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Author Topic: Let's talk about patron deities.  (Read 6505 times)

Jainarayan

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Re: Let's talk about patron deities.
« Reply #15 on: April 08, 2015, 12:22:45 pm »
Quote from: Thorbjorn;172374
I think it's a shame people feel that way, or are made to feel that way. I don't think everyone is chosen by or chooses a deity, nor are either of those required. I think like many other things, it's "peer pressure" that makes people feel somehow lacking if they don't get that *thwap*. As a Hindu I did not have a connection to any deity, which is one of several reasons I left Hinduism. I was fortunate to get that *thwap* from Thor. That all told me Hinduism was not the right path for me, nor was Buddhism, nor was Taoism. That's not to say everyone who doesn't get that *thwap* isn't going to find a path, it's just that maybe a *thwap* from a deity is not required. Just an observation. :)

 
I thought I would add a bit more to this, from someone way more versed in the subject than I am: Rite for Finding a Patron Deity @ Northern Tradition Paganism by Raven Kaldera Despite the title, he makes it clear that it's not a requirement to have a patron or fulltrui, that neither way is better or worse, and that sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn't.
śivāya vishnu rūpaya śivaḥ rūpaya vishnave
śivasya hridayam viṣṇur viṣṇoscha hridayam śivaḥ
Vishnu's appearance is Shiva; Shiva's appearance is Vishnu
Vishnu is the heart of Shiva; Shiva is the heart of Vishnu - Skandopanishad
 

veggiewolf

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Re: Let's talk about patron deities.
« Reply #16 on: April 08, 2015, 12:44:08 pm »
Quote from: Triskell;173852
Speaking of patron deities, has any of you got that feeling that your patron god or goddess has always been here for you, though you didn't know it at that time?

I mean, in a sense, way way before you "discovered" your true religious path/set of beliefs/ more or less concrete "denomination" to associate with. Especially during the formative years of childhood.
So this deity was sort of looking after you, gently pushing you towards things that you now like, and when you got that "revelation" of who that patron is, you got that "aha" moment, everything suddenly makes sense and is so linked together that you end up saying "of course, how could it be otherwise, it had to be You"?

Or your patron god or goddess makes himself/herself known sort of out of the blue, like "yup, this is the beginning of something beautiful between you and I", but not so much as a past together?

I'm really curious, because I'm of the first case scenario I describe, with Manannan, and piece by piece, I believe it all started as far back as when I was 4 and then it really got crescendo up until my "aha" moment a few days ago (and it was very loud and clear, literally, though it took me two days to know for sure that it was well and truly Manannan).

 
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Ghost235

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Re: Let's talk about patron deities.
« Reply #17 on: April 08, 2015, 01:20:46 pm »
Quote from: EJay;172335
I see the whole "finding a patron deity" thing kind of like dating.

*snip*

So for newbies, you don't need to sit on the bleachers waiting to be asked to dance.  You get to ask the deities for a dance, too.  If no connections are made at first, continue to learn how to dance on your own until you find the right partner.

 
This is something that had a historical precedent.  Consider Orion, who(being a man) didn't start out as particularly favored by Artemis but earned it by his extreme skill as a hunter.  

Perhaps it is wise if you want a relationship with a deity to find a deity who is a patron of something one is extremely good at, do the thing you do well and dedicate that to the deity in question.

Even if it doesn't work the price is that you are doing things you are good at and most likely want to do anyway.

Triskell

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Re: Let's talk about patron deities.
« Reply #18 on: April 08, 2015, 08:12:51 pm »
Quote from: Thorbjorn;173856
I thought I would add a bit more to this, from someone way more versed in the subject than I am: Rite for Finding a Patron Deity @ Northern Tradition Paganism by Raven Kaldera Despite the title, he makes it clear that it's not a requirement to have a patron or fulltrui, that neither way is better or worse, and that sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn't.

 
Thank you Thorbjorn for sharing your experience and for that interesting website!

Sorry veggiewolf, won't happen again (I had clicked on reply with quote but I guess I've deleted too much of it and nothing appeared in the end) :)

Quote from: Ghost235;173858


Perhaps it is wise if you want a relationship with a deity to find a deity who is a patron of something one is extremely good at, do the thing you do well and dedicate that to the deity in question.

Even if it doesn't work the price is that you are doing things you are good at and most likely want to do anyway.


That's a good way of looking at it. Which makes me wonder whether you're good at that thing, and even became interested in that thing thanks to the said God or Goddess that gently nudged you early on.

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Re: Let's talk about patron deities.
« Reply #19 on: April 08, 2015, 11:07:13 pm »
Quote from: Triskell;173870
Sorry veggiewolf, won't happen again (I had clicked on reply with quote but I guess I've deleted too much of it and nothing appeared in the end) :)

 
To elaborate a bit: you managed to fall into two traps. One is that, yes, you did delete too much - you want to make sure that you leave the code (anything that's between square brackets, including the square brackets themselves: in the opening quote code, that's not just the word 'quote', but also the username of the person you're quoting, and a number, which is the actual post number of the post you're quoting; in the closing quote code, that means the slash as well as the word 'quote'). You deleted the username and post number, and a bit of the code syntax that goes with it.

To illustrate, how the quote code looks in the reply box as I type this reply to you is (but with square brackets, not pointy ones). The additional stuff is what creates the quote trackback, which is the thing we most want and is why we have the quoting rules we do: when people can click on the trackback arrow in the quote and return to the post being quoted, it's much easier to keep track of the conversation, especially if a thread gets long and/or has a lot of sub-convos; it's also easier for staff to look at the whole arc of posts and see what happened, if moderation is required. So we will issue a quote reminder when someone does that.

The other one is the Vanishing Quote problem (more info here, under 'Disappearing quotes'), where, if you delete all the text from the post you're quoting - which is completely fine to do - but don't replace it with anything, the quote doesn't show up in the post. The usual fix is to hit 'enter' to put the opening and closing code on separate lines, as noted in the linked advice post, but one can also put something like '...' or '' in between. You won't ordinarily get quote reminders when that happens, unless you're doing it habitually; it happens to everyone from time to time, and it's fairly easy to fix, so staff mostly just fix it.

I've fixed the latter in the post you got the reminder for (by editing to put the code-bits on separate lines, the 'easy fix' I mentioned), so that you can see what the result of the former issue looks like, and how it differs from the quotes with trackbacks in most people's posts.

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Aiwelin

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Re: Let's talk about patron deities.
« Reply #20 on: April 08, 2015, 11:25:33 pm »
Quote from: SunflowerP;172002
The current trend, both on TC and off, seems to be toward, 'you don't choose your patron deity/ies, they choose you,' which is a kind of a raw deal for the very many people who are never 'chosen', or are unable to perceive it if they have been. Nor is there very much precedent for such a definition, either in ancient polytheistic cultures or in the neoPagan movement. I'd like to see a return to a broader, less exclusive, definition of 'patron deity'.

Sunflower

 
I agree that this kind of definition is a shame.  I have never been 'thwapped' or specifically chosen as far as I can tell; more accurately I sought out my patron deity because I didn't feel comfortable anywhere else but Her domain - and I sometimes still feel as if She's not sure about me being there.  I am devoted to Nerthus because I find Her awe-inspiring and worthy of my devotion, not because She chose or impressed me in any way.  I still generally call Her my patron deity though, because She is the primary deity I offer to, and because She is the one I feel most strongly.
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Ghost235

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Re: Let's talk about patron deities.
« Reply #21 on: April 09, 2015, 08:19:19 am »
Quote from: Triskell;173870



That's a good way of looking at it. Which makes me wonder whether you're good at that thing, and even became interested in that thing thanks to the said God or Goddess that gently nudged you early on.

 
Oddly enough, there is research that is out there somewhere that would support that idea.

It seems that, outside of some highly specific situations, there really doesn't seem to be a huge "gift" for doing particular things.  What seems to happen is that some people really enjoy doing certain things.  Because they enjoy doing them they do them a lot more.  And it is because they do it a lot more that they are very good at that thing.

And that early exposure/interesting in whatever thing a person is good at could be the patron deity at work.

Freesia

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Re: Let's talk about patron deities.
« Reply #22 on: April 14, 2015, 04:11:22 am »
Quote from: EJay;172335


So for newbies, you don't need to sit on the bleachers waiting to be asked to dance.  You get to ask the deities for a dance, too.  If no connections are made at first, continue to learn how to dance on your own until you find the right partner.

 
This is my current philosophy concerning deity. I did the wild search for the "Right One" at first and botched many invented rituals attempting to meet and greet with one Goddess or God after another until some nice person told me I could stop that. I've now experienced contentment and have concentrated on figuring out who I am as a Pagan instead of who is on my altar. I never stopped looking, I just put more focus on nurturing a practice.

I feel like my practice is leaning toward plants. I have horrible allergies, but a bad case of spring fever. I'm committed to maintaining the garden that came with my new house. I even added my first plants to one of the beds. I think I may start honoring a general nature deity for some time and see if a specific one steps out.

RandallS

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Re: Let's talk about patron deities.
« Reply #23 on: April 14, 2015, 07:55:58 am »
Quote from: SunflowerP;172002
The current trend, both on TC and off, seems to be toward, 'you don't choose your patron deity/ies, they choose you,' which is a kind of a raw deal for the very many people who are never 'chosen', or are unable to perceive it if they have been. Nor is there very much precedent for such a definition, either in ancient polytheistic cultures or in the neoPagan movement. I'd like to see a return to a broader, less exclusive, definition of 'patron deity'.

The problem as I see it is the term "patron deity" is overloaded. There are two separate definitions. In many ancient Pagan religions a deity was a patron of certain professions and activities and that deity was therefore a patron of those who followed those professions or were otherwise involved in those activities. In many cases there was overlap, that is there were multiple deities (even within a pantheon) who acted as patron of a given profession or activity. In this version of patron deity, the deity did not choose followers, the followers chose them -- and likely changed choices at various times in their lives.  

The other meaning is the one most people on Pagan forums tend to use, where a specific deity selects a specific person for some specific reason/need of the god and acts as that person's patron at least so long as it serves the deity's needs to do so. In myhology, at least, this tended to be rare and not always in the person's best interest.

Chances are a deity is not going to specially select you and make you his or her servant/pet (which is a fairly accurate description of this type of patron deity relationship). The 95-99% of people who aren't lucky/unlucky enough top be chosen should select there own patron or patrons under the first meaning of the term -- IMHO, at least.
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Jainarayan

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Re: Let's talk about patron deities.
« Reply #24 on: April 14, 2015, 09:56:05 am »
Quote from: RandallS;173987
The problem as I see it is the term "patron deity" is overloaded. There are two separate definitions. In many ancient Pagan religions a deity was a patron of certain professions and activities and that deity was therefore a patron of those who followed those professions or were otherwise involved in those activities. ...

The 95-99% of people who aren't lucky/unlucky enough top be chosen should select there own patron or patrons under the first meaning of the term -- IMHO, at least.

 
Good point about the word 'patron'. Maybe for the reason it's overused and has a muddled meaning is why some people shriek about it. It was suggested elsewhere that I am a monotheist because I used the word 'patron' for Thor. Unfortunately I don't think all traditions have a term that means one's individual personal deity, so the default is patron (just a guess). Hinduism has 'ishta-devata' meaning 'cherished, personal deity'. Ásatrú has 'fulltrui', which I now use because Thor is my friend, not my lord and master. In a way he could be a patron, of strength endeavors, and I am a weight lifter. I always considered Hanuman a patron of strength training, though when I was Hindu he wasn't my ishta-devata. This article describes the whole process. I think it's a pretty good article. http://lairbhan.blogspot.com/2012/12/fulltrui-dedication-to-deity-in.html
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Vishnu is the heart of Shiva; Shiva is the heart of Vishnu - Skandopanishad
 

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Re: Let's talk about patron deities.
« Reply #25 on: July 03, 2018, 12:13:40 pm »
An ever-common topic in the Paganism for Beginners subforum (and others) is 'Help me find my patron deity'...

Any thoughts?

The way I see it, people who are “searching for their patron deity” may really be trying to figure out what aspect(s) of their own human Nature they want to embrace above the rest, and the future that comes with doing so.  Then they might find a god/goddess that embodies that aspect and inspires them to embrace that aspect. 

It reminds me of the Judgement of Paris.  In “choosing a goddess”, he chose an aspect of human Nature (and the resulting future) he sought to prioritize above the others.  In that story he chose to pursue love (Aphrodite), over victory in battle (Athena) and becoming a ruler (Hera). 


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Hariti

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Re: Let's talk about patron deities.
« Reply #26 on: August 27, 2018, 03:28:07 am »
Any thoughts?

Well, since this thread has already been necro'd (Thank God TC allow that!) I think I will share my thoughts.

I have a "patron" deity. My Ista Devata is Kali. She is the premier deity in my worship, although she's not the most powerful deity in my cosmological understanding of the universe. She's not *the* most important God, rather, she's *my* most important God.

And yes, I do use the term "patron" loosely. I've never met her in person, never heard her voice, never had a "thwap" moment. It's always been more subtle than that. I looked at her iconography, I read about her, and I just felt something pulling me toward her. A sort of spiritual nudge; I'm not even sure if she's the one who gave me the nudge, or if it was someone else. I just sort of got the notion that "You need her in your life, go and get to know her," and so I did. That's how I got into Hinduism, through Kali to Shaktism, and so eventually to Smartism, and then Vaishnavism, the place I'm at now.

I think having a patron makes spirituality easier for someone raised in a monotheistic society. Of course, having an Ista Devata is normal and traditional in Hinduism, but it's also quite like the way Christians devote their lived to the person of Jesus, and the way that Roman Catholics venerate Saints. It's a personal relationship, not a cold and distant worship from afar.
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Aetherwinds

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Re: Let's talk about patron deities.
« Reply #27 on: April 10, 2019, 12:02:01 pm »
To the newbie, paganism without a patron is like many people's idea of a vegetarian meal: a plate with an unfilled space where the meat should be.
Any thoughts?

I think like you said it's social media influence and generally speaking cultural habits to worship or honor something specific that make new pagans to seek a patron.
I consider myself an occultist to make things simpler. Kaos magick is a big part of my life but I also have a huge animist view of my reality. No matter if I'm in the woods or in the city, sometimes I feel the spirits very strongly. In the wind, in the forest soil that I like to dig my feet into, sometimes I fall into a kinda trance like during a walk and everything becomes still and I feel, just feel them. I felt the same in the past for city spirits, some places are awakened somehow.

That lead me over the years to just accept that spirits are there but never tried to name them or ask them for names? As if, there was no need for me? I was just happy to be a part of it.

But recently I learned that I'm not only French and Irish but also Scandinavian (full blood grand-parent). That made me curious about the gods of my ancestors. On the Gaulish side I find none that attract me, though as a huntress Cernunnos should be a natural choice. On the Irish side, as someone studying to be a mortician you would think the Morrigan would also call to me, but to this day I was to able to make a contact, though crows often hang out near my bedroom window lol. For my Scandinavian side, I caught myself instinctively calling Óðinn to help with school and jobs, carrying the appropriate runes in my pocket. The idea came out naturally, without really thinking about it, his name was on my lips, but it was a fleeting thing of a few weeks, no proper worship was done besides a quick thank you and offering.

I tried a few time to invite either gods or guides to give a sign or a dream but none came. I feel like I'm too proud and independent to attract a patron ROFL, I like to do things my way with no obligations or rules (yes I'm an Aquarius). So I'm back to just being happy to sometimes feel the spirits all around and take a bit of their energy and try to understand why I called on Óðinn out of the blue when I was in need of a bit of help, as if I kinda expect only him listen to my little call?

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Re: Let's talk about patron deities.
« Reply #28 on: April 10, 2019, 07:45:34 pm »
On the Irish side, as someone studying to be a mortician you would think the Morrigan would also call to me,

... I mean I'd only think that if you were making the corpses yourself. ;)
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Re: Let's talk about patron deities.
« Reply #29 on: April 11, 2019, 12:08:23 am »
... I mean I'd only think that if you were making the corpses yourself. ;)

Though if you can't make your own, store-bought is fine.
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