Welcome back to White Rose of Avalon’s week-long tribute to the Goddess of Love, Aphrodite. For day six of Aphrodisia Week, I have chosen to focus on her most known aspect of the lover. After all, she is the ultimate lover in the Greek Pantheon!
Aphrodite as the lover is the iconic version of this Great Goddess. When one thinks of Aphrodite, the first thing they tend to focus on is her as a symbol of romantic love and sexual congress! This may in part be because as the ancient myths were studied over the last few centuries there has been this intense need to categorize Gods. In this view of things, Aphrodite was nothing more than a beautiful and promiscuous Goddess known for her lovers. That is not to say she does not have the fluffier aspects or the sexual lover aspect, obviously, she does as we will be discussing in this short post. I simply wanted to acknowledge that many modern people are dismissive of Her due to the way she is portrayed as only this one thing.
She took many lovers both mortal and divine within her known myths. She famously bedded Ares, Hermes, Anchises, Adonis, and countless others. Aphrodite is also said to have bedded Poseidon and Zeus in certain mythic sources. No matter whom she is said to have shared her bed with, her status as the ultimate sex symbol and lover of the Greek pantheon. Through these lovers, we see many different children born to this Goddess. She had the most children by Ares, as he was her most consistent lover.
The one myth that I have chosen, of the many I could have showcased here, is the myth of Aphrodite and Ares being discovered by her husband. When Aphrodite was forced to marry Hephaestus, the ugly God of the Forge, she ended up immediately beginning an affair with his much more attractive brother Ares. It was not long before Ares and Aphrodite were seen by Helios, Titan of the Sun. As the living embodiment of the sun Helios could see all that the sun shined upon. This included Aphrodite in the throes of passion with Ares! Helios felt bad for Hephaestus and told him about the affair. This is when Aphrodite’s husband created the thinnest and strongest net he could and hid it on his bed. He then told Aphrodite he was leaving for several days. Then when the lovers immediately met up for a tryst on Aphrodite’s bed (the one she shared with Hephaestus) they were caught in his net. He then called in all the other Olympians to laugh at the spectacle. Eventually, he agreed to cut them down when Poseidon convinced him to do so. This is also where many believe the story of Aphrodite and Poseidon having an affair began, as she slept with him in gratitude for helping free her from the net!
I hope you have enjoyed this short explanation of Aphrodite in her aspect of the lover. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!
Note on Image: The image at the top of the post is Aphrodite and Ares. I found the image on https://www.pinterest.com/pin/358599189074037524/.
- Pagan Portals-Aphrodite: Encountering the Goddess of Love & Beauty & Initiation by Irisanya Moon