Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Story of Aphrodite

Aphrodite was born from sea foam,
and while she walked along the shore,
flowers sprang up from under her feet.
She was the personification
of the generative powers of nature,
and the mother of all living beings.
The goddess of love,
who excited passion in the
hearts of gods and men,
and by this power ruled over
all living creation.
She punished those who neglected
her worship or despised her power.
She favored and protected those
who did pay homage to her and
recognized her sway.
Goddess of love and beauty.
Goddess of gracefulness.
As Aphrodite so often kindled
in the hearts of the gods,
she had a love for mortals.
Zeus at last resolved
to make her pay for her
wanton ways by inspiring her
to fall in love with a mortal man.
This was accomplished,
and Aphrodite conceived
an invincible passion for Anchises,
by whom she became the mother
of Aeneas and Lyrus.
As the ancient story goes;
Smyrna had neglected to worship
Aphrodite, and was punished
by the goddess with an
unnatural love for her father. 
When he discovered that
he was deceived by his daughter,
her wanted her dead and chased
after her.
Frightened Smyrna begged the
gods and goddesses to make
her unseen.
They took pity upon her and turned her
into a tree and called it, smurna.
After the lapse of nine months
the tree burst, and Adonis was born.
Aphrodite was so much charmed
with the beauty of the infant,
that she concealed it in a chest
which she entrusted to Persephone.
Later to discover that Persephone
would not give it up.
The case was brought before Zeus,
who decided the dispute by declaring
that during four months of every year
Adonis should be left to himself,
during four months he should
belong to Persephone,
and during the remaining four to Aphrodite.
Adonis, however, preferring to live with Aphrodite,
also spent with her the four months over which he had control.
Afterwards, Adonis died of a wound
which he received from a wild boar during the chase.
Upon his death, he goes to the
Underworld, where Persephone
and he meet again.
When Aphrodite realized what had
happened, she went to the Underworld
to fight back for him with Persephone.
Zeus saw this and once again
decided that Adonis should be with
Persephone six months and the
remaining six months with Aphrodite.
Aphrodite was invited to the wedding of Peleus and Thetis.
One goddess, Eris,  was uninvited and came
to the wedding with a Golden Apple.
She threw the apple among the
goddesses, Aphrodite, Hera, and Athena.
The inscription said, "to the fairest one".
The goddesses all thought they were
the fairest one.
Once again, Zeus decided
that the decision to choose which
goddess was fairest should be
done by Paris.
He could not make a choice
because all three goddesses were
fair and beautiful.
So they bribed him.
Hera offered him control over
Asia and Europe.
While Athena offered him fame,
glory in battle and wisdom.
Aphrodite offered him the most
beautiful mortal woman named, Helen.
Who was, unfortunately for Paris, already
married to King Menelaus of Sparta.
This enraged the other two goddesses.
And this is what started the Trojan War.
Finally, Pygmalion and Galatea.
It is said that the sculptor,
Pygmalion, wouldn't marry.
Aphrodite told him he must make a choice.
Instead of choosing someone, he told
her he would make a sculpture for her.
She had to give him an extra day.
When Aphrodite came back the next day,
the sculpture turned out to be the
most beautiful woman she had ever laid eyes on.
Then she told him to make his choice.
He chose the sculpture.
Aphrodite didn't agree.
He was forced to make a choice again.
And once again, Pygmalion chose
his beautiful sculpture.
Aphrodite took pity upon him and
used her powers to make the sculpture
come alive.
Hence Galatea was given life
and Pygmalion and she got married.
And this was but a short little story about
the goddess of beauty and love,

copyright © Karen Elizabeth Waters 2012

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