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Eros to Philautia: Exploring the Spectrum of Love for Valentine's Day

Eros to Philautia: Exploring the Spectrum of Love for Valentine's Day

Love is an energy, a feeling, a cosmic vibration, and a powerful force of will. It is encompassed by a multitude of frequencies, shapes, forms, depth resonance and too, the astounding power of its eternal force. 

By: Z. Etherēal O'Veal

When we hear the word LOVE, most often, many of us immediately ascribe its priority-relevance to the value and idea of romantic love. Although we have likely experienced many other types of love, from family, friends or teammates, we have become conditioned with associating the term almost exclusively to romance. This is a reminder that physical attraction isn’t a necessary component for love, in the many ways that love will appear in our lives. This is a reminder to open your eyes, your heart and your mind to the myriad of exquisite ways that love wishes to pour upon you.

The vibrations of the words “I love you” can vary, in tone, volume and other inflection characteristics, but one thing is for sure, it expresses a deep affection or adoration toward someone. Love exists on a spectrum of resplendent ways that our minds fail to register, most often because we have not taken the time to observe. But when we do, we gift ourselves an opportunity to see how magnificent and wondrous love truly is, no matter which face it wears. The more our eyelids flutter to open, the more we swell with amour from within. Love is an energy, a feeling, a cosmic vibration, and a powerful force of will. It is encompassed by a multitude of frequencies, shapes, forms, depth resonance and too, the astounding power of its eternal force. 

Let’s discuss the various ways that love will appear in our lives, throughout our journey of humanhood. You may have heard of the Greek God, Aphrodite, who was honored as a goddess of sensual desire, everlasting love and beauty. The ancient Greeks studied love in tribute to her, and often spoke of about 8 types of love.  The eight different types of love, according to the ancient Greeks, are:

1 Eros (sensual passion)

2 Philia (deep friendship)

3 Ludus (playful love)

4 Agape (love for everyone)

5 Pragma (longstanding love)

6 Philautia (love of the self)

7 Storge (family love)

8 Mania (obsessive love)

{ It is historically important to note that the believers of Aphrodite were largely derived from that of the Phoenicia goddess Astarte, a cognate of the East Semitic goddess Ishtar, whose worshippers honored as the Queen of Heaven. Aphrodite’s Roman equivalent is Venus. Her Yoruba equivalent is Oshun and her Eqyptian equivalent is Hathor. }

 

The ancient Greeks identified eight distinct forms of love, each carrying its unique energy. Here I offers insights on how to alchemize each into strength and power for the journey of life.

1. Eros (sensual passion):

Eros, the passionate and intimate love, can be transformed into personal power by embracing vulnerability, fostering communication, and cultivating a deep emotional connection with a partner. This connection becomes a source of vigor and stability in navigating life’s challenges.

2. Philia (deep friendship):

The enduring bonds of Philia can be alchemized by building a strong support network. Cultivating deep friendships allows individuals to share joys and burdens, creating a foundation of reliability through unity.

3. Ludus (playful love):

Ludus, the playful and light-hearted love, brings joy and spontaneity. Channeling Ludus into creativity, exploration, and embracing a sense of humor transposes this love into a powerful force for perseverance and adaptability.

4. Agape (love for everyone):

Agape, unconditional love for all, can be harnessed as strength by practicing compassion and empathy. By extending love beyond personal circles, individuals contribute to a positive and harmonious environment, fostering a sense of interconnectedness to and with all living beings.

5. Pragma (longstanding love):

Longstanding love in Pragma can be transmuted into enduring soundness by fostering mutual growth, understanding, and compromise within relationships. Enveloping the evolution of love over time creates an unshakable foundation of stability and wisdom.

6. Philautia (love of the self):

Philautia, self-love, becomes a powerful force when converted into self-care, self-compassion, and personal development. By valuing oneself, individuals enhance their resilience and become better equipped to face life’s challenges.

7. Storge (family love):

Storge, the love within families, becomes a source of strength when nurtured through communication, mutual respect, and shared values. Building a supportive family network provides a foundation for facing life’s trials with collective brawn.

8. Mania (obsessive love):

Transmuting the intensity of Mania involves redirecting outward focus inward towards personal growth and self-discovery. Channeling obsessive love into passion for individual pursuits helps in creating a strong and resilient sense of self.

 

By understanding and intentionally alchemizing the energy of each type of love, we tap into reservoirs of power, tenacity, and fulfillment. It is through these emotional connections that we voyage through human existence, turning moments of vulnerability into wellsprings of power.

As we embark on this journey of alchemical transformation, let us reflect on the ways we can consciously weave these loves into the fabric of our lives. How can we balance the delicate dance between passion and stability? In what ways can we cultivate playful spontaneity while maintaining a sense of purpose? And how might we harmonize self-love with compassion for others?

These questions serve as invitations to explore the nuances of love, urging us to delve deeper into the alchemy of our emotions. By pondering the intersections of these loves and their potential for transformation, we unlock the door to a more profound understanding of ourselves and the greater world around us.

As you navigate the pathways of love’s alchemy, consider this: How will you consciously harness the energy of each love to sculpt a life of purpose, fortitude, and enduring joy?