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Goddesses in Woman: Aphrodite

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Goddesses in Woman: Aphrodite

This series of articles is about the female archetypes as Jean Shinoda Bolen described them through goddesses from Greek mythology. Each goddess represents a character structure with good qualities and pitfalls, its own shadow aspects and its own potential for personal growth. This time: Aphrodite

The archetype

The goddess of love, beauty and creativity

Aphrodite is the archetype that pushes women to love, to develop their creativity and to see their sexuality as a way of expressing themselves. The essence of the Aphrodite archetype is transformation. This can take the form of a male-female union whereby a new creation (a child) arises, but also in the form of a spiritual yin/yang union where an inner union arises.

For an Aphrodite woman, it is not love that drives to have sex, but the sensuous instinct of her body. The man-woman dynamic and erotic attraction are important drivers in her life. Aphrodite is the archetypal mistress.

The pattern of life

Aphrodite is the goddess of love, beauty, sexuality and sensuality in mythology. She possessed the unique ability to make gods and mortals fall in love. She is considered by Bolen as a transforming goddess and is therefore unique. No other male or female archetype has this quality. Aphrodite’s magic brings things to life.

Aphrodite is magnetic; it brings people together through the urge to know each other at the level of their deepest essence. That can be sexual, but also platonic, friendly, or in the form of a good conversation. Several goddesses are involved in forming bonds and relationships, but only under the influence of Aphrodite does a woman seek an unprecedented depth and quality in those relationships.

The Aphrodite consciousness is characterized by its special quality. The virgin goddesses have a highly concentrated consciousness, like a laser beam, with which they can focus exactly on what they want to pursue. The vulnerable goddesses have a diffuse consciousness, like a table lamp, leaving behind a ‘haze of presence’ and are present in a more diffuse and receptive way. Aphrodite is both focused and receptive.

Bolen compares her consciousness to a theater lamp: it shines brightly on what he is aiming at and distracts attention from everything else. When Aphrodite’s lamp shines on something, we interact with that subject and are influenced by our relationship with it. When we sit in the cinema and the film starts, or in the theater and the curtain rises, or when we are together with our loved one, it seems as if the ordinary world of everyday worries and problems is gone for a while.

Aphrodite enchants, she changes the way we perceive the world. You could say she mists us, but she does so in a very special way. The way we react in this Aphrodite consciousness is purely subjective and shows us how we resonate or not. What do we like? What gives us goosebumps, what triggers deeply buried pain? Aphrodite provokes a response. And if we want to explore that response, we can learn a lot about ourselves.

The Aphrodite consciousness is the consciousness of the artist, the creator. The Aphrodite consciousness is a mixture between being completely absorbed in what you are doing, and at the same time maintaining a certain distance to judge the quality of your work. There is excitement at the inspiration pouring into your mind and forming under your hands, but at the same time, paradoxically, there is a critical, almost clinical view.

It is reminiscent of the creation story in the bible, people are busy creating, ‘and God saw that it was good’. It is what an artist experiences when she is painting. In fact there is no right or wrong, because the work arises from inspiration. It is therefore extremely personal, often has to do with inner processes and is therefore always ‘good’. It is the interaction between the client and an excellent therapist. It’s what I experience when I’m writing. The essence of the Aphrodite consciousness isinteraction .

Between lovers, but also between work and the artist. As an artist you do not ‘make’ the work of art, you are an intermediary for the inspiration and you yourself are essentially influenced by what you create. You grow as the person by creating, you get to know yourself as a result. Aphrodite gives us dreams and asks us to dare to believe in them. We often break down our dreams beforehand:

‘Who am I to do that?’ But Aphrodite wants us to chase our dreams. Aphrodite is the archetype that drives women to extraordinary achievements because she makes the everyday extraordinary.wife-bed-stars

How is the archetype activated?

There’s a simple litmus test to test your daughter’s Aphrodite level: point a camera at her and see how she reacts. When she immediately takes on a provocative pose, poses, or wallows in attention, Aphrodite is there. Aphrodite comes alive against the backdrop of interacting with others. If you want to awaken Aphrodite in yourself, you can try to be genuinely interested in others and, as it were, focus your theater lamp of warm Aphrodite attention on the other person. You will notice that almost everyone reacts positively to this. Not only because everyone likes attention, but also because everyone wants to be known deeply.

You can awaken Aphrodite by targeting subjective and sensory sensations. By getting out of your head and living in your body, you become more aware of Aphrodite within yourself. Ask yourself, “How do I feel about this?” rather than approach it intellectually. Do you color it in your head? Do you smell a certain scent or does certain music come to mind? Look up sensory experiences.

Get a massage, cuddle, dig into the earth with your hands and smell the mossy scent, walk into a garden center and smell the color green. Listen to a style of music that you normally don’t listen to and let it sink in, become one with the vibe. Find an unfamiliar experience and immerse yourself in it. Go eat in an ethnic restaurant and let the food sink in: the taste, the smell, the texture.

Taste it all: creamy, crunchy, juicy, firm, spicy, sweet, tart. Try belly dancing to get into your body. What does that do to you? You will find that Aphrodite is all about feeling comfortable in your female body as a woman. When you’ve found your Aphrodite consciousness, your fat rolls,love handles , stretch marks and cellulite no longer matter.

You can bring out Aphrodite in yourself by stopping burning and criticizing yourself. Aphrodite has to do with loving yourself in a healthy way. You are fantastic! We don’t do that enough in our society. Our Aphrodite factor has disappeared and we have started nagging ourselves.

Our society has an ambivalent relationship with the Aphrodite archetype. On the one hand, this archetype is forced on women and girls. You see advertisements everywhere of women in provocative, downright sexual poses to promote products that have nothing to do with sex.

Influenced by magazines, social media and peer pressure, young girls are encouraged to dress up and dress provocatively. Only a woman who looks like an Aphrodite, is beautiful, attractive and sensual is good. But when a woman really starts to act like an Aphrodite, something curious happens: she isn’t always appreciated. She is called a ‘slut’. Both men and women criticize her behavior.

So Aphrodite ‘must’ and at the same time she is not desirable. That’s a remarkable confusing message for young women. You could also say that the sexual, seductive aspect of the Aphrodite archetype has been emphasized and the creative, transformative aspect has been lost. 

sensual

An Aphrodite woman comes to know herself in subjective experience. She experiences life as a constant stream of sensory stimuli that she has to go along with. She thoroughly enjoys her senses. Not only a lovemaking, but also a good meal, the feeling of a silk blouse on her skin, the sun on her face or a beautiful painting can stimulate her senses and be a source of pleasure.

The expression that “everything is a little sexual” typifies an Aphrodite woman. And that doesn’t mean she’s all about sex. She uses worldly pleasures as a way to explore the depths of her mind. Where a Hestia woman is introspective, an Aphrodite woman is sensory and physical. She experiences everything a bit orgasmic.woman-sensual

This quality of Aphrodite is a fundamental aspect of female sexuality: it is so internalized, subjective and part of the personality that it becomes an enlightening and enriching experience. The sexuality of an Aphrodite woman is impersonal, although it is very intense.

Aphrodite’s sexuality is at odds with the way many men experience it: emotionally little present, a short-lived peak experience after which the effect quickly fades. An Aphrodite woman is looking for dynamics between women and men. She enjoys the interaction, the flirtations, the subcutaneous tension that is actually always present.

It is an end in itself for her to surrender to that and make it happen. She doesn’t feel guilty about it and doesn’t necessarily see it as a sign that there is ‘something’ between her and the person she flirts with or makes love to. For her, experiencing eroticism and sexuality is an end in itself that does not necessarily have to have a lasting consequence. She is not looking for bonding, but for interaction. 

The attractive woman

Aphrodite gives a woman the pep to be a nice woman who keeps a man under her spell. Aphrodite is playful, stimulating, challenging, she makes you long for more. She challenges you to keep looking at what’s around the corner.

The ‘Aphrodite factor’ keeps a relationship exciting and it’s not just about sex. Aphrodite makes a man feel that his wife is just one step ahead of him and encourages him to come back to her. And that characterizes the great paradox in ‘relationship land’ today: Aphrodite is both detested and desired.

After Aphrodite has been brutally banned from women’s psyches for the past few thousand years and marriages have been a business deal, after the sexual revolution we suddenly discover that we don’t want to be without her after all.

Many women still harbor the desired patriarchal patterns of what a good wife is: she tries to please her husband, ignores him, neatly controls her sexual appetite (a civilized woman was for centuries frigid) and gives her children the highest priority. And suddenly men discover that they find that boring.

They want more sex, more spice, more pep, more playfulness. They have fallen on their own sword. Many women no longer know where to find their ‘Aphrodite mode’. with toys, Flirting courses and exciting novels encourage them to find her again. But do you do that for your partner, or do you do it for yourself? The essence of Aphrodite is that you do something because you are worth it.

reproductive drive

The drive that Aphrodite awakens in women to get pregnant is similar to Demeter’s, but there is one big difference: Demeter drives a woman to become a mother, Aphrodite drives a woman to procreate. Demeter becomes a mother, Aphrodite has a love baby. Instead of wanting to become a mother, a woman under the influence of Aphrodite wants a child from a certain man.

This is the most physical expression of Aphrodite’s drive to unite and create yin and yang. That can be a very instinctive desire and like Demeter women, Aphrodite women have the ‘talent’ of getting pregnant ‘accidentally’.

The ‘depraved’ archetype

An Aphrodite woman is considered a man-eater in patriarchal cultures. She would be out to seduce men and suck their life force. Men often have no defense against the magnetism and erotic attraction of an Aphrodite woman, they have to go along with the temptation.

For that reason, an Aphrodite woman was and is seen as a kind of personification of evil: a villainous poisoner bent on disrupting marriages, consuming men, sucking their energy and leaving them devastated. Aphrodite was seen as a great danger to the social order that had to be averted.

That is why women were married off young and forced into marital fidelity, girls who paid too much attention to the opposite sex became kept in monasteries and women who committed adultery were horribly punished. Within Islamic and Indian culture and in earlier Christianity women had to wear a veil on the street so as not to arouse desire in men who were not their husbands.

The monotheistic religions have waged a veritable crusade against the Aphrodite archetype. In a culture that centers on masculine self-control, placing the objective over the subjective, the rational over the sensitive, and cultivation over surrender, an Aphrodite woman is by definition maladjusted and a disruptive element that threatens the establishment.

Within Islamic and Indian culture and in earlier Christianity women had to wear a veil on the street so as not to arouse desire in men who were not their husbands. The monotheistic religions have waged a veritable crusade against the Aphrodite archetype. In a culture that centers on masculine self-control, placing the objective over the subjective, the rational over the sensitive, and cultivation over surrender, an Aphrodite woman is by definition maladjusted and a disruptive element that threatens the establishment.

Within Islamic and Indian culture and in earlier Christianity women had to wear a veil on the street so as not to arouse desire in men who were not their husbands. The monotheistic religions have waged a veritable crusade against the Aphrodite archetype. In a culture that centers on masculine self-control, placing the objective over the subjective, the rational over the sensitive, and cultivation over surrender, an Aphrodite woman is by definition maladjusted and a disruptive element that threatens the establishment. 

Sex work in times of matriarchal cultures

It is said that prostitution is the oldest profession in the world. That is not correct, and yet there is a grain of truth in it. Dealing with sexuality in an “extroverted” way is definitely an aspect of the Aphrodite archetype and prostitution has a lot to do with Aphrodite. Aphrodite has a very spiritual aspect in which she lets the man experience his divinity through sexuality.

In ancient times there were women present in temples who, in exchange for a sacrifice or a gift for the temple, made a man experience divine ecstasy through the sex act. This ability was considered so important a woman’s skill that every woman should have done it at least once in her life.

It reminds me of the tarot card where a woman is an intermediary through which a man receives the divine from an angel. The woman in this role is the intermediary between the man and the Divine.

We must realize that this practice took place in prepatriarchal cultures where the division between unity/duality and sacred/earthly had not yet been made! It implies a fundamental inequality between men and women in susceptibility to the Higher and I wonder if this has prompted the repression of Feminine and feminine sexuality. It may explain why this very archetype has been so viciously twisted.

It may also explain why men have such a fascination or obsession with the sexual aspect of women. Is this indispensable for them as a key to their divine selves? However, the ‘prostitution’ temple has degenerated into a red light district: a rancid, shady place in society where a quick outlet is sought for a problem as old as humanity.

The priestesses of old were not prostitutes in the sense that they prostituted themselves to earn a living. They worked there on a voluntary basis and their livelihood was taken care of. In addition to being ‘sex workers’, they were also priestess and had a high social standing. A huge difference with the prostitutes from male-dominated cultures!Aphrodite

The common view about prostitution is that a woman shouldn’t have to do that and that her body is too precious to just give it to someone else. That’s definitely something a lot of women would agree with. That’s the ‘introverted’ side of female sexuality. Aphrodite’s tendency to seek out sexuality, often being promiscuous, extroverted and defiant, indicates that there must also be a more extroverted side.

It is an aspect of a certain expression of femininity to share her body with men. Etty Hillesum, a Jewish mystic who died in a concentration camp and kept a diary during WWII, at one point in the concentration camp had sex with several men to alleviate their suffering. She writes about this in her diary: “I broke my body like bread and divided it among the men.

” Sharing the body, or voluntary prostitution for my part, can be an act of compassion, provided a woman is very comfortable with herself and her sexuality and often does energy work consciously or unconsciously, just like the priestesses of that time. I must confess that it took me some effort to come to this conclusion. Sex work can be a voluntary choice. On the emphatic condition that the woman has control over the situation and makes a completely free autonomous choice that is nourished by her heart, mind and body. And that is absolutely not the case in regular prostitution.

can be an act of compassion, provided a woman is very comfortable with herself and her sexuality and where she often does energy work consciously or unconsciously, just like the priestesses of that time. I must confess that it took me some effort to come to this conclusion. Sex work can be a voluntary choice. On the emphatic condition that the woman has control over the situation and makes a completely free autonomous choice that is nourished by her heart, mind and body. And that is absolutely not the case in regular prostitution.

can be an act of compassion, provided a woman is very comfortable with herself and her sexuality and where she often does energy work consciously or unconsciously, just like the priestesses of that time. I must confess that it took me some effort to come to this conclusion. Sex work can be a voluntary choice. On the emphatic condition that the woman has control over the situation and makes a completely free autonomous choice that is nourished by her heart, mind and body.

And that is absolutely not the case in regular prostitution. I must confess that it took me some effort to come to this conclusion. Sex work can be a voluntary choice. On the emphatic condition that the woman is in control of the situation and makes a completely free autonomous choice that is nourished by her heart, mind and body. And that is absolutely not the case in regular prostitution.

I must confess that it took me some effort to come to this conclusion. Sex work can be a voluntary choice. On the emphatic condition that the woman has control over the situation and makes a completely free autonomous choice that is nourished by her heart, mind and body. And that is absolutely not the case in regular prostitution.

Sexuality as a way to express yourself

An Aphrodite woman uses her sexuality as a means of self-expression. Her sexual energy is something so essential to her that she cannot keep it ‘in’. An Aphrodite girl is often very young aware of “something” she doesn’t know about and hasn’t been told yet, but she just knows. She knows there is something very powerful ‘down there’. She is aware of her sexuality, sometimes to the dismay of adults, well before puberty.

She deals with it in a completely natural and unashamed way. Such girls often engage in self-gratification before they even know what an orgasm is. When they are (finally) educated, they may think amusedly: “Oh, so that was it!”. It’s not even about sex itself, or libido, but about the intertwining of the body, divinity and pleasure proper to humans in their natural paradisiacal state.

This is completely different from masturbating with adolescent boys, who are quickly aroused by the hormones. It’s actually something very pure, which you can hope her environment doesn’t break down by instilling shame as a standard of decency. Because then she loses her ability to be so comfortable with her body.

She can flirt way before puberty that it has a nature and then already enjoy the effect she has on men. During puberty, they can explore the limits of their own development by flirting more and more provocatively and dressing more and more sexy. Aphrodite women have an irrepressible urge to express themselves in a sexual way and intensely desire to be sexually desired.

Many pop artists tend to express themselves very sexually. That’s the typical Aphrodite influence (which, by the way, can also become very superficial, not to say vulgar). People who are less ‘Aphrodite-oriented’ may think ‘Is that really necessary?’ To an Aphrodite woman, her sexuality is something so natural, blessed, and completely self-evident that she must express it.

Aphrodite in relationships

Aphrodite prompts a woman to strive for intensity in a relationship rather than permanence. She often doesn’t really think about the nature, duration or content of a relationship, she gets carried away by the attraction and the dynamics that arise. Which doesn’t mean her lovers don’t have a lasting effect on her, she is shaped as a person by the relationships she has.

She realizes that and a balanced Aphrodite woman is one of the few women who can end a relationship with a good feeling and gratitude. Many other women remain sad about what has passed, or turn their ex into a big bogeyman in their minds, but an Aphrodite woman can let go of a man in gratitude for what has been. It was temporary, but it was good. That’s how she gets to know herself.

Not so much in the long-term relationship, but in the way the dynamics unfold with each, individual man. If she follows her archetype very purely, she will have short, intense affairs at short intervals. And in a society where lifelongmonogamy is the norm, it is not always appreciated.

If a woman is very strongly controlled by Aphrodite, she will find it difficult to be monogamous and entering into a long-term relationship is something she will have to learn, in order to experience the other side of intimacy as well.

While an Aphrodite woman can absolutely take the intoxication of infatuation and sex like a drug and be self-destructive in doing so, the Aphrodite archetype endows a woman with the art of “being lovers for one night”: once or a few times altogether. to be absorbed in the interaction, to enter into the sincere exchange with each other and then to let go of each other without shame, attachment or guilt. And that is quite different from a one night stand . 

The Dark Sides/The Repression

The dark side of the Aphrodite archetype is complex and multifaceted. On the one hand, the Aphrodite archetype is a ‘fierce’ archetype that demands a lot from both men and women to manage it properly.

On the other hand, the exploitation, repression and demonization of Aphrodite in the psyche of men and women and the restrictions still placed on women to keep Aphrodite and female sexuality under control is downright criminal. You could write a book about the shadow aspects of the Aphrodite archetype, but I will limit myself to the most striking aspects.

Disruptive

An Aphrodite woman is primarily an instinctive woman. She senses an impulse and responds to it. Because she acts without thinking, she can get into a lot of trouble. She can wreak havoc in a group dynamic without realizing it. An Aphrodite woman lives for attention, but it is precisely this urge for attention and the ease with which she gets it that makes her ‘link’ in dealing with both men and women.

Put one attractive woman in between a group of men and they fly each other to the throat. Put one attractive woman in a group of women and you have a bitchfight. An Aphrodite woman with diva tendencies who depends on the attention of others for her self-affirmation and who is addicted to her own eroticism can be a serious problem in a group, as she turns the men against each other and the women against each other.

plays out. Everyone is so to speak for each other’s life and vying for attention, while the attention ultimately goes to her. It is not for nothing that the Aphrodite archetype has been so banned in patriarchal cultures, because an Aphrodite woman has an incredibly strong effect on people, both positively and negatively.

Her ability to completely disrupt individuals and groups is phenomenal and she was and is considered a ‘dangerous woman’ for a reason.

Playing Sexual Games

While it is the essence of an Aphrodite woman to engage in casual sexual contact, she is not impervious to distortion in it. If she doesn’t have a solid self-image, her sense of appreciation can get her hooked on proportion, running away once the magic of the crush has worn off. She can hop from crush to crush to fill an inner void.

If an Aphrodite woman is damaged in her sexuality, she may consciously play out her sexuality to exert control over men. She can direct herself to get into bed, after which she drops them. This can become a pattern in which she seeks superficial pleasure with men, but at the same time keeps a tight grip on herself.

Because she uses her ability to charm men, but doesn’t want to concern herself with the effect she has on them, she can leave a trail of hurt men, who in turn take their hurt feelings on women who have nothing to do with them at all. to deal with injuries.

Pornography and objectification

You can’t really talk about the perversion of the Aphrodite archetype if you don’t also look at the masculine side of things. In the 1970s, feminists waged a veritable crusade against porn and prostitution, in which women were used as ‘lust objects’. I see a deeper layer in that. The way unconscious men deal with the Aphrodite archetype is highly ambivalent to say the least.

They want the lusts of this archetype, but stubbornly refuse to undergo the transforming qualities of this goddess. Thus, on a very superficial level, they hang on to physical attraction, while refusing the spiritual connection to this archetype. By refusing the feminine essence for thousands of years, unconscious men were eventually no longer nourished by the divine essence they received through the Aphrodite archetype.

They lost contact with their inner feminine, which was no longer replenished by transforming sexuality. They started living excessively from their yang side. In their hunger for yin, they sexually used and abused women, alienating the women from their sacred sexuality and unable to feed the men, ultimately making sex a fleeting, physical pleasure.

By denying and suppressing the transformative power of female sexuality, these men have closed the door to their own wholeness and unleashed a negative spiral in which the inner Wound widened.

Guilt and Shame

Both women and men have come to be ashamed of and suppress their sexuality. It is no coincidence that we refer to the location of our genitals as the ‘sham area’! The ‘paradise’ state of Aphrodite’s lack of shame about her sexuality and physicality is an innate pattern of humanity and of women. Sexual innocence and open-mindedness and the space to safely explore and discover that is the birthright of women. 

Opportunities for growth

Growing beyond instinct

Everything about Aphrodite is instinctive and intense. And for that reason, awareness is the key to guiding this archetype in the right direction, both for the woman herself and for those who associate with her. There is essentially nothing wrong with an Aphrodite woman. It just makes great demands on our ability to be aware.

An Aphrodite woman will need to learn to understand and talk about her effect on other people, especially men. When she notices that a man is falling for her, she may try to seduce him and end up in the sheets—which is her instinctive reaction. She may also pause and wonder whether giving in to that impulse is desirable – the man may be married, he may want to use her for a night of fun, reputational damage (unfortunately a factor an Aphrodite woman still has to consider).

She can make it clear to him that she wants to enjoy the flirtation and leave it at that. Or if she finds herself triggering her ‘Aphrodite effect’, make it clear to the man in question that she has no sexual intentions, but that she enjoys intense human interaction. If it does come to an affair, she can make clear what her intention is: does she want a short-term relationship, does she have serious plans?

Aphrodite appeals to sexual feelings, but also on a deeper level to our fundamental divinity. The most irrational good qualities are attributed to beautiful women. Beautiful women are considered to be more reliable, intelligent or, on the contrary, dumber, nicer and more assertive than less beautiful women.

They have it easier in life than their sisters less blessed with physical beauty, their looksopen doors that remain closed to others. Why? Why does a beautiful woman evoke in us such strong feelings, both in men and in women, from lust, to desire, to jealousy, to anger, to suspicion, to inspiration and envy? How is it possible for a woman to have such an effect with a quality that is – let’s face it – no merit? Beauty is a favor, it belongs to a woman.

She can enjoy the gift of beauty in her prime but eventually loses it because beauty fades with age. Like a flower that shines for a moment in its beauty and then withers, Aphrodite teaches us the art of enjoying the moment without wanting to grab, capture or possess the beauty. We can enjoy it intensely in the knowledge that it is temporary,

A woman’s beauty reminds us of divine perfection and that’s why she has such a great influence on us. Men – who have become far removed from their divine core because they have cut the ties with their feelings and emotions – are completely disturbed by a beautiful woman, because they are reminded of what they have lost.

They think they are falling in love with the woman, but in fact they fall in love with their own divine perfection, which they no longer knew they possessed. A stunningly beautiful woman has the opposite effect on other women: they become jealous. A beautiful woman can bring out the very worst in other women. The divinity of women has been denied and suppressed for thousands of years.

Women were not seen as beings with spiritual potential. In the confrontation with the perfect beauty of a woman who is the incarnation of Aphrodite the goddess, many women appeal to the primal pain of not being fully human. They see in a beautiful woman the divinity that they think they lack in themselves (of course it is there, but they are no longer aware of it).

And that’s why they react so violently. A well-grounded woman who knows and accepts her divine potential will have much less trouble with this. At most she can think’ And that’s why they react so violently. A well-grounded woman who knows and accepts her divine potential will have much less trouble with this. At most she can think’ And that’s why they react so violently.

A well-grounded woman who knows and accepts her divine potential will have much less trouble with this. At most she can think’crap , that’s beautiful!’ but will not take her unconscious pain out on the woman in question.

Both an Aphrodite woman’s response and another’s response to her are essentially instinctive. Just as an Aphrodite woman only comes into her own when she’s in the spotlight, her presence as a spotlight highlights an issue within us. An Aphrodite woman mirrors. However, it does not show us our inner self, but the subconscious. She shows us how we really feel about ourselves, which is why people react so strongly to her. That’s the key to dealing with the Aphrodite archetype:

detaching the effect an Aphrodite woman evokes from our own reactionon her. And what effect she evokes, like everything about her, is completely subjective. Our response to her says nothing about the Aphrodite woman at all and much more about ourselves. And that, because it touches so deeply, can be very confronting and painful. And that’s why we prefer to say she’s a bad woman, rather than confronting our own ghosts.

Aphrodite and Erotic Innocence

sex-lust-loveThe pursuit of relationships is the “vulnerable” aspect of Aphrodite. Her ‘virgin’ aspect (a rather odd pun on an archetype so closely linked to sexuality!) is her ability to remain erotically with herself in those relationships. She frequently engages in sexual contacts, but, unlike the vulnerable goddess archetypes, which make a woman susceptible to feelings of guilt about sex, she is capable of harboring no shame or guilt at all. For an Aphrodite woman, as far as it is not about abuse, there is no morality whatsoever to sex. She follows purely instinct.

The combination of eroticism and innocence will raise the eyebrows of many. This is also the aspect that has been most distorted over the past thousands of years. A woman who has had many men is ‘dirty’. An Aphrodite woman may have many sexual relations, but if all goes well, she always stays close to herself. She enters into relationships and sexual contacts of her own free will and transforms them, growing as a person, but not alienating herself.

It is this aspect of Aphrodite that has been almost completely destroyed under the influence of the monotheistic religions. In fact, despite her contacts, an Aphrodite woman doesn’t get “stained” by sex because she refuses to feel ashamed. Despite the fact that she has had many men, she remains ‘virgin’ in a way, because she never lets herself be touched by patriarchal ideas about virginity and purity. In this way she sheds new light on what it means to be virgin/untouched. Saida Desilets defines virginity as follows:2

“….virgins are women who pretend nothing, who are spontaneous, who are whole and complete in themselves and who remove [all energetic pollution] from their bodies. From this point of view, all sensual women who consciously engage in sex can think of themselves as eternal virgins.”

(I can’t help but wonder, with a chuckle, what response this would elicit from the Vatican.)

If we summarize everything:

  • we enter into both emotional and sexual relationships in full consciousness and 100% voluntarily.
  • We are willing to accept the consequences and grow from them.
  • We take on the responsibility to remain energetically virgin, ie we do not carry any energy or issues from our contacts with other people to subsequent relationships.
  • As conscious female spiritual beings, we are willing to share our sexuality with conscious men in order to enrich and expand their consciousness.
  • We are willing to be an intermediary for our men without burdening them with our ego bits.

That is quite something. It was not until I learned the scope of the unblemished feminine consciousness that I came to understand the reasons men might have had for dealing with women in general and the Aphrodite consciousness in such a bitter and hateful way.

Dealing with shame and issues with sex

Women who have experienced transgressive sexual experiences will often have noticed that the greatest pain of such an event is not in the event itself, but in the shame that results from it. Women have so powerfully internalized the patriarchal injunction to be ashamed of your sexuality that they are no longer aware that this is learned behavior.

Because of the sexist idea that women ‘ask for it’, on top of such a trauma there is an undeserved charge that they would have to blame such an event on themselves. The event can be forgotten, but the self-condemnation remains. Sexual self-judgment eats away at your self-esteem like a poison. And it robs you of your innocence, your open-mindedness and your self-esteem.

Shame is the most dangerous of all negative emotions, because it makes you lose touch with the essence of Life. You turn away from Source of your own free will because you believe you are no longer worthy. Aphrodite stands for the opposite of shame: to examine your own innermost impulses without self-judgment.

Unfortunately, it often happens that attempts to give women back their sexual freedom and autonomy (which I welcome, of course) get stuck in superficial expression because we no longer know the deeper background of Aphrodite’s transformative sexuality and the principle of erotic virginity. Female sexual freedom has been hijacked by the ‘red suspender mafia’ if you know what I mean and I think that’s an impoverishment.

I get goosebumps when I hear a lady who sells sex toys say that ‘women need to find the horny slut in themselves’. That is exactly what Aphrodite is not about! Sexual freedom has become more or less synonymous with women appropriating the same detachment as men. The depth of Aphrodite has been lost. We have more sex than is good for us,

It doesn’t have to be super lofty. In that respect, the tantra movement sometimes goes to the other extreme. Just give in to an honest feeling, without shame, issues of guilt or hidden agendas without worrying about what happens in those chakras during the act. If only we could do that more often. That will surely make the world a lot nicer.

Help from other goddesses

An Aphrodite woman can learn from Artemis that you can also live a fulfilling life without a man, learn from Athena to be more thoughtful when it comes to men and to become more aware of things like pregnancy, contraception and the motivation to relationship, learning from Hestia that spiritual growth can also result from consciously forgoing relationships, learning from Demeter to be more conscious of the well-being of others and the consequences of your actions, learning from Hera to be faithful and permanence in a relationship and learn from Persephone that it brings a certain calm in your life to keep your ‘girl mode’ and not always be in full ‘vamp mode’.

The pre-patriarchal primordial essence

Aphrodite is the motif in a woman that allows her to indulge in the playful side of sex without guilt, shame or condemnation and makes it the motor of spiritual development. Actually, I think Aphrodite is the woman before the fall rather than after; sensuous, unashamed, spontaneous, not guided by a power motive and willing to follow her intuition uncompromisingly. 

The Patriarchal Wound

Many women still walk around with the idea that their sexuality is ‘dirty’, that they have to ‘hold in’ their sexuality or that they have an obligation in some way to please their men. Many women carry ancient wounds in their sexuality and the pelvic area and lower chakras. Some women have learned to use their sexuality to exert power over men or to string them along. In fact, for many people, sexuality has become one big cross-linking of pain points with which both sexes hold each other in a pinch. Fortunately, there is a lot going on right now to heal this. 

What would the goddess Aphrodite want to give you?

“Life is short, enjoy it. Your senses are a divine gift, use them to deepen your human experience. Enjoy your beauty and your sexuality. They are fleeting, but are a unique gift to humanity. They are a brief glimpse of the divine in earthly reality. If everything is essentially divine, then nothing is ever superficial. Surrender yourself, ecstasy is every woman’s gift. Enjoy life, for joy is the state of the divine.”

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