Bringing you a new monthly installation: Goddess Columns by Gabriela Herstik in which she gives ways to connect to different Goddess’s and their messages through ritual and meditation.
Love begins and ends with Venus. If our love is the ocean, she is both the depths and the banks of the water. Like her Greek equivalent, Aphrodite, it is said Venus was born of sea foam after Saturn (god of agriculture) castrated his father Uranus (god of the sky), whose blood fell into the sea, giving birth to the goddess of love. Venus is the cosmic reflection we see when we stare in the mirror; she is love, and like her, our love is infinite. In Roman mythology, Venus is the goddess of love, sex, beauty, glamour. But unlike her Greek equivalent, Venus is also the goddess of victory and sex work. Both love and lust are her domain. When we feel the sweet salty waters of the ocean against our skin, when we feel held in our own beauty and grace, when we open our heart to pleasure and to receiving (regardless if it’s for pay or not,) we are entering the world of Venus.
By working with this archetype of the divine feminine, we can not only access our heart space and recognize our own needs, but we can also start to live from a place of deep love. We begin to see sex as a sacred energetic exchange. We can start to connect back to our own sources of desire and play. Venus medicine and consciousness is the dance of both giving and receiving love. It’s the act of lust in motion, of beauty and adornment as creative self-expression and devotion. Venus consciousness is self-adoration as ritual, pleasure as medicine, and love as religion.
Sacred Symbols and Offerings: How to Decorate an Altar
Working and honor a goddess is more than anything, a relationship. A really beautiful way to start this connection is to create an altar in dedication of a deity. If you’re inspired to begin working with Venus, an easy way to do this is to set up an altar of her favorite things, and also of things that help you connect to romance, love and beauty. Ask yourself what you can do regularly to foster your relationship with Venus. Some examples: You can buy a seven day jar candle and keep it on this altar and light it every day to connect with her. You can create a journal for her and write poetry and channeled messages in it. You can have rose water that you anoint yourself with every day. You can have a photo or statue on your altar of her that you talk with. You can have a piece of jewelry or talisman for Venus…the list is endless! Friday’s are ruled by the planet Venus, so they’re perfect for honoring the goddess in any regard, or for cleaning and cleansing your altar to her.
Flowers: Roses are a classic association with Venus, with Aphrodite’s being red roses specifically. White, pink, red and any fragrant rose may find a way onto your altar. Any flowers with a sweet scent that open your heart are welcome as well.
Elements: Shells, pearls, and ocean water are also wonderful ways to connect with the energy of the goddess and the sea from where she’s born. You can also leave out some water under the full moon to create moon water and have this placed on your altar as well (since the ocean tide is ruled by the moon!)
Crystals: Rose quartz, jade, pearls, and aquamarine are all associated with Venus.
Colors: Red, pink, silver, aqua, seafoam green, light blue, silver and gold (think “sunset at the beach.”) Any of these colors will work for candles as well, including white.
Scents: Vanilla, rose, sandalwood, apple- burn these incense when working with Venus.
Sacred associations to include: Snakes, doves, sparrows and swans were all sacred to Venus as were apples (especially golden apples). You can have statues or icons of these beings on her altar and include an apple as an offering as well.
Offerings to Venus: Wine, apples, rose water, honey, sweet cakes, sweets, roses, fruits
A Meditation to Meet the Blossoming and Unfurling of Your Heart
In this meditation, we’ll be exploring our heart space as a way for us to connect with Venus energy. You can do this before the following ritual as a way to connect back to center before working with Venus.
Take a comfortable seat, making sure that any electronics are on silent, your pets or roommates won’t disturb you and that you have at least 10 minutes to yourself. You can also do this meditation lying down, with crystals over your chakras (rose quartz over your heart and clear quartz on your third eye for example.) Once you find a comfortable position, start to connect with your breath. Breathe naturally, finding a steady rhythm and then imagine walking along the edge of the sea shore until you find a small garden. Notice everything you can; is the garden happy and taken care of? Is it wild? Are there multiple flowers, or just one? Then find your way to one flower; your heart flower. Unlike the others, this one hasn’t bloomed yet; she’s still furled up. You know that when you touch her she’ll start to bloom. Take your time and then start to caress her or water her soil or pet her petals. Slowly she starts to bloom. What does she look like? How do you feel? Continue to notice her unfurling and once she’s completely bloomed take a second to sit with her and thank her. This is your heart; what is she telling you she needs? Stay here as long as you like and when you’re finished, you can walk along the shore you came from and open your eyes. Make sure to write down any feelings that may have come up and keep tabs on what you need to nurture in your heart space.
A Ritual to Help Release Feelings of Grief and Rejection
In this ritual we will call on Venus to allow us to transmute heavier feelings, like that of grief and rejection, so we can find our way back to love as soon as we’re ready. You can adapt this ritual for any purpose, substituting in your own intention and words. This ritual is best done at the new, full or waning moon, especially on a Friday.
You’ll need: a pink chime candle, a rose without thorns, mugwort, rose petals, rosemary, Epsom salt (for the bath) any sacred herb like sage or palo santo.
Cleanse and Clear Your Space
Like the meditation above, take time to turn off any electronics, let roomies or partners know you’ll be busy, put on any music you want and start to find center. You can burn herbs like mugwort, palo santo, sage or copal to help clear the energy of the room and yourself, making sure to get the corners of your space as well as your own head, palms, torso, soles of feet, and limbs. Start to be conscious of your breath.
Take a Bath With Epsom Salt, Rose Petals, Rosemary and Mugwort
If you can, take a bath and add Epsom salt, rose petals, rosemary and mugwort. Epsom salt helps relax your body while absorbing any excess energy, rose is a Venusian herb, sacred to the goddess of love, rosemary is very protective and mugwort helps you get in touch with your psychic senses. You can either add these herbs straight into the bath, put them in a tea strainer or use a French press and then pour the strained tea into the bath. You can also make tea, cool it off and pour it over your body in the shower if you don’t have a tub. If you’re soaking, take at least ten minutes in the tub, not doing anything but relaxing and feeling the warm water around you. When you’re done you can either continue the ritual naked (skyclad) or put something like a robe, underwear and a shirt on. You’ll want your skin exposed for the ritual later.
Ground / Find Center
Once out of the bath, find a comfortable seated position, and connect to your breath. Imagine the root of your spine moving like roots into the earth, bringing a warm, white energy up through your spine through the top of your head. You can imagine roses or another flower blooming from your crown, falling back to the earth to create a circuit. Find connection to the earth and start to breathe into your heart space.
Call to Venus
You can either do the meditation above or call straight to Venus. Breathing into your heart space, you can either speak aloud or in your mind, asking the goddess of love, beauty and sex for her blessing. You can ask that you meet her in all her expansive glory. You can ask to invoke the goddess, so together you can transmute feelings of grief and pain into transformation and healing. Speak from the heart and say what you need to say.
Grab your rose and put your legs out in front of you. Starting at the soles of your feet, use the flower to stroke your skin. Imagine the warm white light from the earth finding its way up your spine, down your arms through the rose, back to your body. Use the rose to stroke every part of your body, especially anywhere you hold grief like your hips, heart, neck or jaw. Take your time connecting to this and feeling the petals move across your skin. You can also imagine it’s Venus who’s stroking you with the rose. Let this process take as long as it needs.
Light the Candle
When you’re done with the rose, find your way to the altar or surface where you can light the pink candle. Ask Venus for her love and healing, and thank her for it as you light this candle. Imagine as this candle burns, all the grief, hurt and trauma you’re holding onto is melting away. Leave it burning all the way, and when it’s done dispose it at a crossroad or at a garbage can at an intersection.
If you feel like you want to release energy as this candle is burning, you can masturbate and allow any feelings of grief or pain to release from your crown chakra as you climax.
Ground / Close
When you feel complete with this ritual, find your way back to a seated position. If you invoked Venus, tell her that the ritual is over and thank her. Speak to the goddess, communicating any feelings or insights that you had during this experience. Then, start to find your breath and the roots growing from the base of your spine. You can imagine them moving back up your body, and the roses from the top of your head moving down your spine back into the earth. You can also find child’s pose by pressing your head into the earth, and allowing any excess energy to find its way bac to the ground. When you’re finished with this ritual, write down any observations and make sure to drink plenty of water!
Mantras: Here are some mantras you can say to connect with Venus. I like to say them three times each, three times a day. You can also tape them on your mirror and repeat them to yourself whenever you’re near it. And of course, you can always write your own mantras to Venus!
I open my heart to deep love and pleasure.
I am divine love (Aham Prema)
I tap into Venus as I live and move with an open heart. It is my sacred right to claim my pleasure.
Chakrubs: The Original Heart, The Heart, The Rose Wand Rose Quartz is known as the heart stone for a reason. When we work with this pink quartz, we’re able to tap into love, and Venus consciousness, more easily. We’re given a gateway to compassion and pleasure, all through the space of our hearts. You can use the Original Heart in your rituals with Venus, as a way to raise energy through masturbation, with a partner, or just when you want to add a little more love and mindfulness to your solo sex routine. Photos by Tourma Selene and Madalyn Rowell