…Tis thine the world with harmony to join,Hymn To Aphrodite – Orpheus
For all things spring from thee, O pow’r divine.
The triple Fates are rul’d by thy decree,
And all productions yield alike to thee:
Whate’er the heav’ns, encircling all contain,
Earth fruit-producing, and the stormy main…
Desire isn’t a feeling, she is a mighty goddess who holds us tightly in her sway; moving us to the highest peaks of achievement or debasement through despair. Few wounds can cut as deep as unrequited love and nothing raises our spirit more readily than successfully courting the object of our affections. Desire is a force of Nature; as fickle as the weather and as powerful as the Sun.
Orpheus’ Hymn to Aphrodite gives us an instructive glimpse into the numinous architecture of the relationship between Fate and Desire when we read “…the triple Fates are rul’d by thy decree and all productions yield alike to thee…” There can be no production without desire and, though the Moirae are an aspect of lunary time, it is through Desire that we become entangled in the threads of Fate.
Desire seduces us towards our unique fate. If we live selfishly or carelessly her alluring call may drive us towards danger, like a siren’s song. But if, as magicians, we want to ensure the best possible fate, we must woo the favor of Desire herself. And we do this by sacrificing our egos and no longer trying to control the path of our lives; succumbing to our most sacred desire.
There’s a difference between our modern concept of desire and Desire-with-a-capital-D. Succumbing to our desire, in a modern context, sounds like a wasteful pursuit of excess and debauchery; things we have too much of already. In a sacred context, however, Desire refers to that burning fire that resides in the spirit; that need inside of each of us which drives us to produce, to express -to join in the holy ecstasy of creation.
To paraphrase the ever-inspirational Gordon White, whose course on wealth magic was fundamental to my understanding of purpose and desire, Desire is not so much about what you want but what wants to come into the world through you…
Purpose is what we give back to the universe in gratitude for the joy of experiencing our lives. Fulfillment comes from allowing ourselves to be seduced by the alluring call of Desire, driving us towards this sacred purpose. Wooing Desire with our love and veneration helps us synchronize with the best possible expression of this purpose.
By living right, finding joy in fulfilling our sacred purpose, and embracing Fate with the excitement of a lover, we enter into sacred congress with the Universe, a co-creative contract with the divine Self which ensures good fortune, good health, and a good life.
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How To Discover What You Truly Desire
Society teaches us that our purpose is merely to survive, perhaps to provide for a family, and to trade our time and labor for this privilege. Desire is minimized to a whim, a mostly irrelevant preference for how we spend our time which is of only minor importance compared to our ability to produce, provide, and contribute to the projects of civilization.
In truth though, you find purpose through passion, not logic. It’s a discovery, not a decision. The trick is to relinquish the responsibility to understand or plan your life and, instead, embrace that which excites your passions and fills you with joy.
Magic is easier in an animist framework because we can personify any aspect of the Universe and then communicate with it directly, which is true in the sense that it works. Clothing the aspect of the divinity that is love, beauty, and desire in the garments of Aphrodite (Venus) and venerating her, making an altar to her, and giving offering to her -worshipping at the altar of your desire- will curry her favor and give you the opportunity to ask the Big Question.
After courting Desire, ask her to show you what wants to come into the world through you. Make a big ritual out of it and be sure to ply her well with gifts of sweets, sweet smelling incenses, libations, and beautiful things.
The Slow Percolation Of Self-Discovery
This is the stuff that dreams are made of -and dreams are never straightforward or clear. This process has to be approached with patience and without judgement; it takes what time it takes for self-discovery to percolate and infuse you with newfound awareness.
This may be a lengthy process, depending on your situation, so learn how to become ok with not knowing. Chasing Desire is like wooing any woman; boldness is rewarded, if one can also be patient, waiting for her to come to you on her own terms.
This is a process of becoming. Once you’ve asked for change, change is underway in so much as you will cooperate and allow it. Embrace the process and expect that there will be easy days, and difficult ones. You may also find that Desire prefers to remain mysterious instead of revealing herself to you all at once. And she cannot be rushed, so there is no point in trying.
We learn most effectively through firsthand experience. Play allows us to experience something in advance of encountering it “for real”. Play is practice, and dreaming (using our imagination) gives our minds space to play with (to experience) different potential futures -to try them on for size. Spending time playing in the imaginal, dreaming the potential worlds where Desire leads you, is an essential part of nurturing a growing passion.
Your body will tell you the truth of something, if you listen to it. Cultivate this relationship with inner stillness and recognition and you can always rely on your body to help you evaluate how you really feel about something. Test the ideas that arise from your idle contemplation (your daydreams about the future).
And it is so essential to do this without judgement. There will be plenty of time to dwell in realism but the better future you want will, in all likelihood, seem impossible to you now. Allow your dreams to tell you what’s possible and not the other way around. Expect to be required to take a leap of faith…
Committing To Your Fate
You’ll know when you know; if you let joy be your guide. When you feel the truth of your desire in your bones, there won’t be any mistaking it. You probably won’t fully understand it, but you’ll still sense the truth of it.
Synchronicities are road signs on this journey. Pay attention to them. Between the felt-senses of the body and the synchronicities which accompany life in-flow, you have everything you need to discern the path ahead.
Wooing Desire is, of course, only the first step of a long journey ahead…and it is then immediately necessary to commit to your fate, fully and in earnest. Venus / Aphrodite will inspire you with burning passion, but for more practical concerns, you require the aid of spirits willing to put the work in.
Cultivate a relationship with a psychopomp, a spiritual go-between, such as Hekate, for example, who governs the weavers that spin the thread of fate. To express your desire -to bring it into the world- you’ll face many challenges and have many questions that need answers. Practical enchantment will be essential to this process.
As will your commitment. It is necessary to let go of anything which holds you back or slows you down. “Burning the boats”, that is, cutting off any potential avenues of retreat, focuses all your energy (and belief) on the outcome that you desire. This is scary but it too is essential to your success.
Making Your Dreams A Reality
Life becomes meaningful and fulfilling when you fill your time in service of a purpose given to you (like an epic quest) by the goddess of Desire. To find your purpose, make offerings to Desire and become obsessed with your task. Pursue her with the madness of a desperate lover. Woo her.
Delight in playful contemplation of your passion and let your (somatic) senses guide you through the foggy landscape of your dreams. Take a leap of faith and commit yourself fully to the journey.
To discover your sacred desire is one thing, to make it a reality is another. Setting off down this path has to be looked upon as the start of an adventure; it is a major occasion in your life, one that will redefine you as a person and become your obsession. And this is good, because, as they say, “the energy flows where the attention goes.”
Bringing something wonderful into the world requires sacrifice, dedication, and deep commitment, but this pursuit carries with it the joy of co-creative collaboration with the universe. When you let go of the need to make life about what you want / need, the journey becomes all that much more epic and magical, with your good fortune materializing in front of you as you discover your place and purpose a little more with each passing day.
Helping folks find healing by discovering their passion (and purpose) is a central aspect of my shamanic practice and my own contribution to the universe.
If these ideas resonate with you, and you feel that burning need to change your life but aren’t sure how to do it, contact me for more information on how shamanic techniques can help you navigate this transformative process.
Featured Image: The jump of love 8k by stellartcorsica