APHRODÍTI - ΑΦΡΟΔΙΤΗ
8. Aphrodíti (Aphrodite; Gr. Ἀφροδίτη, ΑΦΡΟΔΙΤΗ. Pronunciation: ah-froh-THEE-tee, roll the 'r' slightly; the d (dælta) is pronounced like the soft th in this, not like the hard th in theory.)Aphrodíti is one of the most important deities of all Ællinismόs (Hellenismos; Gr. Ἑλληνισμός), the ancient Greek religion, being one of the Twelve Olympian Gods. She is the great Goddess of Armonía (Harmony; Gr. Ἁρμονία).
Pándimos Aphrodíti and Ouranía Aphrodíti
According to one mythology Aphrodíti is the daughter of Zefs (Zeus; Gr. Ζεύς) and Dióhni (Dione; Gr. Διώνη) [Iliás v. 370, &c., xx. 105] and is called Pándimos ("popular" or "vulgar;" Gr. Πάνδημος) Aphrodíti, she who blesses the physical unions of mortals. In another mythology, she was born from the castrated genitals of Ouranós (Uranus; Gr. Οὐρανός) as they fell into the sea, therefore known as Aphroyǽneia (Aphrogenia; Gr. Ἀφρογένεια), the "foam-born," or Ouranía Aphrodíti, the "heavenly Aphrodíti." These two mythologies can be seen as demonstrating the two aspects, or two faces, of one Goddess. (See below the brief essay by Próklos [Proclus; Gr. Πρόκλος])
"But since there are two Venuses (ed. Aphrodíti), there must of necessity be two loves (ed. Ǽrohs or Eros; Gr. Ἔρως). For it is undeniable, that two different Goddesses there are, each of whom is a Venus: one of them elder, who had no mother, and was born only from Uranus (ed. Ouranós), or Heaven, her father; she is called the celestial Venus: the other, younger, daughter of Jupiter (ed. Zefs) and Dione (ed. Dióhni); and to her we give the name of the vulgar Venus." 
Generalities Concerning Aphrodíti
Who is Aphrodíti? There are many people in our time who love the Goddess because they think she is a great deity of pleasure, but the Neoplatonic philosopher Damáskios (Damascius; Gr. Δαμάσκιος), writing in the sixth century C.E., has a different opinion:
Aphrodíti is the personification of nature's generative ability. Thus, she was popularly believed to be the Goddess of love. She was viewed as the most beautiful of all the Goddesses and the most graceful. Like unto Íra she governs and blesses marriage. Aphrodíti possesses a girdle or belt which has the ability to attract the object of one's desire to the one who wears it. The poppy flower as well as the rose, myrtle, and the apple are sacred to her. The dove and the swan are birds which are sacred to the Goddess, as well as swallows and sparrows. The tortoise is sacred to Ouranía Aphrodíti (see above) and the ram was sacred to Pándimos Aphrodíti (see above). The month of Távros (Taurus; Gr. Ταύρος) is sacred to her, and one of the planets, Venus, is named after her. Aphrodíti, like Poseidóhn, is identified with the Sea because of the mythology which states that she was born from the genitive material of Ouranós which fell into the ocean, and, thus, the scallop-shell is associated with her.
Aphrodíti has been depicted as married to Íphaistos (Hephaestus; Gr. Ἥφαιστος) but amorously tied to Áris (Ares; Gr. Ἄρης). The mythology whereby Aphrodíti gives birth to Armonía (Harmonia; Gr. Ἁρμονία), with Áris as father, is particularly significant as it reveals her most profound dominion.
In iconography, Aphrodíti is always a Goddess of incredible beauty and is often depicted naked or partially naked, unlike most of the female Goddesses.
The Orphic Hymn to Aphrodíti:
Heav'nly, illustrious, laughter-loving queen,
In the above translation, Thomas Taylor uses the word brumal in line 12, a rather colorful translation of Vákkhio (Gr. Βάκχοιο) or Vakkhan (Bacchan). Brumal is an archaic word which refers to the shortest day, i.e., the winter solstice, therefore here meaning "wintry." The winter season is when we find the many festivals of Diónysos (Dionysus or Bacchus; Gr. Διόνυσος).
The hymn goes on to say that she is the "Mother of Loves" (line 14). The Ǽrohtæs (Erotes; Gr. Ἔρωτες), Ǽros (Eros = Attraction; Gr. Ἔρως), Antǽrohs (Anteros = Requited Love; Gr. Ἀντέρως), Ímæros (Himeros = Desire; Gr. Ἵμερος), and Póthos (Passion; Gr. Πόθος), can be seen as emanations of the primal Ǽros and are depicted in iconography as winged children or handsome youths.
In the Orphic hymn To Áris (Ares; Gr. Ἄρης) at line 11, the text implores Áris:
In the Greek, this hymn does not actually use the name Aphrodíti (Venus), but uses her epithet, Kýpris (Cyprus, the birthplace of Aphrodíti; Κύπριδος in context; sg. fem. gen. of Κύπρις). It is appropriate that she would be mentioned in a hymn to Áris, as they are Divine Consorts of one another.
Aphrodíti and the Eighth House
Aphrodíti rules the eighth Orphic House, the month of Távros (Taurus; Gr. Ταύρος) from April 21 to May 20. The Divine Consort of the Goddess Aphrodíti is Áris (Ares; Gr. Ἄρης), with whom she unites and produces the child Armonía (Harmonia; Gr. Ἁρμονία).  Thus, the dominion of Aphrodíti at the Eight Íkos (= House = Oikos; Gr. Οἶκος) is that of Harmony: she perfects and harmonizes the forms, producing Armonía, the soul who has been harmonized of the necessary internal battles presented by Áris. Armonía is united with Kádmos (Cadmus; Gr. Κάδμος) and they produce the child Sæmǽli (Semele; Gr. Σεμέλη)  who, after uniting with Ýpatos (= "Supreme;" Gr. Ὕπατος) Zefs (Zeus; Gr. Ζεύς), produce the child Diόnysos (Dionysus; Gr. Διόνυσος).  This is symbolic in that all those souls who reach divinity accept the influence of Zefs at the Eighth Íkos, that of Aphrodíti, and, from this perspective (only), all souls who become Gods may be called Diόnysi.  It should also be noted that without Aphrodíti, the soul cannot become a God.
Aphrodíti from Prόklos (Proclus; Gr. Πρόκλος): 
(Site Editor's Note: This excerpt is impossible to fully comprehend without a thorough knowledge of Neoplatonic thought, but if read carefully and an effort is made, some of its meaning will be uncovered.)
"That from sportive conceptions about the Gods, it is possible for those to energize entheastically (ed. ænthæastikόs, i.e. in a divinely inspired manner; Gr. ἐνθεαστικῶς), or according a divinely inspired energy, who apply themselves to things in a more intellectual manner. Thus for instance, according to the material conceptions of the multitude, Venus (ed. Aphrodíti) derives her origin from foam; and foam corresponds to seed. Hence according to them the pleasure arising from this in coition is Venus. Who however, is so stupid, as not to survey primary and eternal natures, prior to such as are last and corruptible? I will therefore unfold the divine conception respecting Venus.
They say then that the first Venus was produced from twofold causes, the one as that through which, co-operating with her progression, as calling forth the prolific power of the father, and imparting it to the intellectual orders; but Heaven (ed. Ouranόs; Gr. Οὐρανός) as the maker and cause unfolding the Goddess into light, from his own generative abundance. For whence could that which congregates different genera, according to one desire of beauty, receive its subsistence except from the synochical (ed. i.e. holding together) power of Heaven (ed. Ouranόs)? From the foam therefore of his own prolific parts thrown into the sea, Heaven (ed. Ouranόs) produced this Goddess, as Orpheus (ed. Orphéfs; Gr. Ὀρφεύς) says. But the second Venus, Jupiter produces from his own generative powers, in conjunction with Dione (ed. Dióhni; Gr. Διώνη): and this Goddess likewise proceeds from foam, after the same manner with the more ancient Venus, as Orpheus evinces. These Goddesses therefore differ from each other, according to the causes of their production, their orders and their powers. For she that proceeds from the genitals of Heaven (ed. Ouranόs) is supermundane, leads upwards to intelligible beauty, is the supplier of an unpolluted life, and separates from generation. But the Venus that proceeds from Dione (ed. Dióhni) governs all the co-ordinations in the celestial world and the earth, binds them to each other, and perfects their generative progression, through a kindred conjunction. These divinities too, are united with each other through a similitude of subsistence: for they both proceed from generative powers; one from that of the connectedly-containing power of Heaven (ed. Ouranόs), and the other from Jupiter the Demiurgus (Dimiourgόs or Demiurge; Gr. Δημιουργός). But the sea signifies an expanded and circumscribed life; its profundity, the universally-extended progression of such a life; and its foam, the greatest purity of nature, that which is full of prolific light and power, and that which swims upon all life, and is as it were its highest flower."
For more of this essay, visit this page: Próklos: Manuscript Scolia on the Kratýlos of Plátohn
Epithets of Aphrodíti: (under construction)
(Abbreviations can be found on this page: Glossary Home Page)
Aphroyǽneia - (Aphrogenia; Gr. Ἀφρογένεια, ΑΦΡΟΓΕΝΕΙΑ) According to the Thæogonía (Theogony; Gr. Θεογονία) of Isíodos (Hesiod; Gr. Ἡσίοδος), Aphrodíti was born of the semen from the genitals of Ouranόs (Uranus; Gr. Οὐρανός), cut off by Krόnos (Cronus; Gr. Κρόνος) and cast into the sea. She is called Aphroyǽneia, the foam-born Aphrodíti.
- Lexicon entry: foam-born, Aphrodite; the planet Venus. (L&S, edited for simplicity.)
Éfkarpos - (Eucarpos; Gr. Εὔκαρπος, ΕΥΚΑΡΠΟΣ) fruitful, of women; of sheep. II. Act., fruitful, fertilizing; epith. of Aphrodite; of Dionysus; of Demeter. (L&S p. 717; right column, within the definitions beginning with the word εὐκάρπἑια, edited for simplicity.)
Eucarpos - See Éfkarpos.
Kleidoukhos - (Kleidouchos; Gr. Κλείδουχος, ΚΛΕΙΔΟΥΧΟΣ) Kleidoukhos is an epithet meaning she who holds the keys, of Aphrodíti (Aphrodite), of Athiná (Athena), of Ækáti (Hecate).
- κλείδουχ-ος, Att. κληδ-, ον, (ἔχω) holding the keys: hence, having charge or custody of a place, Ἔρωτα τᾶς Ἀφροδίτας θαλάμων κλῃδοῦχον E.Hipp.540 (lyr.); of Pallas, tutelary Goddess; of Hecate. II. of the numbers 4 and 10, believed by the Pythag. to be the keys of the order of nature, Theol.Ar.22,60: wrongly called κλαδοῦχοι . (L&S, edited for simplicity.)
Kourotróphos - (Gr. Κουροτρόφος, ΚΟΥΡΟΤΡΟΦΟΣ) Kourotrόphos is an epithet of Ækáti (Hecate), Ártæmis (Artemis), and Aphrodíti (Aphrodite), meaning nurturer of children.
- κουροτρόφος, ον, rearing children, rare in lit. sense, usu. metaph., good nursing-mother, of Ithaca, of Delos, freq. as epith. of Goddesses, as Hecate, Hesiod Theogonia 450; Ἄρτεμις D.S.5.73; Λοχία Supp.Epigr.3.400.9 (Delph., iii B. C.); of the Roman Goddess Rumina, Plu.2.278d; esp. of Aphrodite. (L&S p. 987, left column, within the entries beginning with κουρο-σύνη, edited for simplicity.)
- Orphic Hymn 1, Ækati, line 8.
Ouránios - (Gr. Οὐράνιος, ΟΥΡΑΝΙΟΣ) heavenly, dwelling in heaven; οὐράνιοι the Gods; of special Gods; Demeter and Kore, IG12 (5).655.6 (Syros, nr. Delos); Ἥρα. [Cf. Pandimos] (L&S p. 1272, right column at the bottom, edited for simplicity)
Pandemia - See Pándimos.
Pandemos - See Pándimos.
Pándimos - (Pandemos, Pandemia; Gr. Πάνδημος, ΠΑΝΔΗΜΟΣ) expressive of her great power over the affections of all people; or, in contradistinction to the heavenly Venus (ed. Ouranía Aphrodíti; Cf. Ouránios)
- π. Ἔρως vulgar love, opp. οὐράνιος, Pl.Smp. 180e sq., cf. X.Smp.8.9; π. Ἀφροδίτη Pl.Smp.181a, IG22.659, SIG 1014.57 (Erythrae, iii B. C.),Paus.1.22.3, Luc.DMeretr.7.1, etc. (also in pl., Dam.Pr.97 bis) (L&S p. 1296, right column; within the entries beginning with παν-δερκέτης. It is the second (II.) definition of πάν-δημος)
- "For we all know that Love (ed. Ǽros or Eros; Gr. Ἔρως) is inseparable from Aphrodite, and if there were only one Aphrodite there would be only one Love; but as there are two Goddesses there must be two Loves. And am I not right in asserting that there are two Goddesses? The elder one, having no mother, who is called the heavenly (ed. Ouránios) Aphrodite---she is the daughter of Uranus (ed. Ouranόs; Gr. Οὐρανός); the younger, who is the daughter of Zeus (ed. Zefs; Gr. Ζεύς) and Dione (ed. Dióhni; Gr. Διώνη)---her we call common (ed. "popular" or "vulgar;" Gr. Πάνδημος); and the Love who is her fellow-worker is rightly named common, as the other love is called heavenly." (Plátohn [Plato; Gr. Πλάτων] Symposion [Symposium; Gr. Συμπόσιον]180.d-e, speech of Pafsanías [Pausanias; Gr. Παυσανίας ]; trans.: DPI p. 309)
Turan - Turan is the Etruscan name for Aphrodíti.
Venus - Venus is the Roman name for Aphrodíti.
Zerynthia - See Zirýnthia.
Zirýnthia - (Zerynthia; Gr. Ζηρύνθια, ΖΗΡΥΝΘΙΑ) Zirýnthia is a surname of Aphrodíti, from Zírynthos (Zerinthos; Gr. Ζήρινθος), a town of Samotháki (Samothrace; Gr. Σαμοθράκη). (CM p. 131)
- (Zírynthos), "a town of Thrace (ed. Thraki; Gr. Θράκη) not far from the borders of the Aenianes. It contained a cave of Hekate (ed. Ækati; Gr. Ἑκάτη), a temple of Apollo (ed. Apollohn; Gr. Ἀπόλλων), and another of Aphrodite, which the deities hence derived the epithet of Zerynthian." (DGRG vol. II, pp. 1337-1338)
A song for Aphrodíti can be found at this link: Hymn to Aphrodíti
 Plátohn [Plato; Gr. Πλάτων] Symposion [Symposium; Gr. Συμπόσιον]180.d-e, speech of Pafsanías [Pausanias; Gr. Παυσανίας ]; trans. Thomas Taylor, 1804; found here in The Works of Plato, Vol. III published by The Prometheus Trust, Somerset UK, in 1996, Vol. XI of The Thomas Taylor Series (TTS XI) p. 501.
 Damáskios (Damascius; Gr. Δαμάσκιος) On the Phílivos (Philebus; Gr. Φίληβος) of Plátohn (Plato; Gr. Πλάτων) i.21. trans. L. G. Westerink, first published in 1959 by New Holland Publishing. We are using the revised third edition from 2010 published by Prometheus Trust (Wiltshire UK), p. 14.
 Sallust(ius) On the Gods and the World, Chap. 6 Concerning the Super-Mundane and Mundane Gods, trans. Thomas Taylor, 1793, London: Printed for Edward Jeffrey, Pall Mall, p. 30.
 Orphéfs (Orpheus) Hymn To Aphrodíti (Venus) LV (In the first publication of Taylor's translation, this hymn was numbered LIV), trans. Thomas Taylor and published 1792; here in the 1824 version as found in Hymns and Initiations published by Prometheus Trust (Somerset, UK) pp. 116-117.
There are two differences between the 1792 version and that found here. First, line 25 originally read:
...and has been replaced with:
Line 35 originally read:
...and has been replaced with:
Lines 36 and 37 originally read:
...and have been replaced with:
 Orphéfs (Orpheus) Hymn To Áris (Ares or Mars) LXV (In the first publication of Taylor's translation, this hymn was numbered LXIV), trans. Thomas Taylor and published 1792; here in the 1824 version as found in Hymns and Initiations published by Prometheus Trust (Somerset, UK) pp. 130.
 "Never may pestilence empty this city of its men nor strife stain the soil of the land with the blood of slain inhabitants. But may the flower of its youth be unplucked, and may Ares, the partner of Aphrodite's bed, he who makes havoc of men, not shear off their bloom."
(Aiskhýlos [Aeschylus; Gr. Αἰσχύλος] Ikǽtidæs [The Suppliant Women; Gr. Ἱκέτιδες] 659-666; trans. Herbert Weir Smyth, 1922)
"Also Cytherea (ed. Aphrodíti) bare to Ares the shield-piercer Panic and Fear, terrible gods who drive in disorder the close ranks of men in numbing war, with the help of Ares, sacker of towns: and Harmonia whom high-spirited Cadmus made his wife."
(Isíodos [Hesiod; Gr. Ἡσίοδος] Thæogonía [Theogony; Gr. Θεογονία] 933, trans. H.G. Evelyn-White 1914; found here in the 1936 Harvard [Cambridge, MA USA]-Heinemann [London, England] Loeb Classical Library edition, on p. 149)
 "And Harmonia, the daughter of golden Aphrodite, bare to Cadmus Ino and Semele and fair-cheeked Agave and Autonoe whom long haired Aristaeus wedded, and Polydorus also in rich-crowned Thebe."
(Ibid. Isíodos Thæogonía 975, H.G. Evelyn-White p. 151)
"Kadmos made a brilliant marriage, if, as the Greek legend says, he indeed took to wife a daughter of Aphrodite and Ares. His daughters too have made him a name; Semele was famed for having a child by Zeus, Ino for being a divinity of the sea." (Pafsanías [Pausanias; Gr. Παυσανίας] Description of Greece, Book IX Boeotia V.2; trans. W.H.S. Jones, 1935; found on p. 191, vol. IV, of the 1961 William Heineman [London England] Harvard Univ. Press [Cambridge MA] Loeb Classical Library edition)
"Me too hath the Muse raised up for Hellas as a chosen herald of wise words, who am proud that my race and my home are in Thebes the city of chariots, where of old the story telleth how Cadmus by high design won sage Harmonia, as his wedded wife, who obeyed the voice of Zeus, and became the mother of Semele famed among men." (Píndaros [Pindar; Gr. Πίνδαρος] dithýramvos [dithyramb; Gr. διθύραμβος] Herakles the Bold 25-30, trans. J. E. Sandys, 1915; found on p. 561 of the book entitled Pindar, in the 1968 edition published by William Heinemann [London England] Harvard Univ. Press, Loeb Classical Library edition)
 "And Semele, daughter of Cadmus was joined with him [ed. Zeus] in love and bare him a splendid son, joyous Dionysos,--a mortal woman an immortal son. And now they both are Gods."
(Isíodos Thæogonía 940, Evelyn-White p. 149)
"For some say, at Dracanum; and some, on windy Icarus; and some, in Naxos, O Heaven-born, Insewn; and others by the deep-eddying river Alpheus that pregnant Semele bare you to Zeus the thunder-lover."
(Homeric Hymn I,To Diónysos, trans. H.G. Evelyn-White 1914; found here in the 1936 Harvard [Cambridge, MA USA]-Heinemann [London, England] Loeb Classical Library edition entitled Hesiod: The Homeric Hymns and Homerica, on p. 287)
Zefs (Zeus) fathered "Liber (ed. Diόnysos) by Semele, the daughter of Cadmus and Harmonia."
(Hyginus' Fabulae, 155 Jupiter's Children, translated by R. Scott Smith and Stephen M. Trzaskoma, 2007, in the publication entitled Apollodorus' Library and Hyginus' Fabulae, Hackett Publishing [Indianapolis Cambridge MA USA], p.150)
 While any soul which becomes deified by the Gods may be called a Diónysos, not all Gods are the true Diónysos, but only those which have been deified by Zefs (Zeus) at the Ninth House of Apόllohn.
[10 Extract from the Manuscript Scolia of Prόklos On the Kratýlos (Cratylus; Gr. Κρατύλος) of Plátohn (Plato; Gr. Πλάτων), found in The Theology of Plato: Proclus, trans. Thomas Taylor, Prometheus Trust [Somerset UK], Vol. VIII of The Thomas Taylor Series, p. 687. Thomas Taylor, who lived from 1758 to 1835, wrote according to the scholastic custom of his time: he used the Latin names for the deities rather than the Greek.
(Petelia; Gr. Πετηλία) and other golden tablets having this phrase are the inspiration for the symbol. The image represents this idea: Earth (divisible substance) and the Sky (continuous substance) are the two kosmogonic substances. The twelve stars represent the Natural Laws, the dominions of the Olympian Gods. In front of these symbols is the seven-stringed kithára (cithara; Gr. κιθάρα), the lyre of Apóllohn (Apollo; Gr. Ἀπόλλων). It (here) represents the bond between Gods and mortals and is representative that we are the children of Orphéfs (Orpheus; Gr. Ὀρφεύς).
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, the traditional stories of the Gods and Heroes. While these tales are great mystical vehicles containing transcendent truth, they are symbolic and should not be taken literally. A literal reading will frequently yield an erroneous result. The meaning of the myths is concealed in code. To understand them requires a key. For instance, when a God kills someone, this usually means a transformation of the soul to a higher level. Similarly, sexual union with a God is a transformation.
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