Deities Associated With Friday – Aphrodite, Greek Goddess of Love

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Deities Associated With Friday – Aphrodite, Greek Goddess of Love

Aphrodite was the Greek goddess of love and sexuality. According to legend, she was born fully formed from the white sea form that arose when the god Uranus was castrated. She came ashore on the island of Cyprus, and later was married off by Zeus to Hephaistos, the deformed craftsman of Olympus. Despite being married to Hephaistos, Aphrodite took her job as a goddess of sexuality seriously, and had a multitude of lovers, but one of her favorites was the warrior god Ares.

At one point, Helios, the sun god, caught Ares and Aphrodite romping around, and told Hephaistos what he had seen. Hephaistos caught the two of them in a net, and invited all the other gods and goddesses to laugh at their shame… but they had none whatsoever. In fact, Aphrodite and Ares had a good laugh about the whole thing, and didn’t particularly care what anyone thought. In the end, Ares ended up paying Hephaistos a fine for his inconvenience, and the whole matter was dropped.

At one point, Aphrodite had a fling with Adonis, the young hunter god. He was killed by a wild boar one day, and some tales indicate that the boar might have been a jealous Ares in disguise.

Aphrodite had several sons, including Priapus, Eros, and Hermaphroditus.

In many myths and legends, Aphrodite is portrayed as self-absorbed and cranky. It would seem that like many of the other Greek gods, she spent a lot of time meddling in the affairs of mortals, mostly for her own amusement. She was instrumental in the cause of the Trojan War; Aphrodite offered Helen of Sparta to Paris, the prince of Troy, and then when he saw Helen for the first time, Aphrodite made sure he was inflamed with lust, thus leading to Helen’s abduction and a decade of war.

A festival was held regularly to honor Aphrodite, appropriately called the Aphrodisia. At her temple in Corinth, revelers often paid tribute to Aphrodite by having rambunctious sex with her priestesses. The temple was later destroyed by the Romans, and not rebuilt, but fertility rites appear to have continued in the area.

In addition to her association with the sea and shells, Aphrodite is connected with dolphins and swans, apples and pomegranates, and roses.

 

Author

Patti Wigington, Paganism/Wicca Expert
Article published on & owned by About.com

The Pagan Calendar for Friday, December 25th

Winter Animals-1The Pagan Calendar for Friday, December 25th

Dies Natalis Solis Invicti (‘the birthday of the unconquered sun’) (Roman) – The title Sol Invictus had been applied to a number of solar deities. Many Oriental cults were practised informally among the Roman legions from the mid-second century, but only that of Sol Invictus was officially accepted. Sol Invictus was identified with the earlier Roman sun god Sol. This is the traditional birth date of sun gods and gods with solar attributes such as Pryderi, Frey, Saturn, Dionysus, Adonis, Attis, Tammuz, Baalim, Quetzalcoatl, Mithra and Zeus.

Juvenalia – After the Saturnalia, the Romans celebrated the birth of new life with a festival honouring children, who were given talisman (like bells, shoes, warm clothese and toys) for good luck in the coming year.

Saint Anastasia’s Day – Yet another Christian virgin whose chastity was threatened by a Roman Pagan. This time the Roman prefect thought he was embracing Anastasia, when in face he was making love to the cooking pots and kitchen utensils. When he emerged from his imaginary amorous encounter he was covered with soot, and his servants thought him a demon, and chased him away with blows.

Anna Franklin, Yule (The Eight Sabbats)

Celebrating Other Spirituality 365 Days A Year – Adonia


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July 19

Adonia

 

July 19th celebrated the Adonia, in honor of Adonis, whose name means “my lord.” Around 1000 B.C., Adonis replaced the earlier Greek vegetation Gods and was then espoused to the beautiful Aphrodite. It was on this day in ancient times that their marriage was celebrated with great jubilation and revelry.

Adonis was born from a tree into which his mother had been transformed. He was put into a box and given to Persephone, the Goddess of the Underworld, who agreed not to open the box. But she did open the box, and then would not let Adonis return to the earth. A conflict ensued and Zeus finally stepped in to rectify the situation by proclaiming that Adonis would spend half of the year in the Underworld and the Other half on the earthly plane.

Celebrating Other Spirituality 365 Days A Year – Adonia

June 19th

Adonia

July 19th celebrated the Adonia, in honor of Adonis, whose name means “my lord.” Around 1000 B.C., Adonis replaced the earlier Greek vegetation Gods and was then espoused to the beautiful Aphrodite. It was on this day in ancient times that their marriage was celebrated with great jubilation and revelry.

Adonis was born from a tree into which his mother had been transformed. He was put into a box and given to Persephone, the Goddess of the Underworld, who agreed not to open the box. But she did open the box, and then would not let Adonis return to the earth. A conflict ensued, and Zeus finally stepped in to rectify the situation by proclaiming that Adonis would spend half of the year in the Underworld and the other half on the earthly plane.

Calendar of the Sun for March 9th

Calendar of the Sun

 
9 Hrethemonath

Day of Adonis

Colors: Red, dark red, burgundy – colors of blood
Element: Earth
Altar: Upon a dark red cloth place a chalice of red wine, two red candles, a knife, a bowl of ashes, a wreath of some greenery that has been collected and forced to bud, and a pot of flower bulbs that have been forced to bloom.
Offering: Make some sacrifice for the good of others.
Daily Meal: Red wine. Vegetarian.

Invocation to Adonis

O Beautiful one at the height of your glory
Lover of Aphrodite
Cherished by all who see you
Destined to rise and destined to fall
Sacrificed youth who gives up life
That we all may live in turn,
You are every flower that is cut,
You are every green plant that is gathered,
You are every trembling leaf
We place in our mouths.
You make us remember
That all life feeds on all life
That there is nothing that will sustain us
That did not once breathe.
Hail Adonis, You whose blood
Is spilled in the fields
While the Lady mourns you
And we praise you with our tears.

(Let two who have been chosen to do the work of the ritual come forth, one with the bowl of ashes and one with the chalice of red wine. The first marks each person’s forehead with ashes, saying, “Adonis is dead,” and as it is done, they should think of some great loss that will never live again, and weep, and mourn. The second gives them a sip of the wine, and says, “Yet there is still joy in life.” The rest of the wine is poured out as a libation for Adonis, and the rite ends with a chant of “Death has passed and Life still has her joy.”)

 

[Pagan Book of Hours]

The Wicca Book of Days for July 19 – The Adonia

The Wicca Book of Days for July 19

The Adonia

The Adonia, a festival dedicated to Adonis was once celebrated today in parts of Greece. One story tells that this handsome youth was much loved by Aphrodite (Venus in Rome), and that when he was killed by the jealous Ares (Mars), the grief-stricken Goddess of Love persuaded Persephone (Proserpina), Queen of the Underworld, to let him spend a third of the year with her. His reappearance on Earth was feted to Spring, while women mourned his return to the underworld at the end of Summer, during the Adonia

Adonis’s Flowers

An ancient Greek myth relates that an Adonis’s blood soaked into the ground, anemones or windflowers, sprung up.  Either pick some anemones today, or do as women once did during the Adonia, and plant such quick growing, but short lived, herbs as fennel and basil in pots to create “gardens of Adonis.”

Deity of the Day for February 23rd is Adonis

Deity of the Day for February 23

Adonis

Adonis (Phoenician “lord”), in Greek mythology, the god of beauty and desire, is a figure with Northwest Semitic antecedents, where he is a central figure in various mystery religions.  Adōnis is a variation of the Semitic word Adonai, “lord”, which is also one of the names used to refer to God in the Old Testament. Syrian Adonis is closely related to the Cypriot Gauas or Aos, to Egyptian Osiris, to the Semitic Tammuz and Baal Hadad, to the Etruscan Atunis and the Phrygian Attis, all of whom are deities of rebirth and vegetation. His religion belonged to women: the dying of Adonis was fully developed in the circle of young girls around the poet Sappho from the island of Lesbos, about 600 BCE, as revealed in a fragment of Sappho’s surviving poetry.

Adonis is one of the most complex figures in classical times. He has had multiple roles, and there has been much scholarship over the centuries concerning his meaning and purpose in Greek religious beliefs. He is an annually-renewed, ever-youthful vegetation god, a life-death-rebirth deity whose nature is tied to the calendar. His name is often applied in modern times to handsome youths, of whom he is the archetype. Adonis is often referred to as the mortal god of Beauty.

wikipedia.com