I went to a beautiful workshop last Wednesday night which worked with the energy of the Greek Goddess Aphrodite. Aphrodite is the Goddess of love of all kinds as well as, therefore, sensuality and sex. As I result I found that most of the images that I encountered when I googled 'Aphrodite' for this blog, were very sexualised, modern representations. Now, don't misunderstand me. I know that a key part of many of the strands of Paganism is a far more honest and sensual understanding of sexuality than can be found in Christianity. But that's just it - in Paganism, sexuality is a vital part of life, it is part of woman's strength and it is in fact sacred. Priestesses of Aphrodite, for example, performed sacred sexual rites at her temples.
But modern sexuality lends something different to the idea of a Goddess of Love. She is depicted as an objectified, passive figure, trussed up for the male gaze in stilettos and eensy-weensy bikinis. Sexuality is not hers. She is the object of the sexuality of others. And this is the difficulty I have in coming to terms with the often forthright aspects of sexuality and sensuality within the Pagan spiritual realm. For so long I have been inculcated with the modern view of sex, that I tend to shy away from honest representations of it. So much has been lost or at least distorted in our patriarchical society. So much needs to be re-learnt.