Rite for Finding a Patron Deity
First, I want to make it clear that not everyone has a patron deity by any means. Many people have relationships with a wide variety of Gods, and perhaps a handful who are rather special to them, but not one who is the center of their world. This is just as acceptable as having one special patron. In fact, it has been said that those who insist that everyone should have a patron deity are actually just indulging in a holdover from monotheistic religions, and are secretly uncomfortable with the abundant multiplicity of polytheistic Gods. In addition, you don’t choose a patron. They choose you, because they have decided that you have an affinity of some sort with them. In short: Some have Gods choose them in patronage. Some don’t. Both are equally fine.
Some folks in Northern religion use the old Norse word fulltrui to describe their patron deity. The word means “fully trusted one”. Any of the deities in this book (except for the Norns who are beyond such relationships) might claim someone for a close relationship. As far as we can tell from primary sources, in ancient times only priests had fulltrui, but these are different times and the Gods are reaching out in different ways. If you do this rite in order to invite (and the key word is invite, not command; if it’s not meant to happen for you, it won’t happen) a deity to take a personal interest in your life, you must go into it with no preconceptions. If you go in hoping that it will be Odin, you might ignore signs from Frey, for example. Of course, nothing is stopping you from going ahead and actively dedicating yourself to a God or Goddess that you love, as they are generally never offended by sincere devotion. Keep in mind also that the Gods are not gender-separated in this tradition; a man may dedicate himself to a Goddess or a woman to a male God. Sometimes one’s fulltrui comes as someone to emulate; in occasional cases they come as a Beloved, wanting a relationship of semi-romantic love and devotion. Sometimes they come as a parent – Father or Mother; sometimes as a wise elder to give advice to their Younger Kin. The Gods are older and wiser than us, and they can look at someone and know – better than we can know ourselves – whose attention would do them the most good, and what sort of relationship with be right for them.
It is also important to understand that once you have been chosen by a God or Goddess, there is no going back. You have a bond with them that will last until you are dead, and possibly afterwards. To renounce them – for example, if you decide to convert to a monotheistic religion – will offend them, and your luck may not be worth much after that. In addition, it is also important to understand that just because a deity is in relationship with you does not mean that they will coddle you or do whatever you want; they, not you, are in charge of the relationship. They may help you in your need, or push you to find ways to help yourself. They may push you to evolve as a human being and reach greater potential, or clear some obstacles out of you way, but what they will not be is a wish-fulfillment center. You will have to keep up your end of the bargain, too, and do things to show your love for them, for the rest of your life. Consider this before you get involved.
For the ritual: First, ground and center. (Instructions for this are in the last section.) Visualize a candle before you, enveloped in a cloud of mist. You can barely make out its outlines, and you cannot see what color it is. Try not to make assumptions about what it might look like. While it is hard not to let your mind fill in details with wishful thinking, try to do this in a spirit of “I wonder what will happen?” rather than “I hope X or Y happens!”
Now place your hand on your heart and visualize a flame burning there, a fire of the love and respect you have for the Gods. Say:
O Mighty Ones who watch us with love and pride,
I ask that you look upon me here tonight
And hear my prayer, in my love for you all.
By heart and mind, by hand and eye,
May it be so, may it be so.
With your finger, draw a Gebo rune (which looks like an X) over your heart, and say:
Here is my heart, burning with love,
With pride, with respect, with longing for your flame.
This heart is offered to hand outstretched
Who is right to hold this heart and this soul.
I await your signs, O Mighty Ones.
Send me thrice three signs,
Clear as day so that I will believe them.
If I receive these signs, I will devote myself
To my Fulltrui forever,
But I will not forget the names of other Gods,
Nor fail to honor them for their blessings.
If I receive no signs, O Mighty Ones,
I will wait until a sign comes to try yet again,
And in the meantime I will make of myself
A worthy gift to offer to the Holy Powers.
Help me to do this, O Gods.
Help me to make myself worthy
And be the gift I would wish to give you.
Press your index finger into your chest. Now visualize that the fire burning inside you lights the end of your finger, and reach out to light the invisible candle with it. As it is “lit”, the clouds and mist should clear, and the color of the candle, and any markings on it, will be visible to you. Take note of any colors or runes or other symbols marked on it. These will be your first omen, pointing you to a deity. Over the next several days, weeks, or months, you may be given eight more omens, as you have asked – nine is a sacred number in our faith. If the candle’s colors or markings do not make sense to you, wait and see what comes up as omens; they may clarify things.
If the mist does not clear, you will not be shown your fulltrui at this time. Work further on becoming a worthy gift, and perhaps one will be revealed to you … or perhaps it is your job, for now, to honor many Gods but belong to none.