Devotion, as it is applied to pagan and particularly to polytheist religious engagement, is characterized as intensely loving, passionate, and may have the features of romantic love. Devotional practice – the expression of these feelings in behaviors, actions, decisions, thoughts, and problem solving within a distinctly religious context – is characterized as similarly passionate; after all, devotional practice rises out of these intense sentiments, right?
Some of the discussion surrounding the boundaries that delineate devotional practice and devotional engagement from other types of polytheist religious practice erroneously assume that action follows sentiment, that one’s religious inclinations and behaviors arise from emotions that are already present within the worshiper.
This model of emotion preceding action is, perhaps, cultural; certainly this model is based in the way we culturally imagine the experience of love. That feeling, that spark, leaps up inside the body without us asking it to; something…
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A beautiful devotional poem for Aphrodite.
Out of the sea
Resplendent in her nakedness
Magnificent, golden ass
Redolent with heady perfumes
Hair like tow
Golden skin kissed by the sun
Rise, O Aphrodite
Raise the scepter high!
Make a pronouncement upon us
Declare this day
A day of love
An occasion for pleasure
Hear, O Muses, the tale of the love goddess
And the consequence of Ouranos’ sacrifice:
Without love, husband descended upon wife unwilling
Before love, both childbirth and its cause were misery
Unguided by love, Kronos sought power
And the blood of the Sky descended to the Sea
There, in the belly of Thalassa,
Hot blood mingled with salt water
The surface of the sea became turbulent,
White foam was upon the lips of the waves
The ocean currents were fitful
Until womanly face and limbs and breasts and buttocks
Complete and perfect
Longed to draw air
Then, with bitter, burning travail
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