In society where female sexual images are often exploitive and disempowering, can we reconcile and integrate our sexuality with spirit?
Many myths and legends from various traditions have inspired and helped me to deepen my understanding of myself as a woman.
Aphrodite, the best known ‘goddess of love’ in Western tradition, can offer us many lessons on the value of desire and sexual pleasure within the feminine being. Aphrodite, a Greek goddess first written about by the Greek poets Homer and Hesiod around 700 B.C.E. She was revered for her power, sexuality, and grace.
In Western traditions, Aphrodite is the most well known of all the ancient goddesses. She is the goddess of love, sexuality and passion and at different times and places has been known by many names including: Venus, Inanna, Ishtar and Isis.
Aphrodite is the one we most readily recognise as connected with sexuality.
Aphrodite was joyously proud of her own body, seeing it as part of the divine nature of the universe. This was not vanity, but a deep respect for her feminine nature.
Aphrodite was also known as the ‘golden goddess’, not only because of her beauty, but also because she radiated love and sensuality. This ‘golden glow of Aphrodite’, is a description of a love that is pure, a love not tainted by desires of the ego or games of power. It is, instead, a love that springs from a woman’s true sexual essence. Aphrodite did not exploit love for her own ego or for power and money.
Extract from Sexy and Sacred by Diane Riley ©