Since 2004, Gaia Community has kept a tradition of choosing a deity or power as a patron of the year each July. For many of those years, the choice was made by collecting donations of money and food in the names of various powers, with the power gaining the most donations being declared the winner. Concerns about economic equity within the community and the COVID-19 pandemic caused us to change this practice in 2020. In 2021, we worked to make the patron selection process a reflection of our commitment to the use of the democratic process within our congregation, which is part of the 5th principle of the UUA.
This year, we have a slate of 8 deities and powers to choose from. They are:
– Ariadne, the Minoan Lady of the labyrinth
– Hekate, the Greek Goddess of witchcraft, keeper of the keys of the cosmos
– Lugh, the Irish God of many skills
– Ma’at, the Egyptian Goddess who upholds and personifies right action and cosmic order
– Persephone, the Greek Queen of the Underworld and Goddess of Spring
– Prometheus, the Greek Titan of innovation, known as a friend to humankind
– The World Tree, the Indo-European embodiment of connection between many realms
– Xochipilli, the Aztec God of flowers and dance
In a forum on April 2, 2022, we nominated a list of powers, and chose the top eight using an approval voting process. On June 5 and June 12, we held mini-rituals for each of these powers to formally introduce (or re-introduce) them to the community. Each of these rituals was recorded and they are posted on this page so that people who aren’t able to attend on Sunday will still be able to experience them. Following the mini-rituals, we are using a ranked-choice voting process to select our Patron of the Year for 2022-2023. Votes will be accepted until 5:30pm Central time on June 26. The new Patron will be officially welcomed on July 24.