Goddess Aphrodite  

Posted by Stella Clark

Goddess Aphrodite Image
"APHRODITE" WAS THE ANCIENT GREEK GODDESS OF LOVE, SEX, BEAUTY, FERTILITY, SEXUALITY, REBIRTH, AND PHYSICAL BEAUTY. ACCORDING TO LEGEND, SHE WAS BORN AS A COSMIC DEITY FROM THE FOAM OF THE SEA AFTER HER FATHER, "OURANOS" HAD BEEN CASTRATED AND HIS GENITALS HURLED INTO THE SEA; HENCE, SHE WAS ALSO CLOSELY ASSOCIATED WITH THE SEA AND WAS KNOWN AS THE PROTECTOR OF THE SAILORS. ALTHOUGH SHE IS PRESENTED ENTIRELY AS A GREEK GODDESS FROM THE EARLIEST LITERATURE DOWN, HER ORIGINS ACTUALLY CAN BE TRACED FROM THE OLD NEAR EASTERN GODDESSES LIKE THE MESOPOTAMIAN, "ISHTAR "AND "ASTARTE", THE PHOENICIAN "GODDESS. "

AS THE UNIVERSAL GODDESS OF LOVE, HER PROVINCE EMBRACED EVERY PHASE OF NATURE. THUS, SHE WAS THE DIVINE PERSONALITY WHO BROUGHT TOGETHER IN PROCREATING LOVE NOT ONLY HUMAN BEINGS BUT THE BEASTS OF THE FIELD AND THE FOWLS OF THE AIR, AND, MOREOVER, WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE APPEARANCE OF FRESH GROWTHS AND NEW GENERATIONS OF PLANTS. HER SACRED ANIMAL IS A GOAT. HER NAME DERIVES FROM THE GREEK WORD FOR THE SEXUAL ACT.

IT IS IN THE STORY OF "ADONIS" tHAT "APHRODITE" MOST CLEARLY APPEARS AS THE FORCE WHICH PROMOTES VEGETATION. A CERTAIN ASSYRIAN KING, THE TALE RUNS, HAD A DAUGHTER NAMED "SMYRNA", WHO, BECAUSE OF HER CONTINUED DISDAIN FOR "APHRODITE", DROVE THE GODDESS, IN ANGER, TO COMMIT A DREADFUL SIN UPON HER FATHER, AND WHEN HE LEARNED OF HER WICKEDNESS, HE DREW A SWORD AND PURSUED HER. HE WOULD HAVE THRUST HER THROUGH HAD NOT THE GODS INTERVENED AND CHANGED HER INTO A MYRRH TREE WHOSE BARK BURST OPEN NINE MONTHS LATER, REVEALING THE INFANT "ADONIS".

"APHRODITE" HID HIM IN A CHEST AND ENTRUSTED HIM TO "PERSEPHONE", BUT WHEN THE LATTER HAD BEHELD HIS BEAUTY, SHE REFUSED TO SURRENDER HIM, WHEREUPON THE TWO GODDESSES LAID THEIR DISPUTE BEFORE "ZEUS" WHO DECREED THAT "PERSEPHONE" WAS TO POSSESS THE YOUTH FOR ONE THIRD OF THE YEAR AND "APHRODITE "A SECOND THIRD; AND DURING THE REMAINING FOUR MONTHS ADONIS WAS TO BE FREE TO DO AS HE WISHED, BUT AS SOON AS HE HEARD OF THE VERDICT, HE GAVE THIS PERIOD OF FREEDOM TO "APHRODITE" AND BECAME HER FAVORITE.

WHILE STILL IN HIS YOUTH, HE WAS SLAIN IN THE CHASE BY A WILD BOAR, AND "APHRODITE" GRIEVED BEYOND CONSOLING...AND, FROM HIS BLOOD GREW THE BLOSSOM OF THE RED "ANEMONE". THIS GRAPHIC PORTRAYAL OF THE CYCLE OF CONDITIONS THROUGH WHICH VEGETATION PASSES IN THE COURSE OF A YEAR WAS THE THEME OF CERTAIN DRAMATIC ACTS IN THE WORSHIP OF "APHRODITE."

"APHRODITE" EPITOMIZES THE STANDARD STORY CHARACTER AND ARCHETYPE OF THE TEMPTRESS....THE TRUE TEMPTRESS WHO IS AMORAL AND DESTROYS MEN, YET THEY CANNOT HELP BUT LUST FOR HER. TODAY, "APHRODITE" IS CONSIDERED A FEMALE MYTHOLOGICAL ARCHETYPE. BEING ASSOCIATED WITH AN INFINITE SERIES OF HUMAN PHENOMENA SUCH AS LOVE, BIRTH, DEATH, FERTILITY, WAR, VIRGINITY, MARRIAGE, MOURNING AND SO ON, "APHRODITE" IS BROADLY REGARDED AS CONTROLLING THE RITUAL THAT CHARACTERIZES AN IMPORTANT PART OF HUMAN CULTURE IN THE ANCIENT YEARS, BUT ALSO TODAY.

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Goddess Erzulie  

Posted by Stella Clark

Goddess Erzulie Image
ERZULIE IS A FASCINATING GODDESS, A HAITIAN GODDESS WHO WAS ORIGINALLY KNOWN AS THE WEST AFRICAN GODDESS OF LOVE; SHE IS NOW MAINLY WORSHIPED IN THE VOUDUN CULTURES OF THE AFRO-CARIBBEAN COUNTRIES. AS WITH MOST GODDESSES, ERZULIE HAS MANY DIFFERENT ASPECTS WHICH CHANGE FROM THE FLIRTATIOUS MAIDEN INTO THE FIERCE WARRIOR MOTHER AND CONTINUE ONTO THE CRYING CRONE...A TRIPLE GODDESS. HER SYMBOL IS A CROSS WITHIN A CIRCLE WHICH IS MUCH LIKE THE CELTIC CROSS. IT REPRESENTS THE MEETING OF THE TWO WORLDS--THE DIVINE WORLD AND THE WORLD OF HUMANKIND. ERZULIE CAN BE LOVING AND PASSIVE AT ONE MOMENT AND VIOLENT THE NEXT. SHE IS BEAUTY, SWEETNESS, LOVE, AND SENSUALITY PERSONIFIED. RIVERS, STREAMS, LAKES, AND WATERFALLS ARE HERS. SHE IS BOTH LOVED AND FEARED FOR HER TREMENDOUS POWER AND KNOWN FOR HER EXTREME MOOD SWINGS.

HER OWN PERSONAL STORY IS A TRAGEDY. FOR AT ONE TIME, ERZULIE WAS A WARRIORESS WHO FOUGHT BESIDE HER PEOPLE DURING THE HAITIAN REVOLUTION. BUT, HER OWN PEOPLE CUT OFF HER TONGUE SO THAT SHE COULD NOT TELL THEIR SECRETS IF SHE WERE CAPTURED. THUS, SHE IS MUTE AND SPEAKS ONLY BY CLICKING HER TONGUE ON THE ROOF OF HER MOUTH.

PERHAPS HER MOST FAMOUS ASPECT IS THAT OF THE GODDESS OF LOVE. HERE WE FIND HER PORTRAYED AS THE PERFECT WOMAN...A WOMAN OF LOVE, OF BEAUTY, OF INNOCENCE. ERZULIE DANTOR IS THE PATRON OF LESBIAN WOMEN, OF WOMEN EXPERIENCING DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, AND IT IS SAID THAT SHE LOVES WOMEN SO DEARLY THAT SHE WILL DEFEND THEM TO DEATH. PEOPLE HAVE PRAYED TO HER FOR YEARS BECAUSE THEY BELIEVE THAT SHE HAS THE ABILITY TO INFLUENCE THEIR ROMANCES, THEIR MARRIAGES. WOMEN INVOKE HER IN CASES OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND RAPE. HER SYMBOL HERE IS THE HEART.

ANOTHER OF HER ASPECTS IS THAT OF ERZULIE LA FLAMBEAU. THIS IS THE SIDE OF ERZULIE THAT IS SAID TO BURN WITH THE FIRE OF OVERWHELMING PASSION...A PASSION THAT CAN EASILY TURN INTO A BURNING RAGE THAT CONSUMES ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING IN ITS PATH. THIS ASPECT IS LOOKED UPON AS THE "CORN MOTHER"...SHE WHO HAS POWERFUL ENERGY TO TURN DIFFERENT OBJECTS INTO FOOD.

ERZULIE FREDA IS THE MOST DIFFICULT TO UNDERSTAND OF ALL THE ASPECTS. SHE IS A PROMISCUOUS LOVE GODDESS, THE EMBODIMENT OF LUXURY AND WEALTH. SHE GIVES LUCK IN GAMES OF CHANCE AND CAN INSPIRE ROMANTIC LOVE. SHE IS OFTEN BLAMED FOR DRUG ADDICTIONS AND, IF ANGERED, SHE CAN DRIVE HER HUMAN VICTIM THROUGH A SERIES OF FRUITLESS RELATIONSHIPS, CAUSING THE PERSON TO FALL IN LOVE AND BECOME HEARTBROKEN OVER AND OVER AGAIN.

BY FAR, HER MOST TRAGIC ASPECT IS THAT OF ERZULIE LE ROUGE, FOR WHENEVER SHE APPEARS IN THIS ASPECT, SHE JUST SITS THERE, PULLING HER KNEES CLOSE TO HER CHEST, AND THEN, AS TEARS FLOW DOWN HER CHEEKS, AND WITH CLENCHED FISTS, SHE CRIES OUT AT THE ENORMOUS SADNESS THAT LIFE AND LOVE ALWAYS SEEM TO BRING.

IRONICALLY, MANY WOMEN WHO WOULD NEVER CONSIDER RESPECTING, LET ALONE FOLLOWING HER, NOW FIND THEMSELVES BEING DRAWN TO THIS GODDESS BECAUSE OF HER ABILITY TO LOVE, NOT ONLY FOR HERSELF, BUT FOR ALL OF MANKIND. SHE HAS BEEN LOVED BY MANY FOR SUCH A LONG TIME, AND UNLIKE MANY GODDESSES, SHE IS LOVED JUST AS STRONGLY TODAY. SHE IS TYPICALLY INVOKED WITH CEREMONIAL DANCE AND RITUAL BATHS FILLED WITH EXPENSIVE OILS AND PERFUMES AND OFFERINGS OF DESSERTS, PERFUMES, FLOWERS, AND CHAMPAGNE. WHEN THE CATHOLIC CHURCH BEGAN TO CONVERT THE HAITIAN PEOPLE TO THE STRICT ORTHODOXY OF CATHOLICISM, MANY PEOPLE BEGAN TO PRACTICE THE OLD RELIGION WITH THE NEW...SIDE BY SIDE. AND, THUS,IT IS WITH ERZULIE THAT THE OLD RELIGION AND TRADITIONS LIVE ON ALONG WITH THE NEW.

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