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The Love Goddess’: Freya & Aphrodite

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A love goddess is a deity associated with sexuality, love, fertility, beauty, and in some occasion’s death. These goddess are common in mythology and may be found in many polytheistic religions. Although there are vast differences among these goddess’, since they have to serve each particular culture’s needs, there are also many similarities that can be drawn to them. There are two love goddess’ that are believed to have many similarities, they are the Greek goddess Aphrodite and the Norse goddess Freya. Although these goddess’ have many differences some similarities are their appearance, lost lovers, a love of beautiful things, charm, an association with the sea, the day Friday and fish.

Aphrodite was an extremely attractive young woman who dressed gracefully and loved to wear jewelry. Her eyelashes were curled and she had a constant smile on her gorgeous face, since she was a lover of smiles. Aphrodite had a tender neck, tender breasts and lovely buttocks. In Norse, Freya being the goddess of love and beauty is said to be the most beautiful of all goddess’ and is beloved by all goddess’. Freya is so beautiful that even the prettiest of flowers and plants of the north we named Freya’s hair or Freya’s eye dew and the butterfly being called Freya’s hen.

While being said to be the most beautiful of all, of course these ladies would have a love for beautiful things. But along with the love of beautiful things come greed, love and war. It is evident in many stories of Aphrodite that she is easily persuaded by things of beauty, one being the story of the golden apple. To convince Paris to name Aphrodite the most beautiful goddess and award her the golden apple, Aphrodite promises Paris the most beautiful woman in the world to be his bride. When Paris accepts her offer, the transfer of Helen of Troy to his possession spurs the Trojan War. This story also shows the greed and vanity of a goddess causing terrible destruction for humans. Freya equally has a love for beauty, a particular love for flowers, (daisies being her favorite), gold and the Brisingamen necklace. To acquire the necklace Freya utilizes her power as the goddess of love and beauty (sleeping with dwarfs to keep it) and to regain the necklace after its theft, she enlists her power as the goddess of warfare. Her feminine greed for beauty forms a link between creation and destruction. Freya’s
story forms and abstract correlation to human life, an act of love brings a new human into the world, the human receives possessions and eventually dies.

Both Aphrodite and Freya are known for their charm. Aphrodite wears her golden girdle to enhance her beauty and to compel love. When Aphrodite wore her magic girdle, made by her husband Hephaestus, it caused men and gods to fall hopelessly in love with her. No one could resist her, and she was all too irresistible already. And while Freya began to long for gold, only to make her more beautiful, so she snuck away from her husband and went in search of the Giants. She came across four Dwarves who possessed the most beautiful necklace ever created. They made the jewelry of gold, rubies, and amber and Freya had to have it. The Dwarves made a bargain with her; she could have the necklace if she slept with each of them. Freya was disgusted, but then she looked upon the necklace, Brisingamen, again and she told them that she would comply. When she returned from spending her time with the Dwarves, she found that her husband had disappeared.

OD Freya’s husband was a bit flirtatious himself; he was tempted by the warmer climates, so he headed south and left Freya out in the cold. Freya was miserably upset and searched high and low for her missing husband, weeping golden tears for him throughout her search. As her tears hit the ground, they turned to golden nuggets and that is the etiology for wear gold comes from. After many months of searching for her husband, she eventually found him in a distant land sunbathing under a tree. When OD saw Freya his heart turned soft and he went back with her with no mention as to why he left. Their marriage continued happily.

Just as Freya wept, Aphrodite did as well over baby Adonis. Aphrodite hid the newborn child, Adonis, in a chest, which she gave in charge to Persephone, queen of the underworld. When Persephone opened the chest she was blown away by beauty of the baby, so she refused to give him back to Aphrodite, although the goddess of love went down herself to the Underworld to ransom the baby Adonis from the power of the dead. The dispute between the two goddesses of love and death was settled by Zeus, who ruled that Adonis should stand with Persephone in the underworld for one part of the year, and with Aphrodite in the upper world for another part. When he stayed in the underworld, it was winter. When he returned, the Earth blossomed into spring and summer.

Another similarity between Freya and Aphrodite is there association with the sea. In the wake of the Cataclysm, the outer cliff walls were breached by earthquakes, causing the sea’s waters to flood the entire region. The natural balance of the basin was thrown into chaos. The Titan facilities & artifacts of the region had been destroyed, causing greater havoc. Shortly after the flood Freya traveled to the basin in an effort to halt the chaos. Freya aided in restoring balance to the region and preserving life. Freya was also the daughter of the sea god Njord. One myth of Aphrodite’s’ birth was that she was born from the sea. After Uranus was castrated by his own son Cronus, Cronus threw the severed genitals into the ocean which began to churn and foam. From the aphros (sea foam) arose Aphrodite and the sea carried her to either Cyprus or Cythera.

Following the association with the sea the goddesses were also linked to fish and the day Friday. The Day Friday was named after the goddess Freya, who was identified with Venus the Roman Aphrodite. The Greeks called the day “Hemera Aphrodites” the day of Aphrodite. Aphrodite Salacia was known as the later fish goddess, she was worshipped by her followers on her sacred day, Friday. They ate fish and engaged in orgies in her honor. In later centuries the church absorbed this tradition by requiring the faithful to eat fish on Fridays. In Scandinavia, the great goddess was Freya, and fish were also eaten her honor. The two love goddess’ that are believed to have many similarities are the Greek goddess Aphrodite and the Norse goddess Freya. Although each culture may different from each other in many ways and have different gods and goddesses to suit the culture’s needs, there are many lines that can be drawn to them. The big picture of the goddess may look vastly different, when you break into the myths of the goddess; it is obvious of their similarities.

Works Cited

*Davidson, Hilda E. The Lost Beliefs of Northern Europe. London: Routledge, 1996. 85-103. Print. *Lindow, John. Norse Mythology: A Guide to Gods,
Heroes, Rituals, and Beliefs. Santa Barbra: ABC-Clio, 2001. 126. Print.

*Day, Malcom. 100 Characters from Classical Mythology: Discover the Fascinating Stories of the Greek and Roman Deities. Hauppauge, NY: Barron’s Educational Series Inc., 2007. 40-42. Print *Benson, Kristina. The Goddess Book: Understanding The Greek Goddess Of The Earth: Greek Gods And Their Goddesses. Equity Press, 2008. 18-21. Print.

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