Venus was the most beautiful baby born, but she was cursed in two ways: First, no one knew who her father was, her mother deftly convincing the village that the father was Zeus. The second curse was that she was indeed beautiful. She drew looks of appraisal and sometimes envy from everyone she passed. But she felt tremendous shame because she thought they were staring at her because of her illegitimacy.

When she reached puberty the type of attention from most men and some women changed, uncomfortably so. Now the looks had something of an erotic hunger. One hot August afternoon, when everyone was taking their naps, she snuck out to bathe by the cool stream. From his bedroom window a young farmer neighbor saw her heading towards the stream and stealthily followed her. After watching her bathe naked, the farmer felt compelled to approach her and forced her to make love with him. The signs of violation were unmistakable to her mother, so the next day she took the unwilling Venus to be a servant in their island’s temple.

The priestess protected and mentored Venus teaching her music, dance, reading, writing, aesthetics, political discourse, and philosophy. More importantly, her mentor treated Venus with respect and taught her how to honor the goddess within. It was difficult to cast aside her shame but over time Venus grew in empathy for herself and for humanity.

In her authenticity, she inspired women to embrace their sensual power and inner beauty, and to stand naked and proud. In another way, Venus inspired men to rise up and become better men. Venus and her followers, men and women alike, brought great gifts to humanity: self-awareness, the spark of creation, sensuality, evolutionary knowledge, art, and love.

Venus discovered a strange irony: to be free one needs to master every element of being human, which, indeed becomes divine.


Michael Newberry

About The Author:

Author: Michael Newberry
Michael Newberry has been pioneering figurative art for over four decades with his unpredictable brand of beauty. Some of his notable paintings are Denouement, Icarus Landing, Puccini, Manhattan at Night (with the Twin Towers), and his current Lovers' Series. He has exhibited in Santa Monica, Los Angeles, New York, Rome, Athens, and he will have an upcoming show at the White Cloud Gallery in Washington D.C. in the fall of 2017. He discovered Rembrandt at 11 years-old, Ayn Rand at 20, and Puccini at 26; they have fueled his lifelong excitement for light, aesthetics, and the best of the human spirit. He has also written and lectured on the visual arts covering contemporary representational artists, postmodernists, symbolism, and the aesthetics of Rand and Kant. Two well-received articles are Detecting Value Judgments in Painting, and Terrorism and Postmodern Art. He was the founder of Newberry Gallery in Santa Monica, 2008-10 and he was the founder of Foundation for the Advancement of Art in 2003. Important collectors are Jennifer Grossman, Stephen Hicks, and Chan Luu.

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