Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Girdle of Aphrodite

In our myths, the goddess known as Aphrodite bears a girdle which, for all intents and purposes, is an instrument of magic. That magic is the allure of the sexuality and sensuality of women, not just their beauty, but some other quality that when properly exercised and displayed, can turn a man from warrior into a slave.

This we see partly in the myth in which Hera, wishing to seduce her husband asks Aphrodite to borrow that girdle so that she may become irresistible. But the goddess also goes to great lengths to prepare for the seduction, she bathes and scents her body, she makes of her clothing, her face, her hair the most she can, making herself beautiful, and yet beyond this she asks for the girdle.

One can rightly state that the girdle of the goddess is not so much an instrument of magic, but a symbol of the magic of the inner beauty certain people seem to possess. That, beautiful as Hera was, and how could a goddess not be beautiful, she also desired that quality that Aphrodite possessed to make men weep at the very sight of her.

Beauty, you see, is both external and fleeting. Time, work, and the mishaps of mortality all conspire to take what outer beauty we may possess from us, but deep within here is a bubbling beauty that so few of us ever try to tap into, and I have to admit, I rarely admit I possess, though others point out to me that I seem to have a quality about me, the way I walk, stand, talk. These are all, in spite of the fact that I am not very attractive on the outside, made me, often enough, a hit with the guys.

But the girdle of Aphrodite is also about something else, not just the exuding of sexuality from within, but the ability to carry oneself with a dignity that has nothing to do with sex. It is a dignity earned through a life of learning, experiencing, and dealing with all life has to offer, good or bad, and knowing that one can handle it. Call it confidence, perhaps, or pride, but it is a quality that the goddess lends us all, a quality born of our love for ourselves, even when we don’t recognize it as such.

In the myth, the goddess Hera does not disrobe to make herself alluring to Zeus, rather she dresses herself. The naked body is just that, a naked body, and after you have seen a few, not all that alluring anymore. Sure, when we are aroused, the sight of the naked form brings us to passion, but as a means to provoke that passion, that lust, that desire, is not a body clothed in a way that teases us, that presents us with a mystery, or allusions to things that may happen better? Is not that stud dressed in leather enough to make you hard? Is not that woman, gorgeous gown that accentuates her femininity while keeping you from seeing it all the more erotic? Is not the girdle that final piece of that puzzle, that mystery, that hidden treasure within that makes us want to touch each other, love each other, and fuck like wild animals?

The power of Aphrodite was never in that girdle, but in the way the girdle was worn, and in he way we accept the gifts of the Goddess of Love.

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