by Demi Fox
Choosing a patron deity can be a big deal: it’s like choosing your witchy mentor, you go-to god/goddess, shaping your spiritual life for years to come. Your patron can be a powerful source of spiritual insight and development.
I’ve been asked a LOT about this over the years, and I remember my own frenzied worries about finding a Patron Deity back in my baby witchcraft days.
So if it’s a path you are drawn to, here is pretty much everything I know on finding and connecting with your Patron Deity.
What is a Patron Deity?
A Patron Deity is your Main Deity. You go-to Goddess. Your Main Man. The one who guides you. The one who will weave your path with you. The one who is always a big player in your spiritual practice.
They are your Cosmic Teacher.
They are a powerful link with the energy of the Divine.
I find that my Patron Deity nudges and shifts my life around so that I can learn Her lessons and learn Her skills. They have a certain say when it comes to your spiritual progress and what you learn along the way.
As you work with a Patron, the energy of their archetype rubs off on you: a devotee of Venus will find probably herself encountering themes of sensuality and the arts in her life, a devotee of Brigid will probably end up as a healer of some kind.
To an extent, you take on the energy of that Deity, and while you work with them you will be challenged to learn their skills.
Most people end up with a kind of deity or archetype they like to work with, usually correlating with their current life’s passion or calling. It’s just kind of natural.
If you are a homebody and a devout home-maker, it makes sense that someone like Hestia would be the sort of Goddess you’d get on with – and it makes sense that a fighty run-for-glory deity like Mars might not be your spiritual bestie.
Once you have a patron deity, it doesn’t mean you are in a monogamous relationship for life. Other deities will still come in and out of your life, depending on what they have got to teach you.
Sometimes you will have more than one Patron Deity, and that’s totally fine!
Do I need a Patron Deity?
Nope, you don’t need one.
I find that Patron Deities appeal most to people who interact with the Gods on a personal basis: by that I mean they are fascinated by the many different personalities and expressions of the Divine through mythological gods, and connect strongly with the Divine through Their individual facets and stories.
It’s just a way of looking at divinity that works for some people.
Can I work with a Deity without them being my Patron Deity?
Of course! I work with Venus all the time, but I wouldn’t say She was my Patron Goddess. You don’t have to make that commitment to work with a Deity, you can still have an awesome working relationship outside of Patron Goddess-ness.
How do I find my Patron Deity?
Finding your Patron is great fun, because it’s like dating. You get to know a whole bunch of different Gods, so then over time not only do you know what you like and need, but you can be looking for that special feeling of connection. That powerful resonance.
So we start with research. Which pantheons are you into? Who calls to you? Who are you fascinated by?
It’s time to have fun and start learning and researching about lots of different gods and goddesses. Read up about Gods and Goddesses you were always interested in and drawn to.
What IS the deal with Hanuman? Is there more to Freya than sex and jewelry?
Start flirting with the ones who catch your eye. Read their mythologies. Look up artwork of them on Pinterest. Maybe join a course to learn about them, or read a book and do some ritual for them.
You could get one of those books with loads of different rituals to different goddesses or gods and see who you vibe with – Michelle Sky does some cute ones in her Goddess Alive! series, and there is a great illustrated mythology book by Kris Waldherr called The Book of Goddesses which is GORGEOUS.
Basically, your hunt for a Patron is a wonderful excuse to pop to the library or spend some time getting books off Amazon, which is awesome cos us pagans LOVE reading and buying books!
Over time, you will meet Gods and Goddesses you are really into: you can try connecting with them, doing ritual with them, feeling them out and seeing if there is a long tern connection there.
How will I know when I have found my Patron?
It depends. You will probably just feel it. You might be magnetically pulled to one Deity, or just get crazy excited when you see or read about them, or get chills when you think of them.
You might just decide it. You might read about a God and just decide – Yes. That’s the one for me. You might just have a favourite Goddess and decide, Her please.
It doesn’t necessarily have to be all burning bushes and sacred signs from the heavens. Don’t think you have to wait for some super magical showy sign to “prove” you are making the correct choice and that you are “right”. Trust yourself.
In fact, I get really excited about the power of Choice.
Choice is the true power of the witch: knowing oneself, making decisions for oneself, not giving away our strength and power to something outside of us.
We don’t passively hand away our responsibility and power to Fate or Destiny, waiting for something else to decide our future for us. Nope.
Can you make a wrong decision?
I don’t know about that. If your heart is open and earnest, if you are walking into a relationship with a deity centred on love rather than what you can get out of it, I think you are good.
(Again, it’s the same as human relationships. Going out with someone cos you like them is good. Going out with someone cos they have a nice car and a beach house is…. less good.)
Who is your Patron Deity, Demi?
My Patron, my girl, is Morgan le Fey, and it’s been that way for over a decade.
My life seems to be full of challenges so I can step into who She wants me to be. I found her in a book when I was 17 and naively dedicated to her a very short while later, asking for her to be my Patron, and since then my life has been all about learning Her ways: tapping into my intuition, truth, witchiness, stepping up and working as a Priestess.
I love Her to bits. She feels like home to me. She is the thread that runs through my spiritual practice, tying it all together, pushing me to try certain courses and have certain experiences.
However, in the last year and a bit I have been working a lot with the energies of the Love Goddesses – Aphrodite, Rhiannon and Venus – and I feel there is a strong important truth there too.
In my practice, every now and again I do deep work with Yemanja and Oshun. It’s not like it’s just one Goddess for life and that’s it: you are not betraying your Patron by talking to other goddesses every now and again!
And also, I tend to work with Goddesses a lot more than I work with Gods, but despite my chronic lack of God Knowledge in this article Patron Deities can be Gods or Goddesses.
What do I do when I have found my Patron?
Tell them they are great and start including them in your life! It’s time to connect with them. and build a relationship with them.
How do I connect with my Patron Deity?
How do you connect deeply with anything? You love them.
You offer them your devotion, your passion and commitment: take time to hang out with them, think of them in your day to day life, chat to them in the mornings, leave them offerings, play their favourite songs, read books about them… you bring their energy into your life.
Relationships are not a one way street. You don’t get the good stuff without putting in a little effort, without paying attention, without showing up. You gotta work for it.
Good news is though, it won’t feel like work. If you have chosen a patron deity who you are head over heels for and super excited about, meditating with them, leaving them offerings, drawing little pictures and playing music that reminds you of them or whatever it is you are up to is going to be so much fun! You are going to want to do it!
Here we are getting back to the love thing. If you love your deity, you are going to have the best time connecting with them and you are going to want to do it lots.
How do I love a Deity?
Mainly, you just pay them attention. Here are some ideas.
- – Talk to them. Pray to them. Tell them what’s going on.
- – Tell them how great they are and why you like them so much. All deities like tha
- – Leave them offerings every day
- – Play music you think they would like or that reminds you of them
- – Cultivate an altar for your Deity
- – Create a Pinterest Board for them
- – Meditate with them
- – Draw pictures of them
- – Write poems for them
- – Connect with their energy daily
- – Consecrate an activity to them
Of course, each individual deity has their own activities that they are master of, so of course you can do those too!
If Artemis is your patron, nature walks could be a part of your devotion to Her – maybe you could have a go at archery too.
If Venus is your patron, you could honour Her by eating dinner by candlelight, savouring every bite.
If Yemanja is your patron, you could honour Her by taking sea salt baths and donating to Ocean Conservation charities.
If Hecate is your patron, you could leave her offerings at the cross roads, or start learning the Tarot in Her honour.
Use your imagination! There is so much fun to be had here!
What if I choose my Deity but no magical freaky stuff happens?
When I dedicated to my Patron, I was disappointed and I thought it hadn’t worked because I was expecting some magical super flashy sign to show up like: I dunno, books with the words “Morgan le Fey” would fall on me in bookshops, or I would have an inpromptu vision in the supermarket, or I would hear voices.
Thing is, back then I wasn’t the kind of person that heard voices or had visions or got attacked by books, so I was expecting rather a lot!
When this Hollywood-style confirmation didn’t come through, I assumed that Morgan le Fey wasn’t so keen on me, and I decided that it hadn’t worked and she wasn’t my patron. I was bummed, and then didn’t think about it much for a couple of years…
…until later, when I developed my intuition and my Magical Synchronicity-Seeing Eyes, and began to notice books calling my name in bookshops, began to have really clear meditative experiences with Her, and hearing Her clear centred voice when I asked for advice.
And then I noticed all the other little magical synchronicities that had happened in the past that I just had not paid attention to.
If you are expecting a dramatic supernatural occurrence, but have not spent time noticing the ways in which spirit talks to you or developing your intuition or (so importantly) learnt to trust your intuition, how are you going to notice a magical sign?
It’s like anything else. You can’t expect to see beautiful birds in your garden if you never take the time to look outside your window!
How strong are your magical spidey senses? Can you be still enough to hear the subtle whispers of the divine, or are you always running at a mile a minute?
Magic is subtle. It’s not generally flashy: we have to train our eyes to look out for it, to notice magical coincidences and not just sweep them under the rug.
So if you have never noticed a lot of magical synchronicity in your life, or are not the visions-and-big-coincidences sort, don’t expect after devoting to the Morrigan to wake up with a flock of ravens on your front lawn after having a powerful, prophetic dream about Her.
What do I do now I have a Patron Deity?
You work with them. You call on them for support, wisdom and guidance.
You invite them to your rituals and spellcastings. You let them become your strength, your mainline to the Divine. You let them touch your life and transform you in the ways they wish.
I hope this guide was helpful to you! If you have any further questions, or would like to share your own experiences of finding a Patron Detity, ask in the Comments below or pop on over to my Facebook group, The Mermaid Sisterhood, and let’s chat about it!
If this essay resonates with you, please join our WITCH email list by using the forms on this website so we can stay in touch.
About the Author:
Demi Fox is a modern day Morgan le Fey, a mermaid Priestess, a theatrical goddess and a Venusian pleasure seeker. By day she runs Rockstar Priestess, a website dedicated to badass women’s spirituality and Avalonian goodness, and works as one of the UK’s premier professional mermaids: by night she lights up stages across the lands as a magnetic dancer and award-winning burlesque seductress. She runs courses like Morgan le Fey Mystery School, a lunar initiation to the enchantress Morgan le Fey, and Be More Mermaid, her archetypal mermaid course, and bewitching retreats and rituals in the UK. Join her Mermaid Coven on Facebook, or sign up to her Email List for sexy presents and delicious love letters.
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FFXIV Patron Deity: What Does This Do & Does It Matter?
You’ll select a Patron Deity from twelve options when first making your character in Final Fantasy XIV. Previously, your Patron Deity would bestow you with a small amount of elemental resistance. This is no longer the case, and the Patron Deity choice is merely a bit of added flavor now.
If you’ve recently come over to Final Fantasy XIV from another MMO, you’ll probably be astounded by the amount of choice available to you in the character creator.
Not only do you have a bunch of vibrant and varied races to choose from, but there’s even more customization from then on.
Every race has two clans to choose from, and these clans have their own customization options too.
These can represent pretty dramatic changes in appearance.
Take the Hyur, for example. You can play as a Midlander, smaller in stature and more delicately featured. Or you can play as the huge sturdy Highlanders, more like the Vikings of old than the Midlanders.
Some of these choices seem particularly exciting. You can choose your character’s name-day (their birthday) from XIV’s calendar, and pick a Patron Deity to watch over your adventure.
Unfortunately, both of these choices are totally irrelevant.
The name-day has never had any sort of in-game recognition, and the Patron Deity is linked to a mechanic that has been redundant for a long, long time.
Who Are The Patron Deities?
You can select your Patron Deity from a list of twelve:
- Halone, the Fury
- Menphina, the Lover
- Thaliak, the Scholar
- Nymeia, the Spinner
- Llymlaen, the Navigator
- Oschon, the Wanderer
- Byregot, the Builder
- Rhalgr, the Destroyer
- Azeyma, the Warden
- Nald’thal, the Trader
- Nophica, the Matron
- Althyk, the Keeper
Some very fancy names and titles here, but it’s really just window dressing at this point.
Each of these deities corresponds to a month in Eorzea’s calendar, and you’ll hear some of them referred to frequently throughout your adventure.
Much like your character’s name day, their patron deity is a little bit of background detail – some lore to fill out their place in the world.
This is actually pretty common in tabletop RPGs like Dungeons and Dragons. Your character will have tons of extraneous information surrounding them that might not impact gameplay, but helps give your character a bit more substance.
They’re your vehicle in this world, and it’s good to feel like they’re actually a part of it.
Why Doesn’t My Patron Deity Matter Any More?
This is a pretty straightforward question to answer:
Previously, Patron Deities would provide your character with small tweaks to their elemental resistances. This is now totally irrelevant because elemental damage hasn’t been a factor in XIV for several years, and as such, any changes in resistance provided by Patron Deities is meaningless.
Elemental damage is only a factor in a very small set of instances.
Eureka, for example, uses elemental damage – but this is designated by a standalone mechanic and does not factor in individual player stats.
If you cast a glance over your skill set, you may see phrases like “Deals unaspected damage”, or “deals fire damage”.
Unaspected used to refer to damage that did not have an element. But now, in essence, 95% of the damage in the game is unaspected.
Even back when elements did count, choosing the right Patron Deity for your preferred play style wasn’t a massive game changer.
The tweaks in resistance were so slight that any benefits were negligible.
So, which Patron Deity should you choose?
I just chose the one I thought would most likely be taking an interest in my character – Oschon, the Wanderer.
Take a traditional approach to the concept of “roleplay” and take time to think about it for yourself & for your character!
“How do I find my patron deity?” is a question that echoes throughout the pagan communities on Tumblr and elsewhere. What doesn’t seem to get discussed very often on Tumblr is what having a patron deity entails. It’ll be different with every deity and devotee, of course, depending on the deity’s personality and the nature of the original culture in question. The dynamics of a patronship with a Kemetic god versus an Irish god versus a Hellenic god are not the same; this previous post demonstrates a bit of that. And that’s just three people in a community of thousands!
Just to be clear, I’m speaking as an Irish polytheist and someone with a strong sensitivity to power dynamics, so much of what I’ve said is influenced by those things. I’m coming from a specific tradition with a specific background. Others will have different opinions and experiences, as evidenced by that first link above. Don’t take my words as fact, only as one person’s opinion.
So what’s a patron deity?
Historically, a deity was a patron of an organization or concept rather than an individual. Ex: Athena was the patron of Athens, so while she may provide assistance to an Athenian by virtue of their citizenship, her ultimate concern would have been the welfare of the city as a whole. A private citizen’s welfare probably would have been secondary. Clergy may have dedicated their whole lives to a specific deity, but this wouldn’t have made the deity their patron per se.
I don’t know when the idea of patronship became ‘privatized’ and so widespread, but I honestly don’t care except in how it pertains to our relationships to the gods right now. Why are we looking for own personal patron deities? Is it because we want to feel like special snowflakes handpicked by a god? Maybe the individualistic, experiential nature of contemporary neopagan/polytheist practice makes this the next logical step in our religious practices? Or is it because we have a powerful longing to feel such a deep connection with the divine?
The more I think about the term, whatever it meant historically, the more it seems appropriate: a patron gives support and resources, and the recipient uses them to create something of use for themselves of the community that also brings honor to the patron’s name. There’s practicality and, most importantly, reciprocity. There’s an exchange of promises made, implicit or explicit, and opportunities to demonstrate one’s reliability and earn respect, which in turn deepens the trust in the relationship and thus the power of help and action being exchanged.
Nowadays, I define it as the deity (or deities) for whom you spend the bulk of your time and energy and whose aid/guidance/support/etc you rely on most. Though perhaps not the only one, they’re your primary teacher and challenger, guardian and adversary. At the end of the day, they’re the one hooked deepest in your heart. YMMV, however - it’s different for many people. But first, a reminder:
You don’t need to have a patron deity to be a polytheist or pagan.
The question of godspouses, godslaves, and godshards are more complicated and beyond the scope of what I’m talking about here, which is the more common standard of worship or veneration. The following are the things I personally believe to be most important in regards to patron deities (and a million thanks to River Devora, who gave me the words I didn’t have for some of these):
- Consider why you want a patron deity in the first place. Bragging rights? Better back off for a while and grow up, then. Guidance? Support? Much more substantial. A mix of everything? Well, we’re only human, and I’m cool with ulterior motives behind the altruistic ones as long as they’re kept in check. Pride goeth and all that.
- Understand your motives. You know that trope where one protagonist is hiding something from another protagonist and it gets revealed at the worst possible moment and everything gets cocked up, and it wouldn’t have been nearly so bad if they’d just been honest at the beginning? Don’t do that. Shadow work is meant to help you better understand yourself, which may mitigate getting blindsided by something you didn’t know about yourself or trying to keep a secret that negatively impacts your relationship when it inevitably gets discovered. This doesn’t mean you should just spill everything, but be straightforward, even if it’s to say, “I don’t want to talk about that right now.” Know your mind, basically. It’s a form of protection and, in some cases, a weapon.
- Carefully consider the deity’s nature and what you’re looking for. Some deities are more concerned for the ‘bigger picture’ than your personal welfare. My relationship with na Morrígna, for example, is very clearly one of service to my community, whereas my relationship with Anpu is much quieter and turned inward. Also, let’s say you’re a pacifist; would a deity of war be someone you want to spend time with? This isn’t so straightforward, since there are things a pacifist can learn from such a deity or things a warrior can learn from a deity of peace, but it’s still something to consider. Also, deities aren’t one-sided but multifaceted. You might find that you get something out of the relationship that, from the outside, seems strange or even counterintuitive. (I know a healer devoted to the Morrígan, for example.) But strong relationships are conducive to seeing more subtleties and nuances, and they can inspire the people involved to do more for one another than they might otherwise do for a mere acquaintance.
- The relationship should be balanced. You have rights. You have boundaries that should be respected. Even a surrendering of power should be by choice, as in sacred D/s. Being mortal is absolutely not the same as being inferior and, in many ways, is a greater power in itself.
- The relationship should be reciprocal. Don’t take and not give anything in return of equal value. On the other hand, don’t give without receiving anything in return.
- Trust your intuition. Probably one of the hardest things, honestly. Practice divination. Consult a trusted diviner or clergy person. “Study” your own self to figure out what is you and what is not. Be discerning, but remember that you’ll have to take a leap of faith and trust yourself - and the gods - sooner or later.
- Oaths must be honored. Be very, very careful about any promises you make. You will be held to them, one way or another - and if not in this life, then possibly the next. Better to start out conservatively, maybe with a trial period, rather than swear everything you are to a deity with whom you don’t have much experience. There’s no race to any kind of finish line. Do your research about the deity, its originating tradition, and yourself.
- Deities aren’t Pokémon. You might find yourself dealing with a variety of entities as time passes: deities, ancestors, animal and land spirits, fae, whatever. But having a big inventory doesn’t automatically make you better, and I believe that you should only deal with as many entities as is practical. Is there a reason to deal with this entity? Do you have the time and energy to maintain a relationship with them in addition to the others? Better to have strong relationships with fewer than shallow ones with many.
- Deities aren’t interchangeable or there to be “used.” There’s a reason deities revealed themselves when they did to the culture or people they did, and those interactions established a precedent. Even if you’re a soft polytheist or atheopagan, even if you’re eclectic or practicing multiple paths, they should be treated with respect as individuals, not novelties or tools or fill-in-the-blanks.
- Not being ‘tapped’ does not invalidate your worship, veneration, or belief. Not everyone gets called to a deity, and that’s perfectly fine! Hell, that can be a blessing sometimes. Choosing a deity yourself and putting in the work to build that relationship is just as valid.
- Not having a “godphone” does not lessen your value as a worshiper or polytheist. Some of us simply don’t experience our deities as clearly, as often, or in the same ways as others. Sometimes never. That’s okay.
Basically be conscientious, self-aware, respectful, knowledgeable, and practical, at least until you guys sort out what works for you. Don’t rush or half-ass it. Seriously, the gods have been around for a while, they’re not going to disappear next Thursday.
- mountain hound
Deity or spirit who is a guardian, patron or protector of a particular place
"City god" redirects here. For Chinese patron deities of cities, see City God (China).
A tutelary ( or ) (also tutelar) is a minor-deity or a spirit who is a guardian, patron, or protector of a particular place, geographic feature, person, lineage, nation, culture, or occupation. The etymology of "tutelary" expresses the concept of safety and thus of guardianship.
In late Greek and Roman religion, one type of tutelary deity, the genius, functions as the personal deity or daimon of an individual from birth to death. Another form of personal tutelary spirit is the familiar spirit of European folklore.
- Tonás, tutelary animal spirit among the Zapotec.
- Totems, familial or clan spirits among the Ojibwe, can be animals.
- Chinese folk religion, both past and present, includes a myriad of tutelary deities. Exceptional individuals, highly cultivated sages and prominent ancestors will be deified and honored after passing away. Lord Guan is the patron of military personnel and police, while Mazu is the patron of fishermen and sailors.
- Tu Di Gong (Earth Deity) is the tutelary deity of an individual locality and each locality has its own Earth Deity.
- Cheng Huang Gong (City God) is the guardian deity of individual city, and are worship by local officials and locals since imperial times.
- In Hinduism, tutelary deities are known as ishta-devata and Kuldevi or Kuldevta. Gramadevata are guardian deities of villages. Devas can also be seen as tutelary. Shiva is patron of yogis and renunciants. City goddesses include:
- Kuladevis include:
- In Korean shamanism, jangseung and sotdae were placed at the edge of villages to frighten off demons. They were also worshiped as deities. Seonangshin is the patron deity of the village in Korean tradition and was believed to embody the Seonangdang.
- In Philippine animism, Diwata or Lambana are deities or spirits that inhabit sacred places like mountains and mounds and serve as guardians.
- * Maria Makiling is the deity who guards Mt. Makiling.
- * Maria Cacao and Maria Sinukuan.
- In Shinto, the spirits, or kami, which give life to human bodies come from nature and return to it after death. Ancestors are therefore themselves tutelaries to be worshiped.
- Thai provincial capitals have tutelary city pillars and palladiums. The guardian spirit of a house is known as Chao Thi (เจ้าที่) or Phra Phum (พระภูมิ). Almost every traditional household in Thailand has a miniature shrine housing this tutelary deity, known as a spirit house.
- Tibetan Buddhism has Yidam as a tutelary deity. Dakini is the patron of those who seek knowledge.
Further information: Cities of the Ancient Near East, É (temple), and Greek city-state patron gods
Further information: Greek city-state patron gods
Socrates spoke of hearing the voice of his personal spirit or daimonion:
You have often heard me speak of an oracle or sign which comes to me … . This sign I have had ever since I was a child. The sign is a voice which comes to me and always forbids me to do something which I am going to do, but never commands me to do anything, and this is what stands in the way of my being a politician.
The Greeks also thought deities guarded specific places: for instance, Athena was the patron goddess of the city of Athens.
Tutelary deities who guard and preserve a place or a person are fundamental to ancient Roman religion. The tutelary deity of a man was his Genius, that of a woman her Juno. In the Imperial era, the Genius of the Emperor was a focus of Imperial cult. An emperor might also adopt a major deity as his personal patron or tutelary, as Augustus did Apollo. Precedents for claiming the personal protection of a deity were established in the Republican era, when for instance the Roman dictatorSulla advertised the goddess Victory as his tutelary by holding public games (ludi) in her honor.
Each town or city had one or more tutelary deities, whose protection was considered particularly vital in time of war and siege. Rome itself was protected by a goddess whose name was to be kept ritually secret on pain of death (for a supposed case, see Quintus Valerius Soranus). The Capitoline Triad of Juno, Jupiter, and Minerva were also tutelaries of Rome.
The Italic towns had their own tutelary deities. Juno often had this function, as at the Latin town of Lanuvium and the Etruscan city of Veii, and was often housed in an especially grand temple on the arx (citadel) or other prominent or central location. The tutelary deity of Praeneste was Fortuna, whose oracle was renowned.
The Roman ritual of evocatio was premised on the belief that a town could be made vulnerable to military defeat if the power of its tutelary deity were diverted outside the city, perhaps by the offer of superior cult at Rome. The depiction of some goddesses such as the Magna Mater (Great Mother, or Cybele) as "tower-crowned" represents their capacity to preserve the city.
A town in the provinces might adopt a deity from within the Roman religious sphere to serve as its guardian, or syncretize its own tutelary with such; for instance, a community within the civitas of the Remi in Gaul adopted Apollo as its tutelary, and at the capital of the Remi (present-day Rheims), the tutelary was MarsCamulus.
Tutelary deities were also attached to sites of a much smaller scale, such as storerooms, crossroads, and granaries. Each Roman home had a set of protective deities: the Lar or Lares of the household or familia, whose shrine was a lararium; the Penates who guarded the storeroom (penus) of the innermost part of the house; Vesta, whose sacred site in each house was the hearth; and the Genius of the paterfamilias, the head of household. The poet Martial lists the tutelary deities who watch over various aspects of his farm. The architecture of a granary (horreum) featured niches for images of the tutelary deities, who might include the genius loci or guardian spirit of the site, Hercules, Silvanus, Fortuna Conservatrix ("Fortuna the Preserver") and in the Greek East Aphrodite and Agathe Tyche.
The Lares Compitales were the tutelary gods of a neighborhood (vicus), each of which had a compitum (shrine) devoted to these. During the Republic, the cult of local or neighborhood tutelaries sometimes became rallying points for political and social unrest.
Some tutelary deities are known to exist in Slavic Europe, a more prominent example being that of the leshy.
- ^Riffard, Pierre A. (2008). Nouveau dictionnaire de l'ésotérisme. Paris, FR: Payot. pp. 114–115, 136–137.
- ^Plato. Apology of Socrates. 40 b.
- ^Nicole Belayche, "Religious Actors in Daily Life: Practices and Beliefs," in A Companion to Roman Religion (Blackwell, 2007), p. 279.
- ^Gradel, Ittai (2002). Emperor Worship and Roman Religion. Oxford University Press. pp. 104–105.
- ^Lipka, Michael (2009). Roman Gods: A conceptual approach. Brill. pp. 20–21.
- ^Gradel, Ittai (2002). Emperor Worship and Roman Religion. Oxford University Press. p. 116.
- ^Bernstein, Frank. "Complex Rituals: Games and processions in republican Rome". A Companion to Roman Religion. pp. 231 ff.
- ^de Martino, Marcello (2011). L'identità segreta della divinità tutelare di Roma. Un riesame dell' affaire Sorano. Settimo Sigillo.
- ^Rüpke, Jörg (2007). Religion of the Romans. Polity Press. pp. 132–133. (originally published in German 2001)
- ^Lipka. Roman Gods. pp. 23–24.
- ^Forsythe, Gary (2006) . A Critical History of Early Rome: From prehistory to the first Punic War. University of California Press. p. 128.
- ^Rüpke. Religion of the Romans. p. 132. who cites Macrobius. Saturnalia. 3.9.
- ^Meyboom, P.G.P. (1995). The Nile Mosaic of Palestrina: Early evidence of Egyptian religion in Italy. Brill. preface and p. 160. ISBN ..
- ^Lipka. Roman Gods. pp. 126–127.
- ^Ando, Clifford (2007). "Exporting Roman religion". A Companion to Roman Religion. Blackwell. p. 441.
- ^Lipka. Roman Gods. p. 123. who cites Lucretius. De rerum natura. 2.606–609.
- ^Derks, Ton (1998). Gods, Temples, and Ritual Practices: The transformation of religious ideas and values in Roman Gaul. Amsterdam University Press. pp. 100, 105, 108–109.
- ^Warrior, Valerie M. (2006). Roman Religion. Cambridge University Press. pp. 28–29.
- ^Martial. Epigrams. 10.92. cited by Warrior. Roman Religion. pp. 29–30.
- ^Rickman, Geoffrey (1971). Roman Granaries and Store Buildings. Cambridge University Press. pp. 35, 52, 57, 313–314.
- ^Gradel. Emperor Worship and Roman Religion. p. 11.
- ^Palmer, Robert E.A. (2009). The Archaic Community of the Romans. Cambridge University Press. p. 81. ISBN .
- ^Bane, Theresa (1969). Encyclopedia of Demons in World Religions and Cultures. Jefferson, North Carolina. ISBN . OCLC 774276733.
|Look up tutelary in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
|Look up tutelar in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
Find your patron god!
As long as anyone can remember gods - today astrologers tend to call them planets - have influenced our lives in mysterious ways. Like humans, they tend to be drawn to people who have qualities similar to their own. As long as the gods stayed on Earth, they built an emotional relationship to those humans and tried to promote them and protect them from harm. People knew about their patron gods, listened to their prophecies and followed their advice in everyday life.
You want to know who your patron god is? - Nothing easier than that, just do a little quiz and find out!
How To Find Your Patron Deity & If You Should Even Bother
It’s not at all uncommon to hear talk of deities in witchcraft circles, after all, paganism and witchcraft do overlap pretty heavily! You can find worshipers of all stripes among witches, from Dionysus to Freya, Anubis to Brighid, there seem to be about a million different religions each with their own host of divine beings that find their way into witchcraft one way or another. And the best part? Our communities are generally quite tolerant of these wide-ranging beliefs!
It’s not only acceptable but expected that other witches that you meet will probably have different patron gods or goddesses than you. What if you don’t have a patron, though? Maybe you’re new to the craft and haven’t found the deity that feels right to you. Maybe you’ve been here a while, but deity work still kinda freaks you out. Or maybe you’ve even been approached by a deity at some point but were uncertain what accepting that invitation would even mean for you and your craft.
Whatever the reason, it can feel incredibly isolating to be godless in the craft. There’s a ton of pressure to hurry up and find your deities just so that you can fit in and that’s not even taking into consideration the crazy amount of misinformation out there on the subject! If this is you, don’t sweat it. Your craft shouldn’t be a stressful part of your life and that includes your relationship, or lack thereof, with a god or goddess. Today, we’re going to dig into this subject to learn whether you need a patron, why you might want one, and how to go about finding the one that’s right for you.
First things first. Is it even necessary for you to work with a deity? It seems like witches are always talking about which deities they work with and how to find your patron but very rarely do we discuss whether this is actually right for everyone. Some people will tell you that every which needs a god or goddess, period. These people tend to be under the impression that witchcraft is a religious practice and that without a god or goddess to base your practice around, you’re not really a witch and you can’t practice magic. Let’s do away with this nonsense right now!
You do not have to work with a god or goddess to be an effective witch. There’s a reason I hardly ever talk about deities on this blog, they’re just not necessary for you to be a witch! I practice secular witchcraft, which means that I do not base my witchcraft practice around a deity or draw significantly on the power of a higher being in order to make my witchcraft work. For all the naysayers out there who believe that you cannot practice witchcraft without a god or a goddess, my witchcraft works just fine, thank you very much.
Does this mean that I never work with deities? No, actually. I have three deities that I spend time with on a regular or semi-regular basis, however, my religious practice and my witchcraft practice do not overlap significantly. This means that I keep these two parts of my spiritual life pretty much separate. You can be both a secular witch and a religious person, the two are not mutually exclusive!
One vitally important part of getting into deity worship in your craft is understanding where your magic comes from. The truth is, your magic doesn’t come from anywhere. It doesn’t come from some higher power outside of you. It doesn’t come from the Earth. It doesn’t come from some crazy witchcraft bloodline or hereditary magical power. Magic is an innate human energy. It’s not something that we are taking from outside of ourselves and harnessing, it is us. Every single person on this planet was born with the capacity to access and harness their own innate magical energy. This spiritual power is not something that we have been blessed with from on high and it’s not something that can be taken away from us.
If you are looking into gods and goddesses because you feel like you need some higher being to grant you the power to be a witch, stop right there. You already have all the power you could possibly need! If you’re struggling to make your witchcraft work right now, it’s not a lack of power or a lack of some deity that’s causing you to struggle. It’s simply a lack of knowledge. As witches, our power can only be harnessed to the degree that we know how to utilize it.
If you are seeking to become a more powerful witch, don’t look to some external source to grant you that power, crack open a book and start studying! In this practice, knowledge is power. I would much rather see witches studying hard and learning how to become powerful, effective witches in their own right before they start getting into deity relationships than see them getting into deity relationships before they’re ready and then finding themselves stuck in that relationship because they feel like they won’t have the power that they need if they leave. You can think of a deity relationship like any other relationship. If you can’t get your needs met on your own outside of that relationship then it becomes a breeding ground for an out of balance, potentially manipulative dynamic.
Another common misconception is the idea that if you work with a god, then you need to also work with a corresponding goddess or vice versa. This idea of maintaining an equal gender balance between deities is very Wiccan and not particularly relevant to anybody outside of an initiatory Wiccan practice. If you like the idea of working with both a god and a goddess then there’s nothing wrong with that, but it is not mandatory that you choose one of each.
If gender is something that matters significantly to you, that’s perfectly fine. You’re allowed to structure your spiritual relationships in any way that makes you comfortable. If that means working with only goddesses or working with only gods, that’s fine! There are even gods that are very much in between or entirely off of the gender spectrum. Working with a goddess without the presence of a god is not going to spoil your spells because you don’t have a perfect balance of masculine and feminine energy. In fact, unless you work with the concepts of masculine and feminine energy to begin with, there’s no reason for you to take this into consideration in your magic. These are energies that you can work with but that you absolutely do not have to work with. Work with the deities that appeal to you and don’t worry too much about having a matching set.
As with anything in the craft, there are benefits and drawbacks to working with deities. These pros and cons need to be carefully considered before you enter into a relationship with any being. What are you hoping to get out of the relationship, and how much are you willing to put into it? A relationship with a god is very much like any other relationship in that it requires a certain amount of time and attention to build trust and closeness. And, as with any relationship, it should be reciprocal. You should be getting something out of your deity relationship!
This might be assistance with your magical working, emotional support, help in your pursuit of witchcraft learning, advice and direction when you seek it, and much more. Every relationship of this sort will be different because just like people, gods and goddesses are individuals. They each have their own personalities, likes, dislikes, and talents. They will each be able to offer you something different. Beyond that, you are also an individual and your relationship with the deity will be entirely different from the relationship another person has with that same deity.
Essentially, you should go into any deity relationship with the understanding that the relationship you build with them is entirely unique to you. What you give to them and what they give to you in return will be unique to your relationship. This means it’s important for you to know what you’re looking for before you get into a relationship of this sort! In the same way that you would want to have an idea of the qualities you’re looking for in a romantic partner before you start dating, you need to have a good idea of the kind of relationship you want before you start introducing yourself to deities.
This is important for two major reasons. First, by knowing what you’re looking for out of a deity relationship, you can narrow down your potential options when researching deities. For example, if death freaks you out, then working with a death god or goddess is not likely to be in your best interest and you can knock any of them off your list. Conversely, if you’re interested in working with a deity to further your magical growth and prowess, then working with a deity such as Odin or Hekate could help support that goal. If you’re primarily concerned with home and hearth magic, goddesses like Freya or Brighid might be worth looking into, and so on.
Second, if you don’t know the kind of relationship that you’re looking for, you’re very likely to end up with the first thing that you stumble across. I can tell you right now that relationships begun on these terms rarely end well. If you have no idea what you’re looking for or what you’re willing to give to a deity, then you won’t have the necessary discernment to find a deity who works well with you. Deities are just as capable of being manipulative and taking advantage of a person as any other spiritual being, and it’s up to you to set boundaries around what you will and won’t accept in a relationship.
As I’ve made clear by this point, I view working with gods and goddesses as a completely optional part of the craft and not something that should be rushed into. My advice is to focus on your witchcraft first and foremost and start researching the deities that you might be interested in on the side. Again, your source of power is you, focus on your innate power and learning to utilize it and worry about the deity thing second.
If and when you find a deity that interests you, do a deep dive into researching them. Learn about their myths and folklore. Learn about the cultures they come from. Learn about modern practitioners and read what they have to say about their relationships with that deity. This is honestly all that is required for a lot of people to make contact with a deity! Showing this level of interest will often cause the god or goddess in question to take notice and introduce themselves. If this happens, congratulations you’ve just met your first deity. If not, it’s okay. Not every deity is so forthcoming, and not every person is going to recognize how a deity is attempting to communicate with them right away. You may need to sit down and hold a personal ritual to introduce yourself before they start making significant contact with you.
Keep in mind that even after you have started working with a deity, it is completely within your rights to set boundaries, negotiate the terms of your relationship, and if necessary, end the relationship. Just because a god or goddess gives you their attention doesn’t mean that you are shackled to them forever. You can introduce yourself to a deity and then decide three weeks later that the relationship isn’t working for you and respectfully cut off communication with them. You can decide several months into working with a god or goddess that you want to renegotiate the terms of your relationship. As with any relationship, this should be a two-way street. You should both give and receive. You should both listen and be heard. If the deity that you have made contact with is unwilling to listen to you, to work with you in the ways that you need, or to consider your best interests, then that is not a good relationship and you are fully within your rights to move on and find a different deity to work with.
Overall, choosing a deity should be a slow process and one that you take your time with. This is a major, important relationship in your life. You wouldn’t marry the first guy you go out on a date with simply because he was willing to go on a date with you and likewise you don’t have to settle for the first deity that you come across. There are so many options and so many other parts of your craft for you to explore. Don’t get bogged down and feel like you have to find your patron right this very second. You’ve got plenty of time and you already have all the power that you need to work your magic just as you are.
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On Patron Deities
In todays Paganism, a patron deity is a God or Goddess who plays a protective and guiding role in a specific humans life. The relationship between an individual and their patron deity is usually a deep and personal one, being anything along the lines of friendship, to parent-child, student-teacher, deity-priest/ess and many other things.
The idea of having a patron deity seems to be one that has turned from, “I hope I can find a patron deity” to “Everyone has a patron deity, I just need to find out who mine is”.
I find the idea a little upsetting to be honest. I think it’s great if someone has a personal patron deity, but I do find it sad that people think they are doing something wrong if they don’t have one. Because that’s just not how it works. We don’t all need a patron deity. Having a patron deity is not a given, it’s not for everyone and it’s not for every deity. And even then, not all patronage is the same. You may just be looking in the wrong place.
Patron of Place
“Kekrops, a son of the soil, with a body compounded of man and serpent, was the first king of Attika . . . In his time, they say, the gods resolved to take possession of cities in which each of them should receive his own peculiar worship. So Poseidon was the first that came to Attika, and with a blow of his trident on the middle of the acropolis, he produced a sea which they now call Erekhtheis. After him came Athena, and, having called on Kekrops to witness her act of taking possession, she planted an olive tree, which is still shown in the Pandrosion. But when the two strove for possession of the country, Zeus parted them and appointed arbiters, not, as some have affirmed, Kekrops and Kranaus, nor yet Erysikhthon, but the twelve gods (dodekatheoi). And in accordance with their verdict the country was adjudged to Athena, because Kekrops bore witness that she had been the first to plant the olive. Athena, therefore, called the city Athens after herself, and Poseidon in hot anger flooded the Thriasian plain and laid Attika under the sea.” – Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 3. 14. 1 (trans. Frazer) (Greek mythographer C2nd A.D.). Taken from Theoi.com.
In ancient Greece each polis, or city-state, would have their own patron deity. This patron was seen as a protector and representative of that city and region, and given the reciprocal nature of Hellenism, the city would likely also be a representative of the deity. A city would show special honour and worship to their patron deity, dedicating more festivals to their patron than to the other Gods. This didn’t mean they would worship that deity exclusively, just more noticeably. People could still have a more devoted relationship with other Gods that were not the city’s patron, and indeed the citizens of the city needn’t have their own personal relationship with the city’s patron deity either – but as a whole the patron deity was the most important.
This existed also in Rome, the city itself having three patrons in Juno, Minerva and Jupiter. Mesopotamia also had patron deities for their cities, and it seems the deity’s prominence within the entire pantheon was in direct relation to the city’s prominence – whether it was the city that grew greater as the deity rose in the hierarchy, or the God who rose in the hierarchy because of the greatness of the city, I am not sure.
In many ancient and modern religions, it wasn’t just cities that had such patrons. Trees, lakes, rivers, oceans, mountains and more also had and have patron deities.
Patron of Profession
Beyond the city-state patron deities, we also have those deities who are patrons of specific lines of work or lifestyles, life choices and even stages of life. These are much easier to see and figure out than the city-state patrons. Hephaistos for example is a God of smithing, therefore He is the patron of smiths and various other craftsmasters and even artists. Ares is the God of war, and as such is the patron of all warriors and soldiers, battle commanders and even perhaps non-combatant strategists. Hermes is the God of messengers, so He is certainly the patron of all posties, couriers, even young kids doing the paper route!
Hestia is the Goddess of the hearth, and She is also a virgin Goddess – so She is patron for homemakers and virgins. Artemis the virgin huntress, patron for hunters and again virgins. Hera, the ultimate wife, is the patron of every married woman.
This form of patronage is not necessarily permanent and doesn’t require any sort of deep or personal relationship with the deity – just that particular connection of life choices and stages. So it is that Hermes would be your patron deity when you travel, but once you’re done travelling He won’t be your patron anymore, at least not in the travel aspect of things anyway – He may still be your patron if you’re stealing things. In His role of patron He may be your protector and keep you safe, He may increase your good fortune and luck, if you offer the right incentive for Him to do so. But on the flip side, He may also have the opposite effect – possibly because He has decided to be the patron of the one doing you harm, stealing from you or getting the better of you in a transaction. He may do both, and help you get the better deal in one situation, but favour someone else in another situation.
Patrons are tricky, the Gods are fickle.
We have the modern version of the patron deity, which is a personal relationship. However there is another type of personal patron deity, which is the daimon or genius. We could say that this is similar to a guardian spirit or even a fairy godmother – but they don’t really grant wishes. Depending on the system you are looking at the personal daimon may be there to protect you, guide you though you don’t know it, inspire you like a personal muse, even help you with some good fortune.
Of course if you don’t help your daimon, whether that be through giving it libations or offerings or hymns or something else, you probably won’t get much help from it. Though again, that entirely depends on the religion you are looking at. Hellenism relies on reciprocal relationships between humans and deities, and the same holds true for the agathos daimon – give to it, it gives to you. But in some traditions I have heard of people having two daimons, one good and one evil, you don’t really have to do much to gain their help, because they are seemingly always fighting each other for the honour. The good doesn’t always win out. I can’t really remember where that’s from though.
Your Patron Deity
So, maybe everyone does have a patron deity. It’s just not always the way one might expect. You don’t need to have a deeply personal patron relationship with a deity to have a patron in the more traditional sense. It might pay off to consider your options when it comes to the above types of patronage. Sure, we don’t have patron deities for our cities right now, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find out who your city’s patron may be. If you can spend time and energy trying to find your personal patron but can’t figure it out – maybe you will have better luck finding the patron for your city or your local natural sites, such as mountains, lakes, streams and forested areas. And it is certainly advisable to remember the second type of patron deity, the one who is patron only in certain circumstances.
But perhaps most important, is to remember that you do already have a personal patron deity – the daimon or genius or whatever it may be called in your religion. Remember you may just have that already, even if you may never have a personal relationship with it. Remember and try doing things to gain its favour.
Sources and Further Reading
Greek City-State Patron Deities
Choosing vs Chosen
Choosing a Patron Deity
How Not to Find Your Patron Deity