Sunday, February 22, 2009

Mistakes? How about the good stuff?

So, if I must look at the mistakes I have made as I have made my progress along the star, I must also take a moment to reflect back at some of the positive things I have done in the last year and a half, or perhaps to see the effects that these meditations and the forcing of myself to think about things that come to mind as a result of these meditations.

I was kinda nuts. I don’t mean I was just a little off. I am quite sure that if I had continued as I was, I would have ended up dying by my own hand, or as a result of my crazy behavior and inability to control the runaway emotional roller coaster I was on.

This is important to remember, because while I write in a reasonable logical manner, sometimes even cold, I am in fact a very emotional person. Not, perhaps in that touchy-feely, Emo way, but in a dark and passionate way. I have anger, rage, and bitterness in me that was killing me.

My upbringing left me a destroyed man, one who did not really understand the reality of what he had become because too many people around me simply refused to be honest with me, and because self delusion is an art form I must have perfected somewhere along the line.

Since starting this little trek of mine, though, I have been forced to remember and think about those things which today I can fully recognize as flaws that need controlled or changed. Changing these things about myself is not ever going to be an easy thing, but in the end they are the things that will save me, because letting go of the anger by recognizing it, is the first step to maybe ending my life as a complete and happy person.

Hestia, Hera, and Apollo, and Poseidon, taught me to reconsider my place in things. Not just the great cosmic ideas of man’s place in the universe, but my own place in my family, in my community (something I still need to do something about), and in my own home.

Taking these things into consideration, I have worked to bring the Gods closer to me, to remind myself of their presence and to actively seek their aid when I feel myself falling off a precipice. More importantly, I have learned to recognize certain triggers, certain reactions, and certain “thought forms” that occur in me and cause me to act in self destructive ways, and by recognizing them, to stop them in their tracks.

Everyone has noticed the differences in me, and I am hoping that some day I can look back at this time and simply laugh it all off.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

And since I am on the topic of mistakes...

And since I am on the topic of mistakes, allow me to say that the biggest one I make these days is spend too much time on line.

Oh, sure, I know in our age that doesn’t seem at all strange. I mean, if I didn’t, I might not have any friends at all, and being something of a hermit, I would probably be OK with that, except that I need to have conversation, contact, friendship. We all do, so the internet has allowed me that while still indulging that inner hermit.

But the internet does not really lend itself to a full exploration of Aphrodite’s gifts. Sure, it can sometimes lead to a relationship, and it can certainly lead to lots of sex, but it is not the same as that divine dance we do as we lock eyes with someone in a dance club, at a restaurant, or waiting in line at the movie theater. That divine wash of emotions, expectations, hopes that come when one finds oneself attracted to someone one doesn’t know because he is standing just a few feet away.

The internet has taken that away from too many of us, or, I really should say, we have thrown that away for the convenience and immediate satisfaction of the internet.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


I am making the mistake of going into education mode, or lecture mode, again, and need to put a stop to it, since part of the reason behind this blog is to explore the Gods on a more personal level. Part of me finds it easier to work these meditations through a lens rather than looking at them on a very personal level. So, exploring Aphrodite on a personal level is much more difficult for me than you might think.

Part of that reason is judgment. America is a very judgmental country, and we are a very judgmental people. We constantly judge what other people do because we can't seem to grasp the idea that different people just do things differently.

Part of why Aphrodite is difficult for me to express here is that, in a very real way, i am a very strong devotee of Aphrodite as a sex goddess. I love sex, have lots of sex, and am not unfamiliar with random sex, orgies, threesomes, and the total loss of self in the pleasures of sex for its own sake.

America has a very romanticized, and dare i say Abrahamic, attitude toward sex, and I do not fall into that paradigm at all. As a gay man with some bisexual tendencies, I am not part of the mainstream of America, which would not be a problem for me if America did not so readily judge me for it.

Normally, I have no issues discussing things that are controversial. I am known in the Hellenic community as something of a loud mouth at times, but in this case, i feel like there is a need for restraint because I do not want to give people the wrong idea of what it is I am doing and how. People are too quick to jump to pop psychology to place labels on the why of my actions, but the truth is that I do the things I do almost always because I want to, and only seldom as part of a deeper need for some kind of validation.

I love cock, and Aphrodite seems to travel with me all the time. She touches me with her presence and I am always more than willing to go along with it. This aspect of the goddess we call Porne, which in essence means "pornographic" but without the negative connotations we Americans tend to associate with such a word. This is the aspect of the Aphrodite that makes us horny, the sends the blood rushing to the cock, that makes us look at guys on the bus and want to rip their clothes off. This is not simple attraction, not simply lust, it is some kind of biological impulse that we inherit as part of divine influence, a divine influence that takes me somewhere immensely pleasurable for the body, but sometimes hurtful to my soul.

If there is one lesson to be learned from allowing oneself to express ones sexuality fully, it is in learning when to set boundaries between emotion and sex. When you are with someone who is good for you, who you feel something for, that barrier must come down. Love must join with lust to create that very special even we call "love-making", but when you are in it for the fun, you must learn to build that barrier, because if you do not, you will hurt yourself more than you can imagine.

I tell guys all the time. Random wild sex is not for everyone, and that is definitely a lesson Aphrodite has taught me over the years.

Lesson number two, of course, is learning to break down that wall once you've learned to build it, and that can be a lot harder than you think. Once you build a barrier between sex and emotion, can you really tear it down so easily, and when does the barrier become an impediment rather than a help? When does that hot guy you've been having booty calls with for the last year become more than just a booty call, and will you even recognize it if you cannot let down the barrier?

Lesson number three Aphrodite Porne has taught me is that there really is such a thing as too much sex.

Have fun figuring out where that line is in your life! ;-)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Aphrodite, the Warrior

It is difficult, within the context of Hellenism, to decipher this aspect of Aphrodite. In Greek literature, Aphrodite is portrayed as playful, laughter loving, deceitful, dangerous, and sultry, but almost never is she portrayed as a fighter, at least not with the weapons of war.

But what does it mean for Love to be a Warrior?

It means that love fights, struggles, and if necessary, makes the ultimate sacrifice for the object of that love. That love will suit up and jump into the trenches for the sake of fulfilling its purpose, and that purpose is not always the love of a lover, or family, sometimes it is the love of one’s nation.

If I have one major failing it is that I lack this. I lack this passionate warrior spirit when it comes to love. I have allowed too many of my relationships to fall apart because I was simply not willing to fight for them. I could argue, of course, that my unwillingness to fight for them meant they were not worth fighting for from my perspective, but that is more justification than answer. Relationships are not absolute things. They change, grow, dwindle, phase in and out of passion’s sphere of influence, all within their confines, yet if we give up on them because we are unsatisfied at some point, we also relinquish the potential for that relationship to grow into something beautiful.

So, like a warrior on the field of battle, love must make decisions. Fight or flight. Be miserable and fight for the potential in a relationship, or give up, surrender to the death of love.

But the aspects of love in the furthest Eastern regions of the ancient Greek world, where Hellenes mixed with the people of the middle eastern world, the goddess of love had strong martial aspects. Even in the North, among the Vikings, the goddess of love was a strong martial being. She could love you, fuck you, make you love her so much you would die for her, and then join you on the fields of battle.

This aspect of the Goddess of Love is one I think the Hellenes themselves tried to suppress. Their patriarchal system had trouble with such images as Amazons, yet among them, in the very foundations of their pantheon, they were forced to accept strong powerful Goddesses who did not simply bend to the will of Gods, but often bested them in battle, strength, and influence.

Aphrodite is one such Goddess.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Coming to grips

As I try to come to grips with Aphrodite and what it means to explore her in my own life, I have to explore several core concepts of life that we human beings take for granted. Love is hard enough, but emotion as a concept is even harder. But then comes sex and the biological and psychological imperatives we all feel to have sex.

And what kind of sex? For some who believe in the Christian ethos, sex seems to be an almost utilitarian thing, meant for no other reason than to produce children, a silly notion if I ever heard one. After all, sex is a form of play for adults. It creates bonds between people, relieves stress, and offers a psychological benefit beyond simple sexual pleasure.

And what of the concept of Aphrodite as a Celestial being. As a force of nature, not just as an emotional impetus, not just as Goddess of love and lust, but of bindings and links. If Eros can be said to be Gravity, then perhaps Aphrodite can be said to be the Strong Nuclear Force.

What do I mean by that?

Eros is the God (One of the Protogonoi) who is responsible for what we call gravity. but at small levels, there are different forces at work, and just as the Erotic force affects life through attraction, so too does the Aphroditic force which acts on us from a lower level, a smaller level just as the strong nuclear force acts on quarks to form protons and neutrons. This is an aspect of the Gods which is seldom discussed in pagan circles.

And what of war. Aphrodite is a Goddess of War as well as love, and while that aspect is often lost in the Hellenic mythos, her relationship to Ares points us in this direction. Goddesses in the middle east related to Aphrodite (her middle eastern aspects) are very martial, and one must assume, though it is not scientific to do so, that Aphrodite also carried such aspects. Exploring this aspect of the Goddess is hard, after all, our culture speaks of love as a purely beneficent thing, pure, and so we must try to come to grips with how differently from ourselves this concept of love is.

Aphrodite is also a temptress. She tempts us to do things that may not be all that moral or ethical for the sake of pleasure. Is this a form of divine immorality, or does she lead us to question our morality, to challenge our preconceptions about what is and isn’t appropriate?

I hope to move forward to a place where I can answer some of these things in my own mind, and pray I have the wherewithal to properly express what I discover.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

What is Love?

What is love?

Our modern Western world, especially we Americans, has a rather simplistic interpretation of love. When many here in America speak of love and God, they say God is Love, and that Love is some kind of supremely sublime state of being that is wholly pure and beneficent. But, their own theology points to something different, and that is that love is not always beneficent.

Love can be selfish and dangerous. It is capricious, unpredictable, and painful. To love one must sometimes hurt the object of that love, and sometimes one must be hurt by it. It can make us blind to reality, or force us to see it so clearly that we can no longer view ourselves in a healthy way.

It can make us paranoid, jealous, and angry. It can make us thoughtful and vengeful, and in none of these is love ever truly inconsistent. All of these things, from the basest of lusts to the purity of that love you feel for your newborn child, love is actually very consistent. At least consistent in its utter chaos and unpredictability.

Where the Christian masses view God as Love and Love as a pure, almost passive thing, the Ancient Greeks did not see love that way at all. They understood, perhaps not always in philosophical terms, but they understood it none the less, that the deity we call love, that glorious Aphrodite, is and always will be a temptress that is capricious and not always out to give us fuzzy pink feelings inside. Sometimes we need to fear her, because sometimes love is more than we can handle, and it hurts.

Love is a precious suffering that we human beings surrender to willingly because love is also full of rewards that outweigh the negatives. That teen who is making your life miserable right now, will one day fill your life with joy when they grow into a human being of great character and bring you grandchildren. That man or woman who too often makes you want to strangle them also gives you a shoulder to cry on and that feeling that you belong. In that bond of love there is both joy and pain, and we accept both willingly because that is how the goddess wants it. Because getting into her graces is never going to be an easy thing. You don’t just walk in and have her like your whore, you court her and spend your life savings on her, because you know in the end, misery and all, she is worth it.

That is love. The willingness to accept it, for all that it is, and know it is worth it anyway.