Born of sea foam and known to the Greeks for her beauty, Aphrodite continues to capture the imagination of her admirers even in modern witchcraft.
The myth of a powerful temptress of irresistible charms is a profoundly captivating archetype.
Today, we explore the lore, magic and history of this radiant enchantress.
Here’s 9 facts about her to toss out at your next moon circle.
“Flowers sprang up under her feet.”
As Botticelli so beautifully depicts it, the ocean gave birth to Aphrodite.
In some versions of this myth, when she she arrived on the beach, flowers “sprang up under her feet” as she walked along the shoreline.
This stunning imagery underscores her reputation for natural beauty.
Church of Aphrodite
A Neopagan movement called the Church of Aphrodite blossomed, then quickly wilted, sometime in the mid 20th century.
(This unlikely period of pagan renaissance also catalyzed the popularization of Wicca).
However, unlike most Neopagan revivalists, the Church of Aphrodite believed in a monotheistic divine feminine.
In other words, there’s one god, who is actually a goddess, and she’s super attractive.
A few brave souls continue to make halfhearted attempts to resuscitate the faith. One even started an obscure, barely followed Facebook page.
But mostly, it petered out when its Russian founder, Gleb Botkin, died in 1969.
The bluest eye.
Her myth typically depicts this love goddess with blue eyes.
The color choice possibly refers to her watery origins, her rare beauty and also, the poignant sadness of love.
(Read more about the power of eye color in witchcraft).
Celebrated mainly in Cyprus and Attica, this ancient Greek festival honored the goddess with elaborate rituals and celebration.
Begin with the purification of her temple with the blood of a dove, Aphrodisia took place around late July and lasted until late August.
Initiates of her Mystery Tradition accepted ritual sea salt (a symbol of her oceanic birth) and portions of phallic-shaped bread (symbolic of Aphrodite’s desirability and attractiveness).
Ancients considered the rose sacred to Aphrodite.
Wilting with the change of seasons, this flower symbolizes the fleeting nature of passion.
Many modern witches still use red roses as a symbol of passion in love spells.
(Try adding roses to your bathwater for attraction and magnetism).
“From her came forth Eros.”
Some myths depict Aphrodite as the mother of Eros (or in the Roman version, Cupid).
Of course, the ancient and modern world both know Eros/Cupid for his mischievous meddling in the love lives of humans and gods alike.
That her son took such an interest in the romance of others reveals a lot about how she raised him . . .
If you ever wondered why doves sometimes appear on Valentine’s Day cards or wedding decorations, this association of doves with love dates back many centuries.
Greco-Roman art often depicts the love goddess with these delicate, white birds, which symbolize purity, monogamy and love.
Some practitioners consider the appearance of a dove as an omen for an impending love affair.
Goddess of Kiss and Make Up
Among her other powers, the Hellenists called on Aphrodite to heal broken relationships.
Ancient Greeks made offerings to Aphrodite for a speedy make up after fights with their lovers.
But Aphrodite caused as much romantic drama as she healed.
Once, she won a beauty contest against Hera and Athena. So began the entire Trojan War.
Perfume, Honey & Wine
Appropriate offerings to Aphrodite include all things pretty and sweet.
Frankincense, perfume, honey, wine and of course, roses all please the goddess of beauty and love.
Looking to attract a new beau?
Consider making these honey cakes and leaving one as an offering to evoke her blessing.
Sources (this list contains affiliate links):
Stories of Greek Gods, Heroes and Men: A Primer of the Mythology and History of the Greeks by Caroline H. Harding
Aphrodite: Gods and Heroes of the Ancient World by Monica S. Cyrino
Theogony by Hesiod