Working with Deity, for those who do not (or not on a regular basis), appears to be a mystifying, dangerous or useless affair. There are scientists who believe that for some people, the brain is hardwired to believe. Those of us with brains like that, have an easier time sensing the presence of Deity, making it easier to believe. There is an article on this here. The wording is very Abrahamic-centered but the information is clear and concise.

Wether you are hardwired for religious worship or not, I firmly believe everyone can form a connection between Deity and themselves. Not everyone wants to and that is fine. For those of you looking to find religion but experiencing difficulty doing so, this blog post offers some advice.

  1. Believe
  2. Put in the work. Building a relationship with Deity of your choosing takes time and effort. Religion is active, not passive. Set aside time for daily study, meditation and/or offerings. Try to engage in activities your chosen God(s) or Goddess(es) appreciate. If you are looking for a connection with Apollon, try reading and writing poetry, get up at dawn for a week to praise Him and step out into the fading light at dusk to thank Him for that same week. This allows you to live His life a little and understand how He might appear in your life.
  3. Keep an open mind. While you're looking for Deity, try not to close yourself off to any other God or Goddess who might have already taken an interest in you. It's a safe bet that without first resolving your involvement with the interested God or Goddess, the God or Goddess of your choosing won't contact you. It would be plain rude to do so.
  4. Consider Reconstructionism. For those who are interested in connecting to a pantheon; consider a Reconstructionist approach. These are the rituals, rites, ethics and activities the Gods you are looking to connect with understand and appreciate as being dedicated to them. Everyone knows what role they have to play in the exchange. It's a win-win. Now, if a full Recon path is not for you, this is fine. As an Eclectic, you can take what you need and do away with the rest without ramifications, as long as you keep the base of the Recon practice alive.
  5. Build religious credibility. I firmly believe Gods speak to each other. This is a little easier between Gods of the same Pantheon but Wiccan and Neo-Wiccan rituals tend to call upon a host of Gods and Goddesses from a multitude of Pantheons. Often, during public ritual, I have giggled at an image of the invited Gods gathering above the Circle and rolling their eyes at whomever got invited this time. It makes me wonder if the Gods have a crazy uncle as well. At any rate--the Gods interact so if you build some credibility as a worshipper of one or more Gods or Goddesses, the rest will likely know about it and offer you assistance more freely.
  6. Do the work and make good art
The link above leads to PANTHEOS, Star Forster's blog and one of my favorite Pagan corners of the internet. In it, Star combines two of the internet's most inspiring things in a long time; Neil's Gaiman's graduation speech for the graduating class of the University of the Arts in Philadelphia and Donald Michael Kraig's fantastic post over on Llewellyn’s website. Links to both in the article. I've shared Neil's video with a good amount of friends since I first saw it a couple of weeks ago. It's made a wonderful impact on me. These are the bits of advice I took from it, as applied to religion:
  • Whatever you do, try to connect it with your practice or--even better--choose whatever you do with your practice in mind
  • Set clear (religious) goals and work towards them. If you find yourself lost, see how what you're doing relates to your goals
  • Make sure your practice never feels like work, that way life never feels like work
  • Never do something you can not completely stand behind, as it's doomed to fail anyway
  • Don't get side-tracked from what you love to do
  • Find what you're good at and do it as only you can
  • 'The moment that you feel that just possibly you feel like you're walking down the street naked, exposing too much of your heart and your mind, and what exists on the inside showing too much, that's is the moment you may be starting to get it right.'
  • Two out of three ain't bad
  • Enjoy every minute of it!
  • Be your own voice, because no one knows how the (religious) landscape will change in the coming years
  • 'Pretend to be someone who can do it'... and then act like they would
  • Make. Good. Art.
In the end, doing the work and making good art are at the base of any religious practice, as well as an inspirational way to go through life. It starts with making up your mind. After that, you simply go for it with all you have. Take on too much so you can leave some practices behind. Pick your battles and find your loves. Whatever you do, make sure you love every minute of it.