My altar to Aphrodite is in my bedroom on the table right next to my bed. I do most of my rituals to Aphrodite sitting on my bed, cross-legged, before the altar.
It's a very simple arrangement including a statuette with porcelain roses at her feet. When I do a ritual to Aphrodite I will add a candle and offering dish and maybe an item to be blessed by Her, such as a vial of massage oil before a romantic evening or a tub of mineral powder makeup before a date night or a picture of myself and my husband when things are, shall we say, not as fiery as I'd like them. The fact that my husband knows this, sees the altar every day and is at least marginally capable of taking a hint may have something to do with my success using this particular method to encourage passion in my love life, but I also give Aphrodite her due credit as well.
This altar has been more and less elaborate in the past but it had to be pared down when my littlest one arrived because the dresser she stood on became home to the dragon cage to make room for a crib and changing table and then the little one developed a fascination for all things shiny and breakable, especially if they those items that can be categorized as a choking hazard. So she had to be pared down further. The rest of her paraphernalia is in a shoebox in the credenza that holds the altar to Zeus and Hera in my living room and the engagement ring safely tucked away with my other jewelry.
My altars tend to grow as I collect interesting items and as things happen to me. For instance, when I was dating my husband, Aphrodite's altar was frequently cluttered with such things as love letters, goofy stuffed animals, (mostly monkeys as I studied primates in college), ticket stubs to shows we saw together, dried flowers and, of course, lots of photographs. These things I put on her altar to indicate that I owed the experiences associated with them to Her blessings. I also added any crystals or seashells I found that seemed like she'd like them. Though now those items go in her shoebox in hopes that she can spread out again in a few years. I also present Her with anything artistic I managed to create.
If you'd like to create your own altar to Aphrodite, I highly recommend it. Keeping Her visible helps to remind you to honor Her and to keep passion in your life. It also gives you a place to reflect on the path your passion has led you.
Here's what you'll need:
1. A focal point.
The focal point of my altar to Aphrodite is a statue of Aphrodite. (Actually, I think it's Venus, but why quibble.) I think I splurged and spent about $50 on this statue but you do not have to do that. The altar existed long before the statue. At one point, Aphrodite was represented on my altar by a button with the face of an elegant woman who looked vaguely Greek carved into it. A Salvation Army find. And before that, a bud vase with a dried up old rose that was the first I'd ever received. (It's since disintegrated.) A small, attractive vase, a candle, a picture of a beautiful woman, any of these can be used as the focal point of your Aphrodite altar. Feel free to make something using any craft you have. A sketch or painting can be set up in an attractive frame. A needlepoint item could also be used. A sculpture is intuitive but not the only way to go. You could even knit something.
2. An offering dish
My offering dish to Aphrodite used to be out all the time and it would gradually fill up with items that represented my love relationships as well as other little things. Now it stays put away and only comes out during ritual.
3. A candle
Lighting a candle helps define the start of the ritual and putting it out helps define the end. You may keep a candle on the altar at all times or take out a fresh one for each ritual.
Symbols of Aphrodite help define the feel of the altar. You may go as crazy with these as you like or keep them to a minimum. You know what your altar is for and so does She.
Gifts to Aphrodite can include anything you find beautiful, especially if it's associated with love, passion, the sea or your artistic pursuits. You can leave these gifts on Her altar for a specified length of time, say a lunar cycle, or just place them there during ritual.
6. An altar cloth
I have used in the past: a pillowcase from a retired set of satin sheets, a lace doily, a pretty shawl, the sort you wear of an evening over your strapless gown. You can use your creativity. An altar cloth is especially nice if your altar must necessarily share space with more mundane items to define which part is the altar and which part is not.
Symbols of Aphrodite
Plants: orchids, roses, many types of flowers
Scents: cinnamon, patchouli, orris root
Stones: pearl, diamond
Items: apple, quince, sea shells
Suitable Offerings to Aphrodite
A few drops of sensual massage oil or a romantic perfume.
Any and all flowers, especially those received from a lover or a portion of a bouquet purchased for a lover.
Gemstones and jewelry.
Works of art.
Poetry, in written form or read aloud, especially those relating to love.
Music, written or performed. The more passionate the better.
Seashells, especially those collected on a romantic barefoot walk with a love interest.
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Comments, questions, criticism?