In one of my more recent posts I talked about different types of theisms and that I am a pantheist. A common question that comes up is how can you connect to or worship deity as a pantheist?
This is something that has been on my mind recently so I wanted to explore it a little more today.
*As with all my longer posts, there is a pinnable summary image at the bottom 😉 *
how would you follow a deity if you don't believe in god(s)?
This is the big question. How could it even make sense to worship a god if you don’t believe in the idea of gods? Seems pretty contradictory, right?
That’s what I thought too, but I kept seeing people who I knew were pantheists talking about having matron/patron deities and working with others as well.
So it has to work out in some way.
Different pantheists will have different views. Some may not agree with what I believe, which is that you absolutely can work with deities.
I’ve seen a couple different ways of wording how this can make sense. One is through archetypes and imagination, the other is through energy.
If you are familiar with psychology, especially Carl Jung, you’ve probably heard of archetypes. They’re essentially a symbolic type of person that brings together certain traits. Some examples of archetypes are the hero, the warrior, the magician, and the maiden/mother/crone.
When you look at pantheons across the globe, you see that they often have similar characters in them. There is usually a god(ess) of war, of the home/hearth, of the hunt, travel, love, etc.
Archetypes can also be seen and studied in tarot!
These archetypes exist in the human unconscious, and our imaginations like to come up with things to make sense of them. Some people believe that this is where deities come from.
When a specific idea is thought about and given energy over time, it gains power. The archetype does not fully explain the deity, it is just the starting point.
The imagination is real and full of power. It shouldn’t be valued any less than reality.
This power that has been given to the idea of these deities is what some pantheists like to think of when working with them. To these people, they aren’t working with beings that have their own consciousness. They are working with a well established representation of an archetype that has taken on an energy of its own because of years of attention and thought given to it.
This is my own personal view, how I explain the existence of deity and how I will view my relationship with gods/goddesses if/when I start to work with them. I’ve also seen similar ideas pop up here and there from other people
As a pantheist I believe in the energy of the Universe that is present in every one and every thing. I believe it connects us all on multiple levels.
I also believe that the energy that exists is not limited to what we can physically experience. There is a sort of “higher force” that exists.
Maybe it’s less of a higher force and more of a force on a different plane, I’m still trying to figure that part out for myself.
Regardless of what it is, there’s another level of energy that isn’t us, plants, rocks, other animals around us, or anything else. But it presents itself to everyone.
This energy has different branches to it, different types of energy within the whole. It’s too complicated for us to view it as one thing.
So we view one branch at a time.
These branches show up as different types of deities, very similar to the idea of archetypes.
One of my favorite thoughts, something that was very important for me to figure out, is that this energy gets interpreted differently by every culture. That’s how you get multiple similar, yet still different representations of the same or similar branch of energy. And also how different religions exist.
On one branch there might be masculine energy, scholarly energy, fatherly energy, with a good dose of warrior. To the Norse that could be Odin. With a little altering and a Greek view, it could be Zeus.
See what I’m getting at?
Some other thoughts I enjoy are that you’re never really working with deities, just different aspects of yourself, and that because all energy has equal value, you are worth no less than the deities you work with!
why work with deity as a pantheist?
there are many different reasons for wanting to work with deities.
One is to work on qualities in yourself. A lot of people view deities as being representations of our own qualities, finding a deity with energy you want to have will help you find it.
you might just find comfort in having some sort of presence to work with. For some that is an enjoyment for ritual and a reason to do it. For others it is a feeling of support or guidance.
Another reason is to connect to your heritage and traditions. People who come from Celtic lineage are often drawn to working with Celtic deities because it better connects them to their ancestors.
How do you find deities to work with?
Since I don’t currently work with deity, this is more from research than from experience.
One of the best things to do when starting a search for deities to think about what you want out of the relationship.
If you want to work on an aspect of yourself, identify that aspect. Then look for deities related to it. If you want to work on communication, find a god of communication. If you want to tap into your nature based feminine energy, look for nature goddesses.
Google is awesome for this initial search. Once you find someone you like, look for more in depth sources and see if you can connect to them.
Maybe you want a guide on your path. I would take a similar approach, think about the qualities you want to have in a guide. Are they scholarly or more ruled by emotion? Are they going to be adamant about following your plans, or are they going to be more compassionate?
Figure out what qualities will work best for you and use those as your search guidelines.
No matter your reasoning, another good approach is to meditate on it. Use this time to hone in on what you really want out of a relationship with deity. Follow your intuition to learn what you need to look for or if something will come to you!
Can deities choose you?
This is another fun one to me. A lot of people feel that they are called out to by certain deities, like a god chooses them. This may come up in meditation, dreams, astral travel, or in synchronicities throughout the day.
To me, from my own pantheist view, I think of this as the Universe giving you signals of the energies that you need.
So in short, yes. Kind of.
Since I don’t believe deities are their own conscious beings, I don’t believe it is them directly reaching out to you. I do think the Universe knows what you need, often because you put the energy of what you need out and it is receptive to that.
So yes, the idea and energy of deities can find you.
But, it definitely helps if you are actively looking.
It has taken me quite some time to get to this point in what I believe.
And it is definitely still evolving.
I think at some point I will work with deity in one of these ways. If only because I’ve always been interested in mythology and would love to explore it in different ways!
I find this to be a very helpful way of thinking when it comes to valuing every belief system.
With this belief I can accept the existence of every deity out there without needing to follow any. Being able to accept other people’s beliefs has always been important to me so I find a lot of joy in the belief system I’ve found.
For another perspective, and one of my favorite YouTubers right now, check out some of Kelly-Ann Maddox‘s videos!
What do you think of Deity, pantheist or not?