Prepare a feast in honor of Aphrodite’s loving sensuality and warmth. Decorate your house with pink carnations, the flowers of friend-ship. Burn yellow sandalwood-scented candles. Sandalwood helps loosen inhibitions. Put symbols of love, such as pomegranates, apples, and seashells in blue ceramic or crystal bowls, and invite friends to bring an aphrodisiac food for sharing (cherries, oysters, papaya, chocolate, and red wine are appropriate). Open a window or door slightly, and join hands around the dinner table, reciting thrice:

Goddess of friendship, love, and life,
Come join us.
Bring peace, and eliminate all strife.

We welcome you with fruit, flowers, fire, and fresh air.
Release us from anxiety, stress, and despair.

Come down, be with us.
Visit on this special day.
We call you with love.
We hope you will stay.

By Stephanie Rose Bird