I’m a bit late with this post (over two months late), as my year-and-a-day of priestesshood was back in the beginning of January, but I still wanted to write something to commemorate the occasion. I can’t believe it has been over a year since I took my oath to Aphrodite. It’s been a wild and wonderful ride, and I’ve learned some important lessons along the way. Here are some of my reflections on my first year as a priestess:
Where and How we worship as modern Pagans is as unique as each individual, yet these questions share common elements no matter your practice or tradition. This is Where and How I worship Aphrodite.
Self-compassion can be a challenge - particularly in a world where we are flooded with media constantly telling us that we aren't enough. We aren't beautiful or handsome enough. We aren't skilled enough. We aren't fit enough. We aren't rich enough. We aren't good enough to have a partner. Or we aren't a good enough partner for someone else. Let me tell you something. It's not a secret, though in our culture it is guarded like one - only spoken in hushed tones between the closest of friends. YOU ARE ENOUGH.
How do we honor a goddess whose last known popular worship was thousands of years ago? While we can certainly learn from what was done in the past, we need to look to the present and the future to develop methods of worship that are relevant to modern Pagans and Polytheists. Human society has evolved tremendously over the past few millenia - why wouldn’t how we relate to our Deities do the same?
This meditation (or some variation of it) was one of the first ways I connected with Aphrodite in a tangible sense - to actually speak with Her, to see Her physical form, and to go beyond impressions and feelings. It incorporates elements from both guided meditation and journeying.
Aphrodite is not only a Goddess of Love, She is also a Goddess of Pleasure. Pleasure comes in many forms, but one everyday experience of pleasure is consuming food. Like many of our most intense pleasures, food is very primal. We need it to survive, but we are also capable of drawing immense enjoyment from it. Finding joy in cooking a meal, savoring it, and sharing it with others is one of the ways I connect with Aphrodite.
Let me be clear: The type of surrender I am talking about is not the surrender of defeat (though it sometimes may feel like it). It is not giving up. It is not ceding victory. It is not yielding to the authority of others. It is not relinquishing your power. It is not sacrificing your values or morals. It is not martyrdom. The Divine Surrender I speak of is a surrender to bliss. It’s yielding to the natural flow of the universe. It’s a forfeit of the ego. It is a loss of inhibitions. It’s letting go of the edge of the pool to see how deep you can swim. It is faith in the Gods. And, first and foremost, it is trust in yourself.
“Worship” is a really charged word for a lot of Pagans, and rightfully so. A lot of us are converts who came from religions where worship was a requirement, and was more about debasing yourself instead of celebrating the Divine. I worship Aphrodite because I adore Her, because I want to feel and be all of the beautiful things She represents in my life, because She is worthy of honor and respect, and because the act of worship brings me that much closer to Her.
Celebrate the July Full Moon by honoring the Love goddesses Aphrodite, Venus, and Turanna!
Spinning around the pole, moving my hips, and landing a trick all felt like a corporeal prayer, a body-song of worship. There was energy raised and lowered on the pole. I learned new things about my body and my being. I knew the closer I was to being the full expression of myself, the closer I would be to Aphrodite.