Basically in its simplest term a Deity is a God or Goddess. There are hundreds of deities in dozens of different Witchcraft belief systems. If you follow the Wiccan path then you will work very very closely with deities. The Deity you will work with will depend on what you want to do. If you are working with the Greek pantheon* and you need to attract some love, you may call on Aphrodite. Some deities are lighter and others are darker. Be aware of the qualities of the deity you are working with, look at is the archetype. Athena for example is a Goddess of War, Venus is love, Bast is cats, Nyx is night.
To find your Gods or Goddesses, read about all cultures, not just the ones you already know about. Please bear in mind that selecting the right deities does not happen in 10 or 15 minutes, sometimes it can take a days or longer. Find Gods and Goddesses that fit with the path you are on, specialize in things you care about. You want at least one God and one Goddess, usually about five to nine is a good number but you should keep it balanced, unless you have chosen to follow the "Dianic" path of witchcraft then you will only follow feminine deities. Eventually you will finally align yourself with the right deities for your path. Build a personal pantheon and work with them until you know them well.
Wiccan Practitioners usually have an altar in their home where they honor the Goddess and God. The altar usually includes figurines, candles and sometimes tools that represent the Deities. The Deities are invoked with mental powers and invited to stay for the rituals. After the spell, the Deities are thanked and their energies are allowed to leave. The energy of the Deity is believed to exist in the figurines or candles during the time that they are invoked and allowed to stay. Just remember, there is no wrong way of honoring a Deity.
There are 3 different levels of deity belief, none are right or wrong. You follow your own path as in all things magic.
- Monotheistic (belief in a single deity)
- Duo theistic (belief in two deities, usually nameless)
- Polytheistic (belief in many deities)
There are even some Wiccans who do not work with any deities.
A Pantheon is the collection of all the deities from one culture. It can also be a temple that has been dedicated to a variety of different Gods.
These are some of the most common Pantheons:
- Aztec Gods
- Celtic Gods
- Chinese Gods
- Egyptian Gods
- Finnish Gods
- Greek Gods
- Incan Gods
- Indian Gods
- Japanese Gods
- Mayan Gods
- Middle-Easatern Gods
- Native American Gods
- Norse Gods
- Oceanic Gods
- Roman Gods
- Tibetan Gods