Aphrodite
Aphrodite
AphroditeIcon.JPG Once upon a time the universe existed in perpetual sexual union, male joined with female, Heaven with Earth. Sadly, Earth was getting pretty uncomfortable with all the babies in her belly that couldn't get out because Heaven's damned penis was in the way. So she snuck her littlest boy a scythe and off went daddy's naughty bits, which flew into the ocean and turned into the Goddess Aphrodite, who in her turn encapsulates everything that has to do with the urges, emotions, and results of sticking the boyparts in the girlparts again. Aphrodite.jpg

Common History

In Hesiod's Theogony, Aphrodite is born off the coast of Cythera from the foam (aphros) produced by Uranus's genitals, which his son Cronus has severed and thrown into the sea. In Homer's Iliad, however, she is the daughter of Zeus and Dione. Plato, in his Symposium 180e, asserts that these two origins actually belong to separate entities: Aphrodite Ourania (a transcendent, "Heavenly" Aphrodite) and Aphrodite Pandemos (Aphrodite common to "all the people"). Aphrodite had many other epithets, each emphasizing a different aspect of the same goddess, or used by a different local cult. Thus she was also known as Cytherea (Lady of Cythera) and Cypris (Lady of Cyprus), both of which claimed to be her place of birth.

In Greek mythology, Aphrodite was married to Hephaestus, the god of blacksmiths and metalworking. Despite this, Aphrodite was frequently unfaithful to him and had many lovers; in the Odyssey, she is caught in the act of adultery with Ares, the god of war. In the Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite, she seduces the mortal shepherd Anchises. Aphrodite was also the surrogate mother and lover of the mortal shepherd Adonis, who was killed by a wild boar. Along with Athena and Hera, Aphrodite was one of the three goddesses whose feud resulted in the beginning of the Trojan War. Aphrodite has been featured in western art as a symbol of female beauty and has appeared in numerous works of western literature. She is a major deity in modern Neopagan religions, including the Church of Aphrodite, Wicca, and Hellenismos.

She was also called Kypris or Cytherea after her birth-places in Cyprus and Cythera, respectively, both centers of her cult. She was associated with Hesperia and frequently accompanied by the Oreads, nymphs of the mountains. She was also often depicted with the sea, dolphins, doves, swans, pomegranates, sceptres, apples, myrtle, rose trees, lime trees, clams, scallop shells, and pearls.

Related Colony

Scorpia

Common Rituals

Her festival, Aphrodisia, was celebrated across Greece, but particularly in Athens and Corinth. At the temple of Aphrodite on the summit of Acrocorinth (before the Roman destruction of the city in 146 BC), intercourse with her priestesses was considered a method of worshiping Aphrodite. This temple was not rebuilt when the city was re-established under Roman rule in 44 BC, but the fertility rituals likely continued in the main city near the agora.

Cults and Sects

The cult of Aphrodite may have involved ritual prostitution.[38][39] The Greek euphemism for a sacred prostitute is hierodoule, meaning "sacred slave". Ritual prostitution is attested in association with Aphrodite in Corinth and on the islands of Cyprus, Cythera, and Sicily,[39] but it is not attested in Athens.[39] Ritual prostitution was an inherent part of the rituals owed to Aphrodite's Near Eastern forebears, Sumerian Inanna and Akkadian Ishtar,[38][39] whose temple priestesses were the "women of Ishtar," ishtaritum.[39] Ritual prostitution has been documented in Babylon, Syria, and Palestine, in Phoenician cities and the Tyrian colony Carthage.[39] Aphrodite was everywhere the patroness of the hetaera and courtesan. In Ionia on the coast of Asia Minor, hierodoulai served in the temple of Artemis.

Hymn

Heav'nly, illustrious, laughter-loving queen,
Sea-born, night-loving, of an awful mien;
Crafty, from whom necessity first came,
Producing, nightly, all-connecting dame:
'Tis thine the world with harmony to join,
For all things spring from thee, O pow'r divine.
The triple Fates are rul'd by thy decree,
And all productions yield alike to thee:
Whate'er the heav'ns, encircling all contain,
Earth fruit-producing, and the stormy main,
Thy sway confesses, and obeys thy nod,
Awful attendant of the brumal God:
Goddess of marriage, charming to the sight,
Mother of Loves, whom banquetings delight;
Source of persuasion, secret, fav'ring queen,
Illustrious born, apparent and unseen:
Spousal, lupercal, and to men inclin'd,
Prolific, most-desir'd, life-giving, kind:
Great sceptre-bearer of the Gods, 'tis thine,
Mortals in necessary bands to join;
And ev'ry tribe of savage monsters dire
In magic chains to bind, thro' mad desire.
Come, all-attractive to my pray'r inclin'd,
For thee, I call, with holy, reverent mind.

Characters with this Patron

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