As we progress down our spiritual paths, we may come to a crossroad in which it becomes appropriate or even necessary to dedicate ourselves to the service of one or more deities. While it may seem simple on the surface, choosing to follow a particular deity can create a new set of questions.
- Whose decision is it when a person dedicates to a specific deity? Is it entirely up to either the worshipper or deity? Or is it a case of mutual agreement?
- Is a formal dedication or declaration necessary to follow a deity?
- Is it even necessary to dedicate oneself to a deity?
- Is it necessary to ask a deity’s permission and/or blessings before declaring oneself a follower of that particular deity?
- Does dedicating yourself to a specific deity alter your ability to work with other deities?
- Does your patron deity require that you seek permission before working with other deities?
- If you regularly work with or are dedicated to more than one deity, what happens if there is a conflict of interests between those deities?
I can only speak from my own experiences as I ponder these questions. My patron goddess choose me, I believe, but also has given me the choice of whether I accept her patronage and permission to give up that patronage at my choosing. For me, there was never a conscious formal dedication; I am and have long been simply Hers. This patronage existed long before I became aware of it and it seemed only to be a matter of my recognizing the relationship and making the decision to embrace that relationship.
Because I am claimed by her, my interactions with other deities are affected, although the impact isn’t horrible. She does not claim, as some deities would, that she is the only deity and that divine worship is to be hers alone. However, there is an expectation, both hers and mine, that I submit to the will of other deities only with her blessing. There are other deities with whom I have forged a working relationship and whom I feel I can call upon if necessary. Always, though, it is her will that has ultimate rule over me, as it should be.