By Swain Wodening
The idea of patronage has often been debated in Heathenry. The idea behind it is that one dedicates one’s self to a single deity, and seeks special insight, favours, or gifts from them. There really is nothing wrong with this. The problem is with the word patronage. Use of the term implies that the deity chose the person, that that person is somehow special and deserving of the deity’s attention. While there is evidence of this in the lore with kings and heroes, I have my doubts that it is happening today. For one thing, I have yet to meet a Heathen that is extraordinary enough to indicate that they had been chosen by a god or goddess for attention. I feel that if one were to be chosen by a Heathen deity we would see them as being specially blessed. They would be independently wealthy, and if not, they would at least be able to support themselves well. They would be gifted in some way, that is they would be an extraordinary soldier, writer, priest, or something else miles above the closest person to compare to. You would KNOW when someone had been chosen by a deity because it would be obvious. It would be apparent they have a personal relationship with a god or goddess.