Aphrodite Rules

New Age Goddess sculpture in beadsGoddesses In Every Woman is a really interesting read, blending feminist philosophy with Jungian psych & mythology to essentially help women figure out which archetypes are strong within them. I was really only interested in the Aphrodite (aka Venus, Ishtar, Inanna etc) chapter but made myself read the rest & was SO shocked at the section on Vesta that i really don’t know if i can bring myself to blog about the asteroid again.

It was the bit about how Vestal Virgins in Ancient Rome were punished if they ‘strayed’ – seriously awful stuff – there is a bit here.

I mean, really, is the asteroid that important?

Image: Aphrodite – Sacred Earth Designs

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Piscespeach
Piscespeach
September 5, 2011 10:18 pm

Hi Mystic, I love your site and read it often. The history of the Vestal priestesses has been corrupted by historians who ignore the pre-patriarchy history. Vesta was a Titaness. Her priestesses had a very different role when the Great Mother religion still reigned supreme over the Olympian pantheon. Her priestesses were sacred hierodiles. The children they bore became the annual Kings who served the Great Goddess. It gave the women who served in her temple an enormous amount of political power and status. Patriarchal priesthoods who took over under the change of guard needed to usurp the power and… Read more »

Netty
Netty
March 24, 2010 4:48 am

What colours would look best on an aqua sun, scorp rise with moon libra?

william
william
January 6, 2010 11:27 am

this has to do with what?
what? huh?

whatever
whatever
January 6, 2010 12:27 pm
Reply to  william

it has to do with embracing the sacred feminine and you know it – it has to do with using the muses as metaphorical mentors in our mundane daily lives in order to lift our spirits and make us feel a bit less ordinary – which one do you feel most resonates with you? Maybe we could start looking at the centaurs and the masculine archetypes – I’ve recently discovered regulus the star of kings and some other crazy arabic stuff. I’d love to know which hypothetical archetype you would choose william – you’re good with words and a bit… Read more »

Pegasus
Pegasus
January 7, 2010 9:57 am
Reply to  william

Better than being in The Dead Zone, William, methinks you need an outdoor holiday 🙂

matthew-minerva
matthew-minerva
January 6, 2010 8:54 am

OHHH i just read the punishments – thats terrible! but i can see why they’re would be a high level of interest in enrolment – its like some exclusive private school!
The heart is a strong symbol even in today’s society – i mean the anzac fire burns in the heart of melbourne…

whatever
whatever
January 6, 2010 12:51 pm

OH that’s a really touching thing to say matt – the fire still burns tho sometimes I think the trench comraderie of their ANZAC spirits has dissipated due to the passing of time and migration – that’s such a lovely thing you’ve said tho. Very saggitarian. Very in honour of the ancestors. Warms the cockles. I have such a powerful connection with those men in the old wars who went away to fight – not in terms of glorifying war but just in terms of the fact they thought what they were doing was right and they were willing to… Read more »

FireTrine
FireTrine
January 7, 2010 1:10 am
Reply to  whatever

My grandfather was an army man from Latvia and fought in some early wars – I am sure it was with the White Tights to whom he referred when he said very sadly that women and war do not mix well. He never mentioned in detail what happened to women who were caught by the enemy, but I get the impression reality can get in the way of a good story being a life affirming myth of strength…

whatever
whatever
January 7, 2010 1:59 pm
Reply to  FireTrine

yeah I totally agree with you there Firetrine – just as the french revolution wasn’t necessarily so much fun for the peasants after the dust settled – it’s the importance of knowing there’s feisty women out there is what I was getting at – knowing as a gender we don’t have to be powerless victims. The women on the side of the enemy never fare well at the hands of the victors – is it better to live on your knees or die on your feet? Or whatever it was the old man in the brothel said to Nately in… Read more »

spirit
spirit
January 6, 2010 1:50 am

Question authority.

scorpiontailedtongue
scorpiontailedtongue
January 6, 2010 5:25 am
Reply to  spirit

yes, often and always!

unpredictable pisces
unpredictable pisces
January 6, 2010 8:29 am
Reply to  spirit

soooooooooo true they put themselves there out of need for control/power over others/greed and then make the rules to suit them and theirs and that’s it

SPMALR
SPMALR
January 6, 2010 12:29 am

There are some similarities with the Kumari Devi of Nepal, particularly in how they are selected pre puberty, treated as a goddess for a period of time, carried around by palanquin so feet don’t touch the ground, and able to marry after service. It is also viewed as auspicious to marry a former Kumari. Not sure if they have greater rights than other Nepalese women though, or if there are punishments for transgressions.

unpredictable pisces
unpredictable pisces
January 5, 2010 11:55 pm

interesting…i honestly can’t add much about the vestals except to say yep those blokes sure know how to keep a good girl down. We need no to create more stories, or make more popular, the existing stories about women’s freedom and fighting for independence. There are numerous tales about men, individuals who fought against the odds and the status quo to be free or to follow their destiny. But until you replace “he” with “she”, I think it can be difficult to relate as a woman to these tales. I read a similar(?) book (The goddess in you / women… Read more »

unpredictable pisces
unpredictable pisces
January 6, 2010 12:06 am

“need now” not “need no”..

FireTrine
FireTrine
January 6, 2010 12:11 am
Reply to  Mystic

What a glorious pic.

whatever
whatever
January 6, 2010 12:19 pm
Reply to  Mystic

I’m all for keeping the sacred flame of whatever alive but I’m a libran and I require sumptuous surroundings.

FireTrine
FireTrine
January 6, 2010 4:58 pm
Reply to  whatever

Lol, I can do a lifetime appreciating the Goddess and being a channel for purity – as long as there is a great spa, delicious togas and poetic nights in that garden underneath the full moon?!

whatever
whatever
January 5, 2010 10:50 pm

there’s a picture of the vestal painted or maybe drawn in pastel by a woman named angelica kauffman on that vestal link – It’s nice that she’s there – she was one of the few women who gained success as an artist in the late 17-1800’s I think she was accepted into the academie and was one who shone the light for the women around her and to follow in terms of accessing a male dominated domain, being accepted into it and finding success.

whatever
whatever
January 5, 2010 10:52 pm
Reply to  whatever

well that’s a relief my recent feminist art studies have been for a reason LOL

MusicalLibran
MusicalLibran
January 5, 2010 10:49 pm

One of my favourite poems: Advice to Young Ladies, by AD Hope. Advice to Young Ladies A.U.C. 334: about this date, For a sexual misdemeanour which she denied, The vestal virgin Postumia was tried; Livy records it among affairs of state. They let her off: it seems she was perfectly pure; The charge arose because some thought her talk Too witty for a young girl, her eyes, her walk Too lively, her clothes too smart to be demure. The Pontifex Maximus, summing up the case, Warned her in future to abstain from jokes, To wear less modish and more pious… Read more »

MusicalLibran
MusicalLibran
January 5, 2010 11:36 pm
Reply to  Mystic

Even more stunning when you know that Alec Derwent Hope was an old man when he wrote that. A much loved academic at the ANU, he wrote this in 1965. Lots of his poetry is about male erotic desire for women, and is considered anti-feminist – but he can’t not have been a feminist to have written this.

MusicalLibran
MusicalLibran
January 5, 2010 11:54 pm
Reply to  MusicalLibran

And if anyone wants a great poem about jealousy and loss..also by AD Hope. http://www.lyrikline.org/index.php?id=162&L=2&author=ah00&show=Poems&poemId=1252&cHash=2d68c79541 Meditation on a Bone A piece of bone, found at Trondhjem in 1901, with the following runic inscription (about AD 1050) cut on it: I loved her as a maiden; I will not trouble Erlend’s detestable wife; better she should be a widow. Words scored upon a bone, Scratched in despair or rage – Nine hundred years have gone; Now, in another age, They burn with passion on A scholar’s tranquil page. The scholar takes his pen And turns the bone about, And writes those… Read more »

something fishy
something fishy
January 6, 2010 8:56 am
Reply to  MusicalLibran

Hope’s poetry is absolutely beautiful. What a genius the man was. Thank you for bringing him to us.

scorpiontailedtongue
scorpiontailedtongue
January 6, 2010 5:25 am
Reply to  MusicalLibran

wow is right. thank you!

ladycrab
ladycrab
January 5, 2010 10:30 pm

I love this actually, although half feel I shouldn’t, about women evoking/invoking/becoming different goddesses in their life: some kind of karmic responsibility, to manifest different signposts of reality. Not merely (!) the maiden/mother/crone, but multi-faceted, and the diversity across cultures!

Still the job is to become/manifest each god/dess one/you strongly associate with, and yet, to passively observe oneself in that role/job, as a role in a play which you love Because…

ladycrab
ladycrab
January 5, 2010 10:25 pm

re Vestals – smacks of ‘purity of the elements’ thing, where so-called ‘humanity’ is not even an issue where fire and water must be ultimately pure in the temple (?) as, in the temple, they must be pure to evoke the continuation of the elements in balance – if the fire or the water become impure, their power is diminished (and so too the power of whoever is in charge…?) purity of individuals must be realized in extreme, so that all possibilities of the combination of elements can be realized and ‘life’ manifest ‘ultimately’. The Vestals therefore become corner guards… Read more »

leonine librarian
leonine librarian
January 5, 2010 9:41 pm

Oh the shearing of hair + 30 years celibate and you haul water about and tend a fire..and yeah the punishments if the fire went out or somehow your chasity was questioned were truly horrible.

libra tiger
libra tiger
January 5, 2010 9:25 pm

That’s interesting. I haven’t read that book for years will have to re-read it.

I thought I read in Merlin Stone’s When God was a Woman about the Vestal Virgins being more like women who were sacred prostitutes.

Or did the term Vestal Virgins get adapted by the powers that be to suit their agenda. A bit like the virgin birth… Sex & Power & Religion all mixed up.

FireTrine
FireTrine
January 5, 2010 8:56 pm

Is it important? I am so curious now. I think the Vestals had it rough, but I heard getting pregnant by adultery had an imaginative end in ye olde China that I don’t know if you I should add here, it bothers me no end.

But I must say the Vestal’s demise remind me of another brilliant childhood book, by Ursula K. Le Guin from the Earthsea Cycle – The Tombs of Atuan. Eek, so freaked me out! The mix of magic and legend was so well related you could taste the dirt…

leonine librarian
leonine librarian
January 5, 2010 9:44 pm
Reply to  FireTrine

Do you know of a fantasy book where women of some land developed teeth in their vaginas to protect themself from rape? I was talking about it the other day to someone and could not remember what it was.

tati
tati
January 5, 2010 11:20 pm

There is a movie about that concept – the ‘vagina dentata’ – called “Teeth” – sadly not a particularly good movie although it certainly makes its point.

something fishy
something fishy
January 6, 2010 8:51 am
Reply to  tati

A very interesting and scholarly read is ‘The Monstrous Feminine’ by Barbara Creed (of Melbourne Uni). The vagina dentata is a psycho-analytic/ feminist male freak-out. Fascinating to analyse why men are so fearful of feminine power and energy.

FireTrine
FireTrine
January 6, 2010 9:59 am

No, but I want to read that!

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