Devotion to Deity: Part III
This is the third and final installment in my Devotion to Deity series. You can learn about what deity devotion is in the first post, and then how to connect with deity in the second post. In this third post, I’m going to talk about creating a personal devotional practice.
You’ve chosen a deity to work with, created an altar or made space for Her on your regular altar, and have researched her story, symbols and poetry. Now it’s time to put all of that together into a cohesive devotional practice. And you’ve already started. Your research and altar creation is a devotional practice of its own. In this article, I am going to come at the idea of devotional practice from not only a spiritual perspective, but also from a practical perspective so that your practice is sustainable.
The first thing to consider in creating your own practice of any kind, is to consider the amount of time you ACTUALLY have to devote to your practice. If you only realistically have 15 minutes to spare each day, you aren’t going to want to create a complex devotional practice that will take 30 minutes. I truly believe that this is the most common reason why practitioners abandon their practices. If you try to do more than you have time for, it’s really likely that you’ll get resentful – not only about your practice, but about other things in your life that are preventing you from your practice. If you feel like you don’t have any time at all, you can check out my free workbook Making Space for Your Spiritual Practice.
Now that you’ve decided on how lengthy to make your practice, it’s time to choose how often do you want to actually DO your practice. Is this something that you want to do every day? Twice a week? Monthly at the moon, or special feast days? It’s key that you think realistically so that your practice will be sustainable. Do you want to do the same practice every day, or create a few key devotional activities?
Consider the goal of your devotional practice. Isn’t your devotional practice meant to confer devotion unto your deity? Well, yes, but this can mean different things to different people. A devotional practice may be focused on lavishing love and praise on your goddess, but it might also make space for reflection, for listening, for offerings and for prayers. Your practice can include several of these things if you have the space for them.
This is where your research and meditation comes into play. You can read the poetry that you’ve found for Her. You can present her with offerings. You can tell her story. You can use information gleaned from your meditation and contemplation to create a ritual in Her honor. It can be super structured with memorized or read liturgy, or it can be a few moments speaking to her from the heart. If you still feel stuck, here is a short outline that may inspire you, or give you a place to start creating your own.
- Approach the altar/ shrine
- Read an evocation or poem to Her
- Give her an offering
- Speak to her words of praise
- Ask for messages
- Reflection/ contemplation time
- Gratitude statement
- Completion statement (so mote it be, blessed be, aho, etc.)
Keep in mind that your devotional acts don’t need to be something you do at your home, or in a circle. They can even be on a larger scale. You can donate money to a cause you feel is alignment with Her. Or volunteer your time as a devotional act.
Deity devotion can be fulfilling and really can be a tool to help you connect with deity and your Self. It allows us to move through the world in love and connection. May your path be blessed with both. <3