Aphrodite


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Aphrodite

(ăfrədī`tē), in Greek religion and mythology, goddess of fertility, love, and beauty. Homer designated her the child of Zeus and Dione. Hesiod's account of her birth is more popular: she supposedly rose from the foam of the sea where Uranus' genitals had fallen after he had been mutilated by Kronos. Aphrodite was married to Hephaestus. She loved Ares, by whom she bore Harmonia and, in some myths, Eros and Anteros. She was the mother of Hermaphroditus by Hermes and of Priapus by Dionysus. Zeus caused her to love the shepherd Anchises, by whom she bore Aeneas. Adonis, in whose legend Aphrodite appears as a goddess of fertility, also won her favors. It was to Aphrodite that Paris awarded the apple of discord, which caused the dispute leading ultimately to the Trojan War. Worshiped throughout Greece, she was the goddess of love, marriage, and family life; she was also worshiped as a war goddess, as at Sparta, and as a sea goddess and patroness of sailors. Aphrodite had important cults at Cythera on Crete, at Paphos and Amathas on Cyprus, at Corinth, and at Mt. Eryx in Sicily. Probably of Eastern origin, she was similar in many of her attributes to the ancient Middle Eastern goddesses AstarteAstarte
, Semitic goddess of fertility and love. She was the most important goddess of the Phoenicians and corresponds to the Babylonian Ishtar and the Greek Aphrodite. She took a dominant place in Middle Eastern religions, and the Jews strictly forbade use of her name.
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 and IshtarIshtar
, ancient fertility deity, the most widely worshiped goddess in Babylonian and Assyrian religion. She was worshiped under various names and forms. Most important as a mother goddess and as a goddess of love, Ishtar was the source of all the generative powers in nature and
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. The Romans identified Aphrodite with VenusVenus,
in Roman religion and mythology, goddess of vegetation. Later, she became identified (3d cent. B.C.) with the Greek Aphrodite. In imperial times she was worshiped as Venus Genetrix, mother of Aeneas; Venus Felix, the bringer of good fortune; Venus Victrix, bringer of
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.

Aphrodite

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

Aphrodite was the Greek goddess of love, beauty and sexual rapture. Her Roman equivalent is Venus. She is directly related to the ancient fertility goddesses and mother goddesses, such as Hathor, Isis, and Astarte. In fact some authorities suggest Aphrodite was Phoenician and was the sister of the Assyro-Babylonian Ishtar and the Syro-Phoenician Astarte. According to some mythological accounts, she was born from the churning and foaming of the sea when Kronos threw Ouranos's severed genitals into the water (the Greek aphros means "sea foam"), but this story arose later. In it, Aphrodite arose from the roiling sea and was borne by the waves to Cyprus. At the Cyprian city of Paphos, a temple was erected to her.

In origin, Aphrodite was obviously a fertility goddess. Her domain covered all of nature, animal and plant. She grew to be viewed in many aspects: as Aphrodite Urania, the goddess of pure love; Aphrodite Genetrix, or Nymphia, goddess of marriage (she was prayed to by unmarried women and widows); Aphrodite Pandemos (common) and Aphrodite Porn (courtesan) as the goddess of lust and venal love, and patroness of prostitutes. She was also Aphrodite the Warrior, represented helmeted and carrying arms. She was so worshiped at Sparta.

Aphrodite was married to Hephaestus, the god of fire, metalwork and craftsmanship, but was loved by many others, gods and humans. It is said that she roused the passionate desires of all the immortals and all came under her influence, with the exception of Athene, Artemis and Hestia. Her cult, in one form or another, was found throughout the Mediterranean lands. Festivals in her honor, known as Aphrodisia, were common.

Many Witches use the name of Aphrodite as the goddess they worship, while others include her in their listings of honored deities. Of the many symbols sacred to her were the dove, sparrow, goose and swan, the goat, the lynx, and the dolphin. Sacred plants included the rose, myrtle, quince, clover and watermint. Friday is sacred to her and her special festivals are on April 1 and 23, June 23 and July 19. She is associated with the zodiacal signs Taurus and Libra, and connected with the throat, kidneys and lumbar region.

Aphrodite

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

Aphrodite, asteroid 1,388 (the 1,388th asteroid to be discovered, on September 24, 1935), is approximately 22 kilometers in diameter and has an orbital period of 5.2 years. Aphrodite was named after the Greek goddess of sex, love, and beauty, the equivalent of the Roman goddess Venus. J. Lee Lehman associates Aphrodite with Venus and Astarte (also divinities of sex and fertility), asserting that this asteroid is more “refined than the other two. Jacob Schwartz characterizes Aphrodite as “procreativity through refined expressions of beauty, sex and fertility.”

Sources:

Kowal, Charles T. Asteroids: Their Nature and Utilization. Chichester, West Sussex, UK: Ellis Horwood Limited, 1988.
Lehman, J. Lee. The Ultimate Asteroid Book. West Chester, PA: Whitford Press, 1988.
Schwartz, Jacob. Asteroid Name Encyclopedia. St. Paul, MN: Llewellyn Publications, 1995.

Aphrodite

(Rom. Venus) archetype of feminine beauty. [Gk. Myth.: Parrinder, 24]

Aphrodite

novel of Alexandrian manners by Pierre Louys. [Fr. Lit.: Benét, 783]

Aphrodite

goddess of fecundity. [Gk. Myth.: Parrinder, 24]

Aphrodite

goddess of love and beauty. [Gk. Myth.: Zimmerman, 25–26]
See: Love

Aphrodite

promiscuous goddess of sensual love. [Gk. Myth.: Parrinder, 24]

Aphrodite

Greek myth the goddess of love and beauty, daughter of Zeus
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