I have recently read the book: The Goddess Path by Patricia Monaghan. This is a book that was designed to help the reader to help nurture your own connection to the goddess and to share in her wisdom. Within each chapter that is dedicated to a specific goddess there is history about the goddess, myths involving the goddess, invocations for the goddess, ritual suggestions and questions to aid the reader with exploring their relationship with her.
There will be a few blog posts with my personal responses to some of the questions found in each chapter of this book. I urge you to follow along with me as we experience the Goddess within.
The sixth chapter is about Aphrodite and you can find the questions I will be answering in this post on pages 99 – 100 of the book.
The first time I felt love was the love of a friend, a sister. When I was a child around six years old I had a best friend named, Mandy. She lived in our neighborhood, across the street from my family home. We went to the same school, were in the same class and after school we would play in each other’s backyards. She was like a sister to me. When she was teased at school, it caused me pain. When the teacher flipped her desk upside down in class (because her desk was messy), it humiliated me. Mandy was my best friend, my sister. I loved her. Unfortunately, Mandy’s home life was chaotic and one day she had disappeared. Her Mother had taken Mandy and her siblings out of state leaving an abusive husband behind. I was devastated. My best friend was gone. Vanished in the night. For a young child it was difficult to understand.
Remember the first time you felt sexual desire. (This may nor may not be related to the occasion you remember in the previous question.) What did you do? What was the result?
The first time I felt sexual desire was not the same occasion I remember involving love. There was a boy in high school that I liked in a more sexual way. His name was Josh and he was a Senior when I was a Junior. I remember thinking he was physical attractive and that I wanted to kiss him. He eventually found out that I felt attraction toward him and he asked me to a school dance but it didn’t turn out to be anything more than that. He ended up dating a good friend of mine.
Remember the first time you had a sexual experience. (This may or may not be different than the earlier memories.) Was this a happy or unhappy occasion for you? Was there coercion or force involved? Hw did you feel during the experience? How did you feel after? How do you feel about it now?
I lost my virginity when I was around 19 or 20 years old. I was a Sophomore in college and was engaged to a young man named Paul. It was a happy occasion though we were both very nervous since neither of us had any previous sexual experience. There was no coercion or force – it was something both of us wanted though neither of us really knew how it was supposed to feel or what to think during or after the experience. I am fine with the whole experience. I have no regrets as I truly cared about Paul and believed that we would get married in the future though it didn’t happen.
Have you ever been forced or coerced into having a sexual relationship or experience? How did it make you feel then? How do you feel about it, and yourself, now?
I did have two unpleasant sexual experiences in my past. One was a guy who I really didn’t know and who tried to have sex with me while I was exhausted and falling asleep and another was during my previous marriage when my ex-husband did succeed in having sex with me while I was sleeping. I was awoken by the experience. I felt angry and betrayed by both experiences though the second one I had mixed feelings about because I was married to the man at the time. Now, I hold no regrets as I realize these experiences had purpose for me.
Have you ever fantasized about lovemaking? If you have, what was the experience like? Did you feel any shame? If you did, who suggested to you that your desires are shameful?
I have fantasized about lovemaking during different times of my life. I did not nor do not feel shame in the fantasies as I realize that they are just that. Many of then are not something I would actually do.
As a young person, were you encouraged to believe yourself attractive and worthy of love? If not, what other messages were given to you, and by whom? Do you still believe them now? If so, why? How can you step past them?
As a young person I always felt unattractive and unworthy of love. I realize that some of the messages were given to me by the media and reinforced by my Mother, and my paternal Grandmother. Some of the messages were given through direct words of criticism such as, “You would be so beautiful if you lost some weight”. Other messages were through self-deprecating comments that my Mother would make such as “You don’t want to turn out to look like me, do you?” and then there were bribes (for my own good), "I will pay you a dollar for every pound you loose." And some messages weren't words at all but were through actions. I do not believe these messages now though it took many years of working on my own self-confidence and self image (with the help of my current husband) to believe that not only am I beautiful just as I am but that I am also worthy of love.
What ways, other than sexual desire, does life’s force speak in you? What draws you deeply and passionately toward itself? How do you respond?
Life’s force speaks to me through music and words. The sound of musical instruments or the human voice draws me deeply and passionately toward itself. The same goes for the vibration of poetry especially when the words rhyme and hold rhythm.
How do you feel about other people’s sexuality? What makes you feel excited; what makes you feel frightened? What does this tell you about yourself?
I feel that everyone has freedom to express their individual sexuality in any way they deem fit as long as it doesn’t cause harm to others or is destructive towards others. Music excites me and also can cause me fear. Music is a living energy that can affect me in the same way as a sentient physical being can affect me. I believe that my reaction to music reinforces my belief about life in a greater sense – that we are all vibrating energy.