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Author Topic: Aphrodite?  (Read 8887 times)
Caroline
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« Reply #15: April 21, 2007, 07:59:49 pm »

I would assume She would strongly be connected to either Sparta or the legendary Amazons, though, which may make it easier for me to find.

In antiquity the Amazons were sometimes called the 'daughters of Ares' and in the myths were usually set up as the opponents of Heroes (in particular Heracles and Theseus). They definitely filled the "outsider" role, thematically - as barbarian outsiders they were rather regularly abducted/raped, killed (or killed in battle, wept over and then raped) or "civilized" through marriage; as lovers and wives they were often abandoned, only to be later killed when they attempted revenge. The persistence of the amazons as lesbians theme is odd considering it's never mentioned as part of these events -- indeed, the lack of men in their culture was considered evidence by the ancient Greeks that they were mythical (or as Plutarch suggested, that they did have their own men and fought along with them).

They've been associated with various different gods (even Dionysos, in the later periods) and later depictions in classical revivals as well modern Amazon myths in pop culture (Xena, comics, etc) have added more confusion and mystery to the mix.

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« Reply #16: April 22, 2007, 10:56:44 pm »

In antiquity the Amazons were sometimes called the 'daughters of Ares' and in the myths were usually set up as the opponents of Heroes (in particular Heracles and Theseus). They definitely filled the "outsider" role, thematically - as barbarian outsiders they were rather regularly abducted/raped, killed (or killed in battle, wept over and then raped) or "civilized" through marriage; as lovers and wives they were often abandoned, only to be later killed when they attempted revenge. The persistence of the amazons as lesbians theme is odd considering it's never mentioned as part of these events -- indeed, the lack of men in their culture was considered evidence by the ancient Greeks that they were mythical (or as Plutarch suggested, that they did have their own men and fought along with them).

The only tenuous connection I can think of is that Sappho dedicated many of her poems to Aphrodite. And while Sappho may or may not have been a lesbian, she was definitely a Lesbian Smiley

But that really has nothing to do with warrior-ness or Amazons.

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Caroline
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« Reply #17: April 23, 2007, 12:34:03 pm »

The only tenuous connection I can think of is that Sappho dedicated many of her poems to Aphrodite. And while Sappho may or may not have been a lesbian, she was definitely a Lesbian Smiley

But that really has nothing to do with warrior-ness or Amazons.

That's pretty much my thoughts on it. (And that particular connection - and the word lesbian as a sexuality nomiker - didn't come into use until the modern age.)

Caroline
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Carnelian
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« Reply #18: July 11, 2009, 03:01:01 pm »

Perhaps you can tell me about your experiences?  I know there are a few representations of Aphrodite.  Plato had Aphrodite Ourania and Aphrodite Pandemos, initially the same at first (I think) but made into two distinct Goddesses.  I also think, if I remember correctly, there was a "Warrior Aphrodite" (who was in charge of women-love; lesbians).

Aphrodite Areia (of war) was worshiped in Sparta, so that was Aphrodite in her was aspect, though I've never heard of her being a goddess of lesbians. Sappho was especially devoted to Aphrodite, and she was believed to have been a lesbian, but there was no particular aspect of Aphrodite that was the patron of lesbians, specifically. Aphrodite rules over love and sexuality for everybody, straight, gay or otherwise.

Her aspects of Aphrodite Ourania (of the heavens) and Aphrodite Pandemos (of all the people) pre-existed Plato. He just interpreted them to contrast each other, with Aphrodite Ourania ruling "higher", non-sexual love between men, and Aphrodite Pandemos to symbolize common, animal-like love and lustthat could be shared with women (those wicked, savage creatures lol). Aphrodite Ourania was originally her aspect as a sky goddess, like her Near Eastern counterparts Inanna and Ishtar, who were Sumerian and Babylonian versions of the same goddess, the queen of heaven and goddess of sex and war. Aphrodite Pandemos describes Aphrodite's power of love, sex and procreation to be common to everyone.

She's a very misrepresented goddess, as she's usually understood to be a vain, hyper-sexual bimbo who rules only love and beauty. Actually, she is a very powerful and important goddess ruling over sexuality, life and death. As the goddess of sexuality, she is a generative nature goddess, and mother of all things. Sex is the universal generative life-creating force as it is manifest in humans, and the source of all life. Even the gods procreate sexually, according to Hesiod's Theogony. Aphrodite oversees the principle of the generation of life.

She has her more destructive aspects as well, with titles like Aphrodite Androphonos (man-slayer), Epitymbria (of the tombs), Melainis (black one, her cthonic aspect). She is destruction as well as creation and rules over the life-sex-death cycles of life.
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« Reply #19: July 12, 2009, 01:36:45 pm »

You might want to check out this book, Devoted to You, as it has a section written by someone following Aphrodite.

Asteria Publishing House is also coming out with a series by an Aphrodite's Priestess-Laurelei Black, who has her blog and virtual 'thiasos, if you are interested- 
http://www.asteriabooks.com/catalog/aphrodites-priestess.html

there's the link... ' Masks Of The Muse' has also a lovely section about her.
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« Reply #20: July 19, 2009, 12:43:31 am »

She's a very misrepresented goddess, as she's usually understood to be a vain, hyper-sexual bimbo who rules only love and beauty. Actually, she is a very powerful and important goddess ruling over sexuality, life and death. As the goddess of sexuality, she is a generative nature goddess, and mother of all things. Sex is the universal generative life-creating force as it is manifest in humans, and the source of all life. Even the gods procreate sexually, according to Hesiod's Theogony. Aphrodite oversees the principle of the generation of life.

She has her more destructive aspects as well, with titles like Aphrodite Androphonos (man-slayer), Epitymbria (of the tombs), Melainis (black one, her cthonic aspect). She is destruction as well as creation and rules over the life-sex-death cycles of life.

Absolutely.  Aphrodite is a complex and all-too-often misrepresented goddess.  I think the more we understand Aphrodite as intimately connected with the life-sex-death cycle that Arion talks about, the more we not only understand her better as a goddess, but understand how in some ways she is the most important goddess, inhabiting the very quick of what it means to be human.

I have had life-altering experiences with Aphrodite.  I have a shrine to her in my living room, and I pray to her and worship her more often by far than any other deity, because I think she is worthy of that kind of worship.  I've got a fair number of posts on my blog about her, and I won't litter the thread with them, but I will point you to a good article (not by me) called "The Other Side of Aphrodite": http://sannion.livejournal.com/568275.html?view=5909459
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