After the sexy-underwear-accidental-blood-offering happened, and I thanked Venus and Turanna for all of the blessings and lessons they had given me, I devoted my energy to Aphrodite. I worked with Aphrodite exclusively for the next few months, and our connection became stronger and stronger. Somewhere along the way, a close friend gifted me a spiral shell she had found at the beach under a full moon. She had fashioned it as a talisman on a strand of plastic pearls she had, and gave it to me.
It was a wondrous gift. I could already feel the power it had. I cleansed and blessed it, and started to wear it occasionally. I had some trouble with the clasp because I’m right handed, and the clasp operated with the left hand, so I tried to switch the orientation of the wiring holding on the shell. In the process, I stretched the wire too far and it snapped, though the shell itself was okay. I decided that I should get a proper strand of pearls to wear it on, and some sterling silver wire (I made wire jewelry once upon a time). I decided I would craft the necklace in a formal ritual.
In January of 2018, I did a formal dedication – on accident. I had finally gotten together all of the supplies to remake the necklace, so I cast a circle and began crafting. I ended up not only finishing and blessing the necklace, but also extemporaneously composing a song for Aphrodite and dancing wildly around my living room in celebration of Her. That night, I proclaimed her as my patroness.
In the following months, everything in my life started to revolve around sex and love. It had already started doing so to a lesser extent after I had worked with the love goddesses a while, but now my whole life was one giant dirty joke. You can’t make this shit up, either. I went out to eat with a bunch of friends from my pagan group and we all got numbers for our orders. I was a little in line behind them and when I held up my number for those in front of me to see (What was my number? 69. What else?), they all cackled and we had a good laugh.
Little things like that started popping up everywhere. I already felt Aphrodite’s presence on a daily basis in my spiritual life, but she made herself known in all the other areas of my life as well. My friends would send me pictures of crystal dildos, and whenever there was an opportunity for an innuendo, it was made. It was riotous fun, and who knew being spiritual could involve so many dick jokes?
All this continued, and with it came something a bit more serious. My friends started coming to me for help – Sometimes about sex, sometimes about romantic relationships, sometimes about how to connect with Aphrodite. At first it seemed completely normal – I had done a ton of research and reading when my relationship with my boyfriend was on the rocks, so I had a lot of reference material and experience to draw from. I’m also not shy in the least about talking about taboo subjects like sex and relationships, and I realize I am in the minority there. I’ve always been very open with my friends, and I was flattered that some of them sought me out for advice.
Throughout college and beyond (before I found my pagan group and started working with Aphrodite), it was not unusual for friends to come to me for relationship advice or someone to just listen. But this was different, in caliber and in scope. I had people coming to me for advice on how to connect with a Goddess – my Goddess. I was very open that I was new at this and told them what worked for me, but it might be different for them. They came back and said it had worked, and told me all about the relationship they were exploring with Her. I was overjoyed – and a bit dumbfounded.
And it kept coming. With each person, it was different, but it all related back to Her and Her work. One of my friends in my spiritual group told a new member that I was a “priestess of Aphrodite.” I asked him about it, and he said that it was the best term he could think of to describe it to a newcomer, but that yes, he thought that title suited me. This was cause for some serious meditation.
What would it mean to be a priestess? That is not a title I take lightly. If I were going to take on this mantle, I needed to be prepared. I spent the next few months in contemplation – What does being a priestess mean to me? What does it mean for my relationship with Aphrodite? What would be expected of me? What would my community expect of me? I also interviewed my friends and asked them all of these questions as well.
In my spiritual meditations, it occurred to me that I had already planted the seed for this in my dedication. My song to Aphrodite, that I sing to her in the morning and at night, mentions me being a “devoted priestess” to her. “What would you expect of me?” I asked Her. Her response was similar to what I had gotten when I interviewed my friends: There would be more expected of me, but not that much more, and I was already doing what a priestess would be doing anyway. “Okay, I’ll give it a try,” was my response, and I did.
In the next few months, I began to try on the priestess mantle. I became more consistent with my devotions and offerings. I worked to open up a pretty much constant channel, and Aphrodite embedded herself in every aspect of my life. Communication was easeful and I could feel her present with me almost always. With the community, things continued as they had been, and everything went well.
Summer came around again, and this time I volunteered to lead the June Full Moon. I knew the ritual was going to involve Aphrodite, so I put my little “Age 18 and over” disclaimer on the event description. I had trouble writing the ritual, but a week before I sat down and it just flowed… and it was not what I expected. It was about love and fear, and conquering fear with love. It was dark, it was raw, but it was hopeful. I felt the need to warn my friends, who I thought were expecting a fun and raunchy ritual. It was very much not that. Not at all.
I also wrote another song – though “channeled” might be a better term. It was not based off of any tune that I nor any of my friends knew, and (according to my friend who studied music) included microtones that aren’t typically used in Western music… but might be found in music of the Greek persuasion. I was taken aback. I had no way of knowing that. I knew that She was with me, but this really brought it home.
I led the Full Moon, and it felt right – the whole way through. I had some time to myself after I finished setting up the altar. My friends did not disturb me because “something big was happening,” though honestly I couldn’t tell you what it was. Circle began. I called Aphrodite in Greek as I had the summer before, but my lips glided much more smoothly over the language now. I talked for a long time – impassioned, raw, and open. I sang the song more beautifully than I had managed in the last week because my nose had been stuffed up. Everyone came up and got their rose quartz crystal as I walked sunwise around the altar singing. It was ethereal. It was haunting. It was perfect.
After the ritual concluded, two of our members came over and asked if I would be willing to share the text from the ritual with them, and told me how it had touched them. I was honored, and said that I would. A couple other friends also told me (somewhat begrudgingly) that it was what they needed to hear, and it opened the way for some honest conversations. Reflecting back on this later that night, I marveled. I had met a need in the community that I didn’t know was there. And I had done it well.
It was that night that I truly felt like I became a priestess of Aphrodite. I had no formal initiation, no special cord or insignia that I wore. I carry her love with me everywhere I go, and I shine her light in the world. And that was enough.
Until it wasn’t.