Monday, 18 May 2015

Journey to Aphrodite

About 2 years ago I was ordained within the Fellowship of Isis and in this I was asked to dedicate to 3 Goddess names. I chose Nut easily, having played a strong role in my life over the recent years. I chose the Great Mother, who is all things and the all encompassing source of life. And then finally, who else would I choose?

I had an overwhelming urge to dedicate to Aphrodite. Never before had I ever considered Her a possibility. I'd never really done a ceremony to Her, apart from a dedication for a friend. I'd never prayed to Her. I'd never read up about Her myths. I was nothing like Her. Beautiful, confident, unashamed, naked, wild, sexual, sensual, ecstatic, erotic joy! Me? I was a young student, devoted to a selfish and unpassionate man-child, head in her books, T-total, pj's and a disney movie kinda girl.

I had a Madonna and Whore complex, where deep down I was fascinated by the world of sexuality, and inspired by the gorgeous role models dancing their burlesque, and living as Goddesses on earth. I would talk about sex with friends whenever the chance arose and I idealised love through rose-tinted glasses to the point where I deluded myself. But one thing I now know, is that Love, Sexuality and Beauty have always been at the core of my being. Even when I returned home and just wanted to sleep and avoid persistent unloving demands.

But Aphrodite somehow snuck in there. Somehow, and I can't even remember the thought process, but she made herself known and I just had to choose her. I didn't know why. It didn't make sense. And for a time nothing much came of it - that I knew of. Life continued. My love life did not seem to swell with desire and devotion, but she had other plans at that time. She knows what she is doing and does it in her own time.
Less than a year later I sat before an altar to Rhiannon (Avalon's Goddess of Love). I looked into Her eyes, upon her bare breasts and beautiful red hair, and I felt a connection. I sat in front of her, and others looked towards me; they saw two women, of the Lover age, both with long red hair and they knew. I said to the Priestess beside me, 'But I'm nothing like Her?' And she responded suggesting, 'Maybe you have not found the right man to awaken that in you, yet?' I did not like this. I was with the man I wanted to be with for the rest of my life. I loved him with all my heart. How could he not be the right one?
From that moment Rhiannon/Aphrodite took Her hold on me. I knew immediately that it was Her I was devoted to. I'd searched for a Matron Goddess for years, and thought many times that I had found them. But none like this. You just KNOW when you find Her. And you can only find Her, when you find Yourself. Sitting in front of Her image, I saw myself. I found us.  

In May 2014 I underwent my Rite of Passage into womanhood and in doing this, I also re-dedicated to Her. I noticed that my libido did increase after that - but I strictly know that this was an internal libido and not one inspired by the aforementioned lover. But I praised myself for it, as it was the only thing I was good for to him and I desperately saught his approval.

My heart was devestated by November which I do not want to discuss in detail to avoid the negativity that it storms around me when I think of it. It was cruel, unexpected and wrong. I clung to the Dark Mother. I cried like a banshee. And Aphrodite stood back, patiently, understanding, knowing. For under the guise of a black robe, blood stained hands, and the cawing of crows, Aphrodite stood there.

It comes to now, when I reflect on how much has changed, that I realise what has happened here. I have been through tremendous amounts of pain and suffering in this. And I have had to release previous opinions, ideas, and beliefs. I have been shattered and broken to the core and have had to rebuild and rediscover myself. And so much has changed.
In these 6 months, I look in the mirror and I see myself. I see Her. Because I no longer have to deny my Lillith, the other side to my Eve. I am a dual creature. I am not straight forward and 2D. I have two sides of myself. And for years one side was suffocated and denied - and I remember the exact moment that that happened, 8 years ago... From that moment I had someone to impress, I had to be virtuous, well behaved, middle class, tidy and well educated. I was expected to be the Madonna, perfect housewife and innocent, but then the Whore was demanded at other times, and unsurprisingly when the Whore is denied and shamed it's rather hard to just pull it out of the hat at the click of a finger!

But She is released. Lillith has escaped and after a few months of running riot, the Two Sisters have balanced out. Neither side of my being is rejected anymore and I am unashamed.

Oh Aphrodite, what have you done here?

It was last night in the shower - as usual - that Her voice trailed in and I realised, like a brick hitting water: After dedicating to Aphrodite, I offered myself up to Her. I would have to become Her - or more accurately realise that I was Her. And not just any lover would do. For the lover who I lay with would also be expected to lie with Aphrodite Herself. Now, friends who know the situation - do you really think that he was up to that challenge? I think we can safely conclude in the negative.

Aphrodite requires devotion, and genuine unconditional love. She requires true friendship and someone with affection and sensitivity. She requires a lover who LOVES when he/she loves, in her mutual, beautiful, electric rites of pleasure. So, from the moment I truely looked Her/Myself in the eye and it was decided. The process would begin where she would put everything in place, like a game board, for me to navigate and lead me to where I am now. Every obstacle, every attack, every wound, every kiss - everything! - was deliberately placed.

Now I still may not like it. I may still be in pain and angry and sad. But this is what you get, when you dedicate to the Goddess of Love. No wonder many ancient cultures saw the Goddess of Love as the Goddess of War or a warrioress!

A golden rule which She told me at the very beginning of this drama, was that with a Daughter or Son of Aphrodite, if you are lucky enough to fall in mutual love with them, then you damn well better love them intensely, passionately, and unconditionally.

Daughters and Sons of Aphrodite hurt horrendously and suffer greatly at heartbreak. But they love intensely and beyond measure. So as usual, we make a deal - that if we can love this strongly, and enjoy love this much, then we must take the risk of that pain. I now know that the love I had for this person was not to be credited to his outstanding personal character. I know that the love I had for this person is a positive reflection of myself, of my ability to love in such a strong way, unconditionally.

Rather than coming away from this with low self esteem and personal regret, I actually feel better about myself than I ever have before. Seeing how much love I am capable of, and knowing that I would never do to others the unkindness that was done to me, confirms my self-worth. I look at those two people and I feel ashamed of them: that they could do such a cruel thing, and that they spat on the beauty of devoted, loyal, trusting love. But I, myself will never do this. Actually in all this hurt, I love the Goddess of Love so much more, instead of resenting Her.

So Aphrodite, please release these bonds that tie me down. Please set my heart free. Please end my pain.