It was July when Aphrodite moved into the bedroom.
Her altar once spread across the living room, with a picture there, a statue there, pearls, pearls, pearls.
But it was summer where I live and the days were longer, hotter, and She wanted to be close. Her altar became the place I returned each evening, pouring honey rose tincture on my tongue, drinking rose tea, and anointing myself with a special oil.
Devotion looks like this sometimes.
Presence is sometimes scented and sweet.
I am not one to let others hold me. Even now. Even if someone could.
But Aphrodite changed that.
Her arms wrapped around me one night when my emotions raged like waves on rocky shore. My heart battered and lost.
I wept at her feet because there was nothing else I could do.
I wailed and sobbed and cried out in surrender.
She held me.
She can hold you too.
Love as an Initiation
I have been lucky in my life to know love and to feel love. Meeting someone heart to heart has been an honor and a privilege. Trusting them to take the hand of this strange thing called life. And muddle our way through.
And love is an initiator, Aphrodite is initiator, She who calls forth the heart as a challenge. As many challenges. As many moments where you could just walk away.
But you don’t.
I met Aphrodite when I wasn’t looking for love. She came to me because I didn’t actually know love. I knew a piece of it. I knew the sharing of love. What I didn’t know was how to share that love with myself.
I thought I did. Of course. I thought that since I was happy and healthy and loved, this was all there was to it. That was enough. That was all.
But the oyster shell has another half. That other half is the space between, the space inside. The space of you.
Separate from what others say you should do.
Step into the liminality of not knowing.
Dissolve until you understand that you are love.
Bring that inside, to the deepest places, the deepest spaces.
Let everything from before — die.
Asking for Comfort
I don’t know why I was taught (and perhaps you were too) that being held was such a bad or weak thing. That somehow if I had already tried all that I could, given all of my energy and focus to supporting myself, that saying I needed more (or that I needed something else) was defeat.
I remember the point of initiation (okay, a few points) where I had to just surrender because I couldn’t cling onto anything I knew.
I had to take that leap and hope for soft ground.
Close your eyes or soften your gaze and hold the image of Aphrodite that feels right for you. Hold around you the possibility that She is there, suspend disbelief.
Wait until it’s warm or the moment becomes very quiet. And stay there as long as you like. You might hear the ocean in your ears. You might feel the smoothness of skin on skin. You might feel something settle in the deep down of you.
In those places that no one ever sees.
Wrap yourself in the love that She is and the love that you are.
Disappear for a minute or an hour or an entire night.
Drown in the possibility that you are dripping with desirability, worth, and innate value. Just because you are you.
Because you show up today.
And let Her, let love hold you.
Let her move into your heart.