Can I Dedicate to More Than One Deity?

OutdoorsSpiritual_1500.jpg
If the gods are speaking to you, it's a good idea to listen. Image by fotostorm/E+/Getty Images

As you start exploring Paganism in more depth, you may find that you're drawn to one particular god or goddess. Once you've formed a strong connection, you may even opt to perform a dedication ritual to him or her - and that's great! But what happens down the road, if and when you find yourself connecting with a different deity? Can you honor both, or is that somehow disrespectful to one of them? Can you change your affiliation, or should you dedicate to a single deity?

The good news is that while this is an interesting dilemma, it's also one that can have a variety of answers, depending on your particular flavor of Paganism. In some Pagan traditions, people dedicate to a single god or goddess of that tradition’s pantheon. In other cases, they may dedicate to a pair of deities.

Mixing Pantheons

Occasionally, people may feel a connection with deities from different pantheons altogether. There are plenty of members of the Pagan community who say this is an absolute no-no, but the fact is that it does happen. John Halstead at Patheos writes, "This injunction is often made by hard polytheists, but is made by some soft-polytheists too.  Often they are quite open about their disdain for those who mix pantheons.  It is seen as a form of immaturity or ignorance.  Others see it as a sign of disrespect."

However, only you can know what your own personal gnosis is. And that means that if you're working with different gods from different pantheons, they will let you know if it's going to work or not.

Halstead points out that if it was really such a terrible idea, "we should be seeing some spectacularly bad outcomes on a pretty regular basis."

The bottom line is that you're the only one who's going to know if it's working for you - and if the gods don't want you combining them with some other deity, they're going to make it abundantly clear.

There are plenty of modern Pagans and Wiccans who describe themselves as eclectic, which means they may honor a god of one tradition beside a goddess of another. In some cases, we may choose to ask a deity for assistance in a magical working or in problem solving.

The Fluidity of the Spirit

Human spirituality tends to be somewhat fluid, in that while we can honor one deity we can also be called by another. Does this mean the first no longer has any influence? Not at all – it simply means some other aspect of the Divine finds us interesting.

If you genuinely feel called by this second deity, then you should consider exploring things more. Ask the first goddess if she would really be that offended if you honored another one in tandem with her. After all, the deities are distinctly different beings, so honoring a second goddess doesn’t necessarily mean any toes are getting stepped on.

Look at it this way: you've got more than one friend in your life, right? You can have a close and loving friendship with one person, but that doesn't mean you're not allowed to make new friends that are equally important to you. In fact, as long as your friends get along with each other, it shouldn't be hard to hang out with both of them at the same time.

Sure, there will be instances where you're enjoying one's company without the other, but still, you're on equal friendship terms with both. While the gods tend to be a little more demanding of our time and energy, all other things being equal, you can still honor more than one of them.

If you're fortunate enough to have been tapped by the Divine, not just once, but twice, regard it as a gift. As long as neither deity has any objection to the presence or worship of the other, everything should be fine. Treat both with respect, and show them each the honor they deserve.

Format
mla apa chicago
Your Citation
Wigington, Patti. "Can I Dedicate to More Than One Deity?" ThoughtCo, Mar. 12, 2017, thoughtco.com/dedicating-to-more-than-one-deity-2561951. Wigington, Patti. (2017, March 12). Can I Dedicate to More Than One Deity? Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/dedicating-to-more-than-one-deity-2561951 Wigington, Patti. "Can I Dedicate to More Than One Deity?" ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/dedicating-to-more-than-one-deity-2561951 (accessed January 20, 2018).