Naamah (Photo credit: B.Morbid)
So I’ve been thinking about syncretism a lot lately. I don’t know why; it’s just been on my mind. And then I read this post over at Adventures in Vanaheim and I got a bit of a lightbulb; that is, that the Aphrodite I know is syncretized with Naamah.
Cue chorus of spluttering “But but that’s ~*~pop culture paganism~*~! It’s wrong and dirty and evil, I tell you!”
If that’s your opinion, you may want to leave all my blogs well enough alone. Just as a heads up.
Naamah is just as real to me as Aphrodite or the Morrigan or Brighid or Manannan or any of the other gods I honor, worship, and work with. As are the other gods in the Kushielverse.
I haven’t, as of yet, done much work with Them, and I think it’s because I’ve felt a bit overloaded with the gods already in my life. But this thought of syncretism keeps coming back to me and I wonder…have I avoided working with Them because I felt I already was? Do I see Kushiel as connected to the Morrigan, because of my godslave, D/s relationship with Zir?
I don’t actually have answers to the questions of the rest of the Companions — but I can tell you I have a very strong feeling that I’m not just worshipping Aphrodite, but Naamah as well, and that I’m enough of a medium-scrambled polytheist that I can accept that Aphrodite is Aphrodite and Naamah is Naamah and sometimes They’re also each other and both at the same time.
So I think, when I’m able to set up a physical shrine to Her/Them again, it will be to both Aphrodite and Naamah. And I’ll see where it goes from there.
(No, I don’t know how this fits with my feelings of Aphrodite/The Lady of the Stars. Maybe the Lady of the Stars is Naamah too. Maybe not. I don’t have all the answers.)
I’ve been pondering Aphrodite in Her other aspects. She gets reduced to a goddess of just love, just sex, and yet She’s so much more.
I was reading this thread about Aphrodite of Cyprus, and it made me wonder — could She be another incarnation of the Lady of the Stars?
I don’t know. There’s something…more here.
At any rate, I feel I need to deepen my worship of Her — go beyond what the Greeks thought, and find something more substantial.
The first time I felt Aphrodite’s presence was at Pirates and Fairies 2010. I was heartsick and lonely; determined to spend the evening with someone who could help me forget the summer, if only for a night, I gave Her an offering in Her temple (a condom; something others could use in their use of the temple itself). I asked for Her blessing in my life, because I was tired of getting hurt. I felt a gentle brush — nothing so thwappy as when I’m dealing with one of the Triad I worship — and felt real hope my prayers would be answered.
They were — and then some. The man I spent that night with at P&F is now my long-term partner, and I’m finding real healing for previous heart-wounds that have been left bleeding.
In honor of Her blessing in my life, and in hopes of Her continued blessing, I keep a shrine for Her in my bedroom. I light a candle on Fridays, and have started this blog as a virtual shrine to Her. I will try and post every Friday about Aphrodite and my relationship with Her.
It will be difficult, because my relationships with the Triad tend to overshadow everything else, and hearing or feeling relationships with other gods can be an exercise and a half. But I’m determined to keep this relationship going, to keep offering to Her in thanks for all Her blessings.
She’s helping me learn to love myself again. She deserves my love and attention.