An image of the goddess Artemis

I’ve thought often about the choosing of a patron goddess. My philosophy for as long as I have been Wiccan is to honor the Mother, which in my mind is all the gods and goddesses, energies and powers of the world wrapped into the form of a wise and caring mother figure. When I was a teenager, this notion had particular appeal because I fought with my own mother a lot and felt I lacked that figure in my life. Now, as a (slightly) more mature adult, my relationship with my mother is much stronger, but I still identify with the Mother Goddess figure. And while I will never abandon Her, I have felt a need to choose a more established persona to identify with as well. More of a mother-daughter duality, if you will.

But how to go about something as important as this…? Do you choose a deity you feel you can identify with, or one you wish to emulate? What happens when you change, as we all do? I know some Pagans have more been chosen by their patron than chosen her themselves, but my instinct is that waiting is not the approach for me. I’m not good at waiting when my mind is set to something. And so the quest is in my own hands.

I was still somewhat adrift until a couple of days ago. I was on the phone with my mother, discussing the latest difficulties in trying to balance having two homes, when she told me all of this was happening because I’m strong and capable of handling it. Sentiments like this from her are rare, and hearing her say this both humbled me and broke my heart. But it also made me realize that a lot of my life over the past several years has been about finding my own inner strength.

With this in mind, I’m now reading like crazy about goddesses like Artemis, Demeter, Tara and Nike. I’m leaning toward Artemis at this point because of her association with the woods and animals, but haven’t set my heart yet.

There are a lot of things to take into consideration when trying to choose a patron god, but sometimes the best thing to go with is instinct. Instinct led me to Wicca, as it has led many others. It guides, protects, warns, cautions; it is the Divine’s way of speaking with us. Follow that little inner voice and be true to your heart and you will find all you seek in life, even a patron.

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