Last month, I had the pleasure of attending Marianne Williamson’s Aphrodite training. I’ve probably heard Marianne speak hundreds of times by now, but I still cried when she walked on stage looking like a total goddess. There was such an exciting and intense energy in the room, and I felt beyond grateful to be in attendance with so many incredible women, many who had crossed oceans to be there.
Over the weekend, Marianne spoke in-depth about what it means to really embody the Greek Goddess of love and sexuality. The Goddesses are all archetypes, or inner patterns, that most women can relate to and use to better understand their own desires and tendencies. Aphrodite has always been the goddess I most identify with. I’m a Scorpio, so love and sensuality are my jam!
Just like Aphrodite, I love to be in love! If I could design my perfect life, it would, of course, include being madly in love, writing books, and traveling the world with the man of my dreams. I’m a person craves adventure and excitement over tradition. I was never that girl dreaming of my wedding day, so I don’t relate to Hera, the Goddess of Marriage, who only cares about finding a husband and feels incomplete without a spouse. Maybe someday I’ll fall in love and meet a man who will change everything, but the truth is, I’ve always felt as though perhaps I was missing a girl gene since I don’t have a strong desire to have children. In that respect, Demeter, the maternal goddess, who only wants a man to make a baby, definitely isn’t my archetype. And as a woman who despises housework and doesn’t have a domestic bone in her body, I’m hardly Hestia, Goddess of the Hearth, who loves to keep house. However, as a girl who always received praise from my father for getting good grades, I will say, I do have a little Athena (the Goddess of Wisdom) in me. Athena is the “father’s daughter,” with a strategist’s mind and a strong desire to achieve.
Although I definitely embodied Athena in school, Aphrodite has been the dominant archetype throughout my life. As far back as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to wear make-up and dress sexy. I even remember wanting to wear an off-the-shoulder dress to my first Holy Communion. As soon I hit puberty, I became total jailbait, enjoying the attention I received from grown men. Now that I think of it, it was probably the Athena in me that kept me focused and out of trouble.
After college, Aphrodite totally took over. For years, all I cared about was being in love and having fun! Just like me, Aphrodite is wild! She loves to play. She loves love. She loves romance and passion. Aphrodite falls in love often and she falls in love easily. It is said that Aphrodite seeks out emotional intensity and adventure over permanence, which answers the question I get all the time, why am I still single.
Unfortunately, Aphrodite isn’t always understood or accepted, especially in certain religions and cultures (even in Western culture). A couple years ago, I was dating a man from the Middle East. When we broke up, he tried to “whore-shame” me, telling me he wished I could be like his mother and his sister, who each had only been with one man their entire lives, which wasn’t unusual for his culture. Early on in the relationship, a girlfriend of mine had warned me, “Amy, you love to be wild! You will never fit into a Middle Eastern household.” I tend not to over-generalize about an entire ethnicity, but it’s true, the two of us did experience a bit of a culture clash. While the notion of having been with only one man my whole life is sweet, I suppose, it’s a tad unrealistic at my age. Aphrodite is not exactly a virgin goddess, after all.
However, after that relationship, Aphrodite, as Marianne would put it, “stayed in her temple.” It wasn’t that I agreed with this man’s point of view or that I was ashamed of my Aphrodite. I love this part of myself! However, I felt this man had been so cruel to me during this break-up (he was a Scorpio, just like me….and Scorpios sting when they are hurt) that I decided I needed to be more careful about the men I let into my life. In the past, I noticed a pattern that I usually (not even consciously) take three-month intervals between boyfriends. After this boyfriend, I was celibate for six whole months, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Aphrodite isn’t going to mess with just anybody. She will only appear to men she deems worthy.
Being a highly sensitive individual, I was really shaken by that break-up. It wasn’t a coincidence that around this time that I took the book I was writing off the market. If someone who knew me on a deep level, someone I had given my heart to, had judged me so harshly, I wondered how strangers would perceive me. I felt maybe I had shared too much, that perhaps the memoir was just a little too personal. I even deleted the entire blog I was writing at the time, which had also been problematic in my relationship. I decided I didn’t want to be an open book anymore.
Before I continue, I do want to say that I feel a bit ashamed I let someone get the best of me like that. The man for me is going to be able to handle both my Aphrodite and the fact I write dating columns. Thank goodness, the universe self-corrected and put me back on track!
Six months after that breakup, I met a man, who, in the twinkle of an eye, made Aphrodite want to come out and play again. We only saw each other for six months, but Aphrodite was back in full effect during that time. I always feel more beautiful, happier, and more like myself when I’m embodying this goddess, but once again, she’s back in her temple–and has been for the last six months. (I’m not sure what’s the significance of these six-month increments; maybe that’s my new pattern). Even with the countless dates I went on this summer, Aphrodite never felt moved to make an appearance. I suppose she is being more selective or protective over me, but I do hope Aphrodite finds a worthy playmate soon.
When Aphrodite is not in love, she can carry her intense passion over to creative endeavors. Equipped with Athena’s wisdom and Aphrodite’s creativity, passion, and lust for life, I couldn’t think of two goddesses I’d rather have on my side as I finish the final draft of my memoir.