Patron Sought and Found

I had quite a remarkable experience last night, which led me to finding the first of my patrons. I considered not sharing the story, because the search for a patron is in many ways very personal, but I decided that if it will help others in their search, it’s worth the sacrifice.

A lot of this is very difficult to articulate, so bear with me.

Awhile ago, I ‘discovered’ Brighid and decided she might be a patron of mine. I certainly feel drawn to her. But I held off on committing — as I still do — because I have yet to feel that ‘click’ that says, “Yes, I belong to you.” When I considered Brighid as a patroness, I felt a sort of lack, and a certainty that one of my patrons was male, and a strong male at that. I had — unbidden — and image of a man in a chariot, surrounded by clouds or mist. He wore a helm and breastplate. I suspected, though I’m not sure what gave me this feeling, that he was a Gatekeeper.

Last night, after a first attempt at the ‘Parting the Mists’ meditation in the DP guide (which deserves a blog post of its own), I lay trying to sleep with the mists of the meditation and the image of that unnamed god swirling in my head. I couldn’t shake them away. Finally, I remembered the story “The Stolen Wheel,” told by Rev. Michael J. Dangler in the August 2009 Tribeways podcast; there was a male god in that podcast! And a chariot! Could it be…?

So at about 12:30 a.m., I turned on my Ipod, scanned through the podcast and found the story: Taranis and Sulis. Taranis, a storm god, had his own chariot, and I do love the story. So with that, I grabbed at my phone (gotta love 3G), opened Wikipedia, and pulled up the entry on Taranis. And… it wasn’t him. No click. With the Thor/Jupiter associations, he just didn’t have the right ‘energy.’ (Not to sound too New Agey or anything.)

Disappointed, I looked at some of the external links. None of the associations here jumped out at me, but here, the word “charioteer” stood out like it was marked in flames. A quick search for “Barinthus” led me to… Manannán mac Lir, sea god, Gatekeeper, charioteer, wearer of magical helm and breastplate, owner of a magical horse, and keeper of the mists. Trickster, harpist, father, warrior.


I’d never even heard of him, but as I read about him, I felt completely sure. I fell into a sound sleep, confident in the love and protection of my patron. Strange, isn’t it, how we have these connections with a force in our life we’ve never even identified? And yet as soon as we touch the connection, it flares to life inside of us and fills a hole we never knew we had.


3 thoughts on “Patron Sought and Found

  1. Great post, thanks for sharing! I’ve yet to really make that ‘click’ although I am drawn to certain deities to be sure.

    I sometimes wonder if we as modern pagans are hindered by the fact that of all the enormous pantheon of gods and goddesses that our ancestors worshipped, only the names of a small handful have survived to our time. First we had to suffer the Roman habit of coming across local god X and exclaiming “Well, X sounds a lot like Mercury, so it must be Mercury and we will start calling him that!”. Then, we have to suffer the fact that our only visibility into almost the entirety of the Northern European traditional stories are filtered through the Christian monks who wrote them down and changed them to fit their own viewpoint.

    The result, as I say, is that the names of hundreds or thousands of gods and goddesses have been lost forever. Does this mean that they no longer exist or exist as some diminished spirit (as those described in Terry Pratchett’s brilliant “Small Gods”), or are they still here, shining, and amongst us, but we have no means to call to them? And if so, what happens if one of these nameless goddesses is our personal patroness?

  2. This is a good question, and a very real concern, I think. I’d be interested to see it on the Dedicants list, perhaps, where someone far wiser than me could try to answer it.

    I got very lucky. I’d had the image of Manannan in my head for so long that I was beginning to despair of ever finding him. I was starting to wonder if perhaps I had made him up, or seen him somewhere else and ‘co-opted’ him into my pantheon. I’m very glad I followed the urge the other night to seek… The only answer I have to your question is that the Shining Ones will reveal themselves to us in their own way and time. That’s my experience — now — anyway.

  3. Where is this Parting the Mists meditation? I’ve got the PDFs of the updated Dedicant Manual, Initiate, Generalist Study Program, the DP through the Wheel of the Year, and the Nine Virtues, and I can’t find it in any of them.

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