Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Aphrodite, the Warrior

It is difficult, within the context of Hellenism, to decipher this aspect of Aphrodite. In Greek literature, Aphrodite is portrayed as playful, laughter loving, deceitful, dangerous, and sultry, but almost never is she portrayed as a fighter, at least not with the weapons of war.

But what does it mean for Love to be a Warrior?

It means that love fights, struggles, and if necessary, makes the ultimate sacrifice for the object of that love. That love will suit up and jump into the trenches for the sake of fulfilling its purpose, and that purpose is not always the love of a lover, or family, sometimes it is the love of one’s nation.

If I have one major failing it is that I lack this. I lack this passionate warrior spirit when it comes to love. I have allowed too many of my relationships to fall apart because I was simply not willing to fight for them. I could argue, of course, that my unwillingness to fight for them meant they were not worth fighting for from my perspective, but that is more justification than answer. Relationships are not absolute things. They change, grow, dwindle, phase in and out of passion’s sphere of influence, all within their confines, yet if we give up on them because we are unsatisfied at some point, we also relinquish the potential for that relationship to grow into something beautiful.

So, like a warrior on the field of battle, love must make decisions. Fight or flight. Be miserable and fight for the potential in a relationship, or give up, surrender to the death of love.

But the aspects of love in the furthest Eastern regions of the ancient Greek world, where Hellenes mixed with the people of the middle eastern world, the goddess of love had strong martial aspects. Even in the North, among the Vikings, the goddess of love was a strong martial being. She could love you, fuck you, make you love her so much you would die for her, and then join you on the fields of battle.

This aspect of the Goddess of Love is one I think the Hellenes themselves tried to suppress. Their patriarchal system had trouble with such images as Amazons, yet among them, in the very foundations of their pantheon, they were forced to accept strong powerful Goddesses who did not simply bend to the will of Gods, but often bested them in battle, strength, and influence.

Aphrodite is one such Goddess.

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