Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Aphrodite's Flame

Aphrodite's Flame came into being on the full moon of 2nd December 2009. Divinely inspired, Priestesses of the Goddess, Elle Hull and Tanisha, channeled the light and love of Aphrodite in ritual and ceremony to bring to life Aphrodite's Flame that through this flame others may know Her, be touched by Her beauty, inspired by Her passion and healed through Her love. Her Flame is a never ending source of Her love and blessings which radiate out in to the world to all those who seek them or need them.

Aphrodite's Flame carries the energies of Aphrodite as Asteria of the Morning Star, Pandemos of the sensual and sexual fire, Philomedes of laughter, as She who creates the sparks of inspiration, the bountiful Doritidos, as Chrysea the Golden One who shines like the sun, Praxis, Lady of Action, Ourania of the heavens, Comaetho of the fiery hair, Anadyomene of the Sea, as the love, beauty and passion which are Her very essence.

Since then, Elle and Tanisha have tended Aphrodite's Flame regularly in meditation and ritual, each adding her own energies to the Flame. Combined, Aphrodite's Flame is now a powerful way to invoke the presence of Aphrodite in our hearts, our homes, our temples and spread Her loving energies throughout the world. As others begin to work with Her Flame in meditation, ritual, healing, honouring, sharing, so they, too, will add their energies to the Flame which will see its love and light grow and evolve.

We now invite others to join us in holding and working with Aphrodite's Flame. If you wish to participate, please email Elle at avalonblessings@googlemail.com providing your name and mailing address so a candle can be posted to you. You will receive a tealight descended from the original Aphrodite's Flame candles lit by Tanisha and Elle containing the Flame's energy in it. You may use your tealight to light any candle you are using. You may work with or hold the Flame in what ever way you feel inspired to. There is no set invocation or ceremony.

Important note: The element of fire can be dangerous if proper care is not taken. Please ensure that you take precautions to ensure the safety of yourself, others around you and your environment (whether indoors or outdoors) when working with the flame.

Please do pass the Flame to others by providing them with candles lit from your own Flame to spread Aphrodite's light and love throughout the world.

Blessings of Aphrodite,

Elle and Tanisha

PS: If you are in the Oakland, CA area, Priestess Tanisha is hosting an Aphrodite Tea at The Sacred Well on the 4th April between 12 and 2 PM where she will be giving away Flame candles. Please see the Sacred Well's website for further information. http://www.sacredwell.com/

PLEASE NOTE: Aphrodite's Flame was not "appointed by the Glastonbury Goddess Temple" as suggested in the Sacred Well's advertisement. Aphrodite's Flame, although inspired in part by the Flame of Avalon as held by the Glastonbury Goddess Temple, was appointed solely by Elle and Tanisha in their desire to bring Aphrodite to others.

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Aphrodite's Rosary

Someone asked about the knotted cord as seen on my altar in the picture I posted last week.

To confirm, this is an Aphrodite Rosary which was shared with me by a friend who attended a ritual I did last Beltane to honour Blodeuwedd. She saw my Aphrodite statue and so shared this rosary with me.

The actual cord is simply pink cord knotted 40 times. I don't think there are any hard and fast rules on this though. You can create one using rose quartz beads or use a different colour cord, say, red or green or even blue. Whatever works for you. Pink worked fine for me.

Using the knots on the cord, chant the following prayer 40 times:-

Hail Aphrodite!
Queen of Heaven!
Thou are the Great Goddess
The Holy Mother of the Universe
O Silver Moon!
O Star of the Sea!
Let me be at one with Thee
Now and for eternity!

I've found doing this chanting prayer to be a powerful way to connect with Aphrodite. Try it and enjoy!

My Journey With Aphrodite

My journey with Aphrodite began the day I was born. I was born under the sun sign Libra, whose ruling planet, is, of course, Venus, but more than that, there were no less than four other planets in the seventh house of Libra on my birth date: Jupiter, Uranus, Mercury and Venus herself! So in total, five celestial bodies were in the seventh house on my birth date. My moon sign is Pisces; fish and water, of course, being sacred to or at least associated with Aphrodite.

So it seems to me that with all this love going on amongst the planets on my birthday that Aphrodite was putting Her stamp on me. It was through astrology and reading about my sun sign as a child that I learned of Venus. I always felt it was special having Venus as a ruling planet because She is the Goddess of Love and Beauty.

It wasn’t until I was in high school that I took a class on Greek mythology and learned about Aphrodite. Although, strangely enough, I don’t ever recall not knowing who She was. I truly loved that class. It was one of my favourite classes ever. Through that class, Aphrodite started to become more prevalent in my life.

It took a lot of time though. I struggled with the idea that a Goddess with such a shallow and sometimes downright bad reputation could be MY Goddess; the one I looked up to. I knew there was more to Her than met the eye, but how could I know for sure? Everything I knew at that point said that Aphrodite was not exactly a Goddess who got much respect. But somewhere deep within me, I just knew – Aphrodite is not a vain love goddess but something more.

I did not speak about my love for and connection with Aphrodite for a long time. I did not feel those around me would understand. Even when I began seriously studying Wicca and Paganism generally, I did not talk about Aphrodite. Everyone else seemed to be enamoured with various well known Celtic deities. Some worked closely with Greek deities, but Aphrodite was never one of them. I felt uncomfortable sharing my relationship with Her openly so it remained private. It was only maybe ten years ago that I began to open up about it.

Despite being more open about Aphrodite, my work with Her remained personal and private. Public ceremonies, or even just group ceremonies in my home or someone else’s home were also focused on, it seemed, Celtic deities or Goddess generally. I was ok with this. There was no question I felt a deep affinity with the Celtic deities as well and I enjoyed calling upon them in ceremony and ritual.

My spiritual path took a major turn when I moved to England. Life with Goddess changed radically. While Aphrodite was always there in the background, it was Avalon that called to me and steadily pulled me in. This, of course, led me to Glastonbury and subsequently to train as a Priestess of the Goddess and Priestess of Avalon with the Glastonbury Goddess Temple.

I must explain something here about this training. It seems that many believe the sole point of the training offered by the Temple is to train people to be Priestesses and Priests of Avalon. Not necessarily. The path as a Priestess of Avalon is a very specific one. It calls for forging a much deeper connection with Goddess as the Lady of Avalon and the Avalon energies generally. Not everyone feels compelled to walk that path, although they may well honour the Lady of Avalon and feel deeply connected with Her. Many who do this training dedicate as Priestesses and Priests of the Goddess who go out and do wonderful and inspiring things to honour and bring back awareness of Goddess in their communities and the world. This may mean they work more closely with a Goddess from another pantheon.

I feel strongly about my path as a Priestess of Avalon and the work I do to serve the Lady of Avalon. However, I also feel very strongly about Aphrodite and as a Priestess of the Goddess, it is becoming clearer with each turn of the Wheel of the Year that I also feel compelled to serve Her in a more public manner. I am beginning to see that through my training with the Goddess Temple and my experience as a Priestess that I am more capable of serving Aphrodite than I might have been before.

At this time, I still also feel very much a student. I am still learning but also creating new ways to honour and celebrate Aphrodite. I honour those who follow a Reconstructionist path, although Reconstructionism is not for me. I honour the path of the Qadishtu. Again, this is not for me. Although I honour the fact that sacred prostitution was an important part of Aphrodite worship, I often feel too much emphasis is placed on Aphrodite as simply a goddess of sexual union when she is much more than this.

My journey with Aphrodite is one of delving in to Her mysteries, to reach back through the mists of time and bring back renewed awareness of Aphrodite’s lesser known aspects. There is no question that She is Goddess of love, beauty, passion, sensuality, sexuality, but she is also a Goddess of the land, the sea and the sky, She who is Mother to us all. Through the bits and pieces I am sharing in this blog, I am revealing the ways in which I am connecting to Her, honouring Her, how I am seeing Her in my life. She has always been there, no matter where I am or what I am doing. I do not profess to know why I have such a strong connection with Her or why I feel compelled to serve Her. I could speculate but these are mysteries I may never solve. As a Priestess, surrender and trust are constants in the path I walk. So it is that I surrender to Aphrodite and trust that She will lead me to serve Her in whatever way She wishes me to.

Friday, 19 March 2010

Friday's Flower

Beautiful Hemera Aphrodites!

Today's flower is violet. Why? Because the Temple of Aphrodite Asteria has recently released a wonderful new book, Crown of Violets: Words and Images Inspired by Aphrodite. It's a beautiful book that imparts such love and connection with Aphrodite.

I thought I'd share one teaser/taster from the book; part of a lovely poem by Priestess of Aphrodite, Laurelei Black.

Enter My Temple
by Laurelei Black

Enter My temple
And be subdued by the glittering flame
In golden braziers.
Be enveloped by the flaming incense that
Rises from My altar.

Out of respect for Laurelei and her and the Temple's copyright, this is all I shall share. Please do click the link above and buy a copy of Crown of Violets so you can read the rest of her poem. You won't regret it!

I shall leave you with a picture of one of my altars to Aphrodite.

Blessings of Maiden Aphrodite to you for this weekend's spring equinox!

Friday, 5 March 2010

Hemera Aphrodite

The 6th day of the week is (counting from Sunday) is a traditionally special day to honor Aphrodite. Perhaps you could arrange some flowers, take a long bath, paint your nails, walk in a garden or read/compose her a poem.
Revel in your ability to see and create beauty.