2/11/09

Goddess of the Week: Venus

My secret confession this Valentine's week is that Venus is my favorite goddess.  It seems a little unlike me, I know.  Venus is the Roman goddess of love and beauty.  How much more irritating frothy blondes rising from clamshells can you get?  

But it's only our modern inclination to make concepts as deep as postcards that makes Venus synonymous with pop love songs and Viagra-free sex.

The really Venus was a pistol.  Her origins are disputable, but what is indisputable is that she was so beautiful that Zeus had to choose her husband so that the gods wouldn't slaughter each other over her.  He chose club-footed Vulcan, who made Venus fabulous jewels but who, alas, could do little to stop his wife's wandering eye.  Indeed, she was not the most faithful of spouses, but she didn't get to choose her own husband did she?  And, really, she was a lot better than all those gods who slept with every shepherdess whoever batted an eye.  They wanted power; she wanted a good time.  

But she wasn't all sex and romance.  Oh, no. She could be a real bitch too.  She tried to thwart her son Cupid's love with a princess by the name of Psyche.  She even tried to make the poor girl kill herself.  And when a couple of lovers forgot to thank her for a gift, she compelled them to have sex in another goddess's temple, fully knowing that that goddess would feel so insulted that she'd turn them into lions and make them pull her around in a chariot for all eternity.

Still, she saved her son Aeneas from the burning of Troy, and she made his descendents the first Caesars of Rome.  In fact, the Romans called her Venus Genetrix, Venus the mother, and she protected them in times of need.  She was their patron goddess.

I guess what I like about Venus is that you can't pin her down.  She's a thousand things, but she is always vivacity and the determined need to make life a rich and rewarding experience.  She is daffodils that spring up after a winter rainstorm.  She is the sun that shines through the clouds.  She is the little babe that screams as it enters the lights.  She is the dance that continues after the music stops.  Death happens.  Bad things happen.  But Venus never falters.  She is life.  She is love.  And that's why Venus conquers all.  

14 comments:

Cafe Pasadena said...

Where can I find this kinda woman?

Palm Axis said...

I'm at Pasadena Adjacent now

I like this line best "She is the little babe that screams as it enters the lights". I suspect someday soon a publisher is going to appreciate your wit and prose.

I'd always heard that the Caesars were descended from the gods but I never knew which one. Venus and her kin certainly had big appetites

Linda Dove said...

I can never get the phrase "Venus on a Half-Shell" out of my head when I see the Botticelli. As if she's a seafood appetizer. I must be hungry.

Susan C said...

When you put it that way, I think Venus may be my favorite goddess now too.

Cafe Pasadena said...

Venus is at Pasadena Adjacent now??

Barbra said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
barbra said...

I really like this one! You certainly sang her praises!

pasadenapio said...

Mike -- you can find her in your dreams!

Petrea said...

Cafe Pasadena said...
Where can I find this kinda woman?


Palm Axis said...
I'm at Pasadena Adjacent now


I can't remember what my comment was going to be! hee hee!

Laurie said...

Here here! Let's hear it for mighty Aphrodite. She always got upstaged by Cupid. And while we're at it, muses are underrated, too! Look at all the work they do for everyone with no bylines of their own. ANd what about the Maenads? Where would Dionysius have been without his posse?

I adore this post, Margaret. Hell fire love goddesses need more respect!

Paula L. Johnson said...

I can't help but think of Adobe software when I think of Venus.

Until a few years ago, Adobe licensed Sandro Botticelli's "The Birth of Venus" for branding their Illustrator application.

Palm Axis said...

I'm at Pasadena Adjacent now

Petrea, the pup often leaves his scent at my door. He enjoys it when I employ my goddess powers to mess with him (roll over boy, roll over).

Desiree said...

Could I just add, for the record, that Venus is, well, rather intimidating?

J&D said...



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