my aret

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King Cadros of the Kingdom of Valla, husband to Queen Arete and father to Princess Azura.

Contemplative and regal, King Cadros retains an air of royalty while also carrying a genuine kindness within him. He is deeply sympathetic and has a calming presence - and is widely regarded as being a peacemaker during conflicts. He has an unwavering loyalty to only a specific few because of how slowly he warms up to people. Yet he holds much value to his kingdom and its people, and always has Valla’s best interests at heart.

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@smallherosix‘s animation challenge - Hard Mode

  1. Favorite Film - Princess Arete
  2. A Film made in your home country - The Iron Giant
  3. A Film made outside your home country - Jack and the Cuckoo Clock Heart
  4. Favorite Film released before you were born - The Adventures of Prince Achmed
  5. Favorite Overlooked Oscar Nominee - Song of the Sea
  6. Favorite 2D Animation - Tokyo Godfathers
  7. Favorite 3D Animation - The Book of Life
  8. Favorite TV Series - Harvey Beaks
  9. Favorite Short Film - The Dam Keeper
  10. Favorite Student Film - The Reward
  11. Bonus: Your favorite person working in the animation industry - Hiroyuki Imaishi
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The Hidden truths DLC looks great.

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  • Princess Arete | Studio 4°C, dir. Sunao Katabuchi

Princess Arete lives a solitary life in a castle tower, occasionally sneaking out for glimpses at the outside world. Suitors from across her father’s kingdom bring treasures to win her favor, and Arete grows up without ever being truly free. Her isolation only grows worse when she is enchanted and whisked away by the wizard Boax…

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“I…wasn’t gone…for that long.”

Take Me To Church
Hozier
Take Me To Church

The Areté of Aphrodite

Personal Praxis of Areté and Kharis with the Theoi

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Areté is a complex topic, heavy with implications of knowledge and the importance of humanity, but I aim to simplify the subject and allow us to experiment with areté and kharis. Areté, at its most simple, is excellency of virtue, with connotations of understanding and morality. Truly though, it is about enacting or embodying excellency of any sort; in the same way heroes are not necessarily good, areté does not necessarily imply goodness or beneficent acts or virtues. Areté is about reaching our highest human potential, which many philosophers retain in the realm of knowledge and contemplation, but I would like to take a nod towards other sorts of virtues. As a devotional practice, why not consider and personally try to maintain an excellence of those traits and virtues which we most admire from the theoi? Borrowing heavily from my inspirations, I’ve come up with a brief series of “virtues” with which to align ourselves with the areté, or most excellent traits and nature, of Aphrodite, and in doing so draw closer to her and further kharis with her.

There are a lot of considerations to make when beginning such a devotional project. There’s the virtues themselves, the deity in question, the timing, and of course, the manner in which you will actively work on encompassing said virtues. All of these factors deserve serious consideration, and perhaps a bit of divination to see if the things decided are in line with the will and desires of the theos in question. Shortly after coming up with this idea, I purchased a second hand book on the tales of courtesans. If there was anyone who set me towards thoughts of Golden Aphrodite, it was the infamous women of Paris and Venice, whose beauty, cunning, and sex made the world their oyster (trite, I know, but appropriate). While I’m playing with punnery, I also wanted to begin with Aphrodite because one her her epithets is “Praxis” meaning action, of course, but here specifically meaning sexual actions. It was to good a word play to pass up! I had a good long think about the traits successful courtesans had which were also traits which could align me to The Queen Melissa. I came up with a short list originally, but nearly doubled it over time. I also wanted to use a number associated with Aphrodite, and decided upon twelve virtues, which is twice six; six like the sacred geometry of honeycomb. For timing, I’m going to let that be your decision, but I would recommend either a week per virtue, for three months of devotional focus, or else a month per virtue, for a year of Venusian areté. 

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Onto the virtues of Venus

Rather than create a laundry list of definitions and potential devotional activities, I’m going to instead list the virtues themselves, and a few ways to approach them. Defining and redefining your understanding of those virtues, and developing the practices, habits, and activities that will allow you to encompass them should be an integral part of the devotional activity. If folks like what I’ve created and wish to take up the task for themselves (and I hope you do), and wish to share, then please feel free to tag your thoughts, acts, questions, and reflections on the topic with “arete praxis”. If instead you come up with your own virtues and stations for other theoi, please feel free to use that tag as well! As for Aphrodite:

The First Virtue: Beauty

- understand and embody beauty, both naturally endowed and created

-understand and create beauty for beauty’s sake, your own and in the world

-find and understand beauty in others and in the world, and find ways to elevate it or share it

The Second Virtue: Timing

-understand, embody, and live a good sense of timing

-rediscover timing in rhythm, the body, and the social world

-understand timing and epiphany in mythos and why it mattered

-understand “gut instinct” and timing as it pertains to your relationships, and actively work on yours

The Third Virtue: Brazenness

-understand and embody boldness, in all of its potential iterations, cheek, aggression, conviction, etc

-understand when and why a lack of modesty is a good thing

-understand the difference between being forward and confident vs. outrageous and impertinent

-embody fierceness in all you do, but especially in the way you love and that which you defend 

The Fourth Virtue: Grace

-understand and embody grace, and the ever changing and mutable nature of graciousness

-embody the wildness and patience of grace, and understand how grace and timing relate

-rediscover the grace in others, and how grace and beauty so often coexist

-unlearn grace as physical poise, and rediscover spiritual grace without any gender-specific or Abrahamic trappings

The Fifth Virtue: Charm

-understand charm, much easier said than done, what does the ability to please really entail, or to enchant?

-embody charm, understand the social cues which will cause others to find you magical, to be drunk on you

-understand how timing, grace, and brazenness may all be a part of your charm

-rediscover, contemplate, and emulate the charms of Aphrodite in her mythos

The Sixth Virtue: Brilliance

-understand how intelligence, reflection, and luminosity are related

-understand the many forms of brilliance of Aphrodite

-rediscover your own personal radiance

-embody and reflect the brilliance of Aphrodite in as full a way as possible

The Seventh Virtue: Flirtation

-understand how timing is an inherent factor in flirtation

-understand how charm, brazenness and flirtation relate

-rediscover the fun of flirtation, rediscover its power

-embody flirtation, be coquettish in all you do

The Eighth Virtue:  Gaiety

-understand the importance of having and creating a good time

-rediscover a sense of joie de vivre

-learn to create joy, and understand how previous virtues can effect joy

The Ninth Virtue: Sensuality

-understand sensuality, both natural and created

-infuse sensuality into your daily life, and your relationships

-rediscover the power of suggestion and the senses

-understand the intimate relationship between beauty and the senses

The Tenth Virtue: Seduction

-rediscover the power of sexuality

-bring sexuality into your daily life and practice seduction

-contemplate seduction as arousal and penetration of the soul

-use the power of sex for constructive means

The Eleventh Virtue: Rapture

-understand the concepts behind rapture, being caught in the moment, the small death, and resurrection

-contemplate the concept of being seized and swept away in her mythos

-contemplate sensuality seduction, and worship and their relationship to rapture

-become enraptured, and bring others to rapture

The Twelfth Virtue: Discernment

- understand how discernment is an essential part of love and life

-contemplate the power plays of her mythos, and

-contemplate how brilliance, timing, and justness can be integral to discernment

-practice discernment as an essential and meaningful part of your life

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As for me, I will be personally beginning my Vensuian virtues in August, and will be doing each virtue weekly. I will be brilliant, and charming, and gay. I will take a lover, and bring them rapture, and bring them to the shrine of Aphrodite Praxis, and they will take me to church.