Showing posts with label Greek Polytheism. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Greek Polytheism. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Collages and Colors ~ Decorating A Temple Cheaply

It's probably no secret that, over the last three years, I have put thousands of my own dollars into my temple and outside sanctuary. But it's also true that not everything in my temple is expensive. In fact, some of the decorations are handmade beautifully. It's as well important to remember that while these decorations are comparatively cheap, they are not low class or trashy.

Part of being in a minority religion is having a crafty and inventive nature, and over the course of the last thirteen years, I have found many unique and widespread ways to do that. Admittedly, there's been a lot of trial and error in terms of figuring out what works well, what will last, and what is not tacky or impoverished looking.

One can usually perfect this practice by considering their own personal talents and hobbies they enjoy. One of my own artistic expressions has always been collages and colors, like in the picture you see above, of various Gods and ancient Greek stories. The work is a beautiful array of ancient Greek spirituality, theology and mythology. I didn't create the piece because I needed it or even for a specific purpose other than to add to the decorations of my temple.

Now before you say that you don't have the money for all of the art supplies needed to make collages, you don't actually need much. This one costs around $10 to create. At my local used or discount bookstore, I found a 8.5 x 11 hardcover book of the Trojan War for around $5, and in it were the pictures you see here. And a good thing about these images is that the author of the book likely did not create them, which means they are public domain or creative commons. At any rate, if the pictures are only being used for your personal temple or shrine, there's no copyright violation at all.

The way the collage was made included every part of the book. After I went through and carefully cut out images I wanted, I also cut off the front and back cover and taped them together in the middle. This provided a hard board for the collage without having to spend money on buying individual frames, it also just looks much better than a poster frame. The interior of the cover even has some of its own relevant imagery, which works well if you don't manage to cover every single space with the pictures. Finally, I took a simple $1 glue stick (not liquid glue) and pasted the images on the board (also covering the tape). The collage was then placed on the wall with simple stickpins and decorations strung from them. You can also use a decorative chain or necklace, anything that will stay and add to the beauty and uniqueness of the collage and help cover up those pins if you prefer.

For someone who may live alone and have little money, I can imagine this being a great alternative for the center piece of a shrine. Images are not just about statues alone. They're about a point of focus during worship and sacrifice, an addition to helping you connect with Gods and Heroes.

In the Goodness of the Gods,
Chris Aldridge.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Learning From The Greek Gods: Aphrodite

Most certainly, Aphrodite's name is as common to people as Her epithet of Pandemos. She's the great Olympian Goddess of love; who rules the realm of beauty, sexuality, pleasure, lust, and the life that it can and does bring. Born of the sea off the coast of Kypros through the remains of Ouranos, She existed before the rise of Olympos, which technically makes Her the first Olympian. While She is the Goddess of wonderful and joyous sexuality in general, She is also involved in the sexuality of marital unions and relationships themselves. She encompasses sexuality itself, whether it be married, unmarried, or simply friends with benefits. The joy, passion, eroticism, excitement and loveliness of sex is all Her. She is also a Goddess who prevents unscrupulousness, which means She is also not a Goddess without standards. Stories about Her are also rooted in a love and affection for humanity, such as with the tale of Pygmalion, the sculptor who created a statue of his ideal woman, and was turned into a real person by Aphrodite as an answer to his prayer to find true love. He named this woman Galatea, and they both lived happily ever after.

So what can we as adults learn from Aphrodite? Firstly, we should realize and accept the fact that sex is a part of nature and the human makeup. Our sexuality should not be something to be ashamed of, for it is blessed, not damned. Nothing which brings so much pleasure, happiness, satisfaction, and life can be anything other than a Divine blessing. Sex is Godly. It is not Her desire that we put ourselves in sexual misery, or fight against our natural states and instincts. She wants us to enjoy life, and therefore it's alright to be sexual, to enjoy it, and to be attractive and attracted to others. Science has proven time and again that a regular sex life is healthy for the mind and body, and of course it is, because it comes from heaven. Now does that mean we should sleep with everyone we meet? No, because as I said earlier, Aphrodite is also a Goddess of standards, and those are partially found in being safe and healthy with your sexuality. But within those bounds, sex is immensely healthy and beneficial to us as human beings. That's not simply my own personal belief, but scientific fact. 

I think Aphrodite also encompasses love for ourselves. In other words, She doesn't want us to be self-loathing, but to love ourselves in that we realize we are loved and worthy human beings. I also think She wants us to spread love itself to others, in that we treat our fellow human being with compassion and care, not coldness and hatred. We are loved by ourselves if no one else among mortals, and we should help others realize that they are loved as well through our actions. I learn many great things from Aphrodite as Her devotee, two of the most important being that sex is natural and good, and that we are not living in a universe where there's no love. It's abundant.

In the Goodness of The Dodekatheon,

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