Welcome back to White Rose of Avalon’s week-long tribute to the Goddess of Love, Aphrodite. For day five of Aphrodisia Week, which is also Femme Fatale Friday, I have chosen the aspect of Aphrodite, Aphrodite Areia. This is Aphrodite in her warlike aspect!
This aspect of Aphrodite is most confusing to a modern person, as we are taught that Aphrodite is a Goddess of Love and Beauty. She is even portrayed as fluffy and flighty. However, Aphrodite is a genuinely Great Goddess who was worshipped by many over the course of millennia. Her worship was not just for her softer aspects, but for her warlike aspect as well.
This warlike aspect as stated above is known as Aphrodite Areia. The name of this epithet is a reference to the Greek War God Ares. Ares, of course, is also seen as one of Aphrodite’s primary lovers in the myths. Aphrodite’s warlike aspect was worshipped across the ancient world but is often seen in areas that were very warlike by nature. This aspect further connects her to other Love Goddesses that also were associated with war, like her predecessors Inanna and Ishtar, as well as Freya!
In mythic sources, the most obvious connection between her and war is the story of the Trojan War. She helped to begin the war by bribing Paris Prince of Troy to choose her as the winner of a divine beauty contest. She offered him the heart of the most beautiful woman in the world, Helen of Troy. Helen was already married, so her husband amassed an army to fight against Troy! Aphrodite supported Troy in the early battles, however, she abandoned this to protect her son Aeneas.
This brings a close to my short discussion of this warlike Aphrodite, as she is not as cited as the other aspects. I would also like to note that as today is Femme Fatale Friday, this day is sacred to the Goddess Aphrodite! I hope you have enjoyed this short post. Did this aspect of the Great Goddess surprise you? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!
Note on Image: The image at the top of the post is the warlike Aphrodite. I found the image on https://twitter.com/aphrodite_021/status/788072907146530816.
- Pagan Portals-Aphrodite: Encountering the Goddess of Love & Beauty & Initiation by Irisanya Moon