Aphrodite (The Venus Roman goddess)
Aphrodite is the Greek goddess of love, beauty, pleasure, and procreation. There are many stories surrounding her birth, It’s being written that she is the daughter of Zeus and an ancient greek goddess named Dione, but there are also other versions of stories that surrounds her birth.
She was depicted as a beautiful woman of all the goddesses. Poets praise the radiance of her smile and laughter. Her symbols include roses, the scallop shell, myrtle wreath. Her sacred animals are bees, doves, swans and sparrows.
Aphrodite was married by Zeus to the ugly and deformed Hephaestus(God of fire, metalworking, stone masonry, forges and the art of sculpture and blacksmith) so as to control the other gods jealousy. Aphrodite was very unfaithful and had many lovers amongst both gods and mortals, among her famous lovers was Adonis and Ares(the god of war).
Adonis who was the god of plants and rebirth and of eternal youth was a very handsome man whose mother Smyrna tricked his own father Theias the king of Assyria in having incestuous intercourse with her, having discovered the truth about the fact that he was committing incest with his own daughter, the king got very furious and wanted to kill Smyrna, but she ran away, after having traveled for some times, she was being transformed in a myrrh tree by the gods who pitied her, for she has been begging them that she neither wanted to live and neither she wanted to die.
Adonis was born when Theias still very angry shot an arrow into the tree trunk, splitting it wide open and it was from there that Adonis was born.
Aphrodite & Adonis As Lovers
When Adonis was still a newborn baby, Aphrodite taken by his great beauty took him under her wings and entrusted him to the goddess Persephone, after some time being also seduced by the beauty of Adonis, Persephone refused to return him to Aphrodite.
So as to settle the disputes between the two goddesses who were both madly in love with Adonis, it was being decided by Zeus that Adonis would spend 4 months first with Persephone, the next 4 months with Aphrodite and the last 4 months he would be left alone, so that he may learn to look after himself. (Source: www.greeka.com).
One day while hunting Adonis was being killed by a wild boar, said to have been sent by the other lover of Aphrodite, the god of war Ares who was jealous of Aphrodite’s love for Adonis.
Hearing the screams of his beloved Adonis, Aphrodite immediately headed for the forest, where she found him breathing his last. Kneeling by his side, she sprinkled nectar over the wound and to ease his pain she sang gently to him. A smile caressed Adonis’ countenance, as he silently passed away into the Realm of the Dead. The nectar that Aphrodite sprinkled on Adonis’ wound had turned the droplets of his blood into beautiful red anemones, while the rest of his blood flowed, becoming the river Adonis, which is today known as the river Nahr Ibrahim in coastal Lebanon. (Source: www.greeka.com).
Persephone greeted Adonis with arms wide open as he entered the underworld and her delight knew no bounds. At the same time, Aphrodite, knowing that her Adonis must be in the clutches of Persephone, rushed to the underworld to bring him back. Once again, Zeus had to intervene and stop the women from quarrelling over who would have rightful possession of Adonis. With great patience he told them that henceforth, Adonis would spend half the year with Aphrodite and the other half with Persephone. This last aspect may symbolize the life of a man, who spends half his life with his mother and half his life with his wife. (Source: www.greeka.com).