Excerpted with permission from Meditations for September/October 2000 in Mooncircles Newsletter.

This new moon (September 27), the sun and moon are joined in the air sign of Libra. Ruled by Venus/Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty, Libra is the natural ruler of the seventh house of partnership. Thus this lunar cycle is a time to initiate one's soul into the mysteries of Libra: the spirit of beauty, and humanity's unending quest to learn how to better love another in the intimate sphere of day-to-day relationship.

Though it may seem at first glance as if the two qualities of beauty and relationship are unrelated, anyone who has watched a true Libra in action has observed the natural skill with which the "diplomats of the zodiac" are able to skillfully balance their individual needs with those of "the other." It is this rare ability to create harmony out of the jangled notes of a fractious world that is a source of true and lasting beauty--and a sure sign of "Libra magic" at work.

Awakening to the beauty around us, we become beauty ourselves.

Aphrodite, the Spirit of Beauty
In a mythic twist of fate, the goddess of beauty was born of both tragedy and poetry, emerging, the story goes, from the sea foam of Uranus' severed genitals. Swept ashore at dawn on the island of Cyprus, Aphrodite, as she was called, was greeted by the three dancing Graces--Brilliance, Flower-Bringer, and Heart's Joy--who adorned her in jewels, placed her in a golden chariot drawn by white doves, and took her to Mt. Olympus.

Her beauty was so dazzling that Zeus immediately married her to the crippled craftsman Hephaestus in order to prevent jealous competition for her hand among the gods. It was Hephaestus, the goldsmith, who wove the fabled golden "girdle of Aphrodite," the source of her bewitching magic to stir love and desire in all who beheld her.

Where can Aphrodite be found today? However crude or commercial, the love goddess's skill at artifice is on full display in Hollywood. Audiences around the world thrill to the ritual procession of enchantingly bejeweled movie stars as they promenade down the red carpet at awards ceremonies.

But beauty is far more than physical perfection or ornate decoration. It is not just how we look, but what we perceive in others and the world around us. It is the dimple in a child's winning smile; a spring garden scented with lilacs; the honey from a bee; a painting, poem, or piece of music the exquisite perfection of which stirs the heart. Awakening to the beauty around us, we become beauty ourselves. We ignore Aphrodite at our peril, for without beauty our souls become hard and dry, closed to the radiant miracle of creation.

One way to attune to the spirit of beauty is to imagine the birth of Aphrodite within your heart. Begin your meditation by creating a beautiful atmosphere that will attract her presence. Then:

  • Create an altar for Aphrodite and adorn it with flowers and photos of loved ones.
  • Play a piece of music that is serenely peaceful. Allow the music to enter your heart, and let its rhythms pulse within you as the waves in the ocean.
  • Imagine that this feeling gives rise to an image of sublime beauty, of Aphrodite emerging from the depths of your heart. She is the essence of beauty, the perfume of loveliness, the embodiment of grace and joy. She is all lithesome light and laughter. Bask in her beauty; feel beautiful, inside and out.
  • After immersing yourself in Aphrodite, open your eyes and survey the environment around you. Practice seeing the world through her eyes. See life transformed, lit from within: The flowers on your altar radiate color, the photos of your loved ones reveal an inner dimension that you had never experienced before, the sky outside your window is a vision of glory. This is Aphrodite's gift--the vision of beauty that animates all creation.
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