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The Cottage May/Midsummer 2001 Issue

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May Diety

APHRODITE

pronounced af-roh-dye-tee

Stats & Facts


Aphrodite is the Goddess of Love and Sexual Desire.
Her role as the goddess of love was to make love and inspire others to so as well.
Her tree is the myrtle.
Her bird(s) are the swan, the sparrow, and sometimes the dove.
Aphrodite is thought to be a West Asian goddess brought to Greece -and Greek myth- by sea-traders.
Aphrodite's Roman name is Venus.

Aphrodite is known as the Greek Goddess (Roman Venus) of love, desire, beauty, fertility, the sea, and vegetation. It is said that when Cronus was castrated by Uranus, and his part was thrown into the sea, Aphrodite was thus born and arose on a large shell, which was then carried to land, thus her name being translated "foam-risen". The sea nymphs dressed her and adorned her with flowers and gold. She now represents Erotic Love as a form of Divine influence, which has resulted in many men becoming capable of falling in love with her. There are many other tales of Aphrodite, as her Roman name is Venus, she is also known as the daughter of Zeus and Dione.

Family life

In Homeric legend Aphrodite was forced to marry the ugly god of fire, Hephaestus, with this marriage, she had hoped to reach the freedom she needed instead of being controlled. Aphrodite was very independent and constantly in search for a new lover. One of her more familiar lovers was Ares, the god of war, whom she later married. Aphrodite felt no pain in being deceitful, as she flourished in the fact that she could have anyone and everyone, love and admire her. Aphrodite has had many miscellaneous children as a result of her whimsical affairs, but a few of her more familiar ones are, Eros(god of Love), Rhodos, Herophilus, Hermaphroditus, Priapus, and Aneas. We can remember Aneas as the founder of Rome. Aneas had fled Troy when it was destroyed, accompanied by his son. He traveled far and wide, lived and heard many tales of the past and the future, until he found Rome and claimed it.

Aphrodite's more admired child is Eros.Eros or the Roman Cupid. Eros (Cupid) means desire, for Eros is the god of Love. Just as Aphrodite was married to an ugly god, Hephaestus, she had her son follow in similar footsteps. Eros was in love with Psyche, a beautiful princess. Except Psyche was a mortal, and Aphrodite hated her for her beauty. Aphrodite had Eros persuade Psyche to fall in love with a monster (Eros really), so he hid his identity from her, for she believed him to be hideous. She would only see him at night, as Eros kept her hidden away from all people. One night, Psyche's curiosity got the best of her, and she looked upon Eros by candlelight as he slept. Eros was so enraged by her spying that he left her to wander the world in misery, but he knew that his love for her was too strong. He begged Zeus to change her to an immortal, and they were finally married. We see Eros today as the symbol of love on Valentines day, and other sweetheart moments. Many of the portraiture of Aphrodite is recognizes by the image of Eros by her side, such as Venus, Cupid, Folly and Time by Bronzino.

Legends?

The most famous legend of Aphrodite, is the beginning of the Trojan War. Aphrodite was among two other goddess, Hera and Athena, who were invited to the wedding of King Peleus and his sea nymph Thetis. Eris the goddess of discord was so outraged that she was not invited, so she threw a golden apple labeled "to the fairest" in the center of the floor. All three goddess knew that they were the fairest, and fought over it. Since Zeus would not choose the fairest, the goddess's looked upon Paris, the Prince of Troy, to make the award. Each goddess offered poor Paris a bribe for them to be the chosen one. Thus the bribe he could not turn down was that of Aphrodite, as she offered him the most beautiful woman in the world, Helen of Troy. Helen however was the wife of the Greek king Menelaus, so Paris's abduction of Helen led to the Trojan War.

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Aphrodite, Goddess of Love
When I open my heart
I am filled
with delight so profound
with ecstasy so sweet
with pleasure so deep
the connecting with my beloved
takes me to all the places
and the union
plays rhapsodies in my soul
I can achieve oneness
with myself
I can dance partnership
when I can dance alone
I can love another
when I can love myself

The Lessons of this Goddess

Aphrodite is here with her dance of love, inviting you to luxuriate, bask, and revel in love for yourself. Do you spend the day without thinking or saying how much you love yourself? Do you do little loving things for yourself? Or are you miserly, keeping yourself on a diet of starvation rations? Do you listen to your needs in a loving, respectful way, or do you criticize yourself for balking at the schedule you keep, for complaining about the job you hate, for bemoaning the relationship you endure? Now is the time to love yourself! The Goddess says that to be able to love another, you must be able to love yourself. Loving others means being able to allow them to be exactly as they are. It means witnessing yourself and your loved ones with love, amusement, and delight. The amount of space we can allow another is dependent on the amount of space we can allow for ourselves. Wholeness is achieved when we can hold infinite space and patience for ourselves first and then extend it to others.

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SOURCES:

http://www.angelfire.com/va/goddesses/aphr.html


http://www.geocities.com/hestia624/olympians-aphrodite.html


http://www.arthistory.sbc.edu/imageswomen/papers/parisaphrodite/aphrodite.html