If there’s one thing I know for sure, it’s this:
Working with Gods and Goddesses can be daunting.
Especially as the majority of modern witches from the western hemisphere are coming from a predominantly Christian background – this can bring a lot of spiritual baggage, including guilt and fear.
It’s, also, important to note that not all witches work with deities. Atheist and agnostic witches exist, too.
But if you’ve found yourself wanting to connect to deities as a beginner witch or maybe the divine in general and you wish to explore that further, read on.
Let’s Start with the Basics
Any Witch at any point of their journey on their Craft can work with deities.
Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
It’s become a popular trend in recent years to discourage beginners from forming working relationships or worshiping Gods and Goddesses because of hidden dangers.
Personally, I think that smells of evangelical paranoia. People have been worshiping pantheons of gods for thousands of years, at all stages of their lives – from childhood through to adulthood and beyond.
But it is important to take it slow.
One of the common mistakes beginners make is throwing themselves into something they don’t fully understand – and this can lead to feeling confused, disappointed and making divine promises they can’t keep.
But don’t let that put you off! Working with deities can be an incredibly rewarding experience, both spiritually and practically.
Worship vs Working With deity
Is there a difference in worshiping or working with a deity? Yes and no.
It depends on who you ask, to be honest.
If, as a Witch, you want to directly involve deities in your magickal practice (evoking, asking for help with spellwork etc.) then I would consider that working with – because you have a working relationship.
If you want to honour a deity and develop a spiritual relationship (giving offerings, saying prayers, maintaining an shrine etc.) then I consider that worshiping.
Witches can, in fact, do both.
Still interested? Let’s look at the following steps:
Step One: Trust your Intuition
I’m going to presume you don’t feel a pull to a particular deity right now (skip to Step Two if you do!)
The first step to connect with deities as a beginner witch is to pay attention to what’s around you; do you notice a certain animal species more often than usual? Do specific symbols keep popping up in unexpected places? Maybe your YouTube recommendations or Instagram feed is suspiciously recommending content on a certain God or Goddess.
These are just a handful of ways our intuition can begin to connect to deity. If you feel drawn down a certain path, follow it!
Step Two: Research
Let’s now assume that a particular deity has caught your attention. What do you do now?
The internet can be both friend and foe. There are infinite resources for budding witches, Pagans and occultists but without experience it’s difficult to know who or what to trust for reliable information.
If you take anything from this post, remember this:
Take everything you read/hear with a fistful of salt.– penelope’s Golden rule
This goes for books, articles, podcasts, YouTube videos, TikToks, blog posts (including mine!) and everything in-between. Cross-reference as much as possible and never take anything as gospel. Deity information can be especially cringeworthy, particularly in older Pagan and witchcraft books and websites (pre-2010s).
If in doubt, you can simply use a search engine and/or social media to learn what you can about your deity and how other modern witches and Pagans are honouring them. Just remember the Golden Rule and you’ll be fine.
Step Three: Set Up a Shrine
A shrine is simply a sacred space (either physical or virtual) that is dedicated to your deity in question. It can be as simple or elaborate as you like: a bookcase shelf, a windowsill, an entire room – whatever you feel comfortable with.
The general requirements of a shrine include:
- A devotional image – can be a statue, drawing or a print-out from the internet. This one is pretty mandatory – it shows who the shrine belongs to. Broom closet tip: rather than using an image of the deity themselves, you can use an item or symbol that represents them, like a key or strophalos for Hekate.
- Candles and/or incense – the most common shrine decorations/offerings. Electric candles work, too, if you’re not allowed an open flame.
- Other decorations – anything that reminds you of your deity can be put here, including bits and pieces you find in the natural world.
- Offering bowl – or simply a space to put offerings, whether it’s a food item or something handmade.
Here’s an example: an Artemis shrine could include a statue of the Goddess or a framed picture of Her from the internet with deer antlers, pine cones and animal hides as decoration since She is associated with the natural world and hunting. Your offerings could be earthy-scented candles, honey, game meat, animal bones, moon water and wild flowers.
If you’re lacking space or need more privacy, you could set up a virtual shrine instead! Here is an example of an e-shrine on Tumblr.
Step Four: Maintain a Routine
This is the most important step of all.
One key thing I have learned about deities over the years is: they’re not going to help you out of no-where.
Like all spirits, Gods and Goddesses are not at our beck and call. We must form a genuine connection and maintain a spiritual relationship in order for Them to aid us with our Craft. Visiting your shrine regularly, keeping it clean, reciting hymns, giving simple but heartfelt offerings – all of these things can help strengthen that connection.
Of course, nothing is set in stone. Sometimes relationships don’t work out and divine ones are no different. None of these steps are a guarantee but they’re a good starting point for your journey.
Hopefully this has helped you to connect with deities as a beginner witch.
Questions are always welcome!
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