Our Lady of Celestial Fire

Festival of Aphrodisia

July 21

(Greek) Ancient: 4 Hekatombaion.
This is the bathing festival of Aphrodite Pandemos (Aphrodite of All Peoples) and Peitho (Persuasion), Her helper, who have been considered powerful goddesses since the archaic period; like Ishtar They are goddesses of war and statecraft as well as love.

First the temple is purified (in ancient times with the blood of a dove, Aphrodite’s bird) and the altar is annointed. Nowadays we might dedicate an unblemished rose to Her and annoint the altar with pure rose oil. (Apples, apple blossoms and myrtle sprays are also appropriate.) Finally the sacred images are carried in a procession to a place where they are washed (see the Plunteria, mid-June, for a discussion of washing festivals). (Note that the fourth day of every month is sacred to Aphrodite.)