Most people are familiar with the Goddess Aphrodite as the Goddess of Love and beauty. There are countless stories, movies, and songs that which she is the star. She has enchanted and captivated us for centuries. Even in modern times, there are many that still adore her and follow her and the path. In Aphrodite: Encountering the Goddess of Love & Beauty & Initiation, author Irisanya Moon tells us how she formed her relationship with this deity as well history and other information for anyone interested in learning more.
While the book is not long at 104 pages, the information packed into this small surprise is well written. The book starts out with some information on Aphrodite and how the author became a priestess following Aphrodite. The author clearly states that the book is written from her personal view and interactions with Aphrodite and encourages the reader how they too might form their own path working with the Goddess of Love. I truly loved reading her personal stories.
The book is broken down into nine chapters and covers everything from Aphrodite's birth/origins, stories and myths, Her presence in modern times, symbols, offerings and holidays, chants, altar ideas, developing a relationship with Her and more. The book is written in an easy to understand format. When the author is relating her personal stories, I felt like we were sitting together in a cozy coffee shop sharing stories.
One of the themes that I particularly liked was that Aphrodite is more than just a pretty face. I too was guilty of dismissing the deity as one that promotes beauty and vainness for only the outer layer looks. There is so much more to Aphrodite that the author admits at first she didn’t realize as well. One of the things that stuck out for me was the portion discussing the various theories on her creation and birth. The author mentions that she personally preferred the story of a Goddess who emerged from the sea. During a time of Chaos, her beauty and laughter was required. The timing of this book is also in sync with the current world. We are in a time of Chaos and could use some laughter and beauty today.
For those interested in the stories and myths of Aphrodite, you can find them in chapter 3. They are fascinating and offer a glimpse into Aphrodite and her personality. For those more interested in Aphrodite in modern times, the author covers that in chapter 4. The author explains there are various ways to interact with Aphrodite and most people tend to work with her because they have been called to her. While there are more detailed books on specific detailed scripts of ritual, the author focuses on telling of her personal practice and inspirations. She makes mention of a few known modern groups such as the Temple of Aphrodite out of California and the Church of Aphrodite (that was founded in 1938 by Gleb Botkin) for further explorations for the reader if they feel so called.
The book focuses on developing your own journey with Aphrodite but also provides some helpful ways to start with symbols, offerings and holidays. The author also provides a section devoted to her titles & Epithets as she is known by so many names for her various qualities. If the reader would like to work with her with chants, she has a wonderful section explaining how to create a chant for Aphrodite as well as songs for ritual. The book also provides some starting ideas for an altar space dedicated to Aphrodite. As previously mentioned she encourages the reader to make it their own creation but provides some helpful ideas to get started.
The author depicts Aphrodite as a complex deity and there is so much we can learn from and work with her on. One of the passages that particularly struck me was:
She shows up for those who call to Her – whether intentional or not.
She shows up in the moments of love and longing for love.
She shows up for those encountering questions of fertility
She shows up for those seeking to know pleasure and beauty.
She shows up in times of confusion and despair.
She shows up in times of initiation – wanted and not.
There are a few very powerful spells provided to know yourself as love and in love. As someone who has grown up with self-esteem issues, I was most interested in the ‘Knowing Self Love Spell’. The book offers a nice list of other areas for the reader to dive into that center on love and where they feel called to work on.
The final chapter is helping the reader in cultivating a relationship with Aphrodite. She covers everything from daily practices, making time and space, devotions and more.
I highly recommend this book for anyone curious about learning and working with Aphrodite and her lessons on love.
~review by Amber Barnes
Author: Irisanya Moon
Moon Books, 2020
pp. 104, $10.95