around and wait until you feel they've come to you—you can meet them half-way.
Guided Meditation to Attune with the Goddess:
Finding your Wiccan God and/or Goddess
Whether you feel the calling or not, there are things you should do to find patrons and foster that newly-growing relationship.
Do your research. Read, read and read some more to learn all you can about your Gods and/or Goddesses you think might be calling you. If you think you're getting a sign, look them up to see who they might be coming from. If you don’t feel a calling, this could be a good way to start figuring out the best road for you to take—starting with whichever pantheons catch your attention most is probably a good place to begin. Then see which Gods and Goddesses jump out at you.
You want to really acquaint yourself with God/desses initially. Be careful of Neo-Pagan books that try to fit all Gods into one mold and all Goddesses into one mold. You’re better off reading ancient mythology books that deliberately remain vague so not to be too specific.
Also beware of modern books that re-write myths to ‘white wash’ them to make people feel more comfortable (this happens often with ‘rape myths’ or other myths that are particularly violent and sad). Some Pagan authors prefer feel-good versions of the old myths, but they’re missing the point. Sometimes they have tough lessons for us, or they convey them harshly through myths—to change the myths is to change (and often lose) the less. Gods are not meant to be human ideals for us to live up to, they are meant for us to learn something. Remember that the myths are symbolism and allegory; your Gods are not actually raping and killing. If a myth makes you uncomfortable, don’t try to avoid it—it only means there is a lesson there that you probably need to explore further.
Poll for Wiccans (old and new)
Did you ever feel like you got a 'calling'?
Connecting with Deities in Wicca
Study pantheons and cultures. This requires more reading and studying, of course, but it’s necessary. Wicca is a modern religion, and despite what some shoddy scholarship will tell you, all Pagan religions are not based on that particular modern model.
Your Gods and Goddesses are used to being treated a certain way by the ancient cultures that revered them. You’ll want to uphold that expectation, just as if you were inviting a king or queen of another country into your home you wouldn’t want to offend them. You’d want to be the perfect host. Likewise, you want to be the perfect host if you are seeking a God/dess to come into your life.
You don’t want to make an offering of the harvest dinner that includes meat to a vegetarian Goddess. You don’t want to place something your God might find offensive on the altar. If your God is a warrior God, then embracing a life of pacifism and speaking out against war and violence is probably not a good idea. Every time you call war ‘evil’ it’s like a slap in the face to that deity. Not that you have to become violent in your own life or that you have to be eager for wars—but if you can’t appreciate that war might sometimes be a necessary action, perhaps a warrior God isn’t for you. If you truly believe in pacifism, you should probably find a God that advocates pacifism instead of trying to twist a warrior God to fit your mold.
Talk to the deities. If you feel called, begin praying to that deity. If you feel you wish to be called by a certain deity, pray to him or her. Pray for signs, or more specific signs. Pray for answers to come to you. Invite them into your lives, and into your heart.
Meditate—they say if praying is talking to a God, meditation is listening. Try to hear through that ‘inner voice’ what it is they are saying to you.
Set Up a Shrine
Begin Honoring Your Deities
A relationship takes time to build, and this is no different with Gods. If you feel you’ve found the right Gods, or your patrons, you should begin honoring those Gods.
The best way to start this is by building a small shrine and going to it daily. It doesn’t have to be elaborate: something to represent your God and/or Goddess (a statue, a candle, a stone, image, etc.), some candles and/or incense to burn during worship, and a cup or bowl for libations and offerings.
Go to your altar—daily is best, even if only for 5 minutes. Say a short prayer, hold a moment of silence, make a simple offering (some milk, honey, a flower, dried herbs, a portion of your breakfast or dinner, etc.).
You might want to find out if your God or Goddess is associated with any sabbat, or has a special annual festival from the culture in which he or she originates. Celebrate it—do something special. Again, it doesn’t have to be elaborate, but perhaps you could hold a ritual, go on a nature walk, have a feast, make a special offering (such as donating food in the name of a harvest Goddess).
Keep it up—books will tell you a lot about your Gods and Goddesses, but the only way to really get to know them is by making them a part of your life.