With Valentine's Day just around the corner, the Greek Goddess of love, beauty and sexuality seems to be everywhere. Together with her Roman equilvant, Venus, images of hearts and the brilliant red rose are abound.
Historically, the worship of Aphrodite in Greece was imported from, or at least influenced by, the Phoenicia cult of Astarte. According to Hesiod's "Theogony", Aphrodite was born when Cronos cut of the genitals of his father, Uranus, and threw them into the ocean. From the foam of the waves emerged the beautiful Aphrodite.
Aphrodite is also known as "Cytherea" (Lady of Cythera) and "Cypris" (Lady of Cyprus) after the two sites which claimed to be the place of her birth.
Sacred to Aphrodite are myrtle trees, doves and sparrows, horses and swans.