Greek Goddess of passion and sexual love, and womanly beauty. She is considered the epitome of beauty and femininity. Said to have been born of sea-foam. She is kind to those she liked, but can be cruel and merciless to those who displease her. She married Hephaestos, had an affair with Ares, and was caught. Aphrodite is the daughter of Zeus and Dione, and mother of Eros. Her animal totems are the dove, sparrow, swan, and swallow. Plants sacred to her are myrtle, poppy, rose, and apple. She symbolizes feminine prowess, sexuality, relationships, flower magic.
Though Aphrodite was married to the ugly Smith God, Hephaestus, it was not by her choice but by arrangement of Hera. Her true love was Ares, the God of War. The two conceived three children: Phobus, Deimus, and Harmonia. They were also said to have been the parents of Eros and Anteros. Another of Aphrodite's greatest loves was a man named Adonis. From his birth, she placed him in the care of Persephone, who also fell in love with him and refused to give him back when the time came. Ares' jealousy eventually caused the death of poor Adonis. Aphrodite is also the mother of Aeneas, a Trojan who supposedly founded Rome. Zeus made her fall in love with Anchises as a punishment, and she warned him never to reveal that Aeneas was her son. Being a mere mortal, he couldn't keep his mouth shut and was stricken with blindness and paralysis.
Hephaestus was fully aware of Aphrodite and Ares' ongoing affair but could do nothing about. He did, however, conceive a plan to capture them together in a net made of gold and showed them to the other Olympians. Most of them were embarrassed for the two or refused to get involved. Aphrodite ended up sleeping with Hermes as a kind of "thank you" for freeing her. This union resulted in a child named Hermaphroditus.
Aphrodite, in Greek mythology, the goddess of love and beauty and the counterpart of the Roman Venus. In Homer's Iliad she is said to be the daughter of Zeus and Dione, one of his consorts, but in later legends she is described as having sprung from the foam of the sea and her name may be translated foam-risen. In Homeric legend Aphrodite is the wife of the lame and ugly god of fire, Hephaestus. Among her lovers was Ares, god of war, who in later mythology became her husband. She was the rival of Persephone, queen of the underworld, for the love of the beautiful Greek youth Adonis.
Perhaps the most famous legend about Aphrodite concerns the cause of the Trojan War. Eris, the goddess of discord, the only goddess not invited to the wedding of King Peleus and the sea nymph Thetis, resentfully tossed into the banquet hall a golden apple, marked for the fairest. When Zeus refused to judge between the three goddesses who claimed the apple, Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite, they asked Paris, prince of Troy, to make the award. Each offered him a bribe: Hera, that he would be a powerful ruler; Athena, that he would achieve great military fame; and Aphrodite, that he should have the fairest woman in the world. Paris selected Aphrodite as the fairest and chose as his prize Helen of Troy, the wife of the Greek king Menelaus. Paris's abduction of Helen led to the Trojan War.
Probably Oriental in origin, Aphrodite was identified in early Greek religious beliefs with the Phoenician Astarte and was known as Aphrodite Urania, queen of the heavens, and as Aphrodite Pandemos, goddess of the people.
Of all the goddesses of ancient mythology, none was more widely venerated than the goddess of love. The Greeks called her Aphrodite. The Romans worshiped her as Venus.
In Homer's 'Iliad' Aphrodite is said to be the daughter of Zeus and Dione, a Titan goddess. Other stories tell how she sprang, full-grown, from the foam of the sea near the island Cythera. (Aphros is Greek for "foam.") From there Zephyrus, the west wind, carried her gently on a shell to Cyprus, which was always regarded as her real home. There the Hours met her, clothed her, and brought her to the gods.
Every god even Zeus himself wanted this beautiful, golden goddess as his wife. Aphrodite was too proud and rejected them all. To punish her, Zeus gave her to Hephaestus (Vulcan in Roman mythology), the lame and ugly god of the forge. This good-natured craftsman built her a splendid palace on Cyprus. Aphrodite soon left him for Ares (Mars), the handsome god of war. One of theirchildren was Eros (Cupid), the winged god of love.