Ares and Aphrodite

Ares is the quintessential male, brooding, powerful, and virile. Aphrodite is the quintessential female, tempestuous, elegant, and sexually resplendent. Two peas in a very passionate pod, the relationship between Ares and Aphrodite speaks directly to the most primal part of the human psyche, piercing even the most stone-like hearts.

The story of Ares and his consort Aphrodite is a passionate one. The two divine entities see in each other their own completion. THough Aphrodite is married to Hephaestos, the two often steal away to make love, and it is said in some fragments of literature that the marriage was officially dissolved, leaving Ares and Aphrodite to produce a multitude of divine offspring, including Fear, Din, and Harmony among others.

The concepts of love and war may seem at first diametrically opposed, thus making the relationship between Ares and Aphrodite seem odd, but I assure you, they are two intimately intertwined forces.

I ask you, what was it that launched 1,000 ships and the greatest war in Greek myth?  It was love. Yes, one can argue that the breach of hospitality on the part of the Trojan Paris towards his Spartan host was the cause of the conflict, but why did Paris breach that essential trust in the first place? Love can be very dangerous. Love, and its counterpart, lust, can have devastating effects on people, tearing apart families and friends, and in the case of the Iliad, starting wars.

Other, real-life examples of love and war have deeply impacted the human race in both the medieval and modern periods. Genghis Khan spread like a plague over the continents of Asia and Europe, destroying kings and commoners alike. Genghis left two lasting legacies in the areas he conquered: literal plague, and a bloodline. The Khan took so many brides (and raped so many women) that some anthropologists suggest one half of a percent (0.5%) of all people on earth can trace their heritage back to Genghis ( Zerjal et al.). Again, following World War II, which caused upwards of 200, 000, 000 casualties worldwide, many countries experienced a “baby boom”, as returning soldiers were encouraged to settle down and start families. This surge in population called for increased economic participation, putting an end to the Depression era and kick-starting a period of prosperity for many.

Speaking of a baby boom, Ares and Aphrodite also speak to another, deeper part of the psyche– pure animal attraction. Ares is the hunk, the bad boy every woman wants. He doesn’t play by the rules. He sweeps you of your feet, ravages you, and still leaves you wanting more. Now Aphrodite, she’s something else. Refined but raw, sensual and seductive yet elegant at the same time. She’s the kind of gal who will play coy even though she knows exactly what you want, and doesn’t hide that she wants it, too. This primal urge drives our whole species. It’s no surprise that today’s pornography industry, where actors are usually sculpted to physical perfection, much as Aphrodite and Ares are depicted,  is estimated to value between $2 and $4 billion dollars. Yes, that’s billion with a “B”.

As a final thought, I want you to meditate on the meaning of Ares’ and Aphrodite’s relationship, and more specifically, a particular child born of that relationship. Love and War come together to create Harmony (Harmonia), and that is a true Mystery.

Hail Ares!

5 comments on “Ares and Aphrodite

  1. Apollodorosh says:

    Also interesting here is to consider the warlike aspects of Aphrodítē, that make her even more closely intertwined with Lord Arēs… Her epithet “Areia” may even refer to her as “Warlike”, as well as “of Arēs” in the passionate affair sense.

    And indeed, everyone just loves stories about passion, lust, love, desire, people (and Gods) coveting each other,… You are completely right that such things are at the very core of our existence and have driven life from it’s very start.

    And off course everyone enjoys a good porn from time to time 😛

  2. pthelms says:

    It is very true that many people forget how much of a badass Aphrodite can be. Apparently no one actually -reads- the Iliad. I mean, she pretty much started the war in the first place, even if it was a trick of Eris.

    Honestly, I’m sort of surprised there isn’t evidence of a mystery cult surrounding the affair of Ares and Aphrodite. While I suppose the mysteries of Elusis were a little more tangible to folks in an era of agriculture and more arranged/political marriages, and such a mystery of love may have been uncommon in the time, I still wouldn’t rule it out in the realm of plausibility. I mean, there are accounts of a joint Ares/Aphrodite temple in both Athens and Argos. While the temple in Athens included more images than those of Ares and Aphrodite, at Argos the temple was split in two wings; one opening to the East for Aphrodite, and the other to the West for Ares.

    • Apollodorosh says:

      How interesting… I didn’t know there actually were joint temples to them. Makes sense though.
      On the matter of mystery cults, I also think it is a good possibility such a mystery cult did exist somewhere, but perhaps so mysterious no one ever wrote anything about it down (if only out of fear for divine retribution from these Godly love birds). Or perhaps all traces in writing were just destroyed through the course of time :-/

      • pthelms says:

        Well it’s cerainly true that very little is known outside of the Athenian cultural sphere, either because the information was lost, or, as is hte case of Sparta, never written down in the first place due to strict state secrecy.

  3. KnowledgeAbsorbed says:

    Aphrodite loved Ares. His person, spirit, sense of self. In Strong Hearted Ares she met a man with a beautiful mission unswayed. Ares could speak to the most irresistible goddess as a person. He could care for her interests apart from his physical desire. Ares’ strength was to see her beauty while retaining his. Upon Aphrodite other gods fawned, lost composure, flattered and grasped. They became meek and mild: pristine, clean, smooth, soft, unscarred, flatterers — dishonest hypocrites. Pleasant. Poseurs. Unconfrontational.

    In Ares, Aphrodite found the archetypical male, a man pursuing his own righteous interests. She found a friend who would place her “inside the shield,” someone who would stand up for and protect her, but also tell her the truth, encourage her potential, and withstand her shallow pleas and supplications. Aphrodite found a friend. Ares Gravitas. A companion.

    Theirs was true love.

    I encourage you to check out the article with the aforementioned writing. Very good exploration on the true reason behind Ares and Aphrodite’s romance.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s