One of the frustrating aspects of our religion is that, when it comes down to it, we only have a smattering of tales about our gods. Sure, we have the Poetic and Prose Eddas that tell us stories about the main gods and goddesses, but there are so many gods and goddesses we know next to nothing about. Sure, we have names and stations in our myths and legends, but unless it’s one of the big gods or goddesses, we hear little about them. But what do you do when one of the lesser know deities call you? Or the lesser known gods attracts you? How do you go about honoring them?
Research the Lesser Known Gods / Goddesses
If one of the lesser known gods / goddesses calls to you, chances are you’re probably researching them. After all, if someone is knocking on your door, you probably want to know who they are before you let them in. No, not all gods, wights, and ancestors are good and beneficial to you. Some are downright harmful, which means you really don’t want them in your life. Some are beneficial and some are neutral. Entering into any relationship with a god requires due diligence on your part. Just because Odin shows up at your door doesn’t mean you should open your arms wide without some reservations. Odin can be fickle and dangerous to those he chooses. And this is a god we know quite a bit about by comparison to other gods in our pantheon; imagine knowing nothing about a god who shows up on your doorstep, literally or figuratively.
Start researching the god or goddess. You may have nothing more than a name, but you may be able to find out if they were worshiped or honored in a particular geographic area. That may be able to give you more insight into the god or goddess. Researching the god/goddess is an excellent way of honoring the deity. You are showing interest in them now that they’ve caught your attention.
Create a Shrine to Them on Your Altar
Once you know something about the god or goddess whom you wish to honor, the next step is to create a shrine on your altar, if you have one, or someplace in your home, if you don’t. It doesn’t have to be huge or ostentatious; something heartfelt that reminds you of the god or goddess works. For example, on my own altar, I have pine cones and images of dogs to Zisa. (Many think she is Tyr’s/Ziu’s consort.) By having something that honors the god or goddess on your altar, you can be reminded that this deity has a special place in your heart.
Include the Deity in your Offerings and Blots
Naturally, if you are honoring a lesser known god/goddess, you’ll want to include them in your offerings and blots. This is just good practice, in general, but also to establish a rapport with the deity. After all, if you’ve considered venerating them, it helps to offer them something they might like. Choose something within that god’s/goddess’s elements or something that is meaningful to you. Either way, I think it’s a good way to establish a rapport with a deity.
Pay Attention to UPGs
There I go talking about Unverified Personal Gnosis again. Unverified Personal Gnosis or UPGs, the bane of most recons, can give you insight into the god or goddess that you can’t get anywhere else. While you can’t claim UPGs as being the absolute truth, they can give you a foundation for worshiping the god or goddess and provide the backbone of a relationship. Because they’re personal, you can’t expect your UPGs to be considered fact, but they are ideal for your relationship with a god.
Do Works in their Name
Are there good causes your god or goddess would want you to work in? One of the ways you can offer something to them is to donate your time and effort towards something that would further their causes. For a nature god, try offering work to clean up forests or natural areas near you. A battle deity? Try helping out veterans of the armed forces. A home or house deity? Donate goods or help cook meals for the poor. The gods and goddesses will appreciate your efforts.
These are just some ideas I’ve had. Chances are you have a few as well.