June Full Rose Moon Ritual – Fighting Fear with Love

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

North

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!

East

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!

South

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!

West

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

West

Thank you West, and the element of water, for your healing energies this evening. Hail and farewell!

South

Thank you South, and the element of fire, for your passionate energies this evening. Hail and farewell!

East

Thank you East, and the element of air, for your inspirational energies this evening. Hail and farewell!

North

Thank you North, and the element of earth, for your grounding energies this evening. Hail and farewell!

Spiritual Growing Pains (AKA Dealing With Your Shit)

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.

Sometimes the issues that arise are related to something else going on in your life. There is a trigger that brings all the past pain you thought you had resolved bubbling back up to the surface. You may discover that what you thought was a well-healed scar is actually still a festering wound in need of some serious first aid.

At other times, problems may seem to arise at random (though in my experience, very few are truly random.) You may discover that you are unintentionally blocking something you want to manifest by holding onto a pattern that was in your past, but not what you want in your future. You may discover that healing does not, in fact, have a destination – like many things in the spiritual life, it is a journey, and you may never reach a perfect state of being “healed.”

And that’s okay. Accepting who you are and where you are at in your healing is the first step to moving forward. You have to know how bad the wound is in order to treat it. You may get a cut and think it’s no big deal. However, if you don’t properly wash out the cut, even when the skin has healed back over, there can be infection lurking under the surface.

We are all imperfect, fallible human beings. We can’t fight that, but that doesn’t mean we don’t try the best we can to deal with our issues with grace and compassion – for ourselves and all involved.

Take Care of Yourself

In the mundane world, the best first aid for spiritual growing pains is to take care of yourself. Practice self-compassion. Eat healthy food. Get enough sleep. Spend time with people that love you. Focus on something you are good at, and do that thing. Exercise. Take your vitamins and prescription medications. Go outside. Do something productive. Lay on the couch for a day, if you need to. Listen to your body. It knows what it needs.

Throw Away the “Shoulds”

When I was going through my most recent spiritual growing pains, a close friend told me to “throw away the shoulds.” I should be feeling this. I should have said that. I shouldn’t do this. Take all of that internal chatter and throw it out the window. Right now.

Because “should” doesn’t really matter. You feel that way you feel. No amount of thinking “I shouldn’t feel this way” is really going to change that. It just puts you in denial, and further from actually dealing with your problems.

We also tend to invalidate our own experiences with “shoulds.” We often use rationalizations to downplay our feelings and reactions. That happened so many years ago – I should be over it by now. My friend didn’t actually mean to hurt me – I shouldn’t be so upset. If a shark bit off your leg, you wouldn’t think “I shouldn’t feel pain because the shark didn’t actually mean to hurt me – it was just trying to survive.”

With shoulds, you are effectively doing the same thing with your feelings. My mother thought she was raising a strong, independent daughter when she told me not to cry in front of anyone. She thought she was doing what was best for me. Does it still hurt that I couldn’t share my emotions with her when I was growing up? Of course! Her intentions, however good, don’t negate my feelings.

Feel Your Feelings. All of Them.

Part of taking care of yourself also involves expressing the emotions you are feeling. Give yourself permission to feel them all, and feel them fully – just make sure you have a safe space to do this in. (Therapy is great for this.) Cry. Let out your body-wracking sobs laced with pain and hurt. Yell (somewhere the neighbors won’t call the police on you, and don’t yell at anyone, even the person who hurt you.) Throw a tantrum like a 2-year-old when you are alone in your room. Let it all out. Feel where the emotion is in your body and concentrate on it, going totally into the feeling.

Find some way to healthily express that emotion. Find a song that encapsulates that feeling and sing or dance to it. Paint. Write. Talk with a friend (just make sure you don’t inadvertently take that emotion out on said friend.) Run until your legs give out. Cuss like a sailor at your microwave. Find a punching bag. Take a martial arts class. Express the emotion through your body. Let it flow through you and out of you.

Processing

Once you’ve felt the depths of your emotions and expressed it in some way, you need to process what happened and why you are feeling what you are feeling. Therapy is also great for this, and you have a trained professional to help you. Talking things out with a wise friend is wonderful. Writing can be an excellent self-reflection tool.

Start with the facts – just what objectively happened and nothing more. Then layer on your interpretations of these facts. What motives did you assume the other person had? Why were you in this situation in the first place? How did you feel about what was happening? Learn to separate the facts from your experience. None of this means that your experience wasn’t real. On the contrary – it was very real for you, and that means it deserves respect. Being able to separate the facts from your experience just allows you to be a bit more objective so that you can learn whatever lessons the experience has to teach you.

Healing

The process of healing has already begun. Don’t be surprised if it takes some detours, loops back around to different steps again and again, or doesn’t go in a traditional straight line upward trend. The healing process is as unique as each person and each experience.

I know I’ve already touted the benefits of therapy in this post and others, but if you notice that your emotions are exceptionally intense or last for an extended period of time, PLEASE seek professional help. Therapists are specifically trained to help you through this process. Some therapists are better at it than others, and if you aren’t getting the help you need, look for a new therapist. That said, before you go looking around, make sure you are doing your part of the work, too.

Healing takes place over time at different levels. The particular issue I’m working through at the moment was from events that happened almost ten years ago. I’ve gone through several different levels of “I’m over it” and “No, really, I’m definitely over it now!” throughout the years. I was not over it. I am not over it. Not completely, anyway. As annoying as that is, I can still see the growth I’ve made since it first happened, and that gives me hope.

Spiritual First Aid

None of this process has to be done in a spiritual vacuum! I encourage you to actively make your spirituality a part of your healing process. Pray to your Goddesses and Gods. Light candles. Make offerings. Do magick. Perform energy work. Use crystals. Balance your chakras. Burn that shit away. Grow plants. Make charms. Cook delicious food with magickal herbs. Meditate. Sit in sacred space. Take a salt bath. Go for a hike. Plunge in the ocean. Sing songs of worship. Enjoy sacred movement. Make the Divine a part of your daily life.

And, above all, know that you are not alone.

My Journey to Aphrodite – Part Three

This is Part Three in a series of posts about how I came to Aphrodite. Read Part One and Part Two here.

The anniversary (or year and a day, if you like) of my dedication to Aphrodite in January was fast approaching. It was November of 2018 when I finally got the Divine Shove to make a formal commitment to Aphrodite and to undergo an initiation. After that, things happened kind of quickly.

Part of the reason I had not pursued formal initiation earlier was that there wasn’t a set path for what I was doing. No one I knew in my local community worked closely with Aphrodite. My non-denominational pagan group was not taking on any new clergy at that time. While I’m sure there are groups dedicated specifically to Aphrodite, I’m not a Hellenic Reconstructionist, and what I felt called to do didn’t line up with that template. There wasn’t an established way to do what I wanted to do, where I wanted to do it. So I created one (with a lot of help).

After getting the push to do a formal initiation, I had to think (and ask!) what that would mean for me. I understood from Aphrodite that it needed to be an ordeal of some kind, not just a formal oath. I needed to be tested – to show I had the courage and ability to take this path. And someone else needed to initiate me. I couldn’t do it on my own. Becoming a priestess involves a community and serving others, so it was only fitting that I needed someone else to accompany me on this journey.

I invited one of my closest friends over to talk about it, and asked her if she would lead the rite. This particular friend is absolutely amazing at leading majestic and meaningful ceremonies, and I knew she had to be the one to lead my initiation. Through some conversation (simultaneously both mundane with my friend and spiritual with Aphrodite, which was a bit of a trip), another one of my friends was “voluntold” that she needed to be a part of it as well. Two gatekeepers to lead me through my initiation. I spoke with them in the very early planning stages, and then the rest was out of my hands.

I knew that it had to be a secret, even from me.

I told my two friends and spiritual colleagues the vague instructions that Aphrodite had set out for me: 1) An ordeal of some kind needed to be a part of the initiation. 2) I shouldn’t know what the plans are. 3) The ceremony needed to highlight the traits of ferocity and compassion, which I would need to faithfully serve Aphrodite.

My friends told me that we were going on a trip the first weekend in January. Only the three of us knew what was being planned. We told no one else what we were doing, which led to some curiosity from our other friends. I would, of course, fill them in afterward, but we needed to keep it a secret for now.

My friends were excellent at maintaining the mystery. Literally the only things I knew about the weekend were that we would be gone Friday evening through Sunday evening, so I needed to pack bags and arrange for some catsitting. That was it. I took Friday and Monday off of work to prepare and recover, respectively. It was really fun explaining to my supervisor that I was taking a trip, but my friends were surprising me and I had no idea where we were going.

I spent a lot of time in prayer and meditation leading up to that weekend, honoring Aphrodite in both spiritual and mundane ways. I sang songs, I danced, I studied Greek, I made offerings, I made love, I did rituals, I drank rose tea, I helped people, I ate Mediterranean food, I enjoyed beautiful things, and I tried to infuse every part of my life with Her. With the weekend quickly approaching, I restrung the pearl and shell necklace that I had been wearing for almost a year in an elaborate ritual that lasted six hours (in which I also had to take a dinner break). (I did not plan for the ritual to last that long, but it turns out stringing pearls is very difficult and I’m not particularly talented at it.)

Finally, time for my initiation had come. I managed to make it to Friday of the initiation weekend without getting too anxious. Everything just felt right. I knew what was going to happen would be tough, but it would also be wonderful.

I was nervous. I was excited. I was terrified. I was joyous.

It was a weekend I shall never forget. Every moment was meaningful, though not all were serious. I was tested in strength with having to tell my OCD to fuck off countless times. I was tested in humility by acknowledging my faults and my fears. I was tested in courage by being asked to speak my truth and tell my story. I was tested physically by an all-night vigil and fast. I was tested in focus with hours of meditation. I was tested spiritually with writing and proclaiming my oath. I was tested in dedication and commitment by plunging into the cold January ocean, being knocked off my feet by a huge wave, and emerging giggling and shivering as my sea-soaked white nightgown clung to my skin in the whipping winds right before dawn.

I laughed and cried tears of joy as I crossed the threshold into priestesshood – A flower crown on my head, salt water dripping down my face, as I faced the dawn and a new beginning.

My Journey to Aphrodite – Part One

This is Part One in a series of posts about how I came to Aphrodite. Read Part Two and Part Three.

My journey to Aphrodite formally began in the summer of 2016, though one may argue that my informal journey started long before that. I sought her out in crisis, and she answered. She has been gentle, but she has also been fierce. She has been walking with me every day since then.

I’m not particularly proud of why I originally pursued Aphrodite, but life is messy, humans are fallible, and I endeavor to be as honest as I can on this blog so that others may be empowered to speak their truth. In the summer of 2016, my boyfriend of five years broke up with me and moved out of the apartment we had been sharing for two years. He said that I had emotionally abused him, and that living with me and my OCD was too much. (And to be honest, it probably was. I had a lot that I needed to work on.) He came back a few days later and we talked. We decided that we were going to get back together and try to make things work, but that he still wanted to move out. I was incredibly upset, and sobbed the entire time. (For those of you who want a status update, we are still together and things are much better now.)

I was devastated. I place an extraordinarily high value on my relationships, particularly romantic ones. I had no indication that my boyfriend would decide to move out, and it shocked me. I knew I had to make things right. Initially, this took the form of reading a pile of books on relationships and marriage. (You can find some of the ones I found useful in the Resources section of this website.) I read every credible book I could get my hands on, thinking that there must be something for us to try, something else that I could do, to make things better. We started couples therapy, which we continued for about a year (more on that in a different post). I started aggressively pursuing treatment for my OCD. I had been seeing therapists for years, but the techniques never really worked for me, and I was reticent to go on psychiatric medication. And, finally, I reached out for Divine help.

In the beginning, my call was general – to Spirit, the Goddess, and the God. At this point, I had not worked personally with any specific deities. A few months later, I realized I needed to up the ante, and I started calling on love goddesses. I did a lot of research on love goddesses in different pantheons and across different cultures, and the three that stood out to me were Aphrodite, Venus, and Turanna.

Aphrodite I had known since childhood. My mom really enjoyed Greek mythology, and shared that passion with me. I had read the tales, seen the Disney movie Hercules, and even won a 7th grade spelling bee by spelling her name. She was well-known and worshipped in many places for a long time.

Venus I became familiar with later on. At first, I just took her to be the Roman equivalent of Aphrodite – synonyms that could be substituted. I became more acquainted with her through my studies in Italy. During my time abroad, I saw Classical and Renaissance art in museums, including Botticelli’s “The Birth of Venus” (which sounds so much prettier in Italian, by the way – “La Nascità di Venere”). Some scholastic exploration revealed that Venus was originally a goddess of flowers and gardens before she became conflated with her Greek counterpart.

New to me was Turanna, the Tuscan folkloric fairy of love and harmony, and the modern day incarnation of Turan, the Etruscan goddess of love and beauty. I had studied about the ancient Etruscan people in one of my history classes in Italy, and I was fascinated with the mixture of cultures that had taken place during the Roman Republic and Empire.

Aphrodite, Venus, and Turanna share much lore in common – in fact, with a cursory search on the internet, it is difficult to find much to distinguish one from the others. While they each started with their own distinct followings, the exchange of cultures over the centuries, particularly the Greek influence on the Romans and the Roman influence on the Etruscans, meant that much of the mythology blended together. Even in my early days, I still felt that they were separate entities. Through working with these goddesses, these distinctions became apparent.

Aphrodite is a lover and a fighter. She helps those whose relationships are in trouble to fight for their love. In the lore, she was frequently the lover of Ares, the god of war, and perhaps love and conflict are not as separate as we would like to think. She has a very fiery nature, though she is also associated with water and the ocean, from her birth of rising from the sea foam.

Venus is a nurturer, originally a goddess of blossoms, gardens, and vineyards. She helps love to grow, from the original spark of passion, to the depth of true love. While all three goddesses are known as goddesses of beauty, her particular affinity for flowers draws me to her as the goddess of everyday beauty.

Turanna is a peace-keeper. Her domains are that of love and harmony. If you are having conflict in your relationship, she can calm frayed nerves and soothe wounds of the past. Turanna survives on in Catholic Tuscany as the “good fairy of peace and love.”

I had come to view these goddesses as a different type of triple goddess – not that of the maiden, the mother, and the crone – but a triple goddess of three love goddesses who were wrapped up into one over the course of history. I liked to call on them in concert for this reason, though each goddess has her own specialties.

In working with these goddesses, I felt called to lead a ritual for my pagan group for the July Full Moon in 2017. I specified for the ritual to be for ages 18 and older, so we could talk about all aspects of romantic love. I decorated the altar with artistic portrayals of couples of all kinds in romantic and passionate acts. I wrote invocations for the three goddesses in English and their native languages. I had two friends help me with the Greek (Aphrodite) and Latin (Venus) translations. I wrote the Italian invocation for Turanna, which was as close as I was going to get to ancient Etruscan. I led the group in a heart-opening meditation, and then each person went up to the altar to collect a vial of rosewater as we chanted to each goddess in her native tongue, asking for her blessings of love. Everyone was really into it and participated fully, even with the multilingual chanting! (I had printed slips of paper with phonetic pronunciations to help with that part.) It was a beautiful ritual and we all raised some lovely energy.

A month or two after that ritual, it became apparent that the love goddesses were no longer answering me equally. One, in particular, had begun to get much, much louder.

It started out small, at first: an indescribable pull to linger over her invocation, a faint feeling of warmth or tingling when I called to her, flashes of just knowing she was there. Then, it became a bit more obvious. The little signs of presence became bigger. A sense of “I’m supposed to do this now” began to pervade my everyday rituals and spiritual rites. I was still questioning if it was her up until the day she asked for my blood.

Now, it’s not all morbid and shocking as it might sound. I had recently purchased some new (sexy) underwear, and I was cutting the tags off for them to be washed. As I was cutting, the scissors slipped, and I suddenly had a small gash in my finger, completely by accident. As I finished cursing and got up to get a paper towel to stop the bleeding, this overwhelming feeling consumed me. “Aphrodite… wants my blood…” I murmured, dazed and incredulous. I shook my head and proceeded to reach for the paper towel, when I was hit with the feeling again, but stronger this time.

“Okay,” I told myself, not one to ignore Divine pushes. (Ignoring Divine pokes and pushes is a good way to get yourself hit in the head with the Cosmic 2-by-4.) “Aphrodite wants my blood,” I said a little more resolutely, and I reached into a cabinet for one of my shot glasses. I placed it on my altar, and squeezed as much blood as I could from my now-starting-to-clot cut into the glass as an offering. I spoke a prayer, and then went to sanitize my wound.

I didn’t realize it then, that it was the moment that Aphrodite picked me, but over the next month or so, my work with the other love goddesses trailed off. Once I realized what was happening, I respectfully called in Venus and Turanna, and thanked them profusely for their blessings and the lessons that each of them had taught me. (I’m sure they already knew what was going on.) Then my deeper journey with Aphrodite began.

This is Part One in a series of posts about how I came to Aphrodite. Read Part Two and Part Three.