by Barry Deel (Ravenstar)

I have been teaching paganism, Wicca and magick for six years to date. I have been practicing paganism since I was eight years old and I am now 33. One of the main questions that I am continually asked is, “How do I find a god, goddess or both that is right for me?”

My answer to this question has always been the same:

Follow your heart.

With the added statement:

Research, research, research!

Now I know that you are wondering what in the world is this? Well, it is the very beginning steps of the Ishta Devata.

Ishta Devata in its simplest translation means “Chosen Deity”. When you break it down to a more reasonable definition it becomes

The god or goddess that one loves and worships without being told to do so


The god or goddess that you personally have attributes of within you.

Therefore, the first research that you should being with is with yourself.

Oh no! He said it didn’t he? Yes, that’s right. You are now being asked to go within yourself and to take a good look around. Start with your heart then go to the mental and then the spirit.

Starting at the heart is the easiest place for the heart will allow you to see the things that you need to on a very gentle level without rudeness or the lack of love. In the heart, you will find your true nature and the core to the divinity that you seek. This will allow you to lay down a good foundation to build upon.

Be sure to write down all the things to you find there, for this list will allow you to move on to the next two areas that you need to take a good look at, the mental and the spiritual. Make sure you make a list. Now once you have taking the time, accomplished, and finished this you will be ready to start the next phase of your research.

Now, you know all those book you have in your own personal library? Here is where you are going to really get into using them, instead of the books sitting on your bookshelves and collecting dust.

Take the lists that you have formulated from your research of yourself and begin to combine all of the same or like things that you found in all three places. For example, if you found that in all three locations that you are a person who has a great need to serve the community or others, then add that to the new list.

Do not be surprised if you find that you have many contradictions that do not match. Just add them to the list and I am sure you will see or notice a pattern about yourself.

Once you have the list finalized go to your books and being looking at the gods or goddesses that have some or all the same personified qualities that you have on your list. Write them all down. Also, be sure to write down any gods or goddesses that you feel are for you even if they do not appear to match any of the lists that you have made at this point.

Make sure that you look at as many different pantheons as possible; so many people limit themselves to only one way of thinking. Remember you are in the process of creating your on spiritual belief and practices, which means that you can do anything that you want to do.

Once you have completed your gods and goddesses list begin eliminating the ones that you truly do not like or are not interested in; they are not for you. When you have narrowed the list down to a few gods and/or goddesses go back to the books (told you). You are going to finally use them and research out everything that you can on each of the ones left on your list. This will help you to narrow down your list and give you a better idea of who is best for you personally and will be the easiest to link to on an energy level.

By now you should have an idea as to whom your divinity is going to be. Take a look at all the research that you have on the gods and goddesses. This is the point where you will remove some of them from your list without any thought behind what you are doing. For you see by now you will know which one is the one for you. However, do not be surprised if you have more than one that you know to be for you; it is okay to have more than one.

You have now completed the second phase of the research.

Okay, now that seem like a lot of work just to find a god or goddess, but you will come to a better understanding in the days that will follow as to why I had you go through all of this.

Now, the time has come to begin the third phase of research. This phase is all about doing.

Start out with simply talking to your divinity, as if you were talking to one of your very close dear friends. You know the ones I am talking about, the ones you tell your entire secret to, the ones you go to for support when life just nails you to the proverbial cross.

Be aware as you talk to your divinity what happens to you and what is going on around you at that very moment. This will give you all the answers you need to let you know that you made the right choose in your divinity. Once you know this, your practice, belief, and faith will blossom and grow. You will notice that your magickal workings and rituals will take on new meaning and dimension. You will also notice that life really is not as hard as one thought that it was.

Now, remember all of the research that you did to find your divinity? Go back to it and learn all about your god or goddess. What they like and dislike. What they respect and do not respect and especially, what they expect from you, as well as what you expect from them.

Remember to always learn everything that you can about them from as many different sources as you can, especially form your heart. For your heart will give you many of the answers you are looking for.

Make sure to always balance the heart with the mind so you do not become a doormat for everyone else to walk all over.

It is my hope that by sharing this information that I have learned over my years will help you to grow and prosper on your path that you have chosen to follow in this life.