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Patron Gods and the Pledging of Ourselves

By Heather O’Brien

There has been a lot of discussion lately about choosing a patron god in heathenry and whether doing so is of spiritual importance. Personally, I think: to each their own. Spirituality, after all, is individualistic. If, however, the decision to choose a patron comes at the expense of excluding the other gods, then it becomes a practice that ignores the premise behind a polytheistic faith. This isn’t to say that all people who choose a patron deity ignore the rest of their chosen pantheon; it’s merely a word of caution to make sure the rest of the gods still have their worth appreciated with vital enthusiasm.

I understand the desire to reach out to the gods and want them to reach back. Sometimes, however, this notion of selecting only one seems to be a byproduct of the monotheism that many people were raised with, either by societal standards or through familial religious convictions. For a long time now, a singular omnipotent presence that can identify with us on a personal level has been considered the norm. And for many people, this is a comforting point of faith, one that’s central to most mainstream religions.

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