Thoughts on the Relationships between Ares, Aphrodite and Hephaestus (UPG)

Much has been made of the alleged reason that Aphrodite chose to wed Hephaestus. According to one of the most “popular” tellings of the mythology, she chose him above the other suitors on Olympus — even Ares, because “he worked late” and therefore allowed her time for her dalliances.

Ares, in many ways, is a God that would seem to be a “better” fit for Aphrodite because they are exemplars of the passions that humans seem to be most engrossed in. After all, there is the old adage “All is fair in Love and War”. However, although Aphrodite is not limited to only one lover in either her aspect of Ourania or aspect of Pandemos, and she is said to have allowed Ares to sire Harmonia with her it is NOT Ares, but his brother who she tied herself to.

Part of the reason, in my opinion at least is that Hephaestus is not as obvious a choice is that he is not only not as flashy a deity as his brother, but he is also disabled. Hephaestus is the only one of the Olympians who is portrayed as being anything less than physically perfect. Aphrodite is love in ALL its forms. She is not only the heat of passionate eros, but the warmth of the spouse who is there to help her partner when he needs the quiet word that he IS WORTHY OF BEING LOVED. Many times people with disabilities, whether those disabilities are permanent or temporary due to recovering from serious illness or injury, feel that they are not worthy of that love. Sometimes the struggle to be acknowledged, respected, and yes, loved for yourself with a disabling condition strips away the ability to feel self-love. It is this blessing that Aphrodite brings through her union with Hephaestus.

Aphrodite sees Hephaestus as WORTHY of her, as WORTHY OF LOVE. and that is why she chooses to tie herself to him. Yes, he allows her to be herself and be true to her nature when she also loves other gods. but this is because He understands that if she is not true to herself, then all of us lose the creative spark. It is LOVE that gives the creative spark to Hephaestus.

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