Aphrodite- one of my all time favorite goddesses. I was into her before I even knew what the goddesses were. Something so enticing, beautiful, powerful and radiant about her that she is the stuff of legends in Greek mythology.

Aphrodite is the goddess of beauty, love, fertility and power in ancient Greek tradition. She was worshipped in many parts of the Greek world and legend goes back to almost 3000 BC. She was the resident deity of many towns and differed from the other Greek gods and goddesses in that she was the only one not depicted wearing armor- in fact, in many cases she is shown as naked, her heart open and her being exposed, vulnerable. She represented the power in vulnerability, the seduction of beauty and the union and connection possible with a partner, as well as with the divine.

A version of her birth follows:

The genitals, cut off with adamant

And thrown from land into the stormy sea,

Were carried for a long time on the waves.

White foam surrounded the immortal flesh,

and in it grew a girl. At first she touched

On holy Cythera, from there she came

To Cyprus, circled by the waves. And there

The goddess came forth, lovely, much revered,

And grass grew up beneath her delicate feet.

Her name is Aphrodite among men

And god, because she grew up in the foam....

Hesiod

Theogeny 185-195

Her legend is known well in the image of The Birth of Venus by Botticelli, which depicts Venus (the Roman name for her) being born of the shell in the waves. This painting is also the inspiration for the large piece of art on my back.

So how can Aphrodite be used as a catalyst and spark in your life? As Jalaja Bonheim states in her book Aphrodite's Daughters

With her seductive powers and irresistible magnetism, the goddess entices us to open to that divine spark, to become its instruments and channels, to let it stream through us, and to channel a current so strong it pushes against our edges and makes us grow larger.... She is the source of our longing not only for sexual union but above all sacred union.

Sounds enticing, don't you think? Much is spoken about the sacred feminine in many circles these days, and Aphrodite is the embodiment of this ideal. To be a woman in all of your power and glory, or a man who embraces these sides of himself & loves it in everyone, is to be truly connected with God, Source, the Universe- and your own creative Power.

Intense- Yes. But totally possible in every living moment, if you open yourself up to the energy of it. Begin by seeing when you feel it arise- is it when you kiss your lover, or perhaps when you run into an old friend who you truly adore. How about when you see your child smile, or the hawk fly overhead forcing you to look to the sky. The waves crashing, the doves singing, your dog wanting to play, or your cat snuggling next to you at night. These are all opportunities to capture the beauty that is around you in your heart, and use it to feel a connection to something greater.

Aphrodite is deeply connected with the 2nd chakra, which is your sexuality and spirituality. It's what makes you want to dance and move your body, swaying to the rhythms around you. It is in essence the concept of "I FEEL"

Some great exercises would be dancing- a lot of dancing, time in nature paying attention to the little things and the big things, spending time with your loved ones, making love with your lover, and asking yourself in every moment:

I FEEL________  and listen to what the Divine is telling you.

When I was living in Greece in college, I had the rare opportunity to go to an ancient historical site in Corinth. While many of my classmates were off exploring the site of a famous battle and it's ruins, I stumbled upon an old building on top of a hill that looked almost like a shack. I stepped inside, and was immediately transported to another time and place. There were the remains of a fire pit and altar, and carvings on the walls. I laid down on the grass covered ground, looking through a hole in the roof of the clear blue sky, felt the intense energy of the place and a rising in my sacrum like I had never felt before. I began to cry, and something told me that I had been here before, many lifetimes ago. This was long before my awakening. In fact, it was a time when I considered myself atheist. But something told me this was a part of my past, and may just have been the beginning of my tapping into the Divine- and my journey altogether.

I later learned from my professor that this building had been a temple to Aphrodite thousands of years ago, at a time when goddess worship was waning and the masculine energy of the Divine was taking root in the birthplace of democracy. While not grand like the rest of the temples around Greece, it will always be the most beautiful temple in the world to me. And Aphrodite my constant reminder to connect in with Source in every moment.

How do you connect in with the power of beauty, love and power in your own life? Has Aphrodite meant something to you in your journey? How do you strive to experience Union with the Divine, or a lover, or just life?

Be sure to share in the comments below!

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Letters to the Divine {Within} will focus on one god or goddess at a time from a variety of traditions: Hindu, Christianity, Jewish tradition, ancient Greece, Rome, Egypt, Celtic and more. The goal is to begin to tap into the variety of energies out there available to us through these stories, myths and legends to begin to tap into your own healing & transformation. You can use each of these myths as a guiding force for whatever is happening in your own life. This isn’t worship (unless you want it to be) or in any way meant to replace your already established religious views. These stories transcend time and the themes are repeated in every major tradition in their own way. My goal is to make them available to you so you can learn and grow from them.

For each entry, I will give provide the legend and myth, and then pose questions or other activities that may guide you in interacting with this being. Then you write a letter, poem, dance to this legend- anything that helps you in tapping into this energy.

And be sure to share each post in the comments what you did and how it worked for you!