I confess I did not get to do my sacrificial rite yesterday. Not enough quiet time and too many people around, so I held the intent in my heart. But as today is also Aphrodite's day, I did my sacrificial rite this morning. As mentioned previously, I'm still honouring the element of water in the Avalonian wheel, so keeping with the theme of water, I sacrificed my stores of the waters of Avalon to Aphrodite.
As many know, in Glastonbury, from beneath the Tor, two springs flow from the earth. One spring is iron rich and stains its path red, hence it is known as the red spring. Today this spring flows from within the gardens of Chalice Well Peace Gardens, a beautiful sanctuary that honours the all encompassing Divine in nature and the waters of the red spring. The other spring is calcium rich and sweet to the taste and is known as the white spring. The White Spring well house is now where the white spring waters flow freely for drinking, for immersing in. Much work is being done to restore the White Spring well house now and is once again becoming a loving sanctuary to honour the waters of this spring.
It's common practice to mix the waters of the red and white spring to balance and honour the energies of both waters. The fact that they are "red" and "white" is meaningful as these colours are considered colours which mark gateways to other worlds, sometimes the under world. Red and white are often depicted together especially in Celtic myths. In Glastonbury today, some view the red and white springs as symbolic of the blood and sweat of Christ. Some see them symbolising the blood and milk of Goddess. Still some see them symbolising the balance between male and female, yin and yang with the menstrual blood of woman and the white seed sperm of man - coming together to create life.
Whatever view one takes there is no question to anyone who visits these two springs that there is something very special about them and the energies they carry. Me, personally, always have a bottle of Chalice Well water (red spring) in my refrigerator which I use for various purposes, always ceremonial. At the moment, though, I do have both red and white spring waters in my refrigerator so felt it appropriate to sacrifice these sacred waters to Aphrodite. This is significant for me since I know not when I shall visit Chalice Well and the White Spring again to replenish my supply. I therefore gave them to Her to show my deep gratitude and devotion to Her.
I made a mixture of the two waters in a chalice. After invoking Aphrodite and expressing my gratitude I poured the water over my Aphrodite statue on my altar (which I stood in a bowl). Some of the water spilled down from the chalice onto the altar as I poured, still a sacrifice upon my altar to Her. I intend to leave the water until later when I shall take it to my allotment garden and pour the water over my tomato plants. It seems only appropriate to do so.
I'm grateful to Laurelei for her book and the inspiration for this ritual. It's been very touching and powerful.
In celebration of Hemera Aphrodites, I offer a sonnet from Shakespeare to honour Aphrodite and love today:-
Not marble, nor the gilded monuments
Of princes, shall outlive this powerful rhyme;
But you shall shine more bright in these contents
Than unswept stone, besmear'd with sluttish time.
When wasteful war shall statues overturn,
And broils root out the work of masonry,
Nor Mars his sword nor war's quick fire shall burn
The living record of your memory.
'Gainst death and all oblivious enmity
Shall you pace forth; your praise shall still find room,
Even in the eyes of all posterity
That wear this world out to the ending doom.
So, till the judgment that yourself arise,
You live in this, and dwell in lovers' eyes.