Aphrodite is well-known as the Goddess of Love.
She also goes by the names Lover of Laughter and The Golden One.
I believe these two titles sum up the sparkling energy of Aphrodite, the original Mother Goddess.
Beltane and Litha is the time of the year when the magic of Aphrodite is most strongly felt, when you don’t have to be Pagan to feel her abundant summer energy.
As summer begins, Aphrodite awakens the earth, just as she awakens our spirit.
Her passion can be felt in the lengthening days, the flourishing earth, the growing heat of the sun.
As the roses bloom, so to does the influence and love of Aphrodite.
As the Goddess of Love, Aphrodite brings peace, compassion and civilization to humanity.
In the southern hemisphere, Litha (or Midsummer) coincides with Christmas celebrations, the so-called time of goodwill and peace on earth.
I believe this harmony of existence stems more from the influence of Aphrodite, than our backwards summer Christmas.
Around this time, approaching the end of the year for most (for Witches, Litha marks the height of the year), people are kinder towards one another, more compassionate to their fellow-man.
No doubt the holiday season contributes to this, but love, peace, compassion and kindness are all qualities inspired by the Goddess of Love.
Aphrodite was born of the sea, springing from a combination of the blood of Ouranos and sea-foam, a child of the heavens and the sea.
After her inception, she washed up upon the shores of Cyprus, a Divine child upon the waves.
Each year, Aphrodite returns to the place of her birth to wash herself clean, restoring her virginity in the waves of her birth.
Because of this process, she can be both sexually active and eternally virginal.
When Aphrodite found her way to Mount Olympus, the home of the Gods, Zeus knew instantly that her arrival would cause problems.
Being so divinely beautiful, there were sure to be arguments and strife, as Gods and Goddesses alike fought for her attentions.
In this Zeus was right, as it is only Athena, Artemis and Hera who are resistant to the womanly charms of Aphrodite.
Zeus solved this problem by marrying her off to Hephaestus, God of the Smith.
Hephaestus was an ugly old man and a cripple, he was also kind and of a good nature.
Hephaestus’ calm and gentle demeanor was not enough for a Goddess who worshipped beauty, and she began to stray from her arranged marriage.
Aphrodite and Ares, the God of War, began an affair early on in Aphrodite’s marriage to Hephaestus.
It would seem Aphrodite, like many women, was attracted to the bad boy type, Ares being a bit of a renegade and rebel among the Gods of Olympus.
Aphrodite’s affair with Ares did cause her some problems.
During one of their dalliances they were spotted by Apollo, the Solar God.
Apollo was quick to dob in the pair and Hephaestus quick to act.
He crafted and unbreakable net using his forge and set off to surprise his wayward wife and her lover.
When he came upon them, locked in their lovers embrace, Hephaestus threw his net, capturing them both inside.
He then called upon the other Gods to come and witness Aphrodite in her shame.
The Gods acquiesced and appeared at the bedside of the captured lovers, laughing and pointing, relishing in their shame.
This public shaming did not stop Ares and Aphrodite, though.
She would go on to bear three children to the God of War; a daughter she named Harmony, and two sons, Fear and Terror.
An interesting combination the two Divinities make, Love and War, to then go on and give birth to Fear, Terror and Harmony.
Though she had many affairs with Ares, the true love of Aphrodite’s life is Adonis, the God of Beauty and Desire.
(Adonis is often portrayed in the modern age, as Cupid).
Adonis’ pregnant mother was turned into a Myrrh tree by the Gods for her own protection.
Born of the tree, Adonis was then left without a Mother to care for him.
Aphrodite came upon the defenceless infant and took him in, giving him a home.
She loved the young God dearly, trusting him only to Persephone to babysit.
Persephone was also enraptured with the beauty of the God, falling in love with him, as had Aphrodite.
When Aphrodite returned to the Underworld to take back the child, the two Goddesses fought viciously over him.
Hearing the great ruckus, Zeus intervened, and settled the argument of the warring Goddesses by splitting the custody of Adonis between them.
Adonis would spend four months of the year above ground with Aphrodite, and four months in the Underworld with Persephone.
The remaining four he could spend as he pleased, though he always chose to stay by the side of Aphrodite.
As Adonis matured into adulthood, everyone was happy with this arrangement.
Adonis loved the thrill of the hunt, spending much of his above ground time engaged in the sport.
Although hunting goes against the nature of the Goddess of Love, she took up the sport to spend time with her beloved.
One day while the pair were out hunting wild boar, Aphrodite tired of the chase and decided to return home.
She pleaded with Adonis not to put himself in danger, that if any boar should show aggression, he should concede and return home to her.
Unfortunately, Adonis did not heed the warning of the Goddess, and when a boar decided to charge him, he stood his ground.
In the scuffle, Adonis was mortally wounded by the boar, ( Who could likely have been a jealous Ares in disguise).
Hearing his cries, Aphrodite rushed back into the forest, returning to find her dying lover, bleeding his last onto the earth.
Aphrodite was too late and was unable to save him.
Adonis again descended to the Underworld, this time his stay was to be permanent.
A grieving Aphrodite, deeply mourning the loss of her lover, petitioned Zeus that Adonis be returned to her.
Seeing the depth of her grief Zeus conceded, permitting Adonis to return to the earth, to Aphrodite, for half of the year.
The other half to be spent as a shade in the Underworld.
As such, Adonis is a sacrificial god, his return bringing the delight of Aphrodite upon the earth, his descent bringing her mourning, the annual death and rebirth of the earth.
Aphrodite is the epitome of a fertility Goddess.
She is the original earth Goddess, bringing growth and abundance in her wake.
Wherever she walks, flowers bloom in her wake.
Patriarchy diminished the true nature of Aphrodite, as it did to many of the ancient Goddesses, reducing her to only a Goddess of sex and passion.
Her temples were the home of her sacred prostitutes, where men could go and make love to these priestesses of Aphrodite, symbolically making love to the Goddess herself.
This no doubt pleased Aphrodite, as she loves pleasure in all its forms, but it is sad that this is all she became.
Her aspects of fertility and Mother Goddess buried beneath the sex and passion aspects of the Goddess.
As a Goddess of Love, Aphrodite rules over all things of beauty, love, sex, passion, of friendship, compassion and earthly pleasures.
She is playful, affectionate and loving.
She brings passion and desire to a marriage, renewing relationships gone stale, breathing the energy of young love into our hearts and souls.
Aphrodite can return us to the spirit of our youth, returning a sense of wonder, discovery and joy to our lives.
She enjoys our human and material pleasures, looking after your body and pampering yourself pleases Aphrodite.
Her Sabbats of Beltane and Midsummer are a time of laughter, joy, friendship, dancing and wild abandon.
All these things are that which please Aphrodite.
Love has the power to change our lives, and Aphrodite changes our hearts and our souls with love and compassion.
Correspondences Of Aphrodite:
- Morning and Evening Star
- Hand Mirror
- Sea Shells
- All Aphrodisiacs
- Birds In General
- Rose Quartz
- Clear Quartz
Seasons & Sabbats:
- Litha ( Midsummer Solstice)
Herbs & Plants:
- Rose and Rose Petals
- Red Wine
- Gold Jewellery