Stories that teach/delight potentiate an evolution in consciousness in individuals and culture change in communities. Discover what’s delighting the world through social intelligence tools. Discover what has historically taught people through quotes from the ancient poets and philosophers. Merge the two in your content to attract AND feed your audience. Be at once Aphrodite, the goddess of love from Greek myth, AND Merlin, the wizard from Arthurian legend. Let these two teach you in this.
Aphrodite’s Story (the Delighter): Aphrodite (Greek Ἀφροδίτη) is the Greek goddess of love, beauty, and sexuality. Her Roman equivalent is the goddess Venus. Historically, her cult in Greece was imported from, or influenced by, the cult of Astarte in Phoenicia. According to Hesiod’s Theogony, she was born when Cronus cut off Uranus’ genitals and threw them into the sea, and from the sea foam (aphros) arose Aphrodite.
Because of her beauty other gods feared that jealousy would interrupt the peace among them and lead to war, and so Zeus married her to Hephaestus, who was not viewed as a threat. Aphrodite had many lovers, both gods like Ares, and men like Anchises. Aphrodite also became instrumental in the Eros and Psyche legend, and later was both Adonis’ lover and his surrogate mother. Many lesser beings were said to be children of Aphrodite.
Aphrodite is also known as Cytherea (Lady of Cythera) and Cypris (Lady of Cyprus) after the two cult-sites, Cythera and Cyprus, which claimed her birth. Myrtles, doves, sparrows, horses, and swans are sacred to her. The Greeks further identified the Ancient Egyptian goddess Hathor with Aphrodite. Aphrodite also has many other local names, such as Acidalia, Cytherea and Cerigo, used in specific areas of Greece. Each goddess demanded a slightly different cult but Greeks recognized in their overall similarities the one Aphrodite. Attic philosophers of the fourth century separated a celestial Aphrodite (Aprodite Urania) of transcendent principles with the common Aphrodite of the people (Aphrodite Pandemos).
Merlin’s Story: Merlin is a legendary figure best known as the wizard featured in the Arthurian legend. The standard depiction of the character first appears in Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Historia Regum Britanniae, written c. 1136, and is based on an amalgamation of previous historical and legendary figures. Geoffrey combined existing stories of Myrddin Wyllt (Merlinus Caledonensis), a North Brythonic prophet and madman with no connection to King Arthur, with tales of the Romano-British war leader Ambrosius Aurelianus to form the composite figure he called Merlin Ambrosius (Welsh: Myrddin Emrys).
Geoffrey’s rendering of the character was immediately popular, especially in Wales; later writers expanded the account to produce a fuller image of the wizard. Merlin’s traditional biography casts him as a cambion; born of a mortal woman, sired by an incubus, the non-human wellspring from whom he inherits his supernatural powers and abilities. Merlin matures to an ascendant sagehood and engineers the birth of Arthur through magic and intrigue.
THE BENEFIT OF BEAUTY AND WISDOM: Humans want to taste delight, want to have their needs met on all dimensions of Maslow’s pyramid and want to know what to do about the conflict they face on any given day. When wisdom is draped in beauty, change happens very quickly. This is because true wisdom teaches the path to a beautiful life.