Healing Aphrodite: Simple Acts of Self-Love
It’s November- The nights are long, the days are chilly, the veil between the worlds still feels thin, and we are continuing our descent into the Underworld. This sacred journey inward and downward into the core of our being, to the dark center of the cauldron of the Dark Mother who holds us in our dreamtime, and whispers to us, softly, harshly.. to slow down, let go, drop the masks, dig deeper. The answers we seek lie in waiting, and only those who are willing to dive into the depths, brave and naked, will uncover the secret gifts waiting to be found. It’s a dark time, a beautiful time, a dynamic transitional time of facing our truth, our weaknesses, grief, and healing.
Where is Aphrodite in all this? Isn’t she a goddess of Beltane sensual bliss, enjoyment and sexual union? She can’t possibly help me in such dark times. Oh, but she so very well can! Aphrodite’s energy can heal us any time of the year, and especially now. Aphrodite’s essence is that of Self-love, which is vital to our healing and our ability to process change and transition. She lovingly appreciates her body, no matter what- she cares for and nurtures it, adorns it and inhabits it- fully, unabashedly, in complete acceptance and joy.
Think of all we put our body through- we push it past its limits of energy exertion, don’t get enough sleep, eat food quickly or food that doesn’t nourish us, we don’t have enough sex or solo play time, or simply time by ourselves to relax, dream, dance, or move in our own rhythm . We often put physical pleasures at the bottom of our list- especially when we are stressed or busy.. when it is at these time we must make it a priority! Our body processes everything our mind and heart do, but it takes longer and requires maintenance.
Aphrodite is often depicted as a beautiful, golden-haired, curvacious woman- however this Goddess truly takes on many forms and appearances, for She is simply pure Self-loving energy. She lives within each of us, no matter what we feel like or look like on the outside. She is the potential within us to fully love, accept and embrace our body, our appearance, our senses and our capacity to feel and joy in our physical existence- no matter what. She lives solely in the present, and is tapped into the constant flowing undercurrent of Divine Bliss that resides in each moment. I believe it is our birthright as Spiritual Beings incarnated into this world of form to embrace the bliss available to us while living in this body-form, for the union of spirit and matter creates magic, art and beauty. Aphrodite is a master of the art of love- foremost loving oneself, and allowing that love to spread to others and to all she touches.
So when you are feeling down, depressed, tired, lonely, burdened, stressed, out of touch with your body, self-critical, shaming, insecure, angry at your mate or having trouble in your relationships, take an Aphrodite break!
She lives in you, and you can invoke her anytime you need some self-love and care thorough some simple methods:
My favourite ways of getting in touch with Aphrodite are:
1) Take a quick self-massage break. I keep massage oil in most rooms of the house, and in my purse. I make my own with my fave essential oils, and I suggest you find a scent or two that you really like, that make you feel sensuous. (You can also purchase my Aphrodite Oil, which I have no photo of at the moment, but it is a sensuous blend you can contact me for). Rub it into your hands and massage any areas that feel tense or numb or ‘blah’, and continue massaging your body until you feel better.
2) Movement & Dance. This is my most trusty resource! Dance is powerful medicine for our emotions, mental state, creativity and of course, our body. It releases endorphins, improves circulation, balances hormones, uplifts the spirit and transmutes negative emotions. I recommend finding music that you resonate with in the moment, something that enlivens you somehow. I have found that if I am in a very negative state that putting on super cheerful happy music does not help. I like to find something that touches me in the moment, and perhaps expresses some of the pain I feel. I move however I authentically want to move in that moment- it may be rolling around, groaning, sighing, yelling, jumping in frustration, rocking and crying, whatever. The point is to be in the body and feelings, allow your impulses to move you. Let yourself be a child again. As your mood improves, you can play music that reflects your changing emotions, and move differently according how you feel. Continue to move until you feel better, dance until you feel the negativity leaving and joy bubbling up inside of you. My favourite dance forms are bellydance and ecstatic dance to get the joy flowing.
3) Breathing and visualisation: Let’s say you are at work, on the bus or waiting in line and cannot put on music or move around freely or emote… this is where breathing and visualisation come in handy: Inhale white light, let it fill up your body, and exhale tension and imagine it leaving you as black smoke or any color you’d imagine it to be. You can also imagine a beautiful rainbow in front of you. Choose the color you find most appealing in the moment and inhale that color into your body. Exhale the tension and stress as black smoke or however you wish to see it, until you feel better.
Another visualisation I like for Aphrodite is a flower blossom. First, I notice in my body where I am feeling tense, or a toxic emotion. Then I imagine a beautiful, sensuous flower blossom there. As I breathe I imagine the inhales nurturing and growing the flower blossom slowly bigger and brighter with each breath, and each exhale removes negative energy from the area, clearing it out until it is only filled with flower blossom energy. There are countless other variations on this theme. Some people resonate better with words, for example on the inhale, breathing in ‘peace’ and exhaling ‘stress’ or inhaling ‘I am breathing in acceptance of myself’ and ‘I exhale all shame and guilt’, or whichever words you wish.
4) Wearing clothing, jewelry or perfume that makes you feel beautiful and attractive. This is such an underrated action! Self-adornment is not to be scoffed at as vain or superficial. There is also a difference between dressing or looking a certain way to please others versus pleasing oneself. Aphrodite appears to me almost always naked, with a few peices of jewelry or draped in thin silk veil. She is completely confident in herself, and yet, she knows of the importance of using peices of beauty that enhance and express her natural charisma. We can use jewelry, clothing and accessories that we love that connect us with our ‘inner Aphrodite’ to uplift our spirit and remind us of the beauty that always resides within us. I like to douse myself in my homemade ‘Love Goddess Perfume’ spray or a spritz of Rose water to bring her essence out in me.
5) More miscellaneous actions: Warm baths, candles, eating or cooking a delicious meal, sleeping in, masturbation, affection or sex with a lover or mate, a hug from a friend, a cuddle with your child or pet, getting your hair done, listening to music, wrapping up in sensuous fabric, walking out in nature, allowing rain or snowflakes to fall on your skin: All these things are ways to remember the pleasure that our bodies can experience from simple things. The point is to be present with the experience of being in your body, feeling through your senses and taking joy in being alive.
I notice Aphrodite is most active within me during my Mother (ovulation) and Enchantress (PMS) phase of my cycle. At ovulation my Aphrodite energy is more radiant and exuberant- I feel full of creative energy and wish to express and share it readily, easily. I desire social interaction, connection and sex. During PMS phase however, Aphrodite takes on a more raw and honest quality. Her gifts of getting to the heart of desire, longing, and raw emotion are more prominent. She comes forth sometimes as ravenous and tumultuous, dynamic and self-assertive. She is a woman unto herself, and whilst she loves to play and interact, she is a woman of her own desires and does not wish to be chained down. In this phase she teaches us to love ourselves no matter what, even the ‘ugly’ bits because they too, are divine and beautiful and part of who we are. She teaches us to free ourselves of weights we don’t need to carry. In full acceptance of herself she transmutes all pain into love, joy and bliss.
Below is a clip of me the other day… I was feeling bloated with PMS, kinda blah, down and mentally burdened until I put on a song that awakened some love in me (‘Cavern of Stars’ by Wahkeena Sitka). I realised all I needed was a bit of freedom to move as I pleased that day. This is a sneak peek of me with no-makeup, messy hair, real-life, inprov, playing in my creative sanctuary. I recorded my dancing for movement ideas for my upcoming playshop on Dec 6th: Awakening Aphrodite- Sacred Pleasure Playshop, and realised that what inspired me was the naturalness and realness of it, and that is what I want to emphasize in the playshop.. Aphrodite is about being natural and finding pleasure in our raw and real moments. I hope it will inspire you to move if you are feeling down- just put on some music and dance like nobody is watching! Aphrodite is within you waiting to be awakened through simple acts of self-love… xo Serena