I can speak from personal experience that a lot of pagans just starting out are eager to find their “patron deity,” and others are just as eager to discourage them. It’s certainly true that the kind of intimate relationship that some (such as myself) have with their patrons is highly unusual, yet I also feel that flatly shutting down others in their quest for such a relationship is misguided at best.
So I feel like I should give some advice, from the position of someone who went from zero to godbothered in a couple of months in her late twenties. It happens….not common at all, but it HAPPENS.
The most important advice I can give is: who do you need in your life. Not “want.” NEED. I know, Artemis is awesome…or you really wanted to work with Aphrodite. But what if you’re having a hard time getting a job, or you’re failing in school? Maybe you should see if Hermes is willing to listen, or if Athena is willing to help you. This is how I met Sarasvati. I was going toward the home stretch in undergrad, and prayed to her for help in schoolwork. She liked me. A lot. And she stuck around.
The “what do you need” should also be extended to what kind of personality you mesh well with, and whether you have values in common. Sarasvati is a goddess of wisdom and learning, but she is not Athena, and neither Sarasvati nor Athena are Ogma. Different values, different personalities. If this sounds all very cold and calculating, that’s because it is.
Most people will never be godbothered, and frankly, that’s actually a good thing. But you don’t have to be godbothered to have a patron. That is an important distinction that often slips through the cracks in these discussions. And so many people – headblind or not – seem to forget that the gods usually (almost always, in fact) operate in far more subtle ways than those of us with open heads perceive.
So…do you want a patron god? Go for it!