Earlier in January was the anniversary of my oath to Aphrodite as Her priestess. After my first year of priestesshood, I wrote a perspective piece on lessons I learned in my first year of service. I was going to write one last year as well, but time got away from me, and nothing felt particularly celebratory at the beginning of 2021. Now with two years of being a priestess in a pandemic, I finally feel like I can write something.
As you can probably judge from my vastly decreased posting frequency, life has been a lot for the past few months. Riding the waves of the pandemic has left me exhausted, with very little bandwidth for things that aren’t absolutely essential in maintaining my physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual health. Here is a tale involving me, some yogurt, my cat, and some very broken laws of physics.
To form a meaningful relationship with Aphrodite (or any Deity), you need to give Her both the space and the opportunity to show up. By creating space for Her - physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually - you are essentially putting out a metaphorical “Open for Business” sign. You demonstrate to Her that She is important to you, and that you have the willingness and dedication to pursue a deeper relationship with Her.
I led this ritual for my Pagan group on the June 2020 Full Moon last Friday. Current events have brought institutionalized racism to the front and center in the United States, while the COVID-19 pandemic still wreaks havoc on our ill-prepared country. The murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd are but some of the most recent in a long history of injustice toward black Americans. BLACK LIVES MATTER.
So, the world is still a bonkers place. COVID-19 isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. It’s taking its toll, mentally and physically, on me and everyone I know. I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to talk about self-care and how we can honor our needs during this turbulent time.
If you’ve been wandering down the Pagan path for very long, you’ve likely heard the terms “grounding,” “cleansing,” and “shielding” on more than one occasion. These practices are recognized as important across many traditions, but frequently the explanation as to exactly why they are important gets lost. Grounding, cleansing, and shielding are found in many beginning books on Paganism and magick, but it wasn’t until I really started doing ritual and magick regularly that I understood their importance.
The short answer is: I’ve been an empath all along. The slightly longer answer is: I’m a very weird kind of empath, so the traditional methods used to measure empathic abilities and traits don’t fit me well. The even longer answer is: the rest of this blog post.
If you’ve been on a spiritual path for very long, you know that there’s always baggage. There’s childhood trauma, past relationship pain, self-sabotage, the imposter syndrome, trust issues, betrayals, depression, anxiety, fears, and times you genuinely just fucked up. Despite your best efforts, despite the hours and hours of therapy, despite the meditations and forgiveness practices, despite all the pieces of paper aflame in your burning bowl, you still have shit to deal with.
I believe that everyone has projective and receptive abilities. For some, one will be much stronger than the other, and that’s okay. It just means you will have to work a little harder to develop the other skill. I also don’t believe that being projective and being receptive are mutually exclusive.