Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Aphrodite in Myth: Mother of Harmony

The Goddess Aphrodite loved Ares, God of War, Soldiers, Protector and Fighter. That these two would be so intimately linked would seem odd to many, while others would immediately get it. A man of Ares’ violent work and nature would require a mate that could calm him, love him, pleasure him and make him feel that the battlefield was far away. But we all know that is a kind of fa├žade. That the war in the home can be just as vicious as that on the battle fields.

But, interestingly enough, what Aphrodite produce in their love are some interesting figures in the mythos. Deimos, the personification of fear. Phobos, the personification of dread or terror. And the subject of my piece today, Harmonia, personification of Harmony.

All three of these, in my personaly theological view, are aspects of both Aphrodite and Ares. That Haromny is an aspect of the power of Aphrodite seems obvious, just as the same can be said of Phobos and Deimos being aspects of Ares, but Ares, for all his war and fighting, is a god of soldiers, and soldiers fight to defend and conquer for the betterment of their families, their nations, and themselves. They help defend their nation that it may enjoy harmony.

That Deimos and Phobos are also aspects of Aphrodite seems odd to some people, but Love is an emotion that inspires in us all fear, loathing, terror, dread. These are like the obstacles that love places before us as we strive to find it, or as we struggle to make sense of it. Harmonia, the goddess of Harmony, is the clue we are given to the truth of love.

Harmony is born in a relationship in which love and the many negative aspects of its power come into play among people who are willing to hear each other out. She is the aspect of Aphrodite that encourages us to remain and try to make a relationship work. But Harmony is about more than love relationships. It is about every relationship. The relationship between a husband and wife, a parent and child, a child and a grandparent, friends, lovers, the clients of whores, and the man and his pet. It is about the relationship of man to nation, nation to man, society and nature, nature and will, and the relationships between the Sun and the Earth. It is the relationship between every thing with every other thing, and how any number of things must come to a harmonious coexistence in order to continue to exist.

It is sometimes hard for us to remember that all things can be explained by physics, and that physics is itself but a number based explanation of how the Gods affect the world. All things must exist in harmony, and our challenge as thinking creatures is to recognize the many things in our lives and then find a way to make them work in harmony as we remember that within harmony, as within so many things, are two distinct forces trying to fight their way out, forces of divine origin we call Love and War, Aphrodite and Ares.

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