Rachel Lynett
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Gods' Plans: Should you work with deitie ...

Gods' Plans: Should you work with deities?

Jun 20, 2023

When I first started looking into what it meant to be a witch and more specifically a kitchen witch who relies on ancestral practices, I had a lot of mix feelings about whether or not I wanted to work with a "god." Most of the resources I came across talked about having an altar in your home, paying reverence, and aligning yourself with a deity of some kind. Coming from a background drenched in religious trauma of being raised both Roman Catholic (with my dad and my stepmom) and Baptist (with my mom), I didn't want to add religion to my practice.

And before I get into this, I want to say upfront: You do not have to work with a deity if that's not your jam. A lot of witchcraft, especially paganism and new-age spirituality, is just religion repackaged with the same trauma and the same bullshit. Even if you do choose to work with a deity, know that there is not one singular way to do it. It's up to you how and when and if you want to engage.

That said, there's a lot of disagreement about what working with a deity even means. For some people, you are literally working with that god. For others, you are working with an energy that god represents. For others, you are working with everyone who worshipped that god before.

And again, to unpack some religious trauma here, while I do work with a couple of deities, I do not worship them. I hold a lot of respect for them, I honor them, and I ask them for help but I do not worship any god or any energy.

Okay, whew. Now let's get into how to find the god for you if that's what you're interested in.

First, I like to start with what's your elemental alignment. If you're into astrology, this will be either the sign that it is in your chart the most or in your chart the least. Typically, it's what in your chart the least because you are seeking out pieces of you that aren't already a part of you but if you'd rather magnify what's already in you, you want to look at what's in your chart the most.

For example, I have a lot of air in my chart. Like a lot, a lot, a lot. Of my big six, 4 are air signs. I have very little fire and earth in my chart. I only have earth in my generational planets and my only fire sign in my big six is my Mars in Leo.

(If you're like "Rachel, how do I know what elements are in my chart? How do I know what my big six are?" Well, become a subscriber because soon I'll be talking about breaking down your chart by element and modality.)

So for the element I could magnify, that's air. For the element I should call towards me, that's fire or earth. Personally, ever since I was little, I've been drawn to fire. I've always loved it. Though I didn't smoke, I kept a lighter in my back pocket. I keep a candle burning almost always and I've gotten lost in the flames a couple of times at a campfire. I love fire.

So by this logic, my deity should be a fire god. Once you know what's in your chart and what isn't, then you can do as I did and see what you pulls you in. What element has had your attention from day 1? Where does it sit in your chart?

Now time for research! Research gods under that element. Learn more and more about the cultural implications of picking that god (I strongly, strongly recommend you pick a deity within your own ancestral line so if you're Italian, maybe don't pick an Orisha...). Find out what it means to work with that deity. What will be asked of you?

And then take it one step at a time. See how you like it, how introducing that new energy works in your life.

I originally sought out to work with Shango but there was something off for me. For one, I didn't want to welcome in that much masculine energy. And every time I tried to learn anything at all about Shango, I ended up mesmerized by Oya. Then as I walked through the city, I'd see mentions of Oya everywhere I went. It was uncanny. I genuinely felt called to pivot to Oya instead and I haven't looked back since.

In the end, while I sought out a fire god, I ended up with a god that represented all of me. A deity of rain storms (which are water and air), lighting (fire), and also transformations. A change maker who is a fierce defender of those she loves and a mother who's lost so much.

Trust me, once you start looking, these energies will find you. It's just up to you if you want to work with them.

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