Aphrodite is an ancient Greek Goddess of the Sea who arose from white foam, the waves first taking her to Kythera and then bringing her to Cyprus. The maiden, named Aphrodite, went to the assembly of Gods from Cyprus. The Romans widely referred to her as Venus. Aphrodite was followed and worshipped by many across the isles and mainly in Pafos, This is evident from the Sanctuary of Aphrodite in Old Pafos, Kouklia. A local myth is that any person who swims around the Aphrodite Rock will be blessed with eternal beauty.
I sit with my thoughts of fear and anticipation, as I look outside the window, the autumn leaves are being blown about by the blustery winds. I am reminded that as the season change and the once budding leaves, are now discarded to the wind. That I too should allow the flow of life to take me without resisting and clinging, and blow me to wherever I am taken. As these thoughts linger in my mind. I hear a whisper in my ear and I feel a breath upon my neck. I look around bewildered as I know I am alone in this room, and indeed the house. I hear it again this time more clearly;
‘Come to the Sea.’
I feel this sudden yearning to visit the sea, and I know that I will be somehow taken there. So I allow this thought to settle and I prepare to visit my Astrology teacher. I enter his quaint house, filled with books and crystals. The comfort of his warm hospitality soothes my anxious mind and I feel at ease in this moment, with letting go of all that no longer serves my purpose. His words help to soothe that inner child looking for safety and stability in the time of huge growth and the unknown.
We are engrossed in a conversation and he suddenly stands up and brings in a rock from his garden and hands it to me.
‘This is from Aphrodite’s temple in Paphos’, he states.
I am slightly surprised and bemused as we had not been talking about Aphrodite, and he turns to explain that he just had this feeling and acted on it. My hand feels the energy from the rock as the impulses pulsate through my DNA and awaken cells of remembering. We both marvel at the rock and the exuberant energy that has just entered our consciousness. As I leave his home the energy of the rock still flowing through me, I know somethings magical is on the horizon. I know that I am visiting the sea tomorrow, she may much to say.
The next day we drive through the countryside of copious trees, glistening warm autumn hues and the cascading hills. As we approach the sea my heart races faster at the prospect of the interlude. When we reach the bay the tide is out, the sea bed is exposed and has become the beach for us to enter the sacred space. Stepping onto the beach the energy I feel is that I am entering holy land. Sea weed, rocks and pebbles, shells and fossils cover the sanded beach as we walk towards the sea.
The sea breeze carries Her voice to me as I approach Her domain.
‘You are here my Priestess, my Daughter, you listened to your inner heart where I reside, come closer.’
I step towards the light blue sea stretching before me vast and potent, the waves rolling in and I felt my heart yearning to lose myself in the water and I had to stop myself from immersing in the water. It took all my will power not to step into the sea and allow the cool waters to just swallow me up as I was.
‘Do not be alarmed my daughter, the water inside you wants to merge with the sea around you, can you feel the yearning inside of this merger?’
I nod with tears flowing
Then I hear on the breeze an ancient language, my body remembers yet my mind cannot fathom. I hear Her raise Her voice and suddenly the breeze stills, there is no time. There is only me stood before the sea and She appears from the water itself.
Her form glistening as She steps onto the sand and stands before me. Her beauty reaches me before Her form, as if Her aura is extended beyond Her, transcending. Her hair is glowing gold and her gown of deep red. She moves closers and cups my face in Her hands, Her eyes deep blue as deep as the oceans she commands.
‘My daughter why are you in such turmoil? I Aphrodite have come, it was your heart that called me.’
With Her words I fall to the beach on my knees, as I feel my hearts deep pain and longing.
She too kneels beside me on the beach and holds me tenderly as I weep in Her arms
‘Mother I am tired and afraid, I know that change must come, as I have had so many realisations that what I am holding on to no longer serves me. Yet what do I have if I let go? I’m afraid to desire for I am afraid of disappointment, that loss of hope.’
She soothed my hair and speaks gently;
‘I know my daughter, you are at the edge of the water afraid to immerse yourself because if you do, you may drown. But let me ask you when you were watching those leaves fall off the trees and were swept away by the wind. Were they afraid of being destroyed?’
I shook my head with this realisation
‘You see My daughter, so many misunderstand Me too, they think of Aphrodite as the ever beautiful maiden or lover in this form. Yet do they ever see the beauty in this form of me?’
As She states these words, Her form changes. Her hair from golden becomes silvery grey strands, Her smooth skin becomes wrinkled and Her robe become dark blue like the depth of the sea. Yet Her eyes stay the same, full of depth and mystery, deep blue.
I look at Her in shock and amazement.
‘Am I still not beautiful? The world would think not, because they only view beauty as the form but what do you see? As the budding leaves on the tree become golden and as they fall onto the ground and decay, are they less beautiful? As the trees become barren in winter and stand naked in their majesty, are they less beautiful? When the leaf buds in all its glory, does it know where the next step will take it? As it lets go in the wind and allows it to carry it to its death does it know this? The sea moves the tides turning, does it move with knowing how it will be shaped in the next moment? The wind shapes the water and determines whether it will be smooth or wild, the Moon determines the tides. So too you are being called to allow yourself to be guided and to flow with existence, allowing the elements to carry you on wings to the open skies. You will not know where you will be taken, you will not have a map. The journey will not always seem as beautiful or comfortable. But what is beauty and what is comfort? They are in the eye of the beholder, you will see what you choose to see. So let Me ask you my daughter, are you ready to Die?’
With these words, She stood up and walked into the sea before me.
I stood up and watched Her as She immersed herself and disappeared. I started to chant in an ancient language that my mouth was speaking, yet my mind could not comprehend. I raised my arms and continued to chant, the skies above me began to stir and the sea before me moving closer. As I raised my arms the sea was moving closer to me, I was drawing in the sea.
As I stood in the sea, immersed in the water I was no longer afraid to drown. Thy will be done.
Written with Love to you All Dear ones – Mumtaz ❤
© Mumtaz 2015 ❤
Images: Goddess in Blue Robes found on flickr.com. Goddess in Red Robe by Jimmy Lawlor