As I prepare for the Spring Mysteries Festival, a lot of my research is focused on ancient writings – the Homeric Hymns, Ovid’s Metamorphoses and Hesiod’s Theogeny.
Greek culture has heavily influenced Western Civilization. Though there are some that would say that the Hellenic faith is dead, I would disagree. There are Hellenic Reconstructionist groups practicing all over the world, even in Greece once again. And Aphrodite in particular shows her face in pop culture.
On television, we’ve seen her in shows like Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Xena: Warrior Princess. Greek myths have found a resurgence in the young adult novels by Rick Riordan about Percy Jackson. Films like Clash of the Titans have also taken advantage of our love of the Olympians.
And then there is the music.
Lots of modern music references Aphrodite, and more than just by being love songs.
I think of Tal Bachman’s She’s So High:
‘Cause she’s so high
High above me, she’s so lovely
She’s so high, like Cleopatra, Joan of Arc, or Aphrodite
She’s so high, high above me
He’s not the only one to compare Cleopatra and Aphrodite. Katy Perry’s latest, Dark Horse, is set in Egypt, and she says:
Make me your Aphrodite
Make me your one and only
But don’t make me your enemy, your enemy, your enemy
(She makes a very good point about not making Her [Aphrodite] your enemy. She was known for some pretty nasty consequences for those who defied her.)
Kylie Minogue released an entire album in 2011 called Aphrodite. You can watch the whole Aphrodite Les Folies concert, complete with Greek inspired set and costumes.
And then there’s Lady Gaga. Her videos are provocative and sensual. They are mini-films unto themselves. And her latest, G.U.Y., is replete with lyrics and visual references to the Goddess of Love:
But when it comes to putting me in the Aphrodite energy, nothing does it as well as this masterful blend of Shane Koyczan and the Short Story Long: Skin/Sexual Healing. The video isn’t the best, but the song is, well… hot. Enjoy!
What are your favorite Aphrodite references in modern culture?