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Love Deities in Greek Mythology

Love and lust are basic human emotions, and they have long been reflected in Greek mythology. According to ancient writings, there are numerous Greek gods and goddesses have been associated with sex, love, lust, and sexuality, and these feelings can still be reflected in our own characteristics today.

Aphrodite

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Aphrodite was the Greek goddess of love, beauty, procreation, and desire, and she is the Greek equivalent of the Roman goddess Venus. In addition to her natural beauty, she also possessed a magical girdle that made everyone lust after her. Born to Zeus and Dione, Aphrodite married Hephaestus but didn’t remain faithful. In fact, she is thought to have had affairs with Hermes, Dionysos, and even Ares, her own brother.

Despite her infidelity, Hephaestus used his skills to lavish Aphrodite with gems and jewelry. He was even responsible for making her magical girdle from finely wrought gold. This was a mistake on his part, as when Aphrodite wore her magic girdle, gods and mortals alike found it impossible to resist her. Aphrodite thrived on the attention, and while she may have appeared uncontrolled due to her promiscuity, her ability to affect the emotions in others gave her important powers.

Aphrodite’s primary festival was known as “Aphrodisiac”, a word that is quite familiar today, and it was celebrated in centers of Greece like Athens. Its modern definition concerns items or substances that arouse and promote sexual desire, and this isn’t very far off from the worship of Aphrodite. Rites included the use of female priestesses who represented the goddess, and when followers engaged in sexual intercourse with these women, it was thought to be a method of worship.

 

Philotes

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Philotes, one of the many daughters of Nyx, is known as the goddess of affection and friendship. She is a daimon or personification of sexual intercourse and represents pleasure of sex or love in the present context. She belongs to a group of several love deities, including Agape (the love of mankind), Eros (sensual love), Storge (the love for animals and children), and Philla (friendly love).

Philotes is a relatively minor goddess in Greek mythology, and her history is not well known. Born to Nyx, the Greek goddess of the night, Philotes has many siblings that also served as personified deities. Ironically, her sisters include Apate (the goddess of deceit), Geras (the goddess of old age), and Eris (the goddess of strife and discord).

Philotes is included among Nyx‘s children because she is associated with the dark, and all too commonly, with deceit and guile. While affection and friendship are often viewed as positive, Greek myths warned about embracing Philotes with caution. According to myths, mortals and gods alike should be wary of Philotes because unwise friendships or romantic relationships can be both emotionally and financially costly. 

 

Eros

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Eros is known as the Greek god of love and sexual desire. He is the son of Aphrodite and either Hermes or Ares. However, in some Greek myths, he was considered to be a primordial god, and his Roman counterpart was Cupid. In Homer’s Iliad, the word “eros” is used frequently as a noun referring to passion and sexual desire.

In most artistic works, Eros was depicted as a blindfolded god who carried a bow and arrow for the purpose of stirring passions and creating desires. He would then target humans and would cause them to fall in love with the first person that they happened upon. In one myth, Aphrodite became jealous of the beautiful, mortal princess Psyche, and she ordered her son to make Psyche fall in love with the ugliest creature on the planet. However, Eros pricked a finger on his arrow and fell in love with Psyche instead.

Eros also reminds us all to be kind and tactful when it comes to the matters of the heart. If you were to reject someone else’s love in a mocking or cruel manner, it is likely that Eros’ brother Anteros will seek revenge upon you. As the god of selfless mutual love, Anteros dislikes those who scorn the love-fueled advances of others.

 

 

Pan

Annibale Carracci - Pan - Google Art Project

Pan is known as the god of the wild and hunting, and he served as companion to nymphs. He is depicted as half human with the horns and legs of a goat. Unlike other gods, no temple was erected to worship Pan, but instead, he was worshiped in natural areas like caves. Pan is also associated with fertility and sexuality, and it is thought that he frequently chased nymphs to seduce them but was often turned down due to his appearance.

One of Pan’s greatest sexual conquests was that of Selene, the moon goddess. Pan disguised his hairy goatish body with a white fleece, and Selene, fooled by disguise, allowed herself to ride him. He then drew her from the sky into the forest where he seduced and ravished her. In turn, Pan gifted her with a white horse.

It is difficult to separate Pan from sex, or luxury sex toys, as Pan was frequently associated with sex. While nudity with ancient Greek gods was common, the fact that Pan was typically depicted with an erection separated him from other deities. Pan became the patron for “panic sex,” or sex for the sake of physical satisfaction or lust. Today, Pan would be an advocate for sex in the form of masturbation, luxury sex toys, and other sex accessories.