The lighting of candles has long been associated with the practice of worship in religious or spiritual settings. The process of showing devotion can be as simple or complicated as the individual devotee desires but a basic step is often to choose a color of candle that is associated with their chosen deity.
In this article, we will look in particular at the nature of candle lighting in honoring the goddess Aphrodite.
Aphrodite is the goddess of love, fertility, and desire. She is recognized by many threads of spirituality, neo-pagan or Wiccan and many chose to light candles in her honor as an act of devotion. In order to please Aphrodite the favored candle color is often shades of red or pink.
Who is Aphrodite?
Greek mythology is full of exciting, dramatic, and complex stories of gods, goddesses, and the heroes that formed the religious beliefs of the Ancient Greeks.
Aphrodite is one of the Greek goddesses and is most wildly recognized as being the goddess of love. She also has associations with fertility, desire, sexuality, and beauty.
The origin of Aphrodite is eventful, it is said she was formed by the sea foam that gathered around the severed genitals of the sky God, Uranus, which had been thrown into the sea after being castrated by his son Cronus. There is an alternative origin put forward by the Ancient Greek philosopher Homer, which suggested instead that Aphrodite was the daughter of the supreme God Zeus and the Goddess Dione. It is not unusual for gods and goddesses to have more than one potential origin.
Aphrodite gathered loyal worshippers across Greece and Cyprus and was recognized with a yearly midsummer festival referred to as Aphrodisia. It is said that Aphrodite was the wife of the god of fire, Hephaestus. However, she was frequently unfaithful and took many lovers. There are other accounts that suggest she was the unwed consort of Ares, the God of war.
Aphrodite is often depicted with the God Eros, the god of love, who helped Aphrodite with her work. Eros was a gifted archer, whose job was to shoot arrows coated with Aphrodite’s love potion. Upon being abused by one of Eros’ arrows the unwitting victims would fall madly in love with the next person they laid their eyes upon. Eros is the basis of the cupid figure that we associate with Valentines and all things love now.
Aphrodite has remained an important figure for many spiritual and religious movements, post Ancient Greece. The Romans continued to worship Aphrodite however named her Venus, as in the beautiful sculpture of a woman depicted in the Venus De Milo and the Botticelli painting “Birth of Venus”.
In modern-day times Aphrodite continues to have her own movement, “The Church of Aphrodite” but is also an important figure in Wicca, Neo-Paganism, and other spiritual movements.
What is Aphrodite’s Favorite Scent?
Smell is an incredibly powerful sense when it comes to human desire and sexuality. The term aphrodisiacs – smells, foods, or sounds that increase desire and sexuality, is named so because of the associations between the Goddess Aphrodite and lust/desire.
It is said that Aphrodite exuded beauty, which was enhanced by her associated scents, as such she was positively intoxicating to those around her. There are references to different types of scents however frequently “Stephanotis” is associated with Aphrodite’s signature or favorite scent. This is a scent that derives from the delicate white flowers of a waxy Madagascan shrub plant. It is described as being delicately floral with a musky undertone.
This was not the only perfume associated with Aphrodite, others include verbena, incense, vervain, rose, musk, and vanilla. Many of these are the base tones of perfumes designed to allure and entice a potential partner which Aphrodite would very much approve of.
Goddess Candle Colors
For centuries people have used the lighting of candles as a means of worship and respect for gods and goddesses. This is particularly relevant to Wiccan and Pagan but there is no need to subscribe to any specific philosophy or religion in order to use candles for spiritual reasons.
If you are unfamiliar with the use of candles in worship, you may be surprised to find that each god and goddess is associated with different colors or candles. Often the color is associated with the nature of the deity and is expected to please them. This helps followers feel connected to their god or goddess, show thanks or seek guidance and help.
There are a number of resources online where you can look up the associated candle color of each god and goddess. There is overlap in colors however the important thing is that the person lighting the color feels attached to the color chosen and feels it represents their deity.
As an example, Hades’ god candle is black to reflect his association with the dead and underworld while Neptune’s god candle is blue due to his links to the sea.
Aphrodite Candles – Ritual Offerings
Aphrodite is a popular goddess that people choose to worship via candle lighting. As mentioned previously Aphrodite is associated with all things love, lust and desire, therefore it makes sense that her goddess candle colors are usually shades of red and pink.
The act of lighting a candle in honor of Aphrodite can be a single act of devotion, but it is often combined with other acts as part of a ritual offering. This stems from historical practices in ancient times when things like offering up items that were believed to please their god. Animal offerings, where an animal is killed in the name of a god or goddess is perhaps the one that comes to mind most often. However, nowadays it is much more common that items like flowers, drinks/liquids, candles, gems, or just general thanks are more than sufficient.
The lighting of a candle in honor of Aphrodite is a key part of preparing a ritualistic offering to Aphrodite. The burning of a flame has specific spiritual significance in cleansing the space and showing respect to the god or goddess.
What is a Good Offering for Aphrodite?
If you find yourself experiencing an affinity or interest in following Aphrodite as your goddess, you will likely look to show your devotion and appreciation through the means of an offering.
Just as every god and goddess is associated with different traits, the types of appropriate offerings will differ. These types of offerings are often associated with aspects of the god or goddess such as their origin or the areas they have power over.
Of course not all offerings are physical, worshippers can of course offer up thoughts, verbal thanks, or expressions of love. If you do wish to include a physical offering in your devotion there are some which are commonly considered favored by Aphrodite. These are:
- Foods – Any food lovingly prepared or considered associated with desire such as dark chocolate, oysters, etc tie into Aphrodite‘s links to desire and love
- Drinks – Delicate and feminine liquids associated with femininity such as rosewater, and herbal teas. Red wine for the links to desire and passion is also lauded. Sea water is often used for Aphrodite’s potential origins in the ocean.
- Other offerings – essential oils which are often associated with sensuality such as ylang-ylang. Rose quartz crystals or other gems are also an option.
The key aspect of any offering is that the giver feels that the substance is valuable and should be significant to Aphrodite.
In summary, Aphrodite is a goddess with roots in Ancient Greek methodology. She is commonly associated with love, fertility, and desire among other areas. Many of her devotees feel the lighting of candles in her honor helps them feel connected to her, show gratitude, and show respect to her as their goddess. The candle colors most commonly associated with Aphrodite are red and pink and lighting a candle can be used as an individual act or combined with ritualistic offerings.