Welcome back to White Rose of Avalon’s week-long tribute to the Goddess of Love, Aphrodite. For today’s final day of Aphrodisia Week, I have chosen to focus on Aphrodite’s aspect of Queen! It is, in my opinion, her most powerful aspect which is why I saved it for last.
So, Aphrodite is seen as a Queen of Hearts of sorts. She is the ruler of love and beauty in the Greek pantheon. If you were pining after a person that you loved from afar, it would be Aphrodite that you would pray to. If you wanted to spice up your love life, you would pray to Aphrodite. Even other forms of love were under the direct governance of this Great Goddess. She presided over familial love, love between friends, and romantic love. Aphrodite was truly the Great Goddess who ruled over the hearts and libidos of humans and Gods alike!
This Queen aspect of Aphrodite is also the one that we see giving orders to her son Eros to make certain matches with his arrows. She chose who fell in love with whom and whether or not it was reciprocated. This could even lead to her purposely making someone fall in love with another whom she made sure felt disdain for this person! Most often, that would occur with someone who had angered her or insulted her in some way, as a punishment.
We can even argue that Aphrodite’s Queen aspect is the one that got her punished by Zeus by making her feel lust for a human. This is the story of her and Anchises, with whom she had a sexual affair under the guise of being a human. Anchises was the father of her son, the Greek hero Aeneas. This lust for a mortal was used to teach Aphrodite a lesson about the destructive nature of her propensity for pairing other Gods with mortals due to her whims! It was after this that we see her taking lovers as she will, whether they are mortal or Divine in origin. It could also be this event that would spur on her most famous mortal love affair, that with Adonis!
Her Queen aspect is the one that would see her directing the love lives of others. I think this is seen in her feeling empathy for certain mortals begging for love, such as Pygmalion. She used her magic to turn his statue into a wife for him, as he had fallen in love with the image he created! We also see this empathy causing her to create a change in the lives of mortals in the story of Atalanta. Atalanta knew that she was destined to marry someone, she knew she could not remain a virgin forever. However, she did not want to marry a man that was undeserving of her love, so she challenged each to a footrace. It was Aphrodite who took pity on her last suitor, who had prayed to Aphrodite being sick with love for Atalanta and desperate to marry her. Aphrodite gifted him golden apples to distract her with during the race. This would let him win the race and her hand in marriage!
At the end of the day, any time that Aphrodite used her position as Queen of Hearts to affect the lives of mortals and Gods she was shown in this powerful aspect of Queen Aphrodite! I hope that you have enjoyed learning a bit about Aphrodite each day this week. I want to thank all of my readers for joining me on this journey to better understand this Goddess. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!
Note on Image: The image at the top of the post is Aphrodite looking very much like the Queen. I found the image on http://persephoneandhecate.blogspot.com/2011/06/exploring-archetypes-aphrodite.html.
- Pagan Portals-Aphrodite: Encountering the Goddess of Love & Beauty & Initiation by Irisanya Moon