Since my blog post is close to Valentine’s Day, I thought I’d dig up some interesting tidbits about the love and lust gods and goddesses of old.
Familiar & Beautiful
We all know of Eros and Cupid, Aphrodite and Venus… but let’s also take a peek into the darker realm and at some lesser known deities.
The Sacred and Profane
The Albanian love goddess and queen of beauty was Prende.
In Armenia, Astghik was the love and fertility goddess.
Celtic goddesses of love, beauty and fertility were Aine and Branwen. Cernunnos was the horned god of virility and sexuality, while Angus was the god of young love. The goddess Maeve needed thirty men daily to satisfy her sexual hunger. Perhaps she was the first nymphomaniac.
The Aztecs had a very unusual set-up. Xochiquetzal was the goddess of female sexual power and fertility. Excess and desire are her adjectives. The fertility god, Xochipilli, was her twin brother. He was the patron of male prostitutes and homosexuals. Tlazolteotl was the goddess of vice, lust, carnality, deviant behavior and adulterers. It was said she filled you with wicked desires, then ‘ate’ them for you, offering purification. Her ‘area’ was filth, vice, disease, lechery and unlawful love. She was blamed for causing sexually transmitted diseases. Forgiveness was guaranteed as long as you told her everything. She was the goddess of steam-baths, a primary manner of purification back in the day.
In Mesopotamia, the goddess Astarte was a beauty, revered throughout the ancient world. Like Venus, she was the goddess of love, sexuality, fertility and war. Qetesh was also a Mesopotamian goddess, associated with sexual pleasure and sacred ecstasy. Inanna was a goddess of sexuality, fertility and war.
In Chinese mythology, Yue-Lao was a god who used invisible red string to bind lovers together. Tu Er Shen was the patron of homosexual love.
In ancient Greece, lesser known love gods are Pothos, the god of sexual yearning and desire, and Anteros, the god of unrequited love.
In ancient India, Hindu mythology gave us Rati, the goddess of passion and lust. She is associated with arousal and sexual delight, and was the companion and lover of Kama, the god of love.
Freyja is the goddess of sexuality and creativity in the Germanic and Northern lands. She wore a magical amber necklace forged by dwarves, and was said to have had sexual relations with each of them. Her brother, Freyr, was the phallic god who bestowed pleasure upon mortals.
A lesser known Roman goddess was Suadela. She was the goddess of persuasion in matters of seduction and romance.
Let’s close with an unusual goddess and god:
Quandisa, a goddess of Northern Morocco, was known to ignite lust that hooked young men and then drove them to insanity.
Kurupi, from the Guarani people in central South America, had a penis so long it wound around his waist several times. It extended through doors and windows to impregnate women as they slept. He was often blamed by adulterous women who got pregnant. In modern culture, Kurupi is used to warn young virgins to stay that way.
Do you have a favorite god or goddess to share with us?
Happy Valentine’s Day~make it special!