In Greek mythology Aphrodite was the goddess of love, but she had a surprisingly macabre beginning. Legend says she was born of the sea-spume cast up on shore after the Greek god Cronus cut off his father Uranus’s genitals and tossed them into the waves. Also strangely for a goddess of love, her own lovers tended to be weak or betray her. Aphrodite’s meddling in the human realm did not go over so well either, as the Legend of Paris attests.
In Roman mythology she became Venus, a name better known to Westerners. In previous centuries it denoted a beautiful paragon of a woman, but in recent decades its power has waned. Mention “Venus” and most people will think of the planet, or a statue without arms. To me, Aphrodite has a younger and fresher feel. Venus sounds stale and matronly.
Looking for a goddess of love for your fantasy world? Here’s some variations.
Variations on Aphrodite