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.

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