Aphrodite was the goddess of love, desire and
beauty. Apart from her natural beauty, she also had a magical girdle that
compelled everyone to desire her.
There are two accounts
of her birth. According to one, she was the daughter of Zeus and Dione,
the mother goddess worshipped at the Oracle of Dodona. However, the other account,
which is more prevalent, informs us that she arose from the sea on a giant
scallop, after Cronus castrated Uranus and tossed his severed
genitals into the sea. Aphrodite then walked to the
shore of Cyprus. In a different version of the myth, she was born near the
island of Cythera, hence her epithet “Cytherea”.
Aphrodite was married to Hephaestus; however, she had an
affair with her brother Ares,
god of war. When Hephaestus found out about the
affair, he devised a plan and managed to humiliate his wife and her lover to
the other Olympians.
Her holy tree was the myrtle, while her holy birds were the dove, the swan, and
the sparrow.
Aphrodite represented sex, affection, and the
attraction that binds people together.

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