Friday, 25 February 2011

Beauty and Lies

A question asked on my Facebook this morning that doesn't really have an answer:-

Is it a coincidence or on purpose that International Eating Disorders Awareness Week is the same week as London Fashion Week?

And to add to this question - is there some sort of coup in the press and entertainment industry to highlight both in some kind of backhanded manner so that one can play off the other?  Because apparently Sarah Cameron is looking a little disturbed by the models she's seeing on the runway this week and Nikki Sixx and his band Sixx A.M. are talking about Lies of the Beautiful People.  Don't get me started on how Mr. Sixx is preaching this and yet is dating someone who perpetuates these stereotypes in the media....I'm sure she's beautiful on the inside too and I'm trying to keep an open mind here and not have a reversed type of prejudice, but the raging feminist in me is thinking, "Pot. Kettle. Black."

It's all given me pause to think about something Laurelei Black wrote on her blog a few years ago about being beautiful and being a Priest/ess of Aphrodite.  I resonated a lot with her thoughts on the matter and empathised with her childhood memories.

But what about Aphrodite and Her beauty?  How do we define this, if at all?

When I think about Aphrodite and how She is held up as the epitome of all that is beautiful, it makes me smile, but I get quite upset when I think about how She is portrayed.  I appreciate one could argue until the cows come home about what Aphrodite looks like as we all have different ideas about that.  For the moment, though, I'm talking about modern media portrayals of Her.

When I see ancient statues of Her in museums, I see Her beauty.  I also think those images of Aphrodite would never pass modern media's test of beauty.  And clearly they don't because modern media nearly always shows Her as a stick thin young blonde waif who is vain and self-absorbed.  This is what makes life a bit tough for us devotees of Aphrodite.  Must we, too, live up to that type of standard in order to be devoted to Aphrodite?  Or even if we don't, must we buy in to modern media's portrayal of our Lady?  And how could this possibly be healthy for young women and men who might be seeing this?  How can we keep our Goddess' image from perpetuating the sorts of stereotypes modern media places upon beauty?

Those of us who put our heads above the parapet and openly serve Aphrodite kind of take on this daunting task, whether we realise we are or not, whether we want to or not.   And as Laurelei pointed out, WE may not be conventional beauties ourselves.

But what of those who DO see Aphrodite as a young thin blonde waif?  What if that is their perfect image of Aphrodite?  Does it mean that it's wrong?  Or what if you are a modern media conventional beauty?  Is that so bad?

In short, no and no.  To those people, I would only ask that they understand that not all will see Aphrodite this way, that that was not how she was portrayed in ancient times and that we must look to the bigger picture when defining Aphrodite's physical beauty.  As for your own beauty, enjoy your beauty but remember to be beautiful inside and cultivate the garden of beauty that is in your soul as well.

There are no easy answers to any of these questions and I'm simply pondering ala Russell Brand.  At last year's Goddess Conference, Jane Meredith spoke in a talk about Aphrodite's beauty stemming not just from physical beauty but self love and self esteem.  I think She's right.  And if we nurture these things within ourselves, we begin to see that Aphrodite's spirit lives within us as beautiful people no matter what we look like.

And because I do think the song has a good message and I'm trying to be open minded about its writer, have a song for today's Friday's Flower:-

Friday, 18 February 2011

Kypris - The Aphrodite of Cyprus Revealed

Thiasos Aphrodite member Ben shared this and I simply must share it.  It is a trailer for a documentary about the worship of our Lady Kypris in Her land of Cyprus.

The film maker's website is found here:

Such a wonderful gift to receive on Aphrodite's day!

Monday, 14 February 2011

Feast of Eros

Today is the Feast of Eros aka Cupid or to the secular Valentine's Day - so Happy Feast Day!  Happy Valentine's Day!

I hear a lot of Valentine's Day haters go on about the commercialism of the holiday, how it's simply a plot for vendors to make money, how derogatory it is to people, especially women, who measure their self-worth or the validity of their love relationship by the presents she gets on this day.

As a little girl, I never got that message.  I never got the message that Valentine's Day was only for those romantically involved. I always made Valentine's Day cards for my grandparents, my mom and dad.  I felt like it was a day to tell the people I love that I love them.  Sure, you shouldn't need a special day for that, but why not take a day out to just tell someone how much you mean to them? What is so wrong with that?

I still give my daughters treats and cards for Valentine's Day.  I don't believe it's just about the romantic love side of  love.  Sure, we could go in to the history of it all and point out how it's been corrupted over time, but could we not say the same thing about all holidays?  Why pick on Valentine's Day especially?  Is Christmas not just as commercialised and a huge push by vendors to make money?  What about Halloween?  I can't imagine the shops are selling Halloween crap just for our benefit.

I don't think the commercialism angle holds out.  It's true of any holiday pretty much.  I don't think it's just about romantic love either, an angle that's been exploited for far too long.  Instead, I prefer to see this day as a celebration of love and yes, a chance to indulge ourselves a little bit.  Isn't it nice to break up the monotony of winter with a little love fest?  I think so.

So haters - please don't hate - celebrate!  Celebrate the love that surrounds you and the love you have for others, whether you're in a relationship or not.  It's a great day for it!

Friday, 11 February 2011

Goddess in my Childhood - Part I

Rather than copy the whole post, I'm just going to link to what I've written on my Avalon Blessings blog.  Today I'm mentioning how Venus was one of my earliest Goddess influences:

Wishing everyone a weekend of love and beauty!