Aphrodite, the golden goddess of love and beauty, is the essence of feminine charm. Thought to have emerged from the sea, born from foam, she became the protectress of sailors. Aphrodite is associated with doves and swans; with flowers, especially roses; and with sweet fragrances and fruits, especially golden apples and pomegranates.
Source; Hrana Janto: The Goddess Calendar July 1993
Greek myths tell of how Aphrodite was born of sea foam. When she swam to the island of Cyprus, she was met by the Horae (other goddesses), who gave her garments befitting her beauty and grace. She was shining with divine light and when she shook the water from her hair, the droplets became pearls. This myth explains how a great Mother Goddess came to Greece. The Greeks tried to contain her vastness by labeling her Goddess of Love, Beauty and Sex, but she is also the Goddess of Life and Death. She is a virgin, in the original sense of the word (meaning "one-within-herself.") The dove that often accompanied her was a rich symbol. It was the soul, flying back to its source after death; it was sexual passion; it was peace. Aphrodite's girdle is legendary for its ability to arouse desire and create the magick of love. Of her many lovers, her favorite was handsome Adonis, whom she had to share with Persephone, Queen of the Underworld.
Conway, D. J. MAGICK OF the GODS & GODDESSES. St. Paul, Minnesota, Llewellyn Publications, 1997, 168
Stone, Merlin Ancient Mirrors of Womanhood. Boston Beacon Press. 1990 376-377
APHRODITE to Herodotus, the worship of Aphrodite was introduced to Greece by Phoenicians of Canaan. In turn, when the Greeks colonized areas of Canaan, they referred to the shrines of Ashtart as those of Aphrodite Urania, literally, Aphrodite, Queen of Heaven. Initially revered as a more multifaceted deity concerned with oracular prophesy and with battle, the Hellenic Greeks came to regard Aphrodite primarily as the essence of erotic love. This attitude may have developed in response to the sexual rituals, so closely associated with the Goddess as Ashtart and Ishtar in Canaan and Babylon, continuing in the Greek temples of Aphrodite, especially at Corinth. The Romans knew Aphrodite as Venus, the star that had been sacred to Aphrodite, Ashtart, Ishtar and Inanna.
THE FRMINIST COMPANIONTO MYTHOLOGY. edited by Larrington, Carolyn. Hammersmith, London. Pandora Press. 1992, 68 - 69
Aphrodite was the goddess of sexual love, allegedly born from the sea-tossed genitals of the castrated Ouranos. The island of Cyprus also claimed to be her birthplace (hence she is sometimes referred to as the Cyprian), as did the island of Paphos.
For Rornanists, Aphrodite was the only Olympian goddess to have lain with a mortal, Anchises, by whom she had the Trojan hero, Aineas. He was one of the few survivors of the Trojan War, renowned for carrying his aged father on his back out of the burning city, and it was of Aineas's subsequent adventures and founding of the city of Rome that the Roman poet Virgil wrote in his Aeneid, an epic poem deliberately modelled on Homer's Odyssey. It meant, however, that Venus, as the Romans called her, founded the city of Rome and hence its empire, it was from her that the Roman emperors laid claim to a divine ancestry, a fact attested to by the Caesars' veneration of Venus as Genetrix, Founding Mother.