Today is the Cyprian New Year – the Birth of Venus. It is the first day of the season of La Vache: Charm and Lust, and a celebration of the moment when true Beauty came into being. The foundational myth The Pouty Fig (from The Seed) is an allegory for this moment told as the Birth of Venus. In it, Paphia (Beauty), while swimming in Her form as a mermaid off the coast of Paphos, Cyprus, discovers a fig which has fallen into the sea. The fig has been impregnated by a wasp (something that happens, by the way – I Fucking Love Science c/o Alayne Peterson) and She swallows it, which causes Her tail to change into legs “and that between”. As She discovers what is between Her legs, the waters froth and churn, spitting Her out at the moment of orgasm so that She lands on the shore of Paphos. This is the moment that Lust -with all it’s intricacies, splendors and complexities – entered the world. And with it came true Beauty.
Last year, I celebrated with a small group of dear friends at my Everleigh Social Club (R.I.P…for now) with a dinner. Aphrodite priestess and author Laurelei Black chose my wife Michelle as our Grande Madame who passed out hundred drachmae coins to a few guests. After dinner, these coins were used to “purchase” Her clothing. I then washed Her feet in wine and salt imported from Cyprus while She read Luxuria from The Seed. She then cut an apple with a ceremonial poniard and placed a piece in each of our guest’s glasses of wine and danced naked to Gustav Holst’s Venus, the Bringer from The Planets. It was one of the most memorable moments in my life.
Aphrodite Dinner at the Everleigh Social Club (photos by Mike White)
“Therefore, let there be two Venuses in the soul, the one heavenly, the other earthly. Let them both have a love, the Heavenly for the reflection upon divine beauty, the earthly for generating divine beauty in earthly.” – from Marsilio Ficino’s Commentary on Plato’s Symposium
Don’t forget that April is National Poetry Month in the US. Coincidence?