I hear people talk about how they have multiple patrons/work with multiple deities…

And I cringe.

Personally, I think it’s hard enough just being devoted to one. I can’t even imagine what I would do if I had multiple patrons…have a meltdown, probably. Maybe it’s just because my devotion to Lucifer is so overwhelming, but my work with Sarasvati has reached a standstill. I feel like I’ve disappointed her, in my unwillingness to divide my attention equally between the two.

Barring the financial and time constrictions that don’t allow me to honor her fully and properly, as in puja rituals, I can’t find it within myself to connect with her as deeply as I do Lucifer. And while that was more or less expected (neither she nor I showed any interest in developing a patron relationship with one another), I find my devotionals to her becoming less and less sincere, and almost reaching the point where they are chores.

I’m grateful that the deities I’ve worked with thus far (Lucifer and Sarasvati), have been so patient and gentle with me (well…to a point). If I had been called instead by a more, er…forceful deity, like Odin or the Morrigan, I honestly don’t know what I would have done. I probably would have been too cowed to do anything other than accept.

At least Lucifer gave me the option—one which I accepted far too quickly, looking back on it now. When I was barely getting into paganism, I was way too eager to form a patron relationship. I thought it would be so cool to work with a deity, and have them be integrated into my life. Knowing what I know now…well, I’m rather conflicted as to whether I would warn or urge my younger self concerning my patronage.

Six months was not a sufficient amount of time to base a decision like this off of. Yes, I trusted Lucifer by the time I accepted his offer, and I knew that our patronage would be a long-term relationship, but I didn’t realize the weight of such an oath. Not that I regret my decision, no. I just think I should have read all the fine print, so to speak.

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9 thoughts on “I hear people talk about how they have multiple patrons/work with multiple deities…

  1. SatSekhem says:

    All patron relationships become automatic and chore-like after a while. It’s a matter of changing it up or meeting the status quo. Since neither you nor Sarasvati were really vested, it’s not a horrible thing.

    I have two patrons, Sekhmet and Hwt-Hrw. They are aspects of the same goddess, the Eye of Re, but they are two separate entities. Sekhmet is as a mother, friend, lover to me. She is my beginning, middle, and end. No work with anyone else will change that relationship. Hwt-Hrw is my teacher and teacher only.

    I serve a lwa, Papa Legba. He is many things: a teacher, a shit-stir, an observer, a jokester. He is a reminder to stop being so serious. He is also the guardian of the crossroads and thus, helps me to choose appropriately. His coming into my life taught me what my relationship with Sekhmet was really about, actually.

    It is daunting and tiring to have many patrons, but it is also very rewarding.

  2. Columbine says:

    It has the potential of being very daunting at times, but what I’ve noticed with my own patrons, is that they will take turns with one another, so that each may have a time period lasting a few months to have my more focused attentions. There are also times when two or more will demand attention at the same time, but thankfully those are rare.

  3. naiadis says:

    I’m finding your blog endlessly interesting, for what it’s worth, and I’m glad you’re writing to it.

    I count many gods and spirits among my family: Poseidon and Odin most immediately, but then there is Loki and Thor, Freyja to a degree, Bragi and Baldur, Aphrodite and Hera and Hades and Zeus, Persephone to a degree, and Hecate and Bastet get great respect from me. That doesn’t include local spirits that have the feel of neither immediate nor distant but rather someplace in between kin, nor my beloved dead. On the day to day however, it’s all about Poseidon and Odin, and I don’t know that I could handle anything more. The two are quite enough. I do have loved ones (living, this time) who have quite the assortment of spirits involved in their lives, and I’ve never envied them that. Still, I couldn’t imagine them any other way, either, and it works for them. I’m simply grateful that it’s not me!

    I thought it would be so cool to work with a deity, and have them be integrated into my life. Knowing what I know now…well, I’m rather conflicted as to whether I would warn or urge my younger self concerning my patronage.
    Six months was not a sufficient amount of time to base a decision like this off of. Yes, I trusted Lucifer by the time I accepted his offer, and I knew that our patronage would be a long-term relationship, but I didn’t realize the weight of such an oath. Not that I regret my decision, no. I just think I should have read all the fine print, so to speak.

    It’s funny — I see this sentiment a lot, and I even somewhat agree. With Poseidon, our relationship evolved over time. I met him when I was sixteen, there was a year or so of tenative interaction before we got to the point of patron-and-devotee, and even that was a trial run for a year beforehand. And then, for a while, it was very steady and very amazing, and then it changed and became incredibly turbulent, and took a while at getting back to steady (or, I guess, what constitutes steady of the two of us). Speaking especially of god- and spirit marriages, I’ve seen people say again and again if they had known how it would be, they would have maybe chose differently. I myself have thrown that at his feet — “Why didn’t you WARN me?” — except, there is no warning that can be given that would make a difference. Going i, one is enamoured and convinced of one’s devotion, and I imagine it’s the same with whirlwind patronage decisions. There is no warning that would suffice. And ultimately, I know I wouldn’t have wanted to chose differently. We aren’t brought up in a culture that puts much stock into oaths — our words (speaking generally) aren’t required to mean much. So, it’s heady and weighty and surprising when suddenly one can feel one’s oath mean something. which is actually sort of awesome, and sort of sad, at the same time.

    • Thank you!
      I agree that different things work for different people, and I feel as though I deal with spirits/deities like I do with people–I may not have a whole lot of close relationships with people, but the friendships that I do have are built to last.
      And yes, looking back on it, what on earth could Lucifer had said to get me to understand the weight of the oath I was making? Ignoring even that fact that I was and remain a skeptic at heart, there really are no words that could sufficiently convey the power behind such an oath–the emotions it would stir up in me, the paradigm shift it would cause, the sacrifices I would willingly or unwillingly make because of it…so I guess in the end it’s just me whining,lmao, even though I, like you, wouldn’t have it any other way.

  4. Elizabeth says:

    I understand where you’re coming from. I have a close relationship with Loki, a more-or-less working relationship with Hela, a somewhat less intense version of the same with Oya, and a more traditional, worship-and-veneration based approach to a bunch of other Norse gods. To my mind, it’s kind of like having a husband, a couple of business partners, and a lot of friends whom I admire greatly and make regular, but not constant efforts to let know how much I like and appreciate them. Does that make sense? Loki gets the lion’s share of my attention, but I don’t have the same relationship with other deities as I do with Him. And it took me a while to work up to that — for a few years after He first came along, I pretty much had time for no one else; it was a sort of honeymoon period, if you will.

    I once read a post online by someone who was going to attempt to give honor to all the Norse deities every single day — Aesir, Vanir,. and a bunch of Jotnar. While I admire their intentions, I have a hard time believing there’s enough enough time in the day to do that, even if one is a monastic or full-time priest. I’d rather honor a handful of deities well and consistently, than a bunch of Them haphazardly, myself.

    • Yes, that makes sense. I’ve only recently emerged from the ‘honeymoon’ stage as well, and I feel as though that itself is as much of a challenge as I can handle right now—I’m coming to terms with facets of my patron that I had previously ignored, due to how uncomfortable they made me feel. While I’d love to pay the proper respects to other deities who have in one way or another guided me thus far, and set up a system of ancestor veneration, I just don’t think I’m at a point where I can incorporate that into my spirituality and not feel absolutely overwhelmed. Though I’m sure that later down the line, as I grow more comfortable with my work and his aspects, i’ll be more open to interacting with other entities apart from him.
      Thank you for taking the time to comment!

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