Hephaestus and Aphrodite
Hephaestus is said to have had many women. Even Homer in Iliad says that the God is married to Charis (Grace) and in Odyssey, the god is married to Aphrodite. Hesiod states that he is married to Aglaia, the youngest of the three Graces. Generally, Hephaestus is known to be married to Aphrodite, although she wasn’t known for her fidelity.
Hephaestus is the god of fire and metallurgy and this is why Homer names him “Chalkeus”, the one who works with copper and other metals as well. Hephaestus could do almost everything with any materials he had in his possession and many of his creations were popular among gods and heroes. Homer says that the god worked with gold, silver and copper and he did not only create jewellery for women, but also thrones, vases, weapons and armour. He had created the two golden dogs that guarded the gate of Alkinos’ palace. He could also create automatic devices, such as little three-feet tables that rolled on golden wheels during the gods’ symposiums and then went back to Hephaestus’ palace. He had also created two golden robots, two beautiful women so that he could lean on them, as his feet didn’t hold him so well. These robots were clever, could think and also talk. One of his most renown creations is Achilles’ armour that the god made for Thetis’ sake and the depictions on the hero’s shield.
Hephaestus had built all the palaces for the gods on Mount Olympus. His laboratory was also on Olympus and he worked there with Athena. According to some other versions of the myth, the god’s laboratory was in Lemnos Island, an island that was really connected to this god. Of course, these versions of the myth show nothing else than that we have another pre-Hellenic god who found a way to enter the basic Greek pantheon because of the importance of his role.
He is connected to the volcanic fires of the Mosychlos volcano in Lemnos. His name has actually the same root with volcanoes in Greek (Ήφαιστος, ηφαίστειο). For many years, people believed that the volcanic fires came straight out of the god’s lab. Being a blacksmith himself, Hephaestus soon became the Patron of blacksmiths and generally all those who create things with their hands. This is why he is strongly connected to Athena.
When his worship came from Lemnos to Athens, at around 6th Century BC, Hephaestus became a Patron of Blacksmiths here as well, along with Athena. In the 5th Century BC, the Athenians built a glorious temple to worship them together in Agora, the place where the Athenians met in order to discuss, philosophize, sell and buy things. Actually, this was the place where many important conversations took place and many great philosophers taught, the predecessor of the Roman Forum. (This is why a forum in the Internet is the place where people can find a topic they find interesting and discuss it, or see the views of others.) Haphaestus had his own day to be worshipped as well; the name of the celebration was Hephaesteia and there was a torch bearing run.
In the beginning, Hephasteia took place every year, but then it was celebrated every five years. A big sacrifice took place and after that the games started, a musical competition of children and men and the torch run, which was the most spectacular moment of the celebrations. Twenty men were voted to watch over the preparations and the celebrations and they were called Hieropioi (Hieron=Sacred, Poio (v)=to make). The sacrifice and the run were taken care of by 200 Athenian citizens. (Not everyone living in Athens had the right to be called a citizen. He had to be by Athenian parents and of Athenian origins.) It is difficult to know which month Hephaesteia took place, but I think it is easy to assume that it would be around Summer, when Fire celebrations took place in almost every pagan tradition.
Hephaestus, as anyone who would stand all day in front of the anvil working, had very strong arms, but weak legs. In Hiliad he is depicted as a lame god.
Hephaestus and Hera
According to tradition, Hephaestus was born lame and this is why his mother, Hera, was so embarrassed to have brought him into the world that she threw him down from Mount Olympus, into the sea, so that he would drown. Thetis and Eurinome, two lesser sea goddesses, took pity of him and rescued him. They kept him secretly for nine years in one of Nirea’s caves, where the god passed his time making rings, bracelets and many other women’s jewels. Soon he got bored of living in the deep sea and decided to go up and try to find his parents and make a name for himself, since he was not just any god, but a direct son of Zeus and Hera. This is when and why he planned and created the golden throne on which Hera sat and found herself trapped.
Hephaestus had left and Hera, in despair, promised that she would give Aphrodite to be the wife of any god who would manage to find Hephaestus and convince him to free her, since she knew that only Hephaestus could do that. Ares was the first to try, but Hephaestus threw him so many fireballs that Ares had to leave humiliated. Almost every young god tried, but only Dionysus managed to convince Hephaestus by using a trick. He found Hephaestus, sat by him and started a discussion, giving him wine at the same time. When Hephaestus went drunk, Dionysus took him to Olympus on a mule, surrounded by Nymphs and other lesser gods who accompanied the procession.
After he had made up with his mother, as a sign of how sorry they were for everything he had gone through, the gods gave him Aphrodite to be his wife, although the goddess of beauty didn’t want that, because Hephaestus wasn’t a nice-looking god.
Another story is also told by Homer about his lame limb, but this may be only something that the poet made up. It speaks about a huge fight between Zeus and Hera, with Hephaestus trying to support his mother, making Zeus so angry, that he threw him down from Olympus. Hephaestus fell for one full day, and after the sunset he was found in Lemnos where he was taken care of by the island inhabitants, but his leg was never good again.
Hephaestus and Ares
Ares never really forgot how ridiculous he was made to seem by Hephaestus, when the latter continually refused to climb Olympus. Ares was looking for a chance to ridicule Hephaestus and this chance was given to him. Ares was not the most beloved one among the gods, but he was young and beautiful. When Hephaestus was away, Aphrodite, married to him, but not by her own will, consorted with Ares in her husband’s palace. As everything, their relationship was soon made known to Helios (the Sun) who sees everything and he decided that the right thing to do is to tell Hephaestus.
Once again, Hephaestus turns to his craft and once more he makes webs, but this time thin as spider’s. He puts them on the bed and waits for the next time that the guilty couple will meet. He tells Aphrodite that he is going to the island of Lemnos for a while. His plan was really successful; as soon as Ares sees him leaving, he goes to meet with Aphrodite and as soon as they lay on the bed they both find themselves trapped. Helios informs Hephaestus who turns back, opens the gates of the chamber and starts yelling. He calls all gods to see the shameful couple and threatens to leave them there forever, unless Zeus returns to him all the presents he had offered in order to take Aphrodite as his wife.
This story is given to us by the epic poets, who seemed to like ridiculing the god of war, who was not as ridiculous as he was often portrayed. The story continues with all the gods laughing, and Apollo asking Hermes what he would do if he was in Ares’s shoes. Hermes supposedly answered “If I were to lay with Aphrodite by my side, I wouldn’t mind being bound by three times more chains or you standing there laughing at me”. After all, Ares has managed to have what every man would like to have…Aphrodite by her own will…After the fuss was over, Aphrodite went to Paphos, in Cyprus, and Ares to Thrace, in order for Hephaestus to calm down.
Other myths around Hephaestus
According to a version of the myth, Hephaestus and not Prometheus was the one who hit Zeus’s head with an axe for Athena to be born.
During the war against the giants, Hephaestus with Dionysus and the Satyrs surprised the giants when they entered the battlefield riding donkeys who were screaming too loudly, so that the giants just turned their backs and left. Hephaestus then threw fireballs and so killed the giant Klytios. (According to others, Hecate was the one who killed the giant). After that, Helios took him on his chariot so that the god might rest and Hephaestus paid him back by making magnificent things in Aeetes’s palace, who was Helios’s son.
Hephaestus was a compassionate god. He convinced Helios to give Orion, the giant his light back, who had been blinded by Oinopion in Chios island.
When Zeus defeated Typhoon, Hephaestus was put as his guardian in Aitna, Cicely, where Zeus had put him. Thus, he made his laboratory on Typhoon’s neck and there he worked with steel and fire.
Hephaestus was the one who is said to have created the first woman, Pandora, from water and earth and gave her, according to his father’s will, beauty, stamina and human voice.
Along with Athena, they taught humans the crafts and metallurgy.
Hephaestus’s creations- Hephaestoteukta (Those that were made by Hephaestus)
Many of the world’s most beautiful items are said to have been created by Hephaestus. Hephaestus didn’t make anything for just anyone. We have seen how his craft had helped him punish those who had wronged him. But his craft was not kept for himself alone, or only for the gods, for that matter.
First of all, all the gods’ and goddesses’ palaces were created by Hephaestus on Mount Olympus. The first palace he had built was of course Zeus’. It had big rooms and halls and the walls were worked in every detail so that they had unique carvings on them, so that the palace would suit the King of gods and men. Another well-known palace was his mother’s, Hera, on the door of which there was a key-hole that could not be opened by anyone else, just by Hera herself. Hephaestus had also built a very nice and comfortable bed for Helios, so that the god would rest after a tiring day in the sky. This bed was made of gold and it had wings underneath, so that it would hover over the sea near Aethiopia, which was the place ancient Greeks believed the Sun went down.
Apollo’s and Artemis’ arrows were crafted by Hephaestus, because those two gods deserved to have the best arrows of all.
The staff Agamemnon was holding during the Trojan War (The staff was a symbol of reign and during the discussions, only the one holding the staff could speak) was also made by Hephaestus. This staff had a very long story; first, Hephaestus gave it as a present to his father, Zeus. He gave it to Hermes, who gave it to his friend, Pelopas, who was Agamemnon’s grandfather. It passed down to Atreas who later gave it to his son, Agamemnon. For a human to have something made by a god and given to him by a god was not only a great honour. It aso showed how honorable this man was among the gods. This is why the gods punished so severely later Kletemnestra and Aigisthus for their hubris against a great man, Agamemnon.
When Zeus took Ganemedes to stay with him in Olympus, he gave his father a beautiful golden vine, crafted by Hephaestus, to show him how much he appreciated him and to ease his pain for his son’s loss.
When Zeus wanted to gain Europe, Hephaestus made a golden pendant that Zeus put around Europe’s neck. This pendant remained forever in people’s minds, because Europe offered it to her sister-in-law, Harmonia (harmony) when she got married to Kadmus. This pendant passed down to each one of Thebes’ queens, until the city was destroyed and the pendant was offered to the Delphi Oracle.
Zeus’ temple in Crete was guarded by a golden dog, also created by Hephaestus who also gave the dog a Soul. Talos, was a mechanic giant (something like a robot) who walked around Crete constantly, guarding Minos from any potential enemy, usually throwing rocks on ships who were to invade the island. These stories prove that Crete was inhabited by Greeks, even in pre-historic times (as their language also proves) and was considered to be one of the most revered and important Greek islands. So important that even the gods protected it. Talos was made of copper and also was given a Soul by Hephaestus.
This was not the only “robot” Hephaestus had created. He had also created two golden maids to serve him. They were like living women, having a Soul, a voice and stamina, because the god needed help in order to be able to move around, due to his lame leg. He had also created two bulls for Helios’ son, that were extremely strong, had copper legs and breathed fire out of their mouths. These were the same bulls Jason had managed to use to plow a field as part of his tests, using the potions and filters Medea had offered him. Two silver-and-golden dogs were also guarding Alkino’s palace, the king of the Phaeakes.
When Ariadne married Dionysus, Hephaestus created a golden wreath, because Aphrodite wanted to offer the couple a suitable wedding present. This wreath was later made into a constellation by the gods. Hephaestus gave Dionysus two silver cups, since the groom loved the wine.
The sickle made of steel with which Perseus cut of Medusa’s head was also a Hephaestus’ creation, as were the copper rattles Hercules used to scare away the Birds of Stymphalida Lake (Stymphalides Ornithes).
Many more items were created by Hephaestus, among which Hercules’ golden breast-plate. The most famous of the weapons he had created for humans were the armours for Hercules and Achilles. He had also made a shield for Hercules that had carved on it Phobos, Phonos, Eris and Massacre, boars and lions, Centaurs fighting against Lapithes, Ares, Athena, Perseus and the Mermaids. All around the Great Ocean was depicted. This shield was made from gold, silver and ivory. On Achilles’ shield, the god had carved lands and seas, the Sun and the Moon, a Sky full of Stars, fields being worked, vines, a palace…Again the Ocean surrounded everything.
Hephaestus was a god connected to fire and light, as is obvious by the things he made for deities and humans connected with those two.
Working with Hephaestus
Sanctuaries: Lemnos Island and Attiki
Symbols: Hammer, Tongs, Anvil
Plants: Not known
Animals: Donkey, Crane
Aspects: Titan Hyperion (Watcher from Above); Titan Helios (the Sun); Titan Hekateros (With-Each-Hand); Titan Prometheus (Forethought)
Spells: For fire or metallurgy and help with arts and techniques, hand-creation, clever ways to trap an enemy.
Orphic Hymn 65-To Hephaestus
The Fumigation from Frankincense and Manna.
Strong, mighty Hephaistos, bearing splendid light, unweary’d fire, with flaming torrents bright:
Strong-handed, deathless, and of art divine, pure element, a portion of the world is thine:
All-taming artist, all-diffusive power, ’tis thine supreme, all substance to devour:
Aeher, Helios, Selene, and Stars, light pure and clear, for these thy lucid parts to men appear.
To thee, all dwellings, cities, tribes belong, diffused through mortal bodies bright and strong.
Hear, blessed power, to holy rites incline, and all propitious on the incense shine:
Suppress the rage of fires unweary’d frame, and still preserve our nature’s vital flame.
Aphrodite is one of the most well-known goddesses of the Greek Pantheon, and perhaps one of the few who are named with their name and not their Roman equivalent. Aphrodite’s birth was a mystery of beauty and creativity. It all started out as an act of vengeance and ugliness, that ended in the creation of the most beautiful of all the goddesses. Kronos cut Uranus’ genitals after he defeated his father and threw them into the sea. As the waves took on them the cut flesh, a white foam was created around it that little by little took a woman’s form. The foam reached Paphos, a Cyprian beach and this beautiful woman reached the shore in a huge shell. She was named after the foam (Αφρός=foam>Αφρο-δίτη=Aphrodite). She was also called Resurgent, because she came out of the foam, Cyppris or Cyprogeneia, because she was born in Cyprus. Kythereia is another of her many names, because the foam had passed by Kythera before ending up in Cyprus. In reality, the name Aphrodite was pre-hellenic and the later connection to foam is a cultural one. Her temple in Paphos is dated since 1200BC. Aphrodite’s connection to the water and the sea is obvious also by the fact that in Knidos and many other places she was worshiped as Euploia, the one who offers safe travels.
According to another version of the myth, the goddess is the daughter of Zeus with Dione, who was revered in Dodone along with Zeus.
Aphrodite is the goddess of beauty and love. She also protected marriage, but not so much, as this was Hera’s domain. Her presents are beauty, romantic love but also passionate relationship. She is a Mistress of the mysteries of the heart. Hera asked for her corset when she wanted to win Zeus.
Many lesser gods and goddesses are her companions. Of course, Eros, but also Eve (Youth), Harmonia, The Hours, Peitho (the one who convinces), Imeros (wanting), Pothos (Lust) and the three Charites (Graces). They make her clothes, anoint her with perfumed oils, dress her and accompany her to the balls and festivals.
Aphrodite is well-known because of her discord with Hera and Athena about which of the three is the most beautiful among the goddesses. Paris, Troy’s prince was given the golden apple of Eris (Discord) to offer to the goddess he considered to be the most beautiful. Athena had promised him wisdom, Hera had promised him reignship and Aphrodite promised to give him the most beautiful woman, Helen of Sparta, Menelaos’ wife. Paris chose to give the apple to Aphrodite and he got what he was promised. The rest is history. The Trojan War started, where all the Greeks united in order to gain Helen back and avenge the insult against one of the most important men of Greece.
In reality, the Trojan War was a war for new land and new merchant ways, but, as we have foretold, myth explains reality. There are two versions of the myth. According to the first, which is mentioned in Homer, Helen fell in love with Paris and followed him to Troy, but changed her mind when she saw Menelaos under the city wall. Menelaos took her by the hair and returned her to Sparta, after Troy was destroyed. According to the other version, which is newer but more interesting (in my opinion), Hera, angry because of the hubris of Aphrodite and Paris to put a debt on a married woman, sent Helen to Egypt and created an idol out of clouds that spoke and behaved like Helen and this is what Paris took back from Troy. After this really cruel war that lasted 10 years, Menelaos was trying to return to Greece, but the waves sent his ship to Egypt, where he met Helen on Proteas’ grave. Helen was staying there because Proteas’ son, Theoklytus wanted to marry her. After many adventures, they managed to find a ship and return together back to Greece.
Both stories teach us about the power of love and passion, both ruled by the same goddess, Aphrodite. Athena also found her chance to take revenge. Aphrodite was with the Trojans during the whole war, but as she wasn’t made for this, not only was she hurt by Diomedes, but also ridiculed by Athena who helped him. The story about the three goddesses depicts in an excellent way how ancient Greeks viewed their gods, with many human characteristics and passions.
Although she was married to Hephaestus, she had a relationship with Ares and they gave birth to Phobos (Fear), Deimos (Terror), Harmonia and Eros (Cupid).
As it happened with all the gods, so Aphrodite also asked for humans to show her the utmost respect and she punished severely those who didn’t. She doesn’t hesitate to kill Hippolytos, Theseus’ son, because the young man is only interested in hunting and worships the virgin goddess Artemis, paying no attention to Aphrodite. After all, jealousy is a common symptom of love.
Aphrodite and Anchises
Aphrodite had the power to tame all humans and all animals, of the land, the sea and the sky. But as if this wasn’t enough, she found great pleasure also in playing games against gods and goddesses, at least all those who were interested in marriage, with the exception of Artemis, Hestia and Athena. Thus she made gods fall in love with human women, goddesses fall in love with men and vice versa and then she made fun of them for having mated with humans when they were gods. Her favourite game was to occasionally make Zeus fall in love with mortal princesses, making Hera crazy with jealousy.
Zeus decided not to let that happen anymore and fought back at Aphrodite with her own weapons (because he was almighty, after all) and made her fall in love with a mortal. Trojan men, originating from Dardanus were famous for their beauty. Zeus had brought Ganimides to Olympus to serve them the beverages during dinners. Eos had fallen in love with Tithonus, Priamus’ son and made him immortal, although she couldn’t also prohibit him from growing old. So, Zeus makes Aphrodite fall in love with Anchises, cousin of Priamus. Anchises was a shepherd on Ida Mountain. This is where Aphrodite saw him and was amazed by how young and beautiful he was.
After she got ready in Cyprus, in special garments, perfumed and oiled, wearing her best jewellery, Aphrodite travels hidden within the clouds until she reaches Ida. All the animals follow her and she, happy to see them treating her so well, awakens the passion in them and they go to sleep in couples. (It is interesting to see that not only things that have to do with a specific myth itself, but also other, seemingly irrelative, but really interesting details are added to the main myth body). Anchises was really amazed to see such a beautiful woman on the mountain, and really wanted her from the very beginning. But he was clever and thought that such beauty could not be of a mortal woman. He greeted Aphrodite respectfully, trying to figure out who she was. He asked her to grant him a life full of joy and children, and in return, he would build her a temple and offer sacrifices.
But this wasn’t what Aphrodite cared about. She lied to him that she was only a mortal princess from Frygia, whom supposedly Hermes had kidnapped when she was out, dancing with her friends in Artemis’s honour. Aphrodite told Anchises that Hermes had foretold that she would marry the young shepherd and bear him many children. She went a bit further, asking him to present him to his parents and also message her own so that they wouldn’t worry. Anchises, full of passion and lust, agreed to marry her and bring her to his bed, which was covered with bear and lion skins that he himself had killed. They mated that day and afterwards, Aphrodite brought sleep to his eyes in order to get dressed and assume her true form. Then, she woke him up, asking him if she was the same as before. Anchises turned his eyes away from her in fear, because any mortal who slept with a goddess was supposed to lose his strength and masculinity. She told him not to worry. She would leave him a mortal, so that he would age normally.
Embarrassed herself for Zeus’s prank, she finally understood how the other gods felt when she teased them. She also foretold the birth of Aeneas, a Trojan hero. (Ovidius, a Roman poet wrote an epic poem, named for Aeneas, where he describes the end of the Trojan War, Aeneas’s flight and the foundation of Rome. This epic bears many similarities to Homer’s epics.) Aeneas would grow up with his father, but Anchises should tell nobody whose child this was or Zeus would punish him severely. Having said that, Aphrodite disappeared. His love for Anchises and their son was the reason that the beautiful goddess was with the Trojans during the war.
There are some points in this myth that go a lot deeper than it seems. Men fearing that they will lose their manhood if they slept with a goddess was a common belief in the East and the Mediterranean. Odysseus didn’t want to visit Kirki’s bed and Gilgamesh refuses Ishtar’s proposal to mate with her, because he knows he will be punished if he does. In Samos two centuries ago, people believed that a man would turn impotent if he slept with a faery.
Aphrodite explains to Anchises how she happens to know the Trojan language, saying that she had a Trojan nanny. It is shown that Greeks knew that Frygian and Trojan are two different languages, although they didn’t recognize Trojans from Frygians.
Aphrodite and Adonis
This is another famous story about Aphrodite. Adonis was a really handsome man. His beauty started to show since he was a baby. Aphrodite took him away from his parents, hid him in a chest and gave him to Persephone to guard him. But Persephone was also amazed by his beauty and refused to give him back when the time came. Aphrodite asked Zeus to act as a referee. He decided that Adonis would stay for four months with each goddess and four months he should keep for himself. Adonis offered his quarter of the year to Aphrodite. Not long after, he was hurt by a boar and fell dead. Aphrodite loved him so much that she had left Olympus and started hunting along with him in the mountains. According to a version of the myth, Ares, jealous of Aphrodite’s love for the mortal was the one who sent the boar. Aphrodite cried and mourned him for a long time and then she turned to Persephone once more, since she is the Queen of the Underworld. Persephone agreed to let Adonis live in the Underworld for six months, so that he and Aphrodite would be able to meet and spend time together. It is said that from Adonis’s spilt blood the first roses bloomed and from Aphrodite’s tears, the first Anemones.
Adonis was an old Semitian god of fertility and blooming. His death and descent on Earth every six months symbolize the natural cycle of the seasons. During the rituals in his honour, women of Athens cried and hit their breasts (an Eastern custom of mourning), tearing their clothes.
Other stories about Aphrodite
Aphrodite’s infidelity to Hephaestus was the reason for which it is said that the god, working with Athena in their laboratory, attacked the goddess to force her to mate with him. She managed to avoid him but his semen fell on the Athenian land, giving birth to Erichthonius.
But Ares and mortal men weren’t the only ones Aphrodite mated with. She once fell in love with Dionysus and didn’t hesitate to sleep with him. Dionysus had to leave for India and when he came back in Spring, Aphrodite, pregnant by Adonis, wreathed him with a spring wreath, but then left him to go to Lampsakus and give birth to the baby. Hera, angry with Aphrodite and Dionysus, because they were Zeus’s children from other women, touched Aphrodite’s belly and she gave birth to Priapus, a very ugly and shameless god.
The goddess also mated with Poseidon and gave birth to Erykas, a fearful king of a tribe in Sicily.
When Aphrodite saw that she wasn’t respected as she should, she punished the disrespectful very harshly. This is why she drove Poseidon’s sons crazy when they tried to keep her away from Rhodes and she made the women of Lemnos smell really nasty when they wouldn’t pay her the respect she expected. Kleo, the Muse, made fun of Aphrodite for loving Adonis, so Aphrodite cursed her and the Muse gave birth to Yakinthus, the first man who had ever mated with boys and men. Diomedes who hurt her in battle, found himself punished as well. Aphrodite made his wife sleep with many other men while he was at war. We have already seen what happened to Hippolytus who refused her because he was loyal to Artemis.
Aphrodite had great power and she didn’t use it only to punish. Those who respected her found great pleasure with her presents. She was the one who gave the first woman, Pandora, some of her elegance and beauty. She also helped Pandareus’ daughters, orphans from an early age, to grow up, giving them milk and honey. She transformed Selemnus into a river, when the nymph the young man was in love with got bored of him and dumped him. A bit later, she saw that even as a river he was still in love with Argyra, so she made him forget. Anyone who would take a bath in this river, got cured of their passions, in case they were in love with someone who didn’t love them back.
Once she tried to test Phoonas’ kindness. He was a boat-man. She asked him to drive her across the river. Not only did he do that, but he didn’t take any money either. Thus, Aphrodite made him young and beautiful so that all the women would want him. Pygmalion, another man who fell in love with a statuette of the goddess, he had made on his own, asked Aphrodite to help him find the ideal woman, so she turned the statuette alive.
Aphrodite helped the Argonauts as well, making the women of Lemnos welcome them and making Medea fall in love with Jason and do whatever was necessary for the Argonauts to succeed in their goal.
Aphrodite was more than simply a Beauty Goddess, as it happened with all the female deities of that period (eg, the Nordic goddess Freja). She is the symbol of the female harmony, the beauty of the body (a classic must-have for the Greeks) in order to be able to bring forth strong children and in a less aggressive way than Athena’s, shows how a woman could survive in a masculine society.
Working with Aphrodite
Sanctuaries: Melos Island, Cyprus Island
Symbols: Scallop shell, seashells, mirrors, golden apples, the Evening Star (planet Venus), Number 5, the ocean, and the triangle
Animals: Dolphin, swan, dove, sparrow, bees, and goats
Plants: Rose (especially any fragrant rose), quince, myrtle, mint and grape (fruit, leaves, and vines), apples, artichokes, laurel, ash and poplar trees
Perfumes/Scents: Stephanotis, musk, verbena, vanilla, incense, vervain, and roses
Gems and Metals: Pearls, gold, aquamarine, rose quartz, jade, sapphire, silver, and copper
Colours: Red, pink, violet, silver, aqua, pale green (seafoam), and any shade of light blue
Spells: beauty, love, sexuality, sensuality, femininity
Orphic Hymn 54-To Aphrodite
Heav’nly [Ourania], illustrious, laughter-loving queen, sea-born, night-loving, of an awful mien;
Crafty, from whom Ananke first came, producing, nightly, all-connecting dame:
‘Tis thine the world with harmony to join, for all things spring from thee, O power divine.
The triple Moirai are ruled by thy decree, and all productions yield alike to thee:
Whate’er the heav’ns, encircling all contain, earth fruit-producing, and the stormy main,
Thy sway confesses, and obeys thy nod, awful attendant of Bakkhos:
Goddess of marriage, charming to the sight, mother of Loves [Eortes], whom banquetings delight;
Source of persuasion [Peitho], secret, fav’ring queen, illustrious born, apparent and unseen:
Spousal, lupercal, and to men inclin’d, prolific, most-desir’d, life-giving, kind:
Great sceptre-bearer of the Gods, ’tis thine, mortals in necessary bands to join;
And ev’ry tribe of savage monsters dire in magic chains to bind, thro’ mad desire.
Come, Kypris, and to my prayer incline, whether exalted in the heav’ns you shine,
Or pleas’d in Syria’s temple to preside, or over the Egyptian plains thy car to guide,
Fashion’d of gold; and near its sacred flood, fertile and fam’d to fix thy blest abode;
Or if rejoicing in the azure shores, near where the sea with foaming billows roars,
The circling choirs of mortals, thy delight, or beauteous nymphs, with eyes cerulean bright,
Pleas’d by the dusty banks renown’d of old, to drive thy rapid, two-yok’d chariot of gold;
Or if in Cyprus with thy mother fair, where married females praise thee ev’ry year,
And beauteous virgins in the chorus join, Adonis pure to sing and thee divine;
Come, all-attractive to my pray’r inclin’d, for thee, I call, with holy, reverent mind.
In Love and Light, always
pictures from Google