The beautiful bountiful fruit of Aphrodite, the pomegranate, has come into my life a lot recently.
Firstly, I've failed to mention here that the lovely Laurelei Black has bestowed upon me the gift of being a moderator on her Thiasos Aphrodite email list. I was honoured she asked me and, as I often say, a privilege to be of service to our Lady in this way.
There's been some discussion on the list this past week that originated with someone posting about this commercial advert for POM Wonderul pomegranate juice and asking what people thought. It's devolved into a discussion about how Aphrodite appears to us in a physical sense, which is always an interesting conversation to have as there are so many different ways She is viewed!
Of course, with the power of suggestion of the advert I got a taste for some pomegranate juice. I went out in the early evening to attend my local women's Moon Lodge and thought I'd pick up some pomegranate juice, but alas, none was found. But Aphrodite smiled on me as someone else came to the Moon Lodge and brought pomegranate juice! Ah synchronicity and the blessings of the Lady! Therefore, my thirst was satiated.
Pomegranates have been turning up in the shops as well since they are now in season. It is amazing to me how the pomegranate has been a symbol in so many cultures and pantheons throughout the world. Of course, with Aphrodite, it is said that She brought the pomegranate to Cyprus and pomegranate trees were planted in the gardens of Her temples. The pomegranate was said to be a symbol of a woman's fertility as well as the consummation of marriage. What makes this even more interesting to me is that it's also said that it was the pomegranate that Eve picked from the tree and offered to Adam. Perhaps this was Eve actually offering Adam her virginity and wanting to consummate their marriage?
But there also seems to be a death symbology to the pomegranate as well as it was six seeds of the pomegranate that Persophone ate which had been given to Her by Hades. Why Hades would have or offer pomegranate is a mystery to me. I've not made any attempt to read up on it. Was He offering it as a symbol of His love and desire for his wife? We all know from the story that He used the pomegranate seeds to trick Persophone into staying with him, but why pomegranate? Things that make me go, "Hmmm...." It seems there is some symbolism with death and the underworld where pomegranates are concerned.
Today is Aphrodite's monthly festival today in accordance with the Athenian calendar of 4 days past the new moon. In keeping with the idea of sacrifice, I decided I would sacrifice pomegranates to Aphrodite today in gratitude for the love and abundance which She bestows upon me and my family. The interesting thing is that I had bought two as they were buy-one-get-one-free at the shop. When I bought them yesterday I remember thinking, "One for Aphrodite and one for me!"
Then this morning I had a bit of a re-think about this. I wasn't really sacrificing if I didn't give both of them to Her. But of course in thinking about the pomegranate sitting on my altar, the whole forbidden fruit syndrome came up. I was hungry and I wanted one and hunger does strange things to one's thought processes sometimes. Maybe I'd have a bit and then give the rest to Aphrodite.
But sacrifice means you're surrendering something completely to your Divine. I realised this. So this morning I lit Aphrodite's Flame, lit the usual rose scented incense that I do for Her, and I cut each in half and sacrificed both pomegranates to Her as well as my desire for them, thanking Her for all She gives to me, to my family and asking that She continue to bless us over the coming month as She sees fit. This afternoon, I shall take them outside and give them to the ground. Tomorrow, I will probably imbibe in some pomegranate juice!
In gratitude I give these fruits to You
For all You bestow