I led this ritual for my Pagan group in June of 2018. It was a very powerful ritual, and it requires that you be completely open and vulnerable. When I first signed up to do this Full Moon, I thought I would be leading a fun and sexy ritual, but Aphrodite had other ideas. The experiences I shared were mine, but feel free to substitute your own if you would like to use this in a group setting. This also works as a solitary ritual. You will need a rose quartz stone for every participant, and decorations for the altar. I used three dozen roses (in white, red, and pink) and printed artwork of Aphrodite for my altar. (In case you are curious, this is the ritual I referenced in My Journey to Aphrodite – Part Two.) This year (2019), the June Full Moon is on Monday, June 17th.
Call the Quarters
We call to the North, to the element of Earth, to be with us this evening. Please help us to enjoy the earthly pleasures of our physical bodies, help us to remain grounded and reasonable when we are in conflict with our loved ones, and help us to remain strong when our loved ones need our support. Element of Earth, hail and welcome!
We call to the East, to the element of Air, to be with us this evening. Please help us to improve our communication in our love relationships, help us to inspire and be inspired by those we love, and help us to enjoy the meeting of the minds as we enjoy a meeting of the hearts. Element of Air, hail and welcome!
We call to the South, to the element of Fire, to be with us this evening. Please help us to kindle and maintain passion in our romantic relationships, help us to tend to the flame of desire even when we feel like it’s almost going out, and help us to let our hearts lead the way. Element of Fire, hail and welcome!
We call to the West, to the element of Water, to be with us this evening. Please help us to heal from past and present wounds from old or current relationships, please help us to be the balm to our lovers’ ills, and please help us to accurately express the truest emotions in our hearts. Element of Water, hail and welcome!
Invocation of Aphrodite
I invoke the goddess Aphrodite, the goddess of love, passion, desire, and sexual rapture. Oh patroness of the spark of passion and creation, please inspire us to pursue that which we desire, to create new art and inventions, and to strive for our dreams. May your fierce and protective love surround our circle. Hail and welcome!
Cast the Circle
(Cast a circle in a way that feels powerful for you. You will want a very safe sacred space for this ritual.)
Fighting Fear with Love
The June Full Moon is known by many names. In Europe, it is known as the Rose Moon, as the roses are in full bloom during this time. It is also known as the Strawberry Moon, the Flower Moon, the Honey Moon, and even (particularly pertinent for last week’s weather) the Hot Moon. During these long summer days around the solstice, the sweetness of life is full to bursting. The senses delight in nature, as we delight in our friendships and romantic relationships during this more social summer season.
While winter is typically considered the traditional season for reflection, we must not ignore what summer has to teach us. We must gaze just as bravely into the light in the summer, as we gaze bravely into the darkness of winter. When we look towards the light, to explore just how brilliantly we can shine and just how much we can love, we must also confront our barriers to love and our fear of shining brightly.
As you know, I am a devotee (and now a priestess) of Aphrodite, and I have invoked her here this evening. Aphrodite is generally known as a goddess of light, love, and beauty, and while it is true she is all of these things, she is also so much more. Aphrodite is a lover and a fighter. She is fierce, and while she can be gentle, she is not always. For the call to love, and love fiercely, unreservedly, whole-heartedly, and unconditionally, is by no means an easy task. To love in this manner requires bravery, commitment, and a dissolution of fear.
Love and fear cannot truly coexist. One cannot hold both love and fear in one’s heart simultaneously. And no fears are as strong, or as all-consuming, as our fears around love. This means that even in our deepest relationships, we may be making decisions from a place of fear instead of a place of love. I know I certainly have – many, many times over. It is only through confronting these fears that we may truly know the bliss of love.
When I say love, I mean all kinds of relational love: self-love, romantic love, the love of friendship, and the love of family. I want you to take a moment, be brave with me, and to think of your fears around love in each of these areas.
How are you afraid to love yourself? Do you ever fear that you are unlovable? Do you ever tell yourself “I’ll love myself when…”? “I’ll love myself when I lose that weight” “I’ll love myself when someone else loves me” “I’ll love myself when I get a new job, or get married, or have a kid, or get a new car” For years, I told myself that I would love myself and be loveable once I had a boyfriend, once I got married, or once I conquered my OCD. What are you afraid would happen if you were to radically love yourself? What would you do with all that extra time that you used to spend worrying? I can tell each of you, right now, every single one of you, that you are loveable, and that you are loved.
What about romantic love? I’ll come right out and say it – I am afraid of dying alone. Both in the sense of I might not find a life partner, and even if I do, that I will be the one left behind after they die. I’m afraid that my personal experience of love will not live up to the (probably unrealistic) expectations that I have of romance. I say these things, not to make you paranoid or to inspire fear, but to help bring that fear out of the darkness and into the light. By naming it, we take away some of its power, and we may begin to heal it.
I encourage you to take some time to yourself this cycle of the moon, to really explore your fears and barriers to love. Sometimes it helps to talk with someone – a friend, a loved one, or a trained professional – though to do this you must already overcome the fear of being open and vulnerable.
So, you’re probably thinking, “Thanks a lot! Now I have all of these fears. That’s totally not why I came to circle tonight. I thought you were going to be talking about something fun and racy, like sex. Now that I have all of these fears, what the fuck do I do with them?”
I ask of you, to fight the fear with love. At every opportunity, choose love over fear. I suggest picking one fear, or a set of related fears, to start. In this process, you must be kind to yourself. Do not judge yourself for having this fear. Fear is natural, and in some cases, healthy, but it is our biggest barrier to growth. Accept that you have this fear, and from this place of acceptance, you can begin to change it. You must surrender to your fear – not in the sense that you will let it conquer you, but in the sense that you will let it flow through you. There’s a pithy little saying “What we resist, persists” and there is some truth in that. The minute we start to judge ourselves for having fears, we close off our hearts. The heart must be open in order to change our relationship to fear.
Of course, we don’t have to go at this alone. We can call on divine help, both in the ethereal sense and in the form of friends, loved ones, and our spiritual community. When I began my relationship with Aphrodite, I was in a very fearful place, about pretty much everything in my life. My partner of five years had moved out and wanted distance in our relationship, I had discovered that my life plan of getting my PhD was not going to happen, and my Obsessive Compulsive Disorder was so bad that it took me almost half an hour just to leave my own house.
In my years of working with her, Aphrodite has not just helped me in my romantic love life. She has helped me to accept and love myself, in spite of and even because of my mental disorder. Working with her has empowered me to tackle so many of my fears, to fully embrace my sexuality, to nurture my friendships, to draw clear boundaries with my family, and to open myself fully to love.
My first way of connecting to Aphrodite was through roses, which is why I wanted to honor her on this night of the Rose Full Moon. Rosewater and rose essential oil soon became staples in my home and on my altar. The fragrance was lovely, and it helped to put me in the right headspace and, more importantly, the right heartspace. My next way of connecting with Aphrodite was through rose quartz, which adorns the altar tonight. I began with rose quartz hearts – a pair of them placed together under my pillow, and in various places around my house – and then branched out to rose quartz of all shapes and sizes.
Rose quartz is fantastic for all types of love, particularly self-love and romantic love. It’s good for opening your heart chakra, for nurturing self-acceptance, for drawing in love, and for healing emotional pain. For me, I found that rose quartz was able to give me the infusion of loving energy I needed to positively reframe my troubles and to confront my more prominent fears. Simply holding it in my hand or placing it on my heart as I meditated filled me with love and joy.
Aphrodite, O Glorious Goddess, please shower us with the blessings of love!
Charge the Rose Quartz
Hold your rose quartz in your hands, close your eyes, and focus on what you need more love for in your life right now. Imagine a small, glowing pink light radiating from the center of the stone, gradually getting bigger and bigger, until it encompasses your whole hand. See the points of light from all the other stones within the circle, and know that you are surrounded by a supportive network of love. Take this stone with you. You can keep it in your pocket, tuck it under your pillow, or put it wherever you need it most. Remember that you are always surrounded by love.
Aphrodite, O Far-Shining One, thank you for your blessings of love!
So mote it be.
Cakes and Ale
Blessed be the hands that grew the grain, that harvested the fruit, and that baked the bread. Blessed be all hands, seen and unseen, that brought us this nourishment tonight. Blessed be.
Release the Circle
(Release the circle in a way that feels powerful for you.)
Gratitude to Aphrodite
Thank you, Aphrodite, for being with us tonight. Thank you for your blessings of love and passion. We honor you. Blessed be.
Release the Quarters
Thank you West, and the element of water, for your healing energies this evening. Hail and farewell!
Thank you South, and the element of fire, for your passionate energies this evening. Hail and farewell!
Thank you East, and the element of air, for your inspirational energies this evening. Hail and farewell!
Thank you North, and the element of earth, for your grounding energies this evening. Hail and farewell!