How did you become devoted to your Matron/Patron deities

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How did you become devoted to your Matron/Patron deities
« on: July 14, 2019, 02:39:46 AM »
I would like to post a question involving your spiritual practice when it comes to being called by your deity and or deities..How and when did you know which deity was calling you to be their Votary? A simple reason I'm asking is my discernment in which Pantheon is calling me currently and I'm trying to discern the signs..any help will be great :)

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WeepingCrow

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Re: How did you become devoted to your Matron/Patron deities
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2019, 02:15:41 PM »
Your title is seems to me to be asking something a little different than Votary discernment. For me those are definitely two different questions. I became a polytheist from experiences with Ceremonial Magick, when deities started showing up. You could call Them my "matron" deities, though I'm not specifically dedicated to Them -- the Gods I'm most interactive with. I can go into more detail about how I came to honor Them, but I think that's not the heart of your question.

If you're asking what calls a person towards a monastic lifestyle, in general, I think you'll get different answers than what calls a person to a specific devotional focus. A person can of course be extremely devoted to the Gods (or a patron deity) without being a monastic.

As for what calls me to be a monastic specifically in the service of my particular deities, I'm afraid I don't have a fun answer for that. For me it is more a matter of practicalities, what I see as "necessary" for the development and recapturing of polytheistic beliefs. I think we as a "community" will need monastic-like structures, as opposed to only the coven-esque structures many groups have (where one person acts as priest for regular meetups) or the complete lack of structure most folks seem to have (solitaries doing personal devotions).

How do I know this is what the Gods want me to do? The same way I speak with Them about anything, which is mostly a combination of inspiration and divination. Increasingly, I'm coming to trust the power of creative force, in doing what "seems right", although verified with outside sources of course. (I don't want to give the impression that I think "doing whatever I feel like" is a good method for anything in life!) If I work on projects, and the Gods give a positive response, I keep going.

If there existed a large monastery, where I could drop everything in my life to become a full-time monk, I would have to go through another discernment process completely. I'm actually not sure it would be the right time in my life to "drop everything" that way. So my suggestion for discernment is sort of "less thinking, more action" -- work on spending greater chunks of time doing devotional and contemplative activities, and the Gods will respond with whether you should keep going, or if They feel that's an unproductive path for you.

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Aine Llewellyn

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Re: How did you become devoted to your Matron/Patron deities
« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2019, 05:42:04 PM »
So my suggestion for discernment is sort of "less thinking, more action" -- work on spending greater chunks of time doing devotional and contemplative activities, and the Gods will respond with whether you should keep going, or if They feel that's an unproductive path for you.

I've come to a similar place regarding discernment. While thinking can be useful, often I found myself getting caught up in my mind...and not bothering to just practice and do. And all the theorizing I had done really didn't compare to using a devotional ritual and feeling the responses of the gods and spirits. I figured out which of my theories were right and which were...not necessarily wrong, but not as important as I had previously considered them.

Acting in a more monastic fashion - such as orienting my day around prayer - also helped solidify my suspicion that it was a path I was called to or fit for. I was already inclined toward it because of my personality and interests to begin with, which is how I came to learn about monasticism in the first place. Learning more about monastic practices and trying to implement some of them in my life has felt right and received positive responses from my gods so...I consider that to mean it is what I'm 'meant to do'.

Re: How did you become devoted to your Matron/Patron deities
« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2019, 02:53:19 PM »
My thought is this; I learned that my patron wished to work with me on account of continued interactions through time.  Eventually it became clear that I could take certain vows.  After that point, I was a votary.

I think lots of time is important here: I worked with my patron for something like 8 months before taking a vow.  This gave me the time to trust Her, to love Her, to know in my heart that She is worth my continued devotion.

Taking a vow is serious business.  A vow means giving up some of one's free will forever.  It is the act of abrogating one's future self's ability to act freely.

And so -- and please forgive any gaucheness on my part! -- the words of a certain Wise Master have gently guided my actions in relating to the spiritual realm: “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.  A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit.  Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them."

I quote this at length because -- emphatically -- not every being on the inner side of experience is well-behaved sweetness and light.  There are certainly malign beings that attempt to trick folks into becoming hosts to nasty, psychic parasites.  I've known many, many folks who have suffered this fate.

For this reason time and discernment are absolutely essential. Time, long patience and time, especially.  My strategy has been to wait to taste the fruits before making any commitment.  I am certainly grateful that this was the course I made, and so I share this aspect of how I became devoted to my patron.