Heavenly Aphrodite

In the Philosophical History, Damascius describes his experience of seeing a magnificent statue of Aphrodite:

Upon seeing it, I fell into a sweat through the influence of divine terror and astonishment and my soul was filled with such joy that I was quite unable to go back home. I went away several times only to return to that sight again. The sculptor has blended into it so much beauty—nothing sweet or sensual, but something dignified and virile: clad in armour and as if just returning from a victory, with an expression of joy.


§63, trans. P. Athanassiadi

Simply reading this description fills me with a holy joy, though I’m sure it’s nothing even close to what Damascius experienced on seeing the actual statue. So I share the quote both in the spirit of passing along that joy, and also to ask:

Can anyone point me to a modern devotional image (whether a statue, a print of a painting, etc.), or a reproduction of an older one, that’s composed in the spirit of the image Damascius describes here? Thanks in advance!

Hail heavenly, shining Aphrodite!

Give Water to the Gods

Awkward confession time.

For years, I’ve heard other polytheists encouraging people to offer simple libations of water to the Gods. For whatever reasons—and even after searching my memory, I’m not entirely sure what those reasons were—I always ignored that advice, and even looked down on this practice. Whether it’s because those water offerings were sometimes framed as second-best (“if you can’t give anything else, at least give water”), or because of some other hang-ups on my part, I just didn’t do it. For years, I’ve burned candles at their shrines daily, offered incense regularly, and poured occasional libations of wine or other beverages. But until recently, never water.

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