Aphrodite's altar is coming along. I want to post a picture in the next few days. I preformed my first ritual at it yesterday morning. I was actually planning to do it sooner, but there were a few days where my health wasn't letting me, and then another morning where I took a ritual shower, got dressed, and things just didn't feel right. I didn't preform the ritual, and I spent some time thinking about what was off... eventually it hit me, it was the clothes. I shouldn't be wearing them. I shouldn't be wearing anything.
That was a new one for me. Fifteen-ish years of paganism and I have not once ever felt the need to do a ritual in the nude. It's not so much that I'm uncomfortable with the idea, but it just wouldn't be practical for the types of rituals I tend to do. I've never been big on ritual garb one way or the other, really, my everyday clothes have just worked fine for most things up to this point.
So since I had no real objections I went ahead with it. I wasn't really sure what to expect. I've seen a few other pagans say that the first time they practiced nude they found it totally freeing, and amazing, and wonderful, and they'll never go back... and nope, didn't get any of that myself. It wasn't super amazing, and it wasn't uncomfortable or awkward, it just felt normal and like the right thing for the ritual. I will continue to do it when honoring Aphrodite in this same setting, but I don't see it becoming a regular occurrence in other ritual settings.
As for the ritual itself I probably should have written more of it out, rather than just be beginning and part of the middle, because I found myself rambling a bit at times. Shortly after the ritual I found myself thinking of another deity, and realized that perhaps this deity should actually be included on the altar as well (and that I perhaps should be directing my specific request to this deity?). I'm still thinking on that...