One of my favorite themes in my high school English class was when we studied the Greek gods. I fell in love with Greek mythology. It was later on that I read some of the pre-Hellenic myths about the Titans, the gods that ruled before the twelve Olympian gods. I discovered that the goddesses were once much more powerful than portrayed by the classical Greek writers. One goddess in particular caught my attention--Aphrodite.
The silly, vain Aphrodite that the classical Greek writers wrote about is not a true rendering of this once Great Goddess that was revered on Cyprus. She is comparable to Innana, Hathor, Anat and Ishtar, a love and war goddess. As a fertility goddess, she is a goddess that can give life or take it away. Love and war, life and death. Ancient fertility rites usually involved a human sacrifice, a young man. The tragic story of Adonis, the young shepherd she loved, is associated with the Isis/Osiris legend of Egypt in which the yearly king is sacrificed at the end of his reign.
I liken her to the Norse god Loki, a bit of a trickster.
When the followers of the Sky god (Zeus) invaded Greece, they diminished her status to one of Zeus’s children, but she was really a Titan. Another story of her birth is that she was born when Cronos castrated his father Uranus, but she was really a much older goddess.
In Daughter of Night, my historical fantasy romance based on Greek myths, Aphrodite plays an important part, and she is not the silly love goddess of classical Greece, but a much more powerful goddess who, of course, true to her trickster nature, wreaks havoc for Rhea.
Multi-published author Kelley Heckart writes historical romances with fantasy/paranormal elements. Her stories reflect her passion for ancient and medieval time periods, storytelling and the supernatural. Inspired by the ancient Celts, her tales are filled with fierce warriors, bold women, otherworldly creatures, magic and romance. When not writing, she works as an editor/proofreader and practices target archery. She can be found online at http://www.kelleyheckart.com/
Kelley Heckart, Historical fantasy romance author
I have a page on my website with more information on Aphrodite and other pre-Hellenic goddesses: http://kelleyheckart.com/Pre-Hellenic_Goddesses.html