Goddess of Love, Beauty & Sex
The mighty Aphrodite was born under ambiguous circumstances. Boiled down she was born one of two ways, either she was the daughter of Zeus (God of Sky & Thunder) and Dione (a Titaness/Oceanid) or she was born when Cronus (Titan) instructed Gaia (Mother Earth), to castrate her husband Uranus (Sky) and throw his penis into the ocean, where it turned to foam (aphros) and she arose from that. Let the jocularity begin!
Aside from Zeus and his brothers, Poseidon (God of the Sea) and Hades (God of the Underworld), Aphrodite is the next most recognizable god and certainly the most predominant among the women. She was never portrayed as someone who had a childhood.
The goddess was desired by so many, Zeus had a real dilemma and threat of rivalry for her attention and affection. In order to ease that tension he gave Aphrodite to Hephaestus (God of Fire & Metal). He did this for two reasons. First, Hephaestus hated his mother Hera (Goddess of Marriage & Monogamy) and had just glued her ass to a golden throne and wouldn’t let her get off it and second Hephaestus was born homely, crippled and not much of a threat. Zeus believed by giving him Aphrodite he secured peace in his kingdom and his wife released from her throne.
Aphrodite wasn’t the most beautiful goddess, her powers brought on the desire of man. She had the ability to create beauty and desire wherever and in whomever she wanted. Hephaestus, always wanting to please her, would create beautiful works of art for her, most notably were jewelry and a girdle (which was more like and elaborate golden and jeweled belt). It wound up drawing more men to her and helped her control the desire she created for men more easily.
Ares, her most prominent lover, gave her eight children, four of which were Erotes or Amores. The most well-known of these was Eros (Cupid). Hephaestus found out about his wife and the god of war via Helios (Sun). Together they planned to create a trap for the lovers. One morning while they lay in their bed, Aphrodite and Ares were abruptly awoken when a magical golden net, that was unbreakable, encapsulated them. Hephaestus dragged them up to Mount Olympus in front of everyone for retribution. He would not free them until Poseidon intervened and negotiated with Ares to pay the adulterers fine (aka walk of shame) and Zeus was required to return Aphrodite’s bride price and take back the ungrateful goddess.
Aphrodite was angered by a woman named Myrrha, for implying her daughter more beautiful than the goddess. She was driven out and turned into a myrrh tree, despite being pregnant. Myrrha has the baby anyways and Aphrodite see’s it at the base of the tree. Being clipped earlier by her son, Eros arrow, she fell instantly in love with the baby, Adonis. She brought him to Persephone (Goddess of the Underworld) for safe keeping until he had grown.
When she returns for him, Persephone doesn’t want to give him up. He has grown into a complete hottie and the two women fight over him. Zeus is forced to intervene and says he must live a third of the year with Persephone, a third of a year with Aphrodite and a third of a year wherever he pleases, which turned out to be with Aphrodite. He was eventually killed by a wild boar and returned to the Underworld. Zeus intervenes again and the man lives six months with his love and six months with the Underworld.
At a wedding, Eris, goddess of discord, creates a golden apple and inscribed it, “fairest one.” She was angered because she was the only god not given an invitation to the wedding. She tossed an apple into the circle of goddesses, Aphrodite, Hera, and Athena, who all immediately say it was for them.
Zeus says the winner was to be chosen by a mortal, Paris. The goddesses offer him superpowers. Hera offers him supreme power, Athena, wisdom, and glory in battle but Aphrodite offers him Helen, the most beautiful mortal woman in the world, to take as a wife. And because she can, she causes him to become lustful with desire for Helen and so he awards the apple to her.
Aphrodite was happy but the other two goddesses are infuriated and through Helen’s abduction by Paris, and the vanity of the three goddesses, bring about the Trojan War.
Aphrodite is always known as this beautiful, seductive woman but she was malicious and most of her ire came in the form of possessing one to harm another. The most notable was Hippolytus. He favored Artemis (Goddess of the Hunt & Moon), so this angered the beauty goddess so much that she made his stepmother fall in the deepest desire and love for him. When he rebuked her advances she killed herself, leaving a note saying he raped her. This enraged his father, who asked Poseidon for help. The sea-god instructed sea monsters to grab hold of Hippolytus’s chariot and drag him beneath it, they did, killing the man for loving another.
She represents sex, affection, desire and attraction. Her potions and spells are known as aphrodisiacs
She is depicted nude most often; her hair is strawberry blonde, her face is fair and flawless, she’s voluptuous and her eyes change color to her whim
Later in life she is usually shown as vain, angry and easily offended
Her sacred animals are doves, dolphins and swans
Her symbols are seashells, girdle, roses, anemone and myrtle
Her token days are Fridays and her month is April