The ancient Greek goddess of love and beauty, and a deity who presided over human love, marriage ceremonies, and married life. She is depicted in works of art as a golden-haired, blue-eyed woman with pale skin and a beautiful face. Her name means "risen from the sea," and among her children were: Aeneas, Eros, Hymen, Harmonia, Priapus, and Hermaphroditus (who was half male and half female). Aphrodite was one of the Twelve Great Olympians, and the rival of the goddess Persephone for the love of the handsom Greek youth Adonis.
In Homer's epic poem, "The Iliad", Aphrodite is said to be the daughter of Zeus and his consort Dione, and through her mother she was associated with the ancient worship at Dodona. However, in later legends, Aphrodite is described as the offspring of Uranos, coming forth from the foam of the sea and arriving in her scallop shell at the myrtle grove in Cypress. According to Homer, the Graces were the three Triple Goddess aspects of Aphrodite in triad. The cult of Aphrodite was universal in the Mediterranean lands, and Aphrodisia (festivals, in her honor) were celebrated frequently at her temples near the sea.
The colors sacred to Aphrodite are white, green, blue, and scarlet. Her sacred love-drawing gemstone is lapis lazuli; her metal is copper; and the trees sacred to her are the myrtle, myrrh, and palm. The aphrodisiacs sacred to her and used by the Greeks were the tunny, sturgeon, scallop, periwinkle, and mandrake.
Aphrodite (and her Roman counterpart, Venus) are the godesses most invoked by modern Witches for the casting of love spells and for rituals involving the making of aphrodisiacs, philtres, and love charms.
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