A Conversation with the Gods: Aphrodite

For the Souls in Search

Sometimes I see a man undone.

Haunted by past and trapped in present, he is searching for somebody and somebody is searching for him.

Some say love is the scarcely ventured road. At the crossroads the lovers will meet, usually in a desert, exhausted after crossing over treacherous mountains and vast fields.

Sometimes I see a woman undone. Trapped in a superficial world, condemned to present; she is searching for somebody and somebody is searching for her.

Dehydration of the soul, scarred hearts know,  finding water in a desert is miraculous. However, one must take caution not to drink too fast or one will die.

The human experience reminds us, love is not a fairy tale.

Watch out for Arrows

Ares was at battle, effortlessly cutting down the enemy when something caught his eye. The light of Aphrodite shone from a mountaintop, peering down in admiration.

After the battle, Ares approached Aphrodite and began to tease Eros, Aphrodite’s mischievous winged minion.

How do you manage with these childlike toys?” he said, pointing at Eros’ tiny arrows.

Eros laughed and said the arrows were truly very heavy and insisted that Ares see for himself.

Ares picked up the arrow and nearly toppled at the weight. “Here, take it back!” he said.

Ares stood dazed for a moment, but when he looked into the smiling eyes of Aphrodite, his universe changed forever.

Strange Destiny

Drama was breaking out at Mount Olympus.

Zeus was afraid that the allurement of Aphrodite would disrupt his realm – everybody, even Gods wanted her.

And on top of that, Hephaestus, god of blacksmiths, had tricked his mother, Hera. Seeking revenge for casting him away after his birth because of his unfortunate appearance, he gifted her an enchanted throne. The moment she sat down, she was chained, unable to move.

The Gods tried in vain to free her. However, the realization settled in that only Hephaestus had the power to do so.

Zeus found a solution for two problems at once – wed Aphrodite to Hephaestus, and Hephaestus would agree to free Hera.

Even though she was condemned against her own will to marry Hephaestus, she carried on with her secret affairs, and Ares, god of war- was no exception.

But sometimes love is not freedom, and passion cannot be without a price.

The Last Wedding

It was the last wedding celebration ever attended by both men and Gods.

An old centaur had wished for peace between men and his people. It was his hopes that the celebration between his sea nymph daughter and human protégé would bring harmony.

While everybody drank the wine and danced, everybody agreed it was the best of celebrations.

Everybody except Eris, the Goddess of Strife. She watched from the woods, fuming in her anger and tossed a golden apple into the crowd.

Athena picked it up and read out loud “to the fairest.”

Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite argued over whom the apple was meant for. So fierce their argument became that Zeus, with apologies to the bride and groom, ordered the Gods and Goddesses back to Olympus.

Fate of the World

This argument continued for years. Fed up, Zeus called a meeting of the Gods to find a solution.

Hermes recommended that an honest human should judge the three goddesses.

That honest human would be a young man living a quiet life on Mount Ida, unaware of his royal blood.

The Judgment

Paris, terrified, saw no way out of the task of choosing which goddess was most deserving of the golden apple.

He agreed to see the goddess, one by one, disrobed in a cave.

Hera appeared first. She revealed the secret that Paris was the son of a powerful king; the King of Troy. In exchange for the golden apple, she offered to make him a powerful ruler.

Athena offered wisdom, protection and victory in battle.

And finally it was Aphrodite’s turn. As she appeared and slowly turned around for Paris to see, he was left flushed and speechless.

Aphrodite’s Promise

But Aphrodite was used to such reaction of her beauty. With a sigh, she sat down next to Paris, and unsheathed the most powerful weapon of her allurement – visions.

She looked into Paris’ eyes and shared a vision of the most beautiful woman in the world. She promised Paris that Helen would be his.

Stunned out of logic, he awarded Aphrodite the golden apple.

The Madness of Aphrodite

Hera and Athena united in their wrath against Aphrodite, but Aphrodite was more concerned about how to keep her promise to Paris.

Paris confronted his father, the King of Troy, and successfully reclaimed his birthright as a prince.

Later, Paris was sent on a diplomatic mission to Sparta, one that could end tensions with Troy. But instead of bringing peace, Paris secretly plotted to abduct Helen.

Paris was dismayed to find that Helen was very happy with her highly respected husband, Menelaus, King of Sparta.

Paris would not give up as he continuously pleaded with her to see through the eyes of Aphrodite.

If Helen had walked away, the whole world would might have been different.

But Helen of Sparta ran away with Paris and become Helen of Tory.

Love ignited one of the greatest epic battles in history. The War of Troy, disrupting the realm of Gods and striking out the breath of countless men.

And the fields belonged to Ares.

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