Modern Pagan Ways to Worship
I’ve been thinking a lot about the ways I worship the gods, and watching my other Pagan friends to see how different our styles are. I thought I might list some of the ways I’ve noticed. Feel free to add anything you think is worth mentioning!
Learning about the gods: This is always the
first thing I tell people to do when they decide to work with a new god.
Read the stories we do have about them, even if there’s only one. What
are scholars saying about the story/ies? What can we learn from knowing
about the culture of the time? Is there any crossover from other
cultures and mythologies?
Prayer: The obvious one, but perhaps not one that all Pagans engage in for fear of feeling ‘too Christian.’ Ceiswir Serith has a great guide, “A Book of Pagan Prayer,” if you want to take a look at new ways to pray.
Offering food/drink: Whether you’re offering a separate meal to the goddesses or sharing a part of your plate, this is a very old tradition. Some gods prefer you partake of the meal, and others don’t. Whatever is best for you, offering a glass of wine or a portion of your lunch to the gods also makes you more conscious of the food you’re ingesting.
Building/maintaining an altar: Another very common one under the Pagan umbrella. We dedicate a space to a deity or deities, and decorate it as a workspace for spells, a welcome mat for the god(s)/ess(es) we worship.
Donning a deities’ associations: If yours is a sea goddess, it is likely she’ll prefer you wearing shells, pearls, or colors that remind her of her home. By contrast, a fire god might like to see you sporting some carnelian or even lava rock. Wearing their colors, crystals/stones, scents, animal representations, symbols (either overt or covert), etc., is a way to remind yourself of them throughout the day.
Writing: Some Pagans keep journals, a Book of Shadows, and blogs to write to and about the gods. If you’re a verbal learner, this can be a great way to figure out your feelings if you’re working through new concepts, or to tell stories about your deities if they like to hear you talk about them.
Art: Other Pagans like to draw, paint, or otherwise decorate parts of their world with a visual representation of their god(s)/ess(es), their associations, or experiences they’ve had with their deity.
Music: Writing a chant, alternative Christmas carol lyrics, or compositions can be a great way to worship! Don’t forget drum circles and jam sessions.
Meditation: One of my personal favorites, guiding yourself (or having them guide you) through a visual meditation to show them more of their world. You can learn a lot about a god this way.
Crafty hobbies: Making jewelery, fetishes, or other gifts for the gods can be a relaxing and informative way to learn about how you see your goddesses compared to how other people do.
Volunteer work: Many goddesses and gods require their followers to flow good energy back into the world, whether that’s by volunteering at a women’s shelter, running a recycling campaign in your neighborhood, or counselling LGBTQ+ youth, this is a rewarding way to prove you can put your money where your mouth is, spiritually speaking.
Academic work: Particularly for knowledge/wisdom deities, this can be a good one for students. Silently dedicating your homework assignments to your gods can boost the quality of the work you turn in–it’s going to someone a little higher than your professor, after all!
Designing sigils and symbols: A lot of people are starting to take up the sigil-making hobby, which is great! Making a unique symbol for your deities lets them know you’re thinking of them, without necessarily letting other people know. Particularly good for people in non-Pagan-friendly households.