For reasons we won’t go into, Aphrodite turned his mother Myrrha into a pregnant myrrh tree. When it split and the baby was revealed, Aphrodite was enchanted. “Ooh, he’s gorgeous. I’m saving him for later”, she decided.
So she put him in a box and checked him in at the Underworld Deposit Bank under the care of Persephone — who took a quick peek and had the same thought.
When Adonis grew old enough to be ‘Gods Gift to Women’, Persephone refused to hand him over. The case went to arbitration and Calliope was asked to bring about a settlement. Her final judgment was this: For four months of the year, he would live with Aphrodite. Then she must hand him over for four months with Persephone. For the remaining four months the choice was up to him.
As Aphrodite was the first to find him, she had the first go. Using her girdle of desire, she declared that Adonis loved only her and Persephone could take a running jump. So Persephone jumped in the direction of Ares (who was very struck on Aphrodite himself) and said: “Your fancy woman has got herself a mortal lover. You don’t stand a chance, he’s absolutely gorgeous!”
Zeus decided it was time for a bit of peace. He declared that Adonis was not totally dead, but could spend six months with each of them. So now Aphrodite enjoys his company in the spring and summer. They frolic, they dance, they snuggle — basically they do all the kinds of things fertility deities get such a naughty reputation for. And then in the fall he goes down to the Underworld for a long winter vacation.
This is why everything above ground fades and gets miserable during the winter months. Meanwhile, down below it’s party time. So the Underworld seems a good place to choose for a winter break.
Adonis Facts and Figures
Pronunciation: Coming soon
Celebration or Feast Day: Unknown at present
In charge of: Fertility
Area of expertise: Fertility
Good/Evil Rating: Unknown at present
Popularity index: 1049
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Article last revised on September 05, 2018 by Rowan Allen.
Editors: Peter J. Allen, Chas Saunders
References: Coming soon.