Ways of Worship: Aphrodite
Hellenic Witch/Wiccan Worship of Aphrodite
Aphrodite is the Goddess of beauty, love, desire, procreation, pleasure, and sexuality. Her Roman form is Venus. She was created from the Titian Uranus' severed genitals when they were thrown in the sea and mixed with sea foam. The image above depicts Aphrodite rising from the sea on a giant clam as her birth. Despite being married to Hephestus she was continuously unfaithful and her most well-known consort was Ares. However, she also slept with Poseidon, Hermes, Dionysus, Adonis, and Anchises. Gotta give the girl credit she didn't discriminate between immortal or mortal men.
She had many children with her different consorts. With Ares, she had Eros, Phobos, Deimos, Harmonia, Pothos, Anteros, and Himeros. With Hermes she had Hermaphroditus. With Poseidon, it was Rhodos and Eryx. With Dionysus, she had Peitho, The Graces, and Priapus. And finally with Anchises came Aeneas. Aphrodite is one of the 12 Olympians and resides on Mt. Olympus.
In the Illiad, Aphrodite was one of the three Goddesses whose fighting started the Trojan war and was heavily involved in the war. In the Illiad, all the Gods and some mortals went to a wedding (or feast in some lore) but didn't invite Eris. That was their first mistake. Eris is the Goddess of strife and discord. To settle this score she created a golden apple inscribed with "for the fairest" that she threw among the Goddesses. Each claimed to be the fairest and tried to take the apple. To settle their bickering they went to Zeus who basically chickened out and told the Trojan prince Paris to do it. Paris chose her as the most beautiful out of Hera, Aphrodite, and Athena.
Each tried to give Paris something to make him choose her. In the end, he chose Aphrodite after she promised him he would marry the most beautiful woman on Earth, Helen. But you don't choose a Goddess to be the prettiest unless you're ready for the scorning of a lifetime. Hera and Athena both sided with the Greeks in the Trojan War to get revenge on Paris for his decision. Later in the Illiad, Aphrodite convinces, with a small number of threats, to have sex with Paris. She also rescues Paris from a one-on-one duel with King Menelaus of Sparta who was married to Helen before Aphrodite got involved.
But never say Aphrodite is a coward or doesn't fight. When her son Aeneas needed rescuing from the hero Diomedes, she was recognized of course but Diomedes thrust his spear at her and nicked her wrist. When she went to tell Zeus he told her she shouldn't put herself in danger as she was made for love, not war. That didn't stop her, however, from returning to battle when Ares was gravely wounded in the battle to save him. And her final part to play was when Hera needed a charm to make her irresistible to Zeus to trick him. To get the charm Hera lied to Aphrodite, as they were still on opposite sides of the war, but Aphrodite believed it and offered the charm to her.
There are many more myths that contain Aphrodite. Some of these include her marriage to Hephestus, Anchises, Adonis, and different anger myths. One you may want to check out is the myth of Mesperyian, daughter of Hades.
Altar, Offerings, and Symbols
General Symbols: Scallop shell, girdle, mirror, aphrodisiac foods, all shells/coral, prayer stones, golden apples, the evening star, number five, the ocean, and the triangle
Plants: Rose, myrtle, quince, mint, and grape (fruit, leaves, and vines), apples, artichokes, laurel, ash, and poplar trees
Gemstones/Metals: Pearl, rose quartz, amethyst, sea glass, gold, aquamarine, jade, sapphire, silver, and copper
Animals: Dove, sparrow, swan, dolphin, bees, and goats
Scents: Rose, stephanotis, musk, verbena, vanilla, incense, vervain
Colors: Pink, red, white, violet, silver, aqua, pale green (seafoam), and any shade of light blue
Some things to pray to Aphrodite about are romantic advice, inspiration for love poems/letters, fashion advice (if you're so bold), help finding true love, advice on having lots of sex, help getting pregnant, increased pleasure or advice on pleasuring someone else, and confidence in the bedroom.
Invocation of Aphrodite Aphrodite of golden hair,With purest love and face so fair,
Goddess of longing, You who inspire,and fan the flames of hot desire,Lady of pleasure and lustful nights—All acts of love are Your rites.Queen of love and passions wild,
Smile upon Your loving child.
You who were foam-born of sea,I ask Your blessings here on me.And when this sacred rite is through,Take my thanks and love with You.
Prayer Glittering-Minded deathless Aphrodite,I beg you, Zeus’s daughter, weaver of snares,Don’t shatter my heart with fiercePain, goddess,But come now, if ever beforeYou heard my voice, far off, and listened,And left your father’s golden house,And came,
Yoking your chariot. Lovely the swiftSparrows that brought you over black earthA whirring of wings through mid-airDown the sky.They came. And you, sacred one,Smiling with deathless face, askingWhat now, while I suffer: why nowI cry out to you, again:What now I desire above all in myMad heart. ‘Whom now, shall I persuadeTo admit you again to her love,Sappho, who wrongs you now?If she runs now she’ll follow later,If she refuses gifts she’ll give them.If she loves not, now, she’ll soonLove against her will.’Come to me now, then, free meFrom aching care, and win meAll my heart longs to win. You,Be my friend.