Love is thought to be the most powerful force in the world. That’s why nearly all ancient civilizations had gods associated with it. The following are some of the gods of love throughout history and around the world:
Aphrodite was the goddess of love and sexuality associated with love and sexuality in ancient Greece. She had a couple of lovers, her favorite being Ares, the god of war. She engaged in the multiple love affairs despite been married to Hephaistos. Regular festivals dubbed Aphrodisiac were held in her honor. Faithfuls paid homage to her at her temple situated in Corinth and engaged in sexual relations with the priestesses. Just like other Greek gods, Aphrodite was actively involved in humans’ lives, most especially in matters to do with love. She is thought to have played a major role in what led to the Trojan war.
Eros was the ancient Greek god of lust and passion. He was also the son to Aphrodite.The word ‘Erotic’ was actually derived from his name, and he lends that name to the form of love called “Eros love.” Tributes were often paid to him together with Aphrodite in the form of worship during fertility rituals. He later evolved into Cupid during the Roman times and depicted as a nude chubby cherub that is still popular to date. Fun fact, did you know that the reason why cupid appears with a blindfold is because of the popular saying ,’love is blind’? Well, now you do.
Ancient Egyptians believed that Hathor was the mother of all gods. She was portrayed as a cow’s head and associated with joy, motherhood and feminine love. She was worshiped by the rich and commoners alike. Tomb paintings dating back to the ancient Egyptian period depicts her welcoming the dead to their afterlife. She was also associated with Aphrodite and Venus.
Oshun was the goddess of love and beauty popular with the Yoruba tribe of West Africa. Widely famous for her beauty, she was often portrayed as a woman wearing beautiful jewellery and was sometimes displayed as a mermaid. She was believed to have thwarted the efforts of the other gods of creating Earth till her assistance was first sought. She is also linked with fresh water as well the protection of mother and children.
Popularly known as Kama’s wife, Rati is believed to play a major role in love and lust among the Hindus. Her outstanding beauty would be the reason why she was the goddess of desire. Many stories talk of how she succeeded in changing shiva’s mind and making him revive her dead husband.
Yule Yao is the popular Chinese deity believed to be in control of matchmaking and preciding of heterosexual marriage. Also known as ‘The Man under the Moon’, he is also thought to be responsible for the binding of two people hearts in love and marriage.