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by Alfred de Grazia




The Aphrodite of the light Olympian-age character plays opposite her usual star in the Love Affair, Ares. Her husband, Hephaestus, earns little affection from her, and, though the story is not mentioned here, she is the mother of three children by Ares. She is one of the few ever to have expressed love for Ares, and in "The Battle of the Gods," in the Iliad, she goes to his aid in battle and is roundly smacked by the Goddess Athena.

If we look into Homer for the precise astronomical referents of Ares, Aphrodite, Hephaestus and Athena, we are disappointed. Homer does not say that the three sky bodies - planet mars, Moon, and planet Venus are represented by them, not in the Iliad, nor the Odyssey, nor in the Love Affair. How then are we to assure ourselves that we are on the right track when we allocate among them several celestial bodies? We cannot be certain - not now, nor in ancient times, if we follow the record. Our difficult task of astral-mythical correlation is to be made even harder by the requirement that we show that Aphrodite in the Love Affair is, if not certainly, then most likely, the Moon. However, we shall proceed to the task, taking four steps. First we inquire whether Aphrodite was tied to the Moon in Greek, Near Eastern and other sources in primeval and ancient times. Next we ask whether Aphrodite was the name of entities other than the Moon. Further, we ask whether she was possibly both the Moon and another entity. Finally, we ask whether Aphrodite stood for the Moon specifically in the Love Affair, in the song of Demodocus.


The Aphrodite of whom we speak is an old goddess. Always speaking in relative terms, "old" means coming into recognizable form and identity before Jupiter, Venus and mars, probably after Uranus, and possibly early in the age of Saturn - using the Greco-Roman Eastern Mediterranean theogony and names as points of reference.

A quotation "On the worship of Venus-Urania throughout the East," from the work of a famous scholar, G. Rawlinson, begins our introduction of the Love Affair's goddess: [1]

"She was the 'Queen of Heaven, ' the Moon... she corresponded to Minerva, and in Greece to the original Aphrodite, who became at last the mere personification of beauty and voluptuousness."

In the work of another scholar, Jane E. Harrison [2] , we read a passage from the Danaides of Aeschylus, and we are told something of the jurisdiction of this Aphrodite - words put into her mouth by the great dramatist:

Lo, there is hunger in the holy Sky To pierce the body of the Earth, and in the Earth too Hunger to meet his arms. So falls the rain From Heaven that is her lover, making moist The bosom of the Earth: and she brings forth to man The flocks he feeds, the corn that is his life. To trees no less there cometh their own hour Of marriage which the gleam of watery things Makes fruitful - Of all these the cause am I.

These lines seem to convey what we would expect of a lunar goddess. We are moving far back in time. In a passing reference, Mircea Eliade writes of a "regime brought about by Aphrodite and later governed by Zeus, in which the species are fixed, there is order, balance, and hierarchy." [3] I have carried the birth of the Moon back in solar system history to an astronomical catastrophe occurring even before the Age of Saturn. We hear Theopompos quoted by Plutarch: [4] "From Kronos and Aphrodite all things take their birth." So Aphrodite is moved back to the time of Kronos.

Back of Zeus, stands his father Kronos, and back of Kronos, his father, Ouranos. Hesiod (8th century?), the earliest Greek source of all, places Aphrodite with the earliest great god of the cloudy skies, Ouranos (Uranus). The motherless Aphrodite is daughter of Ouranos, and Eros - a figure of love - seems to have been born with her, nor will this divine helper ever leave her.

A little while after Hesiod wrote, Homer worked, and Homer alludes to a second Aphrodite Pandemos, daughter of Zeus by Dione, aided by Eros Pandemos.

Cicero, a typical confusion emerging out of his elegant prose, has Hermes as husband of the Uranian Aphrodite who is given Hephaestus as a husband and Ares as a lover. A third Aphrodite is the sister of Hermes and daughter of Heaven and Die. Finally a fourth Aphrodite emerges as a Syric-Cypriot wife of Adonis, by the name of Astarte.

We have almost nothing to say of the latter two personae. It is enough to discuss Aphrodite Urania and Aphrodite Pandemos, if indeed they amount to two distinct goddesses. If the former is the Moon, there is no reason to make of the second also the Moon. Rather, this latter may even have been the planet Venus, who as the goddess Athena, was born out of Zeus' forehead, lacking association in such case with either Dione or Eros. Proclus, much later, but still authoritative, has this second later Aphrodite also born from the sea like the first [5] .

The first goddess, Aphrodite Urania, was born in the throes of the destruction of Ouranos by his son Kronos (Saturn), who severed his father's genitals with a sickle of jagged flint and flung them into the sea. From the foam of these organs arose Aphrodite, a foam god, literally foam-born (aphrogenis), the "one who is generated from foam." [6] Only three words in Greek are known to carry the Aphr-root: "foam" (aphros), "recklessness," and "sexually stimulating," All are obvious associations with Aphrodite's birth and character [7] . This will become more significant when we ask why Aphrodite Urania cannot have been Athena, or Ishtar, or another goddess.


The later myth might have both confusing and clarifying elements, confusing in its resemblances to the Uranian episode, clarifying in that, if it were Athena-Venus which was involved, foam-covered seas are understandable (" Beaufort 10" in navigation has the surface of the sea foaming, hence sperm) and a turbulent setting in which Aphrodite-Moon (does Dione relate to Diana?) was destructively involved and Zeus' activity might have been construed as an attempted (and actual) ravishment of the Moon in the days of the birth of Athena seven hundred and more years before the Love Affair. The Homeric "Hymn to Athena" reproduced in chapter X chants of the foaming seas resulting from her birth.

"Sea" foam, we can see, had reason to be brought in a second time on a later date. Of the name "Aphrodite" itself, a case can be made for its being of an origin earlier than the planet Venus, because of the temporal precedence of the Moon and the definite designation of Urania, an impossible name for a later deity; long before historical nations began, Ouranos was a deus otiosus. The goddess Amphitrite Thalassa (" of the Sea") shares this epithet with Typhon and his paredra, "making one being with foam-born Aphrodite," according to F. Nork [8] . Here is another indication that Aphrodite Pandemos is lateborn and accompanies the birth (and death) of Typhon.

We employ the scenario of Aphrodite Urania in Chaos and Creation and Solaria Binaria to approach the reality of those days. Uranus is a giant luminescent planet that fissions in the earliest days of humanity. There occurs a separation from the electric arc or "tree of life" which humans saw reaching up the god-planet. A major fragment from the nova takes cometary form. In the severance from the tree and in the cometary form, a castration of Ouranos is perceived. When the Moon is seen to arise from the disturbed Earth, it is perceived as born out of the turbulent seas, out of the froth, and the connection is made with the genitals of Ouranos, from which foam-born Aphrodite Urania is generated and rises into the sky.

The bloodiness ascribed by myth to the foaming scene would refer to the ruddy color of the turbulent elements and to the horrific analogy of the divine actions; the same color relations would occur upon the much later occasion of the mythical fall of Typhon and the birth of a new goddess. Many thousands of years separate this catastrophic primordial scenario from the fully sublimated painting by Botticelli of a tender, beautiful Aphrodite riding upon the sea-shell. In Sumerian mythology, the god of the aether, Enlil, who can be compared with Uranus, separates the interlocked Earth Mother and Father-Nammu, and then creates the Moon god, Nanna.

Among the thousands of verses of the Rig Vedas of ancient India there is an allusion to the birth of the Moon, which is not among those presented in my other works but was culled by J. Ziegler during his study of the Vedas. The Moon is "the Prudent (Moon)... allied by birth to Heaven and Earth in kinship. The Gods discovered in the midst of waters beautiful Agni (the Moon) with the Sister's labor. Him, Blessed One, Seven strong Floods augmented, him white at birth and red when waxen mighty.... Then they, ancient and young, who dwell together, Seven Sounding Rivers, as one germ received him." [9]

Ziegler has also identified as Moon-names of the Rig-Vedas : Pusan, Indu, Two-Mothered Sun, Pavamana, Sura, Wanderer, Red Bird, Lord, Bull, Vaisvanara, Maghavan, Brhaspati, Brahmanaspati, Kutsa, Sindhu, Sage, Shining One, Agni and Indra, and probably many more. We note how other gods are called by Moon-names or there is a confusion, as with Agni and Indra. The same duplicity may occur in the Mediterranean area.

John Bentley, writing of India, supports us from his peculiar point of vantage: in the war between gods and giants, "the goddess Sri, or Lakshmi, was then born, or produced from the Sea."

"The Venus Aphroditus of the Western mythologists (is) emblematic of the lunisolar year; therefore she is called the goddess of increase, abundance, etc. She is the daughter of Durga, and the Proserpine of the West; and, considered as time, she is the same as her mother. Metaphysically, she may sometimes represent the Moon." [10]

Later on, we shall see that Bentley's support has its problems. He may be confusing two Aphrodites (Moon and planet Venus) and Hindu mythology, it seems, may have the same problem as the Greek.

In geological terms, however, and according to a view that I present at length in the Quantavolution Series, the Moon has recently arrived upon the sky. It was assembled electro-gravitationally from a vast explosion of crustal material from the Earth. It began to orbit the Earth, always facing it, within the traditional era of a cultured humanity that recorded the events through legend later on. Inasmuch as a number of ancient authors declare that there existed, still intact, cultures that claimed existence prior to the Moon's appearance, there was a "Proselenian Period" before the Moon existed [11] .

Among the Proselenians, doubts existed; the Moon may have come into position earlier but, owing to a thick canopy of clouds girdling the Earth, it may have merely come into evidence at a later time, and therefore the Proselenians witnessed the coming of the Moon as an emergence from behind a cloudy barrier, after it had been present in the nearby sky for some time.

Around the world, the moon was more often attributed female gender for several reasons that can be touched upon only briefly here. A matriarchal system may have come into being at times and the Moon was deemed female. Or the rough coincidence of the normal menstrual period of women and the cycle of lunar phases - 28 days, 36 days and perhaps other periods as well, in various calendar ages - could have produced numerous speculations, "confirmations," institutional and ritual tags for the measure of time and religious behaviors. The Moon would thus become female because of its behavior according to the menstrual cycle? Yet, we think, could not a male Moon have commanded and ordered the menstrual cycle, according to the mythmaking mind? Only Venus, of the planets, is often female. The others and the Sun are regularly male. A number of qualities are associated with the Moon and these are also associated with the Moon and these are also associated with the female sex. The chief among these is a role in fertility. But could not the qualities have been ascribed to the Moon after they were developed in females ? Not altogether, of course, because certain qualities are found so universally among women that they would appear to have originated in a common source such as the Moon. One refers here to the function of women in spinning and weaving. Do these derive from lunar behavior?


Robert Graves refers to "Selene the Moon, alias Aphrodite" and develops the lunar traits of Aphrodite extensively. "The Athenians called Aphrodite Urania 'the eldest of the Fates' because she was the Nymph-Goddess, to whom the sacred King had, in ancient times, been sacrificed at the summer solstice... Aphrodite is the same wide-ruling goddess who rose from Chaos and danced on the sea, and who was worshiped in Syria and Palestine as Ishtar, or Ashtaroth [12] . She was regarded as a queen-bee. "She destroyed the sacred king, who mated with her on a mountain top, as a queen-bee destroys the drone: by tearing out his sexual organs." As Cybele, Phrygian Aphrodite of Mount Ida, she accepted "the ecstatic self-castration of her priests in memory of her lover Attis." [13] Concessions, suggests Graves, to the need to grant her masculine powers as society moved under the influence of Jovian patriarchy [14] . Thus could society employ the fantasy of bisexuality to further a political cause.

The Scythians, it is asserted in the Encyclopaedia Britannica (16-44) worshipped "Artimpasa (Aphrodite Urania), goddess of the Moon." The famous Encyclopedia of Pauly-Wissowa tells us that Philochorus, "resting on the oldest conceptions of nature," finds a duplicity in Aphrodite and the Moon (p. 2738). It refers to Horace speaking of dances to Aphrodite in the night under the Moon (Horace, Carm. I: 45). It pitches the Lemnos myth of a marriage between Aphrodite and Hephaestus against a Theban myth of her marriage to Ares, which are then merged in the Song of Demodocus (p. 2769); the Orphic hymns stretch far back of the Homeric period of the Eighth and Seventh Centuries; the image of Aphrodite here seems lunar rather than planetary, but we realize that the same Mistress of the Heavens title is given to Astarte in Syria, who is probably more planet Venus (with Ananna) than she is the Moon. Also, as Astarte is seen by some as Aphrodite barbata (bearded), still Pauly-Wissowa can find at least that the ancient authority Philochoros again calls the bearded goddess a Moon figure.

Numerous writers besides Graves, among them Winthuis, Jeremias, and Rix, have stressed an original bisexuality of ancient deities.

The primordial All-Mother of ancient tradition is a man-woman, or a woman-man, virgin not in the physiological but in the cosmic sense.... A naive androgynous symbolism for the primeval mother, forming a part of the doctrine, is apparently shown in the oldest temples to the Virgin Mother, when the All-Mother is represented with a beard... Astarte may appear in a masculine form... sometimes with the characteristics of the masculine sex. Certain authors have even offered the hypothesis of an androgynous Ishtar [15] .

There are many of such androgynous representations of Aphrodite, as in Cyprus where the goddess wears a beard, female garments, and seems unisexual. Pilgrims to Paphos there received 'gifts of a phallus and salt, ' the latter standing probably for the sea-froth and semen of which the goddess was born. In Rome, like New York City, anything could be found, including this, too.

The case for bearded Aphrodites representing the planet Venus occurs partly because the ankh (shown below), the crux ansata or 'cross with a handle, ' is associated with both the planet and with a number of representations that must be regarded as the goddess Aphrodite. The ankh is an ambivalent symbol that denotes bisexuality, a combined phallus and vulva. The cometary references seem clear, for a comet's generally round nucleus and straight-out long tail convey in the sky a genital meaning. Insofar as the history of the planet Venus is known, and that may well be from its beginnings, the ankh has been a sacred symbol and one appropriated for the planet Aphrodite-Venus.

Athena is not without bearded associations. Male, bearded serpents were to be found on a pediment of the archaic Athenian Acropolis. These would have been representations of the dragon who was Typhon, and also a part of Athena as cometary Venus. The larger question to be dealt with later on, is whether Athena had a double, a male duplicity, a god of prominence.

The Dictionnaire des Antiquités is more confident than Pauly-Wissowa of the lunar identity of the goddesses Aphrodite and Venus. It recognizes the duality of the Uranian and Jovian Aphrodites which grew close with time or may even have been originally the same. (91 fn1) We quote here two passages from the extensive article on Venus:

She came from Asia where almost all of the Semitic peoples worshiped a lunar deity representation of fertility and animal fecundity. Artakatis-Derketo at Ascalon, Mylitta at Babylon, Ishtar in Assyria, and above all, Astarte among the ancients.

From Cyprus and Phoenicia, the goddess moved North to the shores of the Black Sea, Northwest across the Cyclades, West to Cytherea, to Sparta, to Sicily, Carthage, Latium.

Aphrodite Urania is identical to lunar Astarte of the Semites, who appeared at Carthage under the name of the Celestial Virgin. The relations of Aphrodite with the night star are further implied in the myth of Phaeton whom the goddess seized to make guardian of her temple. Phaeton is, in effect, the star of the morning and evening, whose vivid brightness naturally associated it with the Moon whose brilliant acolyte it appeared to be. This star, among other names, is also called the star of Venus, and the assimilation of the goddess to this double star contributed, at Cyprus and Pamphylia, to the idea of an androgynous Aphrodite.

It is to be noted that this authority not only awards Aphrodite and Venus to the Moon, but also Ishtar and Astarte, two goddesses that a number of writers, the present author included, assign confidently to the catastrophic comet-planet Venus. Are we to win one position only in order to surrender another, perhaps more important in the total picture? For much of the best material on the history of the disasters of the mid-second millenium B. C. comes out of the histories of Ishtar and Astarte.

Sophie Lunais tells us that lunar cults are more ancient than solar, that the Moon was worshiped more than the sun, that Diana came to be identified with the Moon and so, too, Artemis, and of course Hecate, Selene, and Luna, but despite all of this, "curiously the mythology of the Moon is practically nonexistent." [16] Her surprise is not surprising, considering that often myths of the Moon do not come forth labeled clearly as such, and that in the book is to be found no reference to Aphrodite ! Most of the mythology of Aphrodite is lunar mythology. Diana and Artemis were late arrivals as Moon goddesses, she reports; certainly later than Aphrodite, we add. We could further add that, if moon mythology is not abundant in the Latin authors, it is because Aphrodite tended to monopolize it, and in art as well.

Reports Graves: "The later Hellenes belittled the Great Goddess of the Mediterranean, who had long been supreme at Corinth, Sparta, Thespiae, and Athens, by placing her under male tutelage and regarding her solemn sex-orgies as adulterous indiscretions." [17]

Graves continues: the Moon, to whom "the sun yields precedence" [18] in early myth has three phases - the maiden of spring, the nubile nymph of summer, and the crone of winter, to correspond to her three phases: new, full, and old. She could also be identified with Mother Earth's vegetative year, who produced first leaves and buds, then flowers and fruits, and then a withered barrenness. "She could later be conceived as yet another triad: the maiden of the upper air, the nymph of the earth or sea, the crone of the underworld - typified respectively by Selene, Aphrodite, and Hecate. These mystical analogues fostered the sacredness of the number three, and the Moon-goddess became enlarged to nine when each of the three persons - maiden, nymph, and crone - appear in triad to demonstrate her divinity." (We note, in passing, that the council of Phaeacia numbered nine men, who measured the magic circle of the dance and whom we have also associated with a nine-day week.)

Aphrodite was the nubile female, par excellence, declares Graves. She wore the Golden Girdle of the Moon, whose magic would incite concupiscence in any man. In addition, she could stand in the place of the "General Chairwoman," from time to time and from place to place, as the Great Goddess protem.

By the time Demodocus sang, Aphrodite was officially of the family of Olympian Gods, a daughter of Zeus, a relatively specialized god of desire, and the moon by inference as the dark time of trysting and loving. She is fickle, light-hearted, willful, beautiful, golden, perfumed, and anointed, with, of course, all the powers of her station in respect to humanity and an invulnerability in fact to terrible retribution from her father or sisters and brothers. She was a seductive, but no longer active, force.

Still, the universal help and harm, of which she was capable in earlier ages and even now, remained impressed upon the minds of the audience of Demodocus. Whatever happened to Aphrodite was of importance and if she might be treated good-humoredly, it would be still with respect, with awe, with ceremony, and behind the protective shield of other gods, who alone could be the causes of whatever embarrassment her shameless character would permit her.


The most penetrating studies of Aphrodite as the Moon Goddess come from Elmer George Suhr. He entitles one of his books Venus de Milo, The Spinner; the Link between a Famous Art Mystery and Ancient Fertility Symbols [19] A decade later he published The Spinning Aphrodite; The Evolution of the Goddess from Earliest Pre-Hellenic Symbolism through Late Classical Times [20] . The Venus de Milo, as is well-known, is a statue without arms. Suhr, reconstructing the statue anatomically and on the basis of more complete representations of Aphrodite, concluded that she was occupied at spinning yarn. A fine picture is to be found on the Berlin lekythos where beside the spinning goddess are Ares and Eros. "The moon... is in full view behind Aphrodite, where it serves as the total center for the whole composition." Suhr associated a whole complex of attributes and functions with Aphrodite: the Moon directly, the shadow of the Moon (its cone), spinning, the vortex theme in myth, the emblem of the spiral, the dew and rain, Klotho, Hecate, Medusa, the omphalos (sacred navel of the world), rainfall (the dropping of threads upon the Earth), the turning of the vault of Heaven, the forming of thunderhead on her distaff with the help of Ares, lunar calendars. She was "worshiped as the dispenser of the divine elixir running through all life, the mistress of fate and fortune, the author of all things fair and lovable." She is generally antagonistic in various manifestations to Athena. She is a long-time enemy of Athena, in the Iliad but elsewhere, too.

Aphrodite, Suhr thinks, was reduced in importance during the age of Zeus, but could not be fundamentally deprived of form and function.

The Moon, which heretofore had played an important part in this program (of cloud, thunder, and lightning) was also relegated to the background. But Aphrodite was too powerful to be lightly brushed aside. As a goddess of love and beauty she became a respectable member of the Olympian family, both causing the other gods much trouble and bringing them countless pleasures by trapping them in the net of desire. Since Zeus was a male, he never took over the spinning equipment as an adjunct of creation; such an attribute was below the dignity of the father of the gods and men. Aphrodite was allowed to keep this attribute and though she remained a powerful divinity, she was pushed aside in Athens, no doubt in the days of Theseus, by Athena, the bachelor girl goddess who became a favored child of Zeus.

That the Moon goddess was a spinner is also to be discovered in Meso-America and Egypt. Hence if Aphrodite is connected with spinning in Greece and the Near East, then Aphrodite is to be connected with the Moon, for the Moon and spinning are generally associated.

An article and photograph of the National Geographic Magazine (Dec. 1975) describe

.... The Mayan moon goddess Ixchel, patroness of fertility, weaving, and medicine. Wife of the sun, she consorted with other gods, just as the moon crosses paths with the stars and planets. In this 4 3/ 4-inch figurine from Jaina Island, off Yucatan, the moon goddess takes a grinning rabbit for her partner.

The grinning rabbit might in other place be taken to be a wolf, a mouse, a dove or another animal such as have been associated with the planet Mars-Ares in Greece, Rome, and the Near East. The Indo-Iranian texts of the Bundahis refer to a planet called "Gokihar" or "Wolf - progeny" as "special disturber of the Moon" [21] while the Slavs beheld a wolf-shaped Vukadlak that devoured the moon (or sun) [22] .

Medusa is identified with Aphrodite and with Selene (moon) by Suhr, who points out that Selene was the patroness of generation and "as a friend of Poseidon (one among other reasons) she became offensive to Athena." We bear this in mind when we see Odysseus protected by Athena and murderously pursued by Poseidon, and when we see Poseidon in the Love Affair arranging an easy exit for Aphrodite and Ares out of the vengeful hands of Hephaestus (hence Athena who, we shall see, is tied to Hephaestus and a protagonist and director of the action in the Love Affair).

Suhr speaks of the countless clay cones of Mesopotamia that copy the shadow of the Moon. They rotate upon the face of the dark land, and become a type of menhir turned by human figures of stone. Nannar the moon god of Mesopotamia works hard to keep the cone rotating. The cone emblem is found on a coin of Byblos (Syria) and at the city of Paphos (Cyprus) where a large cone stood in the open court of the Temple of Aphrodite. With regard both to Aphrodite of Cyprus and Astarte of Syria there was a close association with the Moon. "Both are heiresses of the moon god of the city of Ur" with many cone figures.


We have already given reasons for the oriental associations of lunar Aphrodite so we are not surprised but confirmed at finding her great temple at Paphos, Cyprus, constructed in the Phoenician style (or is it vice versa? No matter here, but relevant chronologies should be approached skeptically). In this temple, we have noted, stood a monolith that Tacitus, the Roman historian, described as "A rounded mass rising like a cone from a broad base to a small circumference." Some scholars think it to have been an aerolith or meteoroid that had fallen and was emplaced in honor of Aphrodite. This, indeed, it may have been. To suspect that the fallen stone may be set up in deference to a cometary Venus or would be a meteoroid associated somehow with Athena is certainly permissible. We know of a Palladium of Troy, a probable meteoritic stone, associated with Pallas Athena [23] , who is herself identified with the planet Venus. Other meteoroids have been associated with other gods. In the present instance at Paphos, and following Suhr's earlier theory, we would have more reason to see in the meteoritic cone an accidental resemblance to the Shadow Cone of the Moon, and its many fabricated images going back to the city of Ur. Aphrodite of Paphos would then be, if not exclusively lunar Aphrodite, largely or partly such.

Pliny, the natural historian of Rome, writes that Venus is given the name Lucifer as another sun bringing the dawn, whereas when it shines after sunset it is named Vesper as prolonging the daylight, or as deputy of the Moon, and he credits the discovery of the twin property of planet- Venus to Pythagoras of Samos, 142 years after the founding of Rome. Others besides Pythagoras are also credited with the discovery, Parmenides and Ibycus of Rhegium among them.

One implication of this remark, corroborated broadly in Plato, is that planet Venues did not occupy the same course after the incidents that we are tracing in the Love Affair. Planet Venus arrived to be deputy of the Moon following the disastrous scenario in time.

At some period when the planet Venus was emplaced in its modern orbit and coming to be recognized as such, in its morning and evening manifestations, there may have been a movement in Greece to call it Hera, for Hera it was called by some. Perhaps the astronomers, more in touch with oriental thought, won out with their name, Aphrodite.

Another source of confusion turns up in the pages of Robert Graves, where he distinguishes the animals of the Moon, Selene, and Aphrodite as those that 'parted the hoof' in the manner of lunar crescents so that the lunar symbol occurred as two facing arcs, contrasting with the single simple disc of the sun. The sacred cow that directed Cadmus (from Ugarit, facing West) to the site of Thebes was so branded on each flank.

At Denderah a red bull was sacrificed formally as Typhon. Temples there for Isis and Aphrodite were found, as well as shrines for Seth-Typhon. Cows, young bulls, bulls, red bulls: to whom does each category belong, to what gods, in what aspects? There were more sky-bovines than bovine species to assign to them. It will be a long time before the pattern is fully discovered. At Denderah, there is something of Aphrodite as the Venusian goddess implicated in the mid-second millennial events. Cloven-hoofed animals are not alone of the Moon, whatever may be the inclination of the symbol of the double- facing crescents elsewhere. Just as Lucifer is the light-bearer of the morning, but is also the Prince of Darkness, Satan, Seth - the light that brought darkness, the darkness of wanderings in the wilderness, of Egypt following the Great Light?

What, then, should one do with the many indications from Egypt, the Near East, and Western and Northern Europe that the Planet Venus is associated with the cow and even the young bull (as in the Revolt of the Golden Calf in Hebrew Exodus)? It would appear that we are dealing once again with mysteries of the succession and amalgamation of divinities in the course of experiencing and forgetting, mnemotechnology. Especially because of the ultimately close physical association of the Moon and Venus and the skies, the facile mirage of celestial horns, and the shapes that comets take, we can reason that Aphrodite would be party to and victim of a confusion between Moon and the Star of the Moon. Hence, Symbols of the one may develop some distinction from those of the other, but an overlapping occurs, enough to tell of the merger of gods, a merger perhaps supremely important in preventing the human mind from taking sides against itself. That is, the very confusion that sets us to arguing is the therapy enabling us to live mentally with historically opposing gods. And such is carried into the sublimations of the arts. "There is something for everyone," "everyone" being the society seeking consensus (therefore a consistent history) and the individual seeking personal sacred integrity.


The time has come, it appears, to switch perspectives, to show how it might be argued that Aphrodite is also tied to the planet Venus, thus rescuing the several goddesses of the planet Venus from capture by the Moon.

Perhaps following Plutarch, St. Augustine went as far as to assign the archetype of the comet-planet Venus, Athena, to the Moon.

As for Minerva (Athena), they have given her the responsibility for the arts of mankind; but they have not found her a star to be her habitation, and so they have identified her with the upper region of the ether, or even with the Moon.

We can do without this sort of help. This is as unlikely an assignment as any identification can get in mythology and I join Peter James in dismissing it. But James' adamancy on the balance of the equation remains to be dissolved. It lets him turn around and accept Augustine's comment that Aphrodite won the Judgment of Paris about which goddess should represent Venus (the golden apple), "but as usual Venus wins. For the overwhelming majority give the star to Venus." [24] Is it not once more likely that Aphrodite won the star of Venus, that is, the planet that attended the Aphrodisian Moon? The Greeks, he insists, regularly applied the name Aphrodite to the planet Venus, and addressed prayers to that body as the planet associated with her. They could not really be thinking of the Moon in all of this.

If Velikovsky and de Grazia are right, then Lucian of Samosata, Ptolemy, Aristotle, Plotinus, Diordorus Siculus, Manetho, Sappho, Bion, the Emperor Julian, Nonnus, ... and ... the ancient Greeks were all wrong.

My list of debatable sources here is perhaps as long and may be longer. Several of the star witnesses are contradictory and can be controverted. Augustine mentions two groups, one awarding planet Venus to the goddess Venus, another insisting also that Venus is the Moon. Other witnesses can be called: where are Hesiod, Homer, Plutarch, Cicero, Hyginus, Augustine, Proclus? And where are the modern encyclopedists?

They may do no worse, or better : James of course knows them well; I have already joined him in discussing Plutarch and Augustine. But to take another example, Hesiod is the earliest source extant to refer to the transformation of Phaeton, felled by Zeus for threatening the destruction of Earth, into a star. Hesiod writes of "Phaeton, a man like the gods, whom... laughter-loving Aphrodite seized and caught up and made a keeper of her shrine by night, a divine spirit" (987ff). Clearly in line with what we are saying the proto-planet Venus was said to be captured upon her fall from the skies by Moon-Aphrodite and thereafter employed as her divine priest. In a second example, I cannot understand why Sappho is forced to take sides. She sings:

And may Hesperus lead thee full willingly to the place where thou shalt marvel at the silver-throned Lady of Wedlock.

Here, clearly, planet- Venus is performing as the acolyte of the Moon. Nor, to take another instance, is Bion less than a Moonie. The pastoral poet addresses the

Evening star, which art the Golden light of the lovely Child of The Foam, which are the holy Jewel of the blue night.

Here again we are permitted to regard the Moon as lovely Child of the Foam, Aphrodite, whose acolyte is the Evening Star. I suggest that the passage and the poet are ambiguous, and would not rely upon it for support or denial in the argument.

The ancient source Nonnus speaks of an astrologer who "looked especially for Ares and spied the wife robber over the sunset house along with the evening star of the Cyprian." Is the evening star "the Cyprian" or "of the Cyprian;" if "of the Cyprian" then the evening star is the planet Venus and the Cyprian is the Moon, whether present or absent. The modern source Jean Richer (Géographie Sacrée du Monde Grec) speaks of "... Cythere, whose Venus was foremost a lunar goddess."

On the other hand, Cicero is often confused, too. Cicero writes that "Diana they identify as the moon... while the name Luna is derived from Lucere, 'to shine; '" and he says that Diana to the Greeks is Lucifera (the Light-Bearer) and is one of the seven planets or wanderers. Diana is generally involved with the Moon, it is agreed, and with menstruation and childbirth, hence the Greeks were making an erroneous transfer unless they carry the Moon as a wanderer and planet which in fact was often done; so Lucifera could be the Moon as well as the planet Venus of the morning. I prefer to renounce the lunar argument here, and to let go of Cicero, rather than to assert it as evidence. The best that can be said is that Lucifera is a feminine brightness that can be ascribed to the Moon as well as to its primary reference, the Morning Star.

James would cease to "strenuously deny that Aphrodite had anything to do with the Moon," perhaps, if he were to realize how large a contribution his own work has made, first, to my being able to reinforce the Moon identification of Aphrodite and, secondly, to arrive at my final theory on the matter, namely that the two bodies - Moon and planet - interacted physically, became confused in history and myth in certain regards (though not in many others) and were to be found, in the end, to have played now one role and then another. I have shown that their alternation of roles occurred elsewhere; I would only insist that Aphrodite is quite capable of the lunar role I assign to her (and believe that subconsciously the Greeks assigned to her) in the Love Song of Demodocus in Book VIII of the Odyssey of Homer.

Peter James proposes another theory - or sub - theory - on the issue, suggesting that a lunar Aphrodite can be totally excluded from consideration if only we imagine that warlike Athena was early granted the Morning Star (Phosphoros) while peaceful Aphrodite was given the Evening Star (Hesperos); thus both goddesses might be accounted for and the Moon excluded.

No less an authority than Kugler can be called on to state James' position on the double nature of Ishtar, hence planet Venus, in his work, Sibyllinischer Sternkampf und Phaethon (1927, p. 14) he says of the Babylonian Ishtar: "Venus-morning star there represented Ishtar-Kakkabe, 'Ishtar of the Star', and is thought of as 'masculine' - in distinct contrast to Venus-evening star, the Belit-ile, 'Queen of the Gods, ' the goddess of love and motherhood."

In examining a rock relief of the Hittite pantheon, James discovered that the Venusian planet Shaushga held a double identity and preceded the Moon god on the one side and the Sun god on the other. She also wore wings. She must be here the planet in its morning and evening aspects [25] . This indicates a young (Velikovskian) age, not an old (Jamesian) age of the rocks, if one believes that the planet did not settle into its morning-evening routine until the period of the Love Affair. Still, one should acknowledge that the double goddess and the Moon are distinctly different.

Steven Langdon, another authority, has it that the morning star was called in Babylonia "the male Venus" and the evening star the "female Venus", with Ishtar, of course, as the word for Venus; there is "Ishtar of Agade" and "Ishtar of Anech", for morning and evening manifestations of the planet.

We can go so far as to say that Athena was Venus in her cometary phase, ending in her status as the morning star during the early years of the new status of the morning star. We cannot well imagine the second because of definite statements associating Hesperos with Moon-Aphrodite. We accept, too, that Lucifer was planet-Venus and the morning-star. Such were Ishtar and Astarte, and other gods.

At the same time, although the Aphrodite of the morning was not the Aphrodite of the night, the morning-planet-Aphrodite was working her way into many of the traits of the night-moon-Aphrodite, so that goddesses of the morning star could ultimately possess traits genetically possessed by the Moon goddess - lovingness, peacefulness, sexuality, Queen of Heaven. S. A., Bedini, too, sees this process as occurring - that Ishtar, for instance, guaranteed contract among men together with the Moon God Sin. She was goddess of love, fertility and war. She took qualities from the Moon with her when she moved fully to occupy the morning and evening stars, Venus [26] . Also, long after and for many centuries of the present era, many Arabs worshiped the morning star as both Lucifer and Aphrodite, never mind the evening star.

The scum of the salty foaming sea, held in revulsion by Egyptians, was again two foams, the original Aphrodite-Moon foam of the seed of Ouranos, and the later Aphrodite-Typhon foam transferred from the mid-second millennium. The latter foam came about, the Egyptians thought, from the falling of Typhon (the cometary tail of proto-Venus) into the sea (after Zeus had struck him with a thunderbolt, according to the Greeks), this according to Plutarch. There are in sum numerous reasons to explain the confusion, to assign the name to the planet, and to retain it for the Moon for all the purposes that we have in mind here.


We know that the Moon had names - Selene, Luna, Sin, etc. - which an astronomer or educated layman could apply, whether in Greek or Latin; but the planet Phosphoros and Hesperos had only this double name, implying two distinct bodies, and the Greek intellectual reformers needed a name for the planet that would denote a single entity, a point that they were trying to get across to their public.

They could not and would not take away Moon's name and affix it to a planet. But Aphrodite had long since left the Moon in a conscious sense though she was stubbornly, obsessively the Moon in the subconscious. The literal minds - such as Pythagoras, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Plotinus, Diodorus, Manetho, Pliny and Cicero were less (or differently) imprisoned by their subconscious: "Let the planet be called Aphrodite, after the famous goddess." Today we name a new planet Neptune or Pluto; such is astronomical tradition of naming; it can be false to history, unless saved by subconscious memory. Aphrodite was still Aphrodite in a host of connotations, memories and expectations - and she had a wandering star named for her. All the other planets had names of gods, new names, though the names had long traditions behind them - Zeus, Kronos, Ares, Hermes. Now the Romans too would call them Jupiter, Saturn, Mars, and Mercury. As for the Moon, it already had names enough.

But what did the Greeks call the planet before it received its new name? It is said Phosphorus-Hesperus. What was its name when, as our scheme calls for, it was raging through the heavens as a new blazing comet? Perhaps then it was called Phaeton, Typhon, Pallas, Baal, El, the Archangel, or "Daughter of Zeus," or "Athena," or perhaps "She" and then "He," or "The Thing," "It," or why not "the God." Hundred of appellations can be found for it around the globe. What did the Mycenaeans call the planet? No one yet knows. Under such conditions, it would be foolish to be hooked by a name assignment, to neglect natural and human history, and to become illogical in the face of other types of evidence, especially when we are fairly confident that the name was deliberately imposed upon the planetary body by highly sublimated intellectuals.

Does this mean that the Greeks and Romans then stopped upon applying he word, and never added their prior traits of goddess Aphrodite to the planet? No. As soon as an object is called by a name with a history, the history begins to flow onto the name. Further all that was previously attached to the object continues with it.

Suppose nowadays we were to decide that the asteroidal belt, whose materials are being discovered in every greater detail, had to be called by a name, and hence called it the "Belt of Mars." Suppose that subsequently some traits of the ancient god were evidenced in the asteroidal belt and some students decided to call it "the Belt of Apollo." This does not make Apollo out of Mars, or vice versa. It brings confusion. Soon the word "belt" would be dropped, and just the names would be used. The "Mars Program" and the "Apollo Program" would be erroneously associated with the planets. After a century or so, only some priests of NASA would be able to explain the history, and, if NASA were dissolved, practically no one would know the story. And, after a sky-war in which civilizations were shocked and reduced to subsistence level, only a cultist now and then would revive the terms. Where would truth exist under such circumstances? Probably where truth exists under present circumstances concerning the ancient history of Venus and the Moon.

In the case of the planet Aphrodite-Venus, some of what was Aphrodite in the collective mind attached itself to the new Aphrodite. Furthermore, some that was in Astarte, Ishtar, Isis, and a dozen other Eastern relatives, began to be transferred over to the name Aphrodite.

In the end, the goddess Aphrodite changed. She was now two psychic entities, Siamese twins, in the categories of the mind. Concurrently, the gods that have lent their qualities to the new member of the planet-family, borrow her qualities of old; they take on the history and rights of the Moon. This reverse borrowing results in dubious but understandable claims that Ishtar is the Moon, Astarte is the Moon, even Athene is the Moon (Plutarch, Bedini, etc.). The confusion that must always occur in the association of great gods with natural objects and events here was compounded and intensified by the transference of Aphrodite to an actually antagonistic planet.

We must reckon, too, that a new god may be given an older name in order that humans may prove to the god that "we knew all along who you were, even if it seemed not so. We did not have to await your coming to destroy us before knowing of your eternal being." (" Therefore, planet Venus, cease and desist from your threats to the Earth and Moon.")

On one occasion, depending upon prior conditions such as the background of the subject, the subject's felt needs, and the information and setting provided the subject, the god who appears is a selection of one set of divine expectations. On another occasion, the god who appears may be different. In God's Fire, I explain how impossible is true monotheism, and that even Moses was in a realistic psychological sense a polytheist. The same reasoning may be applied here, where Aphrodite is now one god and now another. It is unscientific and pedantic to charge that a name is all that there is to a complex and subtle mental operation.

After the name Aphrodite is given to the planet, the Greeks began revising their religious history. Planetary conjunctions of Venus and Mars were of course known. So now Lucian of Samosata could claim that it was the juncture of Aphrodite and Ares that creates the poetry of Homer, and probably means by her the planet and not the Moon. So Eratosthenes and others. But this is not a proof of what Homer meant or, regardless of what Homer meant, that Aphrodite was not the Moon in the reality behind the poem and psychically in those who heard the Song of Demodocus chanted. Especially are these reservations proper if Athena is conceded to stand for the comet Venus, whence it may be truly said that the war is between planet Venus and planet Mars, but certainly, since Aphrodite and Ares were allies, the epics of Homer could never have been plotted on the liaison or juncture of Ares and Athena. So insistent are the ancient claims of the classical age that the same planet was at a late time discovered to be not two but one, and therefore given a name, that of Aphrodite, that we must believe so and allow that in the mind of Homer and Demodocus, Aphrodite did not posses that planet, except as the Moon. Several generations had lived and died between the last Battle of the Gods and the willful emplacement of the name of Aphrodite upon the planet. By the time of Plato only vague memories stirred of the original behavior of this doubly duplicitous body and of its dramatic roles in the skies of times past.

Revivals occur. Suhr writes that "the association of Aphrodite with clouds, the moon, spinning and fertility was more popular in Greece after Alexander had opened up the channels for a free exchange of ideas with the East than before, but this we may consider a revival; Aphrodite was known and worshiped, even in Athens, in very early times."

There is no suggestion that Aphrodite of the Love Affair is trespassing upon the identity of Ishtar. Ishtar is goddess of the morning star and also of the evening star in the usage of a removed culture. Aphrodite of the Greeks is made to be the goddess standing behind Phosphorus and Hesperus and their duality. Meanwhile she remains goddess of the Moon. Plato mentions a Syrian law-giver as the source of the name. But after considering this surprising suggestion for some time, I think now that Plato may have been of the opinion that a Syrian lawgiver with the advice of the court astronomers gave to the planet Venus the name of Ishtar or Astarte or another such name. In following this learned and authoritative source, the Greeks applied the old name Aphrodite to the planet. Once to the Europeans, the Western hemisphere had no names - or rather, numerous names. A geographer published a map drawn by an Italian navigator, Amerigo Vespucci. It was the map of Amerigo, describing a vast land. What was the land called? Not the "country of Amerigo" but, eventually "Amerigo," Latin masculine Americus, for a feminine country becomes "America."


We ought not settle the Aphrodite identity without a parallel investigation of the word "Venus." Malcolm Lowery conducted appropriate etymological research. Its root, he discovered, contained the senses of seek, desire, want, wish, and winsome, while its relative venire (to come) also relates to the same root, that includes the word "to go" in Greek. Velilovsky follows Cicero's idea that "Venus" meant "the goddess who comes to all things" and extended it to mean "newly come" to fit his theory.

Lowery effectively discusses Velikovsky's speculation and limits Cicero to a possibly very old truth about the word, a truth established long before the time when the goddess would have been attached to the planet Venus. An implication here is that the goddess called Venus may earlier have been attached to a conception of a goddess like Aphrodite, even lunar, before the planet Venus was identified.

Lowery may err in his innuendo that the Roman Venus was "unlike the Greek Aphrodite, whose name, meaning 'foam-born, ' was subsequently applied to the human activity of which she served as patron, namely love-making. born in and from sperm." If the modern, vernacular of the English-speaking world uses the word "come" to designate an orgasm, there is reason to suppose that the less sexually restrained ancient Greeks and Romans could employ the same word in their goddess of coming and thus allow to the Latin word its obvious root meaning.

Lowery misunderstood his own contradiction, for he writes that "the layman may find the range of meaning here attributed to one root something of an obstacle to acceptance of this reconstruction: achievement, supposition, habit and delight are, after all, rather a distance from seeking or desiring." Rather a small distance, we should say. And, once again, we see an old goddess at work, a lunar goddess, a pre-planet-Venus goddess at work, an Aphrodite of the Love Song of Demodocus.

Some etymologists say that the word "Venus" is of an unknown Italian origin but crept out of fertility and bucolic functions onto the skies, where it may have become a mistress of heaven but ultimately became the planet Venus, when the Greeks named their planet Aphrodite.

The Greeks have no letter "V". The letter "B" is used instead. The intermediate Greek-English Lexicon of Liddell and Scott offers only two words beginning with "ben." One is "benthos," poetical for "bathos," meaning the "depth of the sea." This is not too removed from the lunar role, for the Moon rules the night and the night seas, and was born from the sea.

The second meaning is "Bendis" which is a name of the Thracian Artemis, found in Lucian. This is more suggestive to us. For if Aeneas and the Trojans of Northwest Anatolia brought their gods with them, Bendis may have been among them; Thrace is not far away. And if Bendis is Artemis; and Artemis, we know, is the Moon; and if Bendis is a progenitor of Venus, then Venus, too, is lunar, and there is good reason to tie her to Aphrodite as Venus.

The faithful Aeneas, on this way to found settlements in Latium, that later spread to Rome, may well have founded a town in Thrace, as he did Aphrodisia in the Southeastern Peloponnesus (Gulf of Boiai) and other settlements elsewhere. This shows not only how disorganized and turbulent were the eighth-seventh century decades of Mars-Ares, but also how Aphrodite may have come to Italy, there to become identified with Venus, who thereafter came to be identified with the later Jovian Aphrodite, which came then to be connected, in the wake of Greek insistence, with planet-Venus. We note, however, that the Aphrodite of Aeneas was she of the Iliad and Odyssey, and of the Love Affair, enemy of the Athena-Venus-Aphrodite goddess therefore and holding to the Moon in history and traits except that now her name superficially will be taken over almost entirely by the planet Venus.

Or, as some believe, Venus may have come out of the Etruscan Pantheon, whence she may too have arrived as Bendis, for we think that the Etruscans came from Anatolia, as we shall argue later; further the island of Lemnos between Troy and Thrace contains Etruscan inscriptions, and, as we develop the argument, is significantly connected with Hephaestus, a principal character of the Love Affair. Aeneas was a son of Venus, that is, Aphrodite, and Romulus a son of Mars. Julius Caesar claimed the same descent.

If we did not believe that substantive connections may have existed between Aphrodite and the Moon, we should not be so concerned with demonstrating the linguistic associations. In our case, the allegation that Aphrodite was not thought to represent the Moon to the audience of Demodocus is tantamount to refusing much of the theory of this book. It is not the same as asking whether the Venus of Willendorf is really the planet Venus, or Aphrodite, or whatever; this is a conventional term invented for a class of small, crude prehistoric stone sculptures of obese females, and is little else than a playfully applied name, which we hope, will not throw our descendants into confusion a thousand years from now.

Those going before Plato knew Aphrodite as a goddess, and probably as a lunar figure, although this latter may have become subconscious. "A new ferment was introduced by the first knowledge appearing with Plato of the oriental significance of Aphrodite as a star." [27] It would seem that the Greeks, especially the astrologers among them, were now to call Hesperus and Phosphorus the stars of Aphrodite, and were thereafter to live with two sets of symbols and references intermingling and causing confusion.

There were enough similarities to permit the duplicity to endure to our day. Both were "foam-born." Further, each in her own way was "One who wanders over the foam," (Aphr-Oditi). Both were strongly female, even while male on occasion. Both were beautiful, in their own way. Often they traveled the night skies together. Whether referring to the planet or the satellite, both could be "of Aphrodite." Both might be called the "Queen of Heaven." Both had been heavily involved with Mars-Ares, and in destructive behavior with regards to Earth. Both were in the Olympian family and council of gods, one as Moon-Aphrodite, the other as Athena-Aphrodite, but who was to say or needed to say, after Hesiod's time, which heavenly body the two goddesses possessed? On the other hand, each goddess - call one of the Moon and the other of planet-Venus - owned peculiar traits that never to be reconciled or assimilated one to the other.

The possibility that "foam-born" could be rationalized for the birth of the Planet-Venus-Aphrodite should not obscure the importance of this difference. Being foam-born from the Uranus incident means from the seed in the genital and blood foam, not a mere roughing of the waters that would occur with the passage of cometary-Aphrodite.

Another important distinction was occupational. Athena-Minerva- Ishtar-( Aphrodite) never lost her military and craftsman-like qualities. Greek and Roman warriors marched into battle led by these but not by Aphrodite. Why not Aphrodite, if she were among them? On the other hand, Aphrodite-Moon never lost her connection with the motions of the spinning complex in the domestic occupation that emulated the motions of the universe.

Yet another kind of difference persisted in the realm of love. Aphrodite-Moon generally portrayed what today's vernacular would call "straight" sexuality, while Aphrodite-Ishtar-Athena would be assigned to "kinky" sex. The former was the marrying type, the latter an independent and ambiguous lover. Eros helped Aphrodite-Moon, and Suhr has placed this child-god in the closest association with her; he helps her spin and weave to attract "straight" lovers. It is possible that Eros, though as old as Moon-Aphrodite, merged with Hesperus, the Evening Star, and carries this association as well. Eros certainly resembles the later cherubs that float around the Mother of God in Roman Catholic paintings.

The stimulation of fertility belongs to Ishtar-types as well as to Moon-Aphrodite, yet not so much so, and this must be a quantitative judgement for the moment. Virginity is a technical word and should not be confounded with the idea of concupiscence. But consider that Athena-Ishtar is celebrated for her virginity and in one startling portrait is carrying her babies in a basket. "Not only was she never in woman's womb," wrote Helene Deutsch, "but she herself apparently had no womb, for when she carried children, it was in a basket." [28] Such marsupial behavior is hardly the symbol of fertility for womankind. Planetary Aphrodite is semper parata like the U. S. Marines. Granted that planet-Aphrodite or Venus was once a comet that lost its tail, then the aura of sexual "kinkiness" around Athena-Ishtar- Aphrodite makes sense: bisexuality, unisexuality, technical virginity, androgyny, vestal virgins, castration - these cluster around the cometary Aphrodite and relate to the phallicized comet that loses its male organ in a sky-conflict and becomes a special type of female. She is not sexually stimulating, at least not to a conventional male. Moon-Aphrodite is more languid, less aggressive, usually "there when you need or want her." Athena and her planetary counterparts are artists appearing one moment here, the next moment gone.

The materials assembled here help us to understand that the nations at some point were observers of a great change in the sky, an implantation upon the human vision: a single body of double aspect and less terror.

A cometary Venus was greatly feared in the period 1500 to 700 B. C. and the Moon god had been heavily worshiped long before then. We will suppose, therefore, a competition of these two gods, female, for a long time before the disastrous natural events of the Eighth and Seventh centuries that involved Mars. By the process that might be called divine succession, the god of cometary Venus was the more terrible in this period of 700 year and took over a number of traits and much of the obeisance given previously to the Moon goddess. The Shaushga, Astarte, Annana, Anat, Minerva, Ishtaroth, Ishtar, Isis, and Aphrodite figures would have become largely proto-planet Venus in their connotations, orientation, and imagery. The Aphrodite idea would have moved from lunar to cometary, carrying a conglomerate of old and new traits.

When, however, the catastrophes of the Martians age reduced and confounded the pre-existing civilizations - Mycenaean, Trojan, Near-Eastern - a readjustment of the Pantheon had to occur. New relationships had to be invented within the family structure of the gods. Mars, for one, had to be granted a larger role. Proto-planet Venus was at a new peak of activity, but was apparently tamed by the god of Mars.

When the disasters subsided, the skies had to be resurveyed; a new astronomy occurred. After some decades, astronomers discovered, first, that two new bodies existed, a Morning Star and an Evening Star. The former was quickly re-identified as old cometary Venus, on a new regular and unthreatening orbit. Soon thereafter the Evening Star was declared to be the same planet-star. Then came the fateful attachment of the old names, once ambiguous and now still ambiguous, to the planet in both of its manifestations. Goddess Aphrodite once more became strongly planet Venus, with lunar attributes. With the passage of time, Aphrodite became a more ambiguous figure, because peace had settled upon the heavens; she was once again lunar, a peaceful spinner, a sensual lover. To some, psychically, she was the planet Venus; to others she was the Moon and the planet was "of Aphrodite the Moon;" to others she was the god of night and the lunar heavenly spaces. So she was a complex "herself," the goddess, rather like the Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, which, they say, was neither "holy" nor "Roman", but he could act either way on occasion.

After all of this complicated research and reasoning, it is hard to recall ourselves to the present issue and to its vulgar denouement. The question is still, "How did the Phaeacian sailors, women, courtiers, adolescents and priests imagine the heroine of Demodocus' Love Affair?" As in a modern public opinion poll, the gravest questions of world concern have to be reduced to extremely simple questions. Here our respondents (in Phaeacia, Naxos, Athens, or Syracuse of about 650 B. C. before the Scientific Revolution of Thales et al.) are to be interrogated, with (I think) the following results:

"There are those who say that Aphrodite stands for the Moon (Selene)?" Do you (indicate the response closest to your opinion): agree-15%; maybe-25%, disagree-10%; no opinion or don't know-50%.

Next, of those (10%) who disagreed, the question is asked: "Who, then, does Aphrodite stand for?" Athena-3%; Hera-5%; Hesperus-32% Phosphorus-10%, No opinion or don't know -50%.

That is, I would estimate that even on the conscious level, there is a tendency to tie Aphrodite to the Moon. The high level of unconcern and ignorance as to the question would signify that the Love Affair is making no demands of ordinary people to extract subconscious materials and bring them into consciousness. Both this figure and the 25% of "maybe's" would indicate that many persons mixed up Aphrodite with the Moon, Athena, Artemis, Hera, et al. I would maintain that on the subconscious level, the identification with the Moon would be much more common and intense. I have tried to describe earlier what the subconscious contained, and will try to express this subconscious mood in a later chapter.

It does not matter that elsewhere and at other times and among other people, the name Aphrodite signifies the planet Venus. Indeed we have been pleased to contribute to an understanding of her plural personality and worship. On the basis of this chapter and of other congruencies and support found throughout our work, we conclude that for the purposes of this book and in the scene of the Love Affair Aphrodite acts the role of the Moon and is so understood by the audience. Aphrodite represents the Moon in the drama and, insofar as the drama represents a memory, then Aphrodite acts out this memory.

Notes (Chapter 8: The Two Faces of Love)

1. Appendix to Herodotus, Histories, Bk III.

2. Epilegomena to the Study of Greek Religion and Themis, Cambridge, Eng. 1921, reprinted IIyde Park, N. Y. : University Books, 1962, p. 176.

3. Patterns in Comparative Religion, p. 77.

4. Isis and Osiris, Lxix.

5. Plat. Kraty. 1-116.

6. Hesiod, Theogony, 196.

7. Using the Liddell-Scott Greek-English Lexicon, Oxford : Clarendon Press, 7th ed, 1968.

8. Etym., Symbol. Mythol. Wörterbuch, 1844, reference kindly supplied by Dr. Zvi Rix.

9. J. Ziegler, The Vedas pp. 233-4 (1983, unpubl. mss)

10. A Historical Review of the Indian Astronomy Part I "The Ancient Astronomy" (1825; reprinted 1970, Osnabrück: Biblio Verlag).

11. A. M. Paterson, "Giordano Bruno's View on the Earth without a Moon," Pensée, (winter, 1973), pp. 46-7; I. Velikovsky, "Earth without a Moon," Ibid., p. 26. Both writers, at least then, believed that the Moon was recently captured. The present author decided upon the Earth-fission model in the years that followed, cf. Chaos and Creation, Lately Tortured Earth, and was supported by Earl R. Milton, cf. Solaria Binaria.

12. Graves, I, 49. We disagree that Ishtar was the Moon, at least finally, for she is clearly Athena and Planed Venus, cf. Velikovsky. Further, on Aphrodite as the Moon, see the conclusion of this chapter.

13. Graves, I, 71. Unity with the goddess excited anxiety over violating the incest taboo and brings on sacrifice of kings and priests.

"As Goddess of Death-in-Life, Aphrodite earned many titles which seem inconsistent with her beauty and complaisance" - Melaenis (black one), Scotia (dark one), Androphonos (man-slaver), and Epitymbria (of the tombs). At Cyprus she would sometimes wear a beard, and was also portrayed as "bearded and having the male member, but clad in a female dress and holding a sceptre," 1 George Hill, A History of Cyprus (Cambridge: University Press, 1972), Vol. I, 79-80, citing Macrobius (Sat. III, 8) and Fragmenta Historica Graecorum (1878-85), Vol. I, p. 386.

14. Graves I, 73. When Plato (Epinomis, lines 99-101) gave the name Aphrodite to the planet that we call Venus, he said that he was using the name of "a Syrian lawgiver" and in the next statement uses the pronoun "him" in referring back to it. He could mean the "authority" or "in the name of" the Syrian.

15. Personal letter to the author from Dr. Z. Rix.

16. Sophie Lunais, Les Auteurs Latins -Recherche sur la Lune, I, Brill: Leiden, 1979,99.

17. Graves, I, p. 18. I.

18. Graves, I, p. 12.

19. New York: Exposition Press, 1958, Foreword by Rhys Carpenter.

20. New York: Helios Press, 1969.

21. Velikovsky in Worlds in Collision, Part II : 3.

22. Ibid., ch. 4.

23. See Harrison, op. cit., p. 87, who finds "Pallas" in the "Palladium."

24. Citing The City of God, VII: 15.

25. Op. cit., I : 2, pp 3-4.

26. S. A. Bedini, p. 23, in Bedini, Werner von Braun, and F. L. Whipple, Moon: Man's Greatest Adventure (New York: Abrams, n. d., ca. 1970).

27. Pauly-Wissowa, p. 2772.

28. A Psychoanalytic Study of the Myth of Dionysus and Apollo, New York: Int'I U. Press, 1969.

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