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A free society will have
And sweet goddess
NEXT BELOW- ARTICLE "Dancing With Aphrodite, The Lessons of Love Magic. Note: This piece is an excerpt from the up-and-coming book "What Not To Do As A Young Witch, Or Spells That Flop Over and Spit," edited by Nancy Vedder-Shults and Karen A. Snider.
You may be thinking this a surprizing admission from a 63-year-old crone and Aphrodite priestess. Friends and students have known me to lament, "My love spells have failed miserably lately!"
Love spells are among the trickiest kinds of magic. First because love involves one's actions, thoughts, feelings, spirit, body, economics, lifestyle, heritage, beliefs, intimates, karma... and probably more. Next because love involves all the above for one's lover or potential lover. Third, society gives us so many messages about love that are confusing and contradictory. Last and perhaps most essentially, we have lost our ancient relationship with the Goddess of Love.
Who is Aphrodite? She has long been the focus of poets' writings, musicians' rhapsodies, the hopes and despairs of lovers. She has been pictured and interpreted in many ways, and yet still manages to elude linear description. C.S. Lewis in his fascinating novel 'Til We Have Faces depicts a pre-Hellenic time when Aphrodite was worshipped in the form of a great shapeless rock, stained with the blood of Her supplicants- probably menstrual blood. Apuleius in The Golden Ass describes Her as the all-powerful Mother rising from the sea, commanding our destinies through the passions She bestows. In the well-known myth of Eros and Psyche, Aphrodite is also decider of fate, yet appears as a jealous and exacting mother-in-law. Barbara Walker tells us in her Women's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets that the original Aphrodite was the Triple Goddess Moirae, the Fates of Greek belief and mythic tradition.
Despite all this varied and encompassing legacy, Aphrodite now comes to us as harlot, keeper of pornography and prostitution, sex without sacredness or love. The state of falling in love which She inspires has been trivialized, commercialized, and made a mockery. In fact, Her power to awaken sexual love has been taken from her outright, and given instead to Her son Eros or Cupid, who is usually shown as a blindfolded child, shooting his arrows of infatuation in random craziness.
Clearly, a correlation can be drawn between women's sexual oppression and Aphrodite's imposed fall from grace. It follows that by reclaiming Her as beautiful, powerful, and sacred keeper of the Mysteries of Love, that we can heal some of our deepest wounds, and bring heaven to earth by creating a society of true lovers. For spiritual healing I propose...
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