Tag Archives: Aphrodite

Sacred Sites on the Greek Island of Samos

by Melinda Marton

Temple of Hera - the HeraionI love the rich, spiritual feeling of this ancient land and spent my last summer holiday in Pythagoreion on the beautiful island of Samos. There is so much to see here, I didn’t spend much time lying on the beach!

First stop was the local museum, which is a beautiful new building in the middle of the town.  It’s placed next to the ancient city and has current archaeological excavations right next door.

The Samos museum mentions all the following as local to the island:

  • The main sanctuary of the patron goddess of the island (sanctuary of  Hera, at the mouth of the river Ibravos)
  • Patron God of the city, Dionysos
  • Temple of Aphrodite – lies beneath the foundation of an old house
  • On the heights of the city, sanctuaries of the Mother Goddess, Cybele
  • Sanctuary of Demeter at the edge of the city, high on an isolated hill, as appropriate to mystery cults
  • Artemis, Dionysus and Apollo cults
  • A cult of Nymphs
  • Inscriptions of Hygeia
  • Temple of Isis with large, lavishly adorned altar in the south of the small square to the right of Lykourgos Logothetes street which leads to the harbour

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The Goddesses of Time

by Sue Oxley

sweet peaThe beauty of nature is in the circles She creates, the spinning of the galaxies and the twining of the sweet pea, the turning of the seasons and the circle of our lives.  'Nature hates a straight line' my grandmother used to say, 'probably even more than a full-stop'.

Let's dance and move through the Circle of the Goddesses of Time, thinking about the shining reality of each while leaving behind Her clothes, sorting out what is real and valid and what is shimmering mist, as the circle twirls around us.

Persephone, the Child that sings in the meadow, that rolls down the hills through the flowers, that leaves behind the Mother and yet comes back at night when the dark is frightening.  Remember the wonder of moving so easily that it is like jumping on the moon, think of the loveliness of no worry, no knowledge of evil and hate, with just the dark to fear.

We pick up the Joy and leave behind the carelessness as we move to Artemis, while shouldering our fear of being alone, of having no apron to hide behind.

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Salome re-awakens: Beltane at the Temple of Venus in Sicily

by Tiziana Stupia

Temple of Venus, Mount EriceIn western Sicily, perched high on a steep mountain called Erice, once stood a magnificent and illustrious temple dedicated to the Goddess of Love, known successively as Astarte by the Phoenicians, Aphrodite by the Greeks, and Venus by the Romans. This temple stood for over a thousand years and a sacred fire always burnt from its enclosure, so brightly that sailors used it as a guiding beacon. It was here that the Priestesses of Venus served the Goddess with their bodies through the art of sacred prostitution, a spiritual practice that included the celebration of the sacred marriage rite. Today, sparse remains of this remarkable temple can be found in the Castello di Venere, a twelfth-century Norman castle incorporating some of the original foundations.

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