Devotion is defined as: religious fervor or piety, a religious exercise or practice, and also the act of dedicating something to a cause, enterprise, or activity. We can be devoted to our families, to our work in the world. We can be devoted to a lover. We can be devoted to the Godds, our personal Godds, our Divine Beloveds.
A note: I like using the spelling of Godds because it feels more inclusive of all genders of Deity, so know that this is an intentional spelling, thank you Urania for showing me that option.
Part of my work in the world is introducing folks to Deity. I love stories of the Godds, I love getting to meet them, and learn from them. I love helping to introduce folks to a Godd that they may never have heard of before and I love seeing a new relationship grow and develop. I love seeing a Godd touch someone and know that a bond has been formed. Relationships with Divinity are the most rewarding relationships to have.
For me when it comes to my Godds, devotion looks a very particular way. And I’m sure that’s true for anyone who considers themselves a polytheist. But it’s more than just what *I* might think or feel or believe. In my devotion, I must be open to my Godds. I listen to what they ask for, what they want, what they tell me or suggest. And this is a negotiation. Because our relationships with Divinity are just that, relationships.
Baba Yaga might want me to run away into the woods to escape into nature. She might make it very clear that I need to do that thing right now. However, in that moment I’m at work, which pays my bills, and I can’t just leave to head out into the woods. Running into the woods might be what is best for me, that might be what I need, and ignoring her message may cost me in ways I don’t fully understand, but that’s the way that it has to be. No matter what, I’m human with human responsibilities, no matter how devoted I am to her, those responsibilities need to be taken into consideration.
Your Godds may “get it” (on some level), the Godds know we are human, they understand that human is different, but just like we can’t fully comprehend what it is to be a Godd or to be Fae, They in turn, can’t fully understand what it is to be human.
When someone has behaved badly, broken their vows, or otherwise caused drama and their response is, “the Goddess made me do it” they are full of shit. We always have agency. We always get to have our opinion. We always have choice. Always.
I get it, when the Goddess taps you, when you get your marching orders, when you get a clear vision of what you should be doing it can be hard to ignore or negotiate. And the Godds have a tendency to get louder the longer we push them off, but you always have free will.
In the workshops I offer connecting folks to Goddesses, I often get asked, “ok, we clicked, now what?” In the spirit of developing a devotional practice, here is what I recommend for opening a new relationship with a new (to you) Godd.
- Learn About Them – Do your homework, read books, websites, blogs, and historical documentation. Learn about the culture they came from. What was that culture like when they were in the height of worship? What is that culture like now? What are their stories and who wrote them down?
- Create an Altar – Yes, it is that simple. Create a sacred space, just for them. Spend time in/at this space. Give them offerings (you will know what they want from your extensive research and study).
- Open to Their Voice – When you spend time at their shrine you will start to learn what their voice sounds like. Be open to learn, listen, and devote. This can take time. This can be a frustrating experience. This can also be easy and beautiful. No matter what your first experiences might be, keep going. This is one of those times that you have to push past boredom, fear, worry, or “nothing happening”.
- Do Rituals in Their Honor – Whether you pull rituals from other sources or make them up on your own, performing rituals expresses your devotion and allows for more intimate one-on-one time with your Godd. Learn their ancient holy days (or modern ones) and perform rituals on these days.
Overtime I have come to discover that my Godds are just as devoted to me as I am to them. We have a relationship. We are in relationship. And just like human relationships, they take work. We work together to strengthen our bonds to each other.