Notes:  This ritual was held by 4 people, with one other participating.  Because of this there were 3 officiates along with Matt, an officiate’s partner, who was kind enough to drum for us right before and throughout the procession as well as lighting the hearth fire in the fire place/hearth for us.  Despite this, I feel the ritual should be easily changed to fit anything from one to many participants and officiates. 

 

It is also our first large ritual as a group, so we found a few things we may change next time we do a large ritual.

 

Also, a few things we had as part of the festival which may not be obvious from the ritual script are:

1) Aphrodite Morpho.  We wanted to focus on an aspect of Aphrodite for our Aphrodisia and decided on focusing on her beauty aspect.  The epithets chosen in her ritual are related to the in some way.  Feel free to choose any other aspect(s) of Aphrodite to honor in your ritual/festival.  Just because we only have the most detail from the Athenian Aphrodisia held in the Summer, doesn’t mean that you can’t hold it at other times of the year or with themes other than how the Athenians worshiped Her.  For example, we chose 02/10/06 because that was the same day as Hellenion’s Aphrodite libation.  So, we did the libation ritual in the early afternoon, all had lunch together, and then all gathered for the Aphrodisia ritual in the evening.  We found it filled out the day nicely.  So, remember, an Aphrodisia is simply a festival and ritual to honor Aphrodite.  Find what days are best for you!

2) Ribbons.  People were encouraged to bring ribbons for Aphrodite and during the appropriate time of the ritual (the ritual adornment of the statue), each person would approach the altar and tie the ribbon to Her with a request in mind and/or a personal offering of a poem, song, etc.  We also provided ribbons for anyone who needed one.

3) At the end of the ritual, we had a feast of foodstuffs that were pink, red or evoked feelings of Love/Aphrodisiacs.  For example, we had red Italian meats (salami, pepperoni, etc), pasta with red sauce (we used pasta shells as an Aphrodite nod), chocolate fondue with strawberries, pink cupcakes, etc.

4) During the feast we set up a theoxenia altar for Aphrodite by the feast table and fixed a plate of all of the food for her so that we may feast along with Her.  This was offered to the earth outside later in the evening once the festivities were over.

5) After the feast, we invited people to share some solitary time with Aphrodite and make any private offerings to her.  We did this by designating a room in the house as an Aphrodite shrine where we set up a small altar to Aphrodite and had some incense burning.  You could do also this by designating a small area in the room where you are holding the ritual or outside, if you’d like.  Be creative!  At the door of the shrine were seashells and we asked that the participants offer a seashell to the altar with their requests from or praise of Aphrodite in mind.  We did this because we wanted to make sure to practice kharis and offer something when we asked for something.   We do not live near an ocean, but one of the officiates was going on a cruise within a week or two of the ritual and offered to give the seashells to the ocean for Aphrodite.  If you do live near the ocean, feel free to give those seashell offerings to the ocean on your own.

 

Feel free to email me with any questions or comments: radiantbaby@sehellenes.org

 

 

Aphrodisia 2007: Aphrodisia for Aphrodite Morpho

 

Sponsored by the Artemis Mounykhia Proto-demos and Eranos

 

Held on 02/10/07

 

 

The ritual begins downstairs in the darkened room with a drumming meditation presented by Matt.

 

After the meditation, a procession is formed lead by the drumming upstairs to the ritual space.  At this time, the person at the head of the procession will take the Aphrodite statue from the unadorned shrine in the darkened room and place her on the altar in the ritual space.

 

Once everyone has gathered at the ritual space the announcement is made:

 

Officiate 1:  “Koimeson stoma!"

Officiate 2:  “Silence your lips!”

Officiate 1:  “Hekas o hekas este bebeloi!”

Officiate 2:  “Let the profane ones depart!”

 

Purification

 

Two volunteers and/or Officiate 2, Officiate 1 and Officiate 3:
Using a bowl and pitcher of purified water, take this to each participant and pour the water over his or her hands.

Accompany this action with the words: “Be Purified”

Another follows with a cloth to dry everyone’s hands.

 

The sprinkling of the same water also purifies the altar, offerings and fire area.

Small amount of barley will be tossed on the altar.

 

Matt lights the fire in the hearth

 

Libation to Hestia

 

Officiate 3:

“Hestia, in the lofty homes of all immortal gods

and humans who walk the ground,

you won the eternal seat, the most ancient honor

with great rewards and respect.  Mortals have no

feasts without you – they being by pouring

honey-sweet wine first and last to Hestia.”

(from Homeric Hymn 29:  Hymn to Hestia and Hermes)

 

Herbed Oil is poured for Hestia

 

Hymnodia

 

Officiate 2:

“Ornate-throned immortal Aphrodite, wile-weaving daughter of Zeus, I

entreat you: do not overpower my heart, mistress, with ache and anguish,

but come here, if ever in the past you heard my voice from afar and

acquiesced and came, leaving your father's golden house, with chariot

yoked: beautiful swift sparrows whirring fast-beating wings brought you

above the dark earth down from heaven through the mid-air, and soon they

arrived: and you, blessed one, with a smile on your immortal face asked

what was the matter with me this time and why I was calling this time

and what in my maddened heart I most wished to happen for myself: 'Whom

am I to persuade this time to lead you back to her love? Who wrongs you,

Sappho? If she runs away, soon she shall pursue; if she does not accept

gifts, why, she shall give them instead; and if she does not love, soon

she shall love even against her will.' Come to me now again and deliver

me from oppressive anxieties; fulfill all that my heart longs to fulfill,

and you yourself be my fellow-fighter.”

Sappho's Hymn to Aphrodite

 

 

Litany to Aphrodite

 

Officiate 1:
To honor Love and Beauty, we gather in your name, Aphrodite.  

Aphrodite Morpho! Shapely Aphrodite,
most beautiful of the Goddesses.
Aphrodite Morpho,
 
All:  we praise you! We honor you!
 
Officiate 1:  Aphrodite Kuprogenes! Aphrodite of Cyprus,
yours is that fair isle -- Cyprian you are called.
Aphrodite Kuprogenes,
 
All:  we praise you! We honor you!
 
Officiate 1:  Aphrodite Haligenes! Sea-Born Aphrodite,
who arose from foam upon the waves.
Aphrodite Haligenes,
 
All:  we praise you! We honor you!
 
Officiate 1:  Aphrodite Euploia! Fair-Sailing Aphrodite,
friend and guardian of sailors and seafarers.
Aphrodite Euploia,
 
All:  we praise you! We honor you!
 
Officiate 1:  Khruse Aphrodite! Golden Aphrodite,
fairer by far than all the treasures of the earth.
Khruse Aphrodite,
 
All:  we praise you! We honor you!
 
Officiate 1:  Aphrodite Philommeides! Laughter-Loving Aphrodite,
bringer of joy, mirth, and all sweet pleasures.
Aphrodite Philommeides,
 
All:  we praise you! We honor you!
 
Officiate 1:  Aphrodite Areia! Aphrodite of Ares,
beloved of the war-god, you share his nature, hold his might.
Aphrodite Areia,
 
All:  we praise you! We honor you!
 
Officiate 1:  Aphrodite Hetaira! Aphrodite of Courtesans,
all loves and passions are within your realm.
Aphrodite Hetaira,
 
All:  we praise you! We honor you!
 
Officiate 1:  Aphrodite Eleemon! Merciful Aphrodite,
with kindness you look upon us.
Aphrodite Eleemon,
 
All:  we praise you! We honor you!
 
Officiate 1:  Aphrodite Ourania! Heavenly Aphrodite,
as you were called of old, in distant lands.
Aphrodite Ourania,
 
All:  we praise you! We honor you!
 
Officiate 1:  Aphrodite Pandemos! Aphrodite of All People,
all of us whom you bind together in love.
Aphrodite Pandemos,
 
All:  we praise you! We honor you!


Officiate 1:  We call you by your many names and honor you as you honor us with your gifts.

 

 

Thanks for Aphrodite

 

Officiate 3:

Beloved Aphrodite,
dearest goddess, most worthy of praise,
I thank you for your blessings.
For love and for passion,
for loss and for longing,
for desire and for fulfillment,
for these I thank you,
for these I adore you,
for these I honor you.

 

Ritual Adornment of the Statue

 

Each participant is asked to approach the altar to tie or place a ribbon on the statue of Aphrodite.  Each is requested to tie this purposefully with a prayer or verbal offering (hymn, song, poetry, etc.).

 

 

Sacrifice

 

An offering of Apples, Roses and Myrrh is then thrown on the ritual fire.

 

Officiate 1:

“Aphrodite, kind one, fair one,

companion in joy, comfort in despair,

if ever I have praised you,

if ever I have honored you,

if ever I have poured libations

or lauded you with hymns,

bless me now.”

 

After the offerings are made, participants may make requests of Aphrodite for the upcoming year.

 

 

Libations to Aphrodite

 

A ritual drink is blessed for Aphrodite with the following prayer:

 

Officiate 2:  “Come, Cypris, pouring gracefully into golden cups nectar that is mingled with our festivities.”   (while Officiate 3 pours drink into vessel)  Some of the drink is given to the libation bowl for Aphrodite herself.

 

The cup is then passed among the participants.  The phrase “Aphrodite’s Blessings” is spoken as the cup is passed.

Officiate 3:

A Sailor Dancing

... a prayer to Aphrodite

Oh, my dear goddess, I love the way this sailor moves
lightly upon the earth, as if he were dancing
to the deep and silent rhythm of the seas.
I love the way this sailor looks up, takes in the sky,
always feeling, knowing
which way blows the wind and where clouds gather.

And I greatly love the way you, my Lady, have gathered
us closer to each other. We were moving
on separate courses, both of us not even knowing
we were rapidly converging. Now, we are dancing,
Officiate 1eath the lucent sky,
Eros stately sarabande amidst these rising seas.

I love the way this sailor's eyes can see
the pattern in our lives as we each have slowly gathered
sage Poseidon's deep sea treasures. Under far-off skies
your great Powers took us where you willed, and now move
us inexorably together. You brings us laughing, dancing
to each other. And only you know

where you lead us now. It is not for us to know
what the portents tell of vast, unfolding seas,
surprising in their glory. We are simply dancing -
turning on the water lightly as we gather
sweet momentum, as the winds move
us on the ocean from which Aphrodite rose into the sky.

You know! Oh, my Lady, first light in the darkening sky,
yours is the star I wish upon. Watch you over us, knowing
as you must, the perils of the course we move
upon. I pray you, guide us steady on our way when seas
grow wild. Help us gently gather
your sweet wisdom - deep, profound, yet blithely dancing.

Oh, my Lady, I adore this sailor, love to feel him dancing
with me, love the taste of salt upon him. Under an electric sky
in him the god is rising. It's too late for us to gather
the tender rose of May - what we have is deeper, older, knowing
sorrow, knowing pain, rising up to love once more - and in this sea
we are not lost. Over these waters, spirit guides and moves.

Lady, as through us your spirit moves, I adore my sailor dancing.
Thank you for bringing us to this tender touching over sea and under sky.
Though we are only partly knowing, still joy and love we gather.

Copyright © 2001 by Jessica Macbeth.

Closing libation to Hestia

Another offering is poured to Hestia and the following words are spoken:

Officiate 3:  As long as hearth fires burn, the blessing of Hestia is upon us.  Praise Hestia!”

 

Eat Drink and Be Merry! 
(Participants are invited to bring food that is either pink, red or evokes feelings of Love)