Know Your Goddess: Aphrodite
From the waters of Paphos rose Aphrodite: One of the greatest and most recognizable icons of love, beauty, pleasure, and procreation in the West. Her image is most famously immortalized in Sandro Botticelli's painting The Birth of Venus, named for her Roman counterpart. Resonant to her mythology, the planet Venus is said to rule matters of courtship, adoration, aesthetics, and taste in astrology. Even where this Greek Goddess’s name does not appear, her symbols such as the dove, rose and pearl prevail as emblems for romance and desire.
It is said that she was carried to Cyprus by a giant scallop shell where her reign began. Pearls were particularly significant to her as they are offspring of the sea, just like her. Some say she was adorned with pearls at birth.
Annually in midsummer, the ancient Greeks celebrated her with the Aphrodisia festival. Statues of the Goddess were ritually cleansed and patrons of the event would offer fire, flowers, and incense to her altar. Aphrodite may be your inner Goddess if a bath, candles, incense, and fresh flowers are an ideal part of your self-care ritual.
Aphrodite has customarily been associated with eros, the Greecian word for romantic and passionate love. Throughout history and myth, mortals and fellow Olympians called on Aphrodite to aid them with matters of true love, companionship, attraction, and fertility.
Although, more modern celebrations and interpretations of her also emphasize her embodiment of philautia, meaning self-love. Aphrodite was always known to have high self-worth: rewarding her devotees generously and taking a temper with those who did not honor her. She reminds us to value ourselves by putting energy into relationships where we are respected and loved and to have boundaries in the ones where we are not.
Aphrodite may be worn to honor the parts of ourselves that resonate with her, or as a symbol of the self-love, companionship, and beauty in the world that we aspire to manifest. As a Goddess associated with beauty and passion, she is the perfect anchor for an indulgent layered necklace stack.