First, thanks to everyone who commented on the St. Valentines’ Day article below. The Venus and Cupid ‘stuff ‘ seems to have been much appreciated… There is a lighthearted, adventurous, romantic, sometimes violent, but on the whole, vivid and life-bringing, life-explaining, seductive and creative energy which Greek and Roman Mythology exudes. And this “mythology” was lived. The Pantheon in Rome, the most beautiful extant monolithic sculpture to the gods, open to the Sun at the top of its dome, was built to honor ALL the gods, not just one. I agree with those who say they wish they could walk down the street and go worship in the local Temple of Venus! If we couldn’t find one in honor of Venus, surely Apollo (the Sun God) or Jupiter, the benevolent, jolly, seductive, King of the Gods,. would have done just as well. If we could have lived in the Rome of, say, 100 or 200 A.D., we could actually have done that!
What would we have found in a Temple of Venus? Wow, I can only imagine! I hope it wasn’t “sacred prostitutes”, as many authorities and ancient writers claim… I can’t quite work my brain around that idea yet…
There was a very large temple built to the Goddess Diana in Ephesus. Every Christian knows about it. Acts or one of the other books of Paul mention it… The Letter to the Ephesians obviously comes to mind,., Diana was the goddess with a large number of pendulous breasts! One would suppose she was the fertility goddess to end all fertility goddesses… usually two breasts are enough to make a guy turn his head in admiration, or for a baby to find the right place to start nursing… but Diana of Ephesus had a dozen breasts! Somebody’s “cup” literally “ran over”, with her…. We can only imagine the Fertility Rites that took place inside her temple, and those of her ‘cousin’, Venus, as well! Ah, but this was in the happy (?) days before Constantine, before the Church became triumphant, thus, by eliminating a lot of the “fun stuff”, quite evidently ushering in the barbarian conquest of civilized Europe. Who wants to take up the sword and protect the borders of the Empire anymore, when Mars, the God of War, has been demoted and drummed out of the service?
There is a big, imposing Protestant church right across the street from me, it covers the whole city block, and has tens of millions of dollars behind it. It looks very tidy, very clean, and goes to the heart of something important about America. But I can’t say its temple-like facade and gleaming walls and windows has ever been able to even start making me want to be drawn to it, to enter its gates. Because I know what’s inside, and it leaves me feeling empty. These are the people who decided Proctor & Gamble’s hundred+ year old symbol of a crescent moon, must be Satanic! What rubbish! What stupidity! When the Roman Church closed down all its competition, alas, some things did NOT get better , and just because Martin Luther started something big, pinning his demands on the church door, doesn’t mean change comes from God, or that change is good… anymore than upgrading to a new operating system is going to make your life on the computer more fun— in fact,it may make it worse (see above!) Nor am I sure that our worship, our Gods, our ideals, are necessarily better for out psyche, better for our sanity, better for our family life, now, even 500 years into the Reformation, or 2,000+ years into the Era of Jesus.
I think we all miss the payfulness of (innocent, or is it — not so innocent?) Cupid and the femininity of Venus, who is, after all, Cupid’s mother, according to tradition; which reflects the astrological archetype, as well. Which means—Venus is in the heavens, its nature is in our charts, along with Mars and the others… Mars is by most accounts the FATHER of Cupid… Which made Mars a good role model for fathers, as well as SOLDIERS in the Old Days; and Cupid is the ideal child, or perhaps the mischievous bright child — just like your kid! — who does all the things real kids do in life, including silly stuff and dangerous stuff — pinning something onto the tail of the cat, diving into the deep end of the pool, tinkering with the electric socket, beating up the neighbor’s kid, or being spanked and going to bed hungry… Cupid is the pent-up life of millions of children, mischievous children! The patron saint of mischievous children… just as MARS is his ideal father and VENUS is his ideal mother… It worked 2,000 years ago until it was supplanted by a “Holy Family” of a different kind. But I miss what I have never, in this lifetime, known.. a Pagan reality…
And so it is, that there are very, very few real ‘temples’, as such, where it is worshipped in our ‘modern’, ‘enlightened’ world! Probably the closest place would be the salon or studio of your local, enlightened, astrologer! Not to try to get on the nerves of any truly devout souls reading this, but I don’t see how anyone can descry and denounce Astrology, when it is based on the PLANETS, which are tangible, unmistakeable, crucial, enormously imposing, heavy and massive, timelessly ancient, quickly and regularly orbiting in repetitive patterns, around and around our SUN, as they have been doing for billions and billions of years. So, how can these uninformed people say “Astrology is evil?” Astrology is almost totally based, at heart, on Astronomy, and Astronomy is what IS Out There!
Astronomy was preceded by Astrology; and Astronomy, by its very existence, by its having risen from the foundations of Astrology, proves much of Astrology is factual, and what is not proved by Astronomy about Astrology, is definitely proved by observations of natal characteristics, the verifiable fact of chart comparisons, and geographical astrological factors, as they apply in the lives of people born ‘under’ certain local influences which change as they travel to a new location! A parallel can be made with the Holy Family of the Christians, which was very evidently built over the foundations of the Holy Family of Mars, Venus and Cupid, in the same way that Catholics built basilicas and cathedrals over the ruined foundations of former religions that worshipped in that same spot. One holy family borrows the lucky energy of, and follows in the footsteps of, another Holy Family. Did the first holy family go away? No! It is still there, in fact, much of it can be seen in the heavens, which adds to its believability. The ancient legends say gods or people transformed into gods, went up into the heavens. Actually, the truth is, heavenly power (planetary powers!) were discovered and became a part of human life! There! I can’t get much more controversial than that! Blessings, ——–e.a.