How Gods Find Followers: Intro

Since I follow several Gods, who are not as well-known as the Norse or Celtic pantheons, I often wonder how They get followers. Why are some Gods or pantheons are more popular than others? How do the lesser known pantheons go about getting devotees? Many Pagans follow Gods who are from the African Traditional Religions, Egyptian, Celtic, Greek or Norse pantheons. Meanwhile, various other Gods such as Inanna (Babylonian) and Astarte (Canaanite) are usually followed as individuals separate from their respective cultures.

One factor is that some of the more popular pantheons have Gods who actively recruit such as Odin and The Morrigan. Also, Sekhmet of the Egyptians recruits from the general population as does Dionysius of the Greeks. Within each of these pantheons are popular Gods such as Isis and Apollo, who also attract devotees. People will shift pantheons in their spiritual lives as some Gods come to speak to them, while other Gods leave. Odin and Sekhmet will often leave the person once they are settled in Paganism.

Another factor is that people are introduced to popular Gods such as Hecate in “Goddesses” books. These books often do bring people deeper into Paganism. However, many focus on the Goddesses as archetypes for self-empowerment, while others present the various Goddesses as aspects of the Great Goddess.

I have come to realize that the focus on individual Gods (Goddesses) in general Paganism hinders knowing some of the more obscure pantheons. Furthermore, Pagans often see Them as archetypes representing a part of a whole. To me, this is a paradox of extreme individualism and non-differentiation between Gods.


My experience with the Acheulian Goddess reflects some of the common problems faced by the more obscure Gods. I was approached by the Acheulian Goddess because of my work with the Early Human Dead. I see Her in that context, as a Goddess of Homo erectus, the Goddess of Beginnings. I know of only few people who differentiate between the various Neolithic Goddesses. I suspect that it is because in general culture, They are lumped together. Moreover, few discussions of Neolithic religion present each of these Goddesses as being discrete from each other.

I have met people who follow the Goddess Path, who venerate Her with the other Neolithic Goddesses. They tend to think of Her as a facet of the Great Goddess. Outside of the Goddess Worshipers, She attracts few people.


I am writing a series of posts on how various Gods recruit their followers. I find the topic fascinating, and hope that my dear readers will also. If anyone has any input to this topic, feel free to contact me, and we can discuss further.

9 thoughts on “How Gods Find Followers: Intro

  1. Pingback: 4th Question: Who or What is God – Questiontime – Vragenuurtje

  2. During my times delving into slavic paganism I’ve found that the god “veles” tends to actively recruit people. (He and Freyja recruited me) Veles will appear to you out of nowhere, play hard to get for awhile and once you’ve earned it..he’s present in your life.

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  3. Pingback: Recruiting Followers: Lesser Known Gods: Babylonian | Neptune's Dolphins

  4. Pingback: Gods Recruiting: Closed Culture: Native American | Neptune's Dolphins

  5. I find this really interesting – I petitioned various Deities before I came to realize the one that was quietly waiting for me to come to them. Then, I had an exclusive relationship with them for over 10 years – and now, over a number of years, a number of others seemed to have made themselves known to me, much to my bemusement.

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    • Thank you for this post, it definitely felt relevant to my own experience of being ‘recruited’ as it were into the polytheism of Vaidika & Tantrika by the Great God Śiva.
      As an adolescent I was introduced (via T.S. Eliot’s poetry) to the Upanishads/Vedanta, mystical texts of ancient India which spoke of Śiva, yet at the same time was exploring other sacred traditions from the world over.
      A couple of years later I heard the name Śiva, accompanied by an image of the third eye, in of all places of a late night counter-culturally leaning television program (Night Flight) & my psychic antennae palpably quivered. I took note of it, yet didn’t pursue further at that time,
      A few years on, unrelatedly, a friend happened to give me a poster of Lord Śiva, which I still have over my altar. Although I wasn’t of the Śaiva cult then, I felt magnetized by His image, so much so that, even later while studying to be a Catholic priest, I couldn’t bear to take down the poster.
      After a dark time in which I felt called to enter a new religious path, I went to Śiva, it was like He had been waiting for me all along the way, and He introduced me to His Son Ganesh (whom I’d previously related to & communed with as Hermes-Mercurius), His Son Muruga (whom I’d known as St Michael the Archangel), & His Spouse-Śakti Mother Parvati (known before as Ninhursag), as well as many others of the 33 million Devatas of India.

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