As the term suggests, deity magick is a form of magick which involves working with various gods, goddesses and other deities in order to achieve specific outcomes. It is not a practice that will instantly appeal to everyone, but those who are naturally attracted to the idea will find that it can be extremely effective, and many magickians who discover its power choose to work with their chosen deity (or deities, if working with more than one) for a lifetime.
Deity magick is one of the oldest systems of magick in existence, as it has its roots in the same practice of nature-worship which also gave birth to the notion of organised religion. The big difference between a modern-day deity magick practitioner and those who worshipped the sun or moon is that the modern practitioner tends to view deities as metaphorical beings rather than literal gods and goddesses which actually exist.
We have established previously that the key to effective magick is belief (see The Magick of Belief) and as any chaos magician would be happy to confirm, it is possible to believe in anything that you focus on believing for the purpose of achieving a magickal outcome. It is therefore quite unnecessary for a deity to actually exist in order for one to believe in it and experience both tangible and intangible benefits as a direct result of that deliberate belief.
This being the case, the modern magickian need not get caught up in whether or not deities actually exist. A far more useful approach would simply be to view deities as iconic figures which represent specific qualities, and which can be adopted as symbols for the purpose of focusing their belief and thereby unleashing more magickal energy than might be possible without such focus.
Consider a magickian who wants to bring healing to a relationship via magickal means. He or she could do some research (perhaps consulting a specialist reference work such as the Dictionary of Ancient Deities) and create a shortlist of deities which are associated with love and relationships. That shortlist might include deities such as Freyja, Venus, Aphrodite, Cupid or Eros, and the magickian may then decide that they have a natural inclination to work with Venus. In that case, they could choose to adopt that goddess as their own for the purpose of helping them to heal their relationship.
There are deities associated with every desire known to man, and many that cover a multitude of needs in a more general sense, so there should be no difficulty in a magickian finding at least one deity that they would like to work with. We will discuss various ways of working with deities in the next few posts, so in the meantime, if you feel drawn to this form of magick, select a meaningful issue that you would like to address in your own life (money, love, health or peace of mind, for example) and then find a deity which both corresponds with that issue and which appeals to you on an intuitive level.