When did you know a deity called to you? Did you recognize who it was right away? Did it happen subtly or with a loud fanfare? Do you have more than one? Do they all work together or take turns? When a deity calls, you just KNOW. It can be a frustrating answer for those who search, but it seems a fairly consistent outcome. And as the saying goes, when you know, you KNOW.
I work in a metaphysical, old age store in the magical town of Asheville, North Carolina. So many people come in searching for something. Sometimes, they don’t know what for, or are curious. “When will I know which deity I should follow?” they will ask me with widened eyes. There is no guidebook or protocol, I assure them. You will just KNOW. That’s my stock answer, but I have a longer one.
After I moved to Asheville, I noticed my friends all spoke about their deities as old friends. I follow Brigid, or I have been devoted to Hekate, they would say. As with everything Asheville, I took it in stride and wondered idly if everyone did this, or were they just trying to fit in. Honestly, the skeptical part of my compartmentalized brain just figured it was a “thing”. Part of me kept that wonder, though.
One bright and sunny October, I found myself at the Carolina Renaissance Festival. As is my custom, I was lingering before leaving, silently crying, wishing I could stay there forever. I visited all the shops one last, sad time. Heading towards the exit, I felt myself pulled towards a jewelry stand. That usually happens, but this time, I heard and felt something pulling me towards it. Over here! Come over here! Merely assuming it was all in my head because I didn’t want to leave, I ambled over to the display. I was drawn to one necklace in particular. Artemis the Mood Goddess was on the card attached to a beautiful silver necklace. “I am Artemis, daughter of Zeus, I am strong and swift. I run in the woods, wild and free, doing what I please. I am the ever-youthful female spirit of adventure…” In a daze, I purchased the necklace and put it on. Those words called to me, so when I got home, I researched more, and so much resonated with me. Thus began my devotion to Artemis. She guides me with courage when I need it the most.
Brigid took the forefront of my devotion, and Artemis remained quiet.I wondered if they ever worked together or what would happen next. This year, after Imbolc was over, I got a distinct message from Artemis, and it still makes me chuckle. “Enough of this Brigid stuff, the focus is back on me.” That was the gist of the message and I happily followed her direction. Turns out I needed it. Artemis fortifies me, makes me feel strong and feisty, and she boosts my courage. She was with me as my youngest child faced a life-threatening illness, and Brigid comforted me. They were both there when I needed them, and with their help, I could keep going.
You may read this with a healthy dose of skepticism. I get it. Yet to me this is no different than those who follow saints (St. Anthony will always help me find things, by the way. I went to his elementary school, and that never leaves you). I used to think to myself, are you talking to yourself? I just go back to: you KNOW. I know the difference. I don’t really question it too much. I just remain grateful. When a deity calls, try answering. It can lead you on an amazing journey.