The Goddess of Love

Divinatory Meaning

    Aphrodite -- Reversed
  • Acting on unconscious emotions
  • Emotions which are based on fantasy or unrealistic expectations
  • Intuition ignored
  • Reason overwhelmed by emotion

When you draw Aphrodite in a reading:

Aphrodite brings emotions to consciousness, and teaches the expression of emotion with awareness. By practicing awareness of your emotions, you develop your intuition; by contemplating your emotions, you begin to understand the emotions of others. When you see Aphrodite upright, your emotions are leading you in the right directions. When Aphrodite appears reversed, look more closely at your own motivations. Are you using your feelings to manipulate others? Or allowing others to manipulate you as a way of avoiding responsibility for your situation?

Aphrodite, described by Homer as a "lover of laughter and garlands," was born neither of sexual union nor by virgin birth. She was one of the few Greek deities to be created solely by a male, forming from the foam that surrounded Ouranos' severed genitals after they were cast into the sea by Cronos. Golden Aphrodite, the goddess of love, was married to Hephaistos (the lame smith god), but had several affairs, the most public being her relationship with Ares, the god of war.

Aphrodite encompassed both the positive and negative sides of love, and although she was worshipped for her positive attributes, her negative side was frequently depicted in Greek myth. She was infamous for causing mismatched couples to fall in love as a punishment for real or imagined slights, and for taking revenge on other deities who had angered her, making them fall in love with mortals. However, Aphrodite is not all-powerful: there are, according to Homer, three minds she is unable to seduce -- Athena (goddess of wisdom and war), Artemis (goddess of the wild), and Hestia (the eternal virgin).

The goddess of love can also be forced to bow to her own power: Eros once caused her to fall desperately in love with the mortal Anchises. Aphrodite does not represent merely romantic love, but the entire range of human emotions, and as such, she demonstrates their power, both when expressed appropriately and when misused.

The mirror of Aphrodite is the mirror of the unconscious, used to peer into one's own psyche. It represents introspection and self-reflection.

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