So it’s that time of the year, Kittens! APHRODISIA!! Ahhhhhhhhh!!! This is THE festival for Aphrodite devotees and worshipers. Its our Christmas and New Years wrapped up into one giant awesome glitter party of EPICNESS! Basically, it’s kind of a big deal. So let us go over a bit about the festival and some ideas on what you can do to celebrate!
What is Aphrodisia?
As stated above it’s the ultimate Aphrodite festival! It’s where we honor and give thanks to our beloved goddess, specifically Aphrodite Pandemos (goddess of all).
When is Aphrodisia?
Sooo historically Aphrodisia falls sometime between July and August, but some worshipers (myself included) like to celebrate it on the summer solstice. So pick a day that works for you and your worship.
How do I celebrate Aphrodisia?
Lets give you a bit of a background on how the Ancient Greeks went about it. The festival started with the purification of Aphrodite’s temples with the blood of a dove (one of Aphrodite’s sacred animals). Though after that initial blood sacrifice, no other blood sacrifice was permitted in order to keep the altar intact from any pollution. Instead, offerings of flowers, fire, and incense were give to our lady.
Well that’s great, Jessie, but I’m not sacrificing a damn dove…
Lucky for you then I have alternative ways to celebrate that do not involve blood of any kind:
- Cooking/Baking - Food is typically the heart of all festivals regardless on what is being celebrated and our festivals as Hellenic Polytheist are no different. Cook/Bake/Buy a special meal and give some as an offering to Aphrodite! You can even sit at your altar with her and enjoy the meal together. Lost on what to cook or bake? Look at a list of foods considered to be aphrodisiacs and ones associated with Aphrodite!! Also if you want to keep some historical accuracy to your celebration, stay away from any red meats (or any kind of meat, if you so choose). But that’s completely up to you! Don’t feel like you have to go beyond your means to make a grand feast! Do what you can because that’s more than enough!
- Flowers - Seriously though, guys. FLOWERS!! Fake or real. Store bought or picked outside. Don’t matter. Decorate your altar with it and give them as offerings and congrats you just won at devotion!
- Expressions - Aphrodisia is about giving thanks and honoring our beloved goddess, so what better way to do then to actually TELL her through your own expression. You can write her a letter, essay, journal entry, hymn, poem, story, whatever. Or you can make a collage, draw a picture, make prayer beads…ANYTHING! Whatever way you can, express your love, admiration, and devotion to our lady!
- Be in Nature - This especially applies for those of us celebrating on the Summer Solstice. Go outside and find Aphrodite in the beauty that is nature. Thank her for it and appreciate the fact that you yourself are part of that beauty! If it’s at all feasible for you try watching the sunrise and the sunset and invite Aphrodite to sit with you.
- Appreciate Beauty - So to add on to appreciating beauty in nature, you can appreciate beauty wherever you find it. Go to an art gallery, a library, museum, garden, a movie, a concert, wherever you find beauty, go there and give thanks to Aphrodite for how happy your soul feels looking at the gorgeousness
- Be of Service - Aphrodisia is specifically honoring Aphrodite Pandemos, goddess of all. So its the perfect time to do good for others, especially those in need. If you’re celebrating in June, you can absolutely connect it to the fact that it’s Pride Month and do something for the LGBTQ+ community! Or any community, organization, or movement of your choosing. The current social and political environment is so toxic that the world can always use a helping hand and a large dose of the love of Aphrodite!
- Other Offerings - As stated above, along with flowers, fire and incense were given as offerings. So don’t feel bad at if all you can give Aphrodite is a lit candle or incense in her honor! Some other simple offerings are wine, tea, apple juice, olive oil, crystals, herbs, songs, shells, salt, and any/all shiny things!
****Aphrodisia is also a FANTASTIC time to ask Aphrodite to bless any items you may wish for her to bless. Also if you wish to make your own ritual oil/water/spray for her, Aphrodisia is the time!
So there are some ideas on what you can do, but they are not the only things you can do! Look at your own devotion and worship to figure out how you wish to celebrate this magnificent holiday! Remember, do what you can and it will be more than enough!!