I’m not sure how rare of a Pagan I am in the way I work with deities. I’m a polytheist. I believe in many Godds*. I believe that they are autonomous beings that exist and evolve differently than humans and perhaps on a different plain of existence. I’m not really worried about “how” or the “why” or “how” (yes, how twice). The how and why doesn’t really matter because belief requires some amount of faith. Faith requires some amount of trust. Trust requires some amount of surrender.
I also don’t prescribe to one pantheon. I have five Godds that I work with on a daily basis (and a couple more when I’m at my shop). None of these deities are from the same pantheon or region of the world. Not all of them are from my ancestral lineage. I haven’t been initiated into Their mysteries by a high priestess in that regional tradition. I have my personal relationship and it is just that, mine.
I do share what I know, what I have read, and what I have experienced with others because I teach a lot and I love talking about deity. But I have no expectation that my experience will be your experience. In fact, my favorite saying is “your mileage may vary”.
My Godds have asked for very specific, and sometimes odd, things. I’ve been asked to complete tasks I’ve never heard any other follower of that deity be asked to do. The answer to why that is seems ridiculously simple. My deities are helping me to improve, grow, and learn. My tasks are solely for me because I am an individual with my own shadows, growing edges, and issues to overcome. Because I am in relationship with my Godds they help me to grow.
It is required to learn about the history and origins of a Godd? No, of course not. However, it is good spiritual manners and good spiritual hygiene. Plus, learning culture, myth, and context with any deity can give you a lot of information on how to work with them and potentially offer some tips and tricks on how to have a healthy relationship with that deity.
And at the end of the day aren’t we all just looking for healthy relationships?
Don’t believe everything you read. Even books that are considered gospel on mythology can be wrong. We cannot be certain of anything historical. And even with that, there is much to be gained from learning how others have done the thing that you want to do.
*I use the spelling Godds to denote the genderfull nature of deities.