Aphrodite, Goddess of Love and Beauty Calls from Our Depths to Reunite with Nature
Sandro Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus. I saw this painting in The Uffizi Gallery in Florence in 1996.
Faith in Nature Leads Me To Cyprus
Aphrodite was not in my plans. When I first set out as a digital nomad and wandering yogi and poet in May 2022, I had no set plan. I ended up spending two months with friends in remote Uruguay, followed by three months in Buenos Aires. There I decided to spend three weeks in Ireland before visiting my daughter again for two months in Salamanca, Spain. A friend I met when living in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands invited me to stay with her in Cyprus. So here I am! Faith finds a way.
Cyprus, Land of Aphrodite
The island of Cyprus in the Eastern Mediterranean rose from the sea 90 million years ago. Mount Olympus at 6400 feet is a slice its crust. The Goddess of Love and Beauty Aphrodite also rose from the foamy Cypriot sea, her birthplace on the rock Petra tou Romiou. She has been worshiped since the bronze age. In modern times, Aphrodite’s gifts of nature, fertility and life still abound, waiting for us to rediscover them in our own depths and bodies. Goddess Aphrodite, long rejected but sought after in materialism and external consumption that is destroying the planet and ourselves, shows us the way home.
Jung and Yoga the Psyche-Body Connection
In the book Jung and Yoga the Psyche-Body Connection by Judith Harris, Marion Woodman writes in the foreword: Nature says the tree that grows to heaven must send its roots to hell. Jung repeatedly warned people born in the West to ground their yoga practice in the body if they wished to dare the heights of spiritual insight. In the East, the heavenly world in which the you above was born is firmly rooted in the soil of the matriarchal mother. Western culture is not; its mother (mater) is materialism – money and possessions that can quickly vanish, the terror of groundless this is one of the Dark Shadows of patriarchy. …the Paradox of the Ascension to Spirit demands The Descent into Ground. Ground in yoga is the muladhara, the root chakra in which one takes root in her own humanity through which we experience our own divinity.
On The Aphrodite Cultural Trail
I’m here in Cyprus to follow Aphrodite. Get out of my mind and go deep, deep down, back to the body and the senses and instinct. Nature, water, fertility, sacred sex and a partnership culture — all these attributes the Goddess represents are essential to saving the planet and ourselves. To restore our human nature from the wasteland of the artificial machine cut off from sensuality and feeling, her myth and image guide us to healing, pleasure and joy too long denied.
The Great Mother Goddess on Cyprus
Yet thousands of years ago, the goddess and fertility of the earth were worshiped. On Cyprus, she was originally worshipped as a Great Mother Goddess. The Phoenicians brought Astarte, where we get the world Easter from (Bunnies, eggs, spring, fertility!) She became Aphrodite with the Greeks and Venus with the Romans, and in the Middle Ages, reemerged as the Christian Mother Mary.
Woman brought sacred life and pleasure and even life after death, for she has an effect on vegetation, as narrated in the myth of her lover Adonis. Aligned with the seasons of nature, there was no fear of death, as people beleived they were a part of nature and would return. The Temple of Aphrodite in Paphos, Cyprus was home to the biggest fertility festival in the ancient world, until Emperor Theodosius I banned it in 393 CE. He even banned the Olympic Games of Greece.
Pro-Life Means Pro-Creation
“Sex is a part of nature. I go along with nature.” — Marilyn Monroe
There is an obsession with pro-life these days, but oddly not pro-creation. The sexual act is considered obscene, but not war. Children can dismember a woman in a video game but not see her naked, the U.S. Supreme Court had ruled. Yes, Johnny can get and cock a gun, but he can’t touch his cock to self-sooth. He can’t feel, therefore he can kill. No wonder the Earth has turned into a wasteland, so many fear death, war rules and machines do everything for us. We no longer use our hands to create or manipulate with manual control. Nature’s cycles of creation and destruction, embodied through woman and love are denied. We need to come to our senses. Literally.
Make Love Not War
Aphrodite’s partner is Ares, God of War. In the Roman myth, Venus puts Mars to sleep after a good romp, petite mort disables his sword! Love conquers all.There’s a connection between sensual lust and bloodlust, but the Goddess of Love and God of War are about more than sexual intercourse. Their offspring, Cupid, Eros in Greek myth, where the word erotic originates, is the fruit of their union. Desire is a natural necessity in life. The trick is to balance conflict and desire and not let them become too dominant. Good medicine for modern times.
So I’m looking for Aphrodite, following the Aphrodite Cultural Route. Finding her in the earth, in my body, in my sacred pleasure of the senses, feeling, being. Letting us feel our full humanity in the body, in our senses, but also in balance with consciousness and ethics. Her essence is in the food I eat, the water, flowers, the sunrise, the Mediterranean Sea I look at each day. She guides my yoga practice. She renews my breath, my psyche, the spiraling depths of my being. Aphrodite invites you, too, to take her Mythic Yoga Journey.
I’ve been in Cyprus three weeks. I already feel so grounded, so connected, so healed and whole. I’ve met amazing people and remarkable synchronicities are happening. I am just beginning my journey.