Aphrodite is a force of nature, her energy urging us toward relationships. She is both the bringer of joy and the feared harbinger of passion. She is the Goddess of Love and the essence of feminine beauty and grace. She is also easily spotted for her social charm, being well versed in the art of conversation. She is considered unconventional and often has artistic or bohemian friends who mirror her flamboyance and aesthetic flair. In fact, so impressive is she in social situations that her social network can become almost unmanageable. (So many invitations, so little time!) She is also considered a ‘man magnet’, not necessarily for her bombshell looks but for her genuine interest in and love of men. Being feminine and watery (emotional) by nature she is an enigma who intrigues all she meets, but none more so than her polar opposite, a fiery man.
The Goddess Aphrodite showed that the human experience could be blissful. She demonstrated this by being completely unself-conscious in the celebration of her own beauty and the beauty of others. As a result of her ability to see the beauty in all, she enjoyed lovers of both genders, illustrated by her passionately kissing cowry shells, a pseudonym for female genitalia. It is interesting to note that Aphrodite was born a fully-grown woman, indicating that there is a certain maturity needed to be completely uninhibited and self-fulfilling. If, however, our inner Aphrodite is immature her immediate concern is to find ‘the perfect lover’, an aim that can override her commonsense, resulting in other areas of her life being neglected as she pursues her latest fancy. Stopping at nothing in her quest for love, she will use all her enchanting powers in order to possess her chosen love object, with glamour being her tell-tale preferred weapon of choice.
The archetype of Aphrodite is by no means virginal; often dismissing contraception in the heat of passion, despite the personal risk. This impetuousness is also exacerbated by her deep psychological need to know and merge with another which can lead to co-dependent relationships as her personal boundaries tend to be as watery as her emotions.
This Beautiful Muse aspect within us also has a great capacity to be empathetic towards others who are in emotional pain. If this aspect is dominant, we tend to be sensitive and compassionate as a result of our own experiences. However, if our empathetic tendency goes unchecked, we can be easily drawn into other people’s dramas rather than stay detached and able to be of true benefit, both to ourselves and to others.
Aphrodite, like the sirens whose enigmatic singing drew boats off course in the myth of Odysseus, can be seen today on pop music charts wailing out tortured lyrics while dressed to kill (or privately in lounge rooms belting out emotionally unbalanced lyrics like I Can’t Live, If Living Is Without You demonstrated beautifully by Renee Zellweger in the film, Bridget Jones’ Diary). A scenario which illustrates how our inner drama queen if indulged completely can reduce us to a state of complete hopelessness. (Pre- Goddess makeover I often warbled along with melancholic songbird, Sade, while imbibing red wine. Post-Goddess makeover I warble along with Aretha, singing uplifting Gospel tracks while washing the dishes!)
Aphrodite was also renowned for her poetic and persuasive speech and her ability to emotionally move us, which is why drama schools are a beacon for Aphrodites in search of a stage on which to shine and emote.
Venus, the ruling planet of Aphrodite and the astrological sign of Taurus, gifts us with the quality of appreciation. There is no one who will make you feel more appreciated than a woman in full Aphrodite mode. Just observe a recipient basking in her unwavering gaze, that is until she turns her attention elsewhere to pursue the next passing interest. This ability of hers to live thoroughly in each moment can be both a boon and a drawback, depending on how deliberate her intentions are. It may lead her to be impulsive financially, purchasing exquisite pampering items that appeal to her sensual nature or fashion accessories that thrill her vanity but max her credit card.
Above all, Aphrodite represents the transformative power of love. For it is when we are ‘in love’ that we see the world through Aphrodite’s rose-coloured glasses and everyone and everything in it appears ideal. Unfortunately, if this state of love is not achieved through spiritual awareness and reconnection, this temporary ecstatic bliss can leave us hankering for more, whatever the cost, leading to an emotional rollercoaster created by the false belief that it is only this one person who can evoke such feelings within us. So the challenge that Aphrodite ultimately presents us with is to experience this state of transcendent love without needing ‘the other’ to act as a catalyst. Otherwise, we feel anxious and blue whenever they are not around. It is for this reason that many Aphrodite women become addicted to ‘being in love’ and fall in love often, breaking more than the heel on their designer shoes every time they fall.
If Aphrodite is a dominant archetype within you, you may find it hard to maintain a balance between work and play. With a large network of friends and acquaintances, you are easily distracted from completing the task at hand. It is important that your work stimulates your creativity so you will find the commitment needed to complete each project.
In our culture many Aphrodites struggle with the outward signs of ageing, particularly if they have depended on their looks rather than fully develop their inner character and talents, (a trend illustrated by the growing cosmetic surgery industry). Fortunately, there are some Aphrodites who age gracefully, retaining their youthful vitality through their creative and spiritual passions and as a result, attract friends of all ages and from all walks of life.
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