While my personal spiritual experiences form the foundation of my religion, spiritual experiences shared with others have been some of my strongest allies against doubt.
No matter where you are in your spiritual journey, whether you are newly walking the Pagan path or if you have been wandering in the woods for a while, we all experience spiritual doubt. Some doubt is completely normal (and can even be a good thing), but sometimes it can undermine our confidence and get in the way of the spiritual experiences that we want to have. How you deal with and process spiritual doubt can strengthen your spirituality, your connection with the Divine, and your spiritual self-confidence.
As we wrap up this series on An Altar for Aphrodite, there are a few more things for us to keep in mind. The possibilities of potential altar trinkets are endless, and there are a few commonly used items that were not mentioned in the previous posts. I also want to discuss some important considerations for setting up your altar.
Whether you are just starting out with constructing your first altar or shrine to Aphrodite, or if you’re a seasoned practitioner looking for some new inspiration, here are some of my essential considerations for constructing an altar.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.