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love folklore 1

Love has always played a major role in stories. The curse in Beauty and the Beast could only be broken by love. A frozen heart could only be thawed by true love in Frozen (and in Hans Christian Andersen’s Snow Queen on which it’s loosely based). In the Brothers Grimm’s folktales, Briar Rose and Snow White could only be saved by love. Though, it could be argued that in Grimm’s folktales it was lust and not love that drove the princes to save the princesses.

love folklore 2

In mythology, there is no clear line between love and lust and so a goddess would be a deity of both. Wikipedia’s list of love deities is named “List of love and lust deities”…

 

Venus (/ˈviːnəs/, Classical Latin: /ˈwɛnʊs/) is the Roman goddess whose functions encompassed love, beauty, sex, fertility, prosperity and desire.

In the later classical tradition of the West, Venus becomes one of the most widely referenced deities of Greco-Roman mythology as the embodiment of love and sexuality.

Venus embodies sex, love, beauty, enticement, seduction, and persuasive female charm among the community of immortal gods; in Latin orthography, her name is indistinguishable from the Latin noun venus (“sexual love” and “sexual desire“), from which it derives.[1] Venus has been described as perhaps “the most original creation of the Roman pantheon”,[2] and “an ill-defined and assimilative” native goddess, combined “with a strange and exotic Aphrodite”.[3]

Art in the classical tradition[edit]

Venus became a popular subject of painting and sculpture during the Renaissance period in Europe. As a “classical” figure for whom nudity was her natural state, it was socially acceptable to depict her unclothed. As the goddess of sexuality, a degree of erotic beauty in her presentation was justified, which appealed to many artists and their patrons. Over time, venus came to refer to any artistic depiction in post-classical art of a nude woman, even when there was no indication that the subject was the goddess.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venus_(mythology)

 

Aphrodite (i/æfrəˈdaɪti/ af-rə-DY-tee; Greek: Ἀφροδίτη) is the Greek goddess of love, beauty, pleasure, and procreation. Her Roman equivalent is the goddess Venus.[4] She is identified with the planet Venus.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aphrodite

 

Although Eros appears in Classical Greek art as a slender winged youth, during the Hellenistic period, he was increasingly portrayed as a chubby boy. During this time, his iconography acquired the bow and arrow that represent his source of power: a person, or even a deity, who is shot by Cupid’s arrow is filled with uncontrollable desire. In myths, Cupid is a minor character who serves mostly to set the plot in motion.

In contemporary popular culture, Cupid is shown drawing his bow to inspire romantic love, often as an icon of Valentine’s Day.[2]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cupid

 

In Norse mythology, Freyja (/ˈfreɪə/; Old Norse for “(the) Lady“) is a goddess associated with love, sex, beauty, fertility, gold, seiðr, war, and death. Freyja is the owner of the necklace Brísingamen, rides a chariot pulled by two cats, keeps the boar Hildisvíni by her side, possesses a cloak of falcon feathers, and, by her husband Óðr, is the mother of two daughters, Hnoss and Gersemi. Along with her brother Freyr (Old Norse the “Lord“), her father Njörðr, and her mother (Njörðr’s sister, unnamed in sources), she is a member of the Vanir. Stemming from Old Norse Freyja, modern forms of the name include Freya, Freija, Frejya, Freyia, Fröja, Frøya, Frøjya, Freia, Freja, Frua and Freiya.

Freyja rules over her heavenly afterlife field Fólkvangr and there receives half of those that die in battle, whereas the other half go to the god Odin‘s hall, Valhalla. Within Fólkvangr is her hall, Sessrúmnir. Freyja assists other deities by allowing them to use her feathered cloak, is invoked in matters of fertility and love, and is frequently sought after by powerful jötnar who wish to make her their wife. Freyja’s husband, the god Óðr, is frequently absent. She cries tears of red gold for him, and searches for him under assumed names. Freyja has numerous names, including Gefn, Hörn, Mardöll, Sýr, Valfreyja, and Vanadís

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freyja

 

9 Amazing Love Stories Throughout Folklore and History …

Throughout history, there have been many amazing love stories hidden from plain sight or shouted from the hilltops. These remarkable tales of passion, love, betrayal, heartbreak and happiness have inspired many generations, while turning the world into a more beautiful place with their magic.

  1. Paris and Helen

The story of Helen of Troy and the Trojan War was recounted in Homer’s Iliad as a Greek heroic legend. According to the tale, Paris – son of Trojan King Priam – kidnapped Helen, who was married to the King of Sparta, triggering the Trojan War, which ended with the destruction of Troy and Helen safely “rescued”.

  1. Cleopatra and Marc Anthony

This is probably one of the most remarkable historic love stories, between a charismatic Egyptian queen and a powerful general. The story tells of Marc Anthony being seduced by Cleopatra and both lovers committing suicide after a chain of events that had set their two empires against each other in war.

  1. Tristan and Isolde

Told and retold through various manuscripts, the story of Tristan and the princess Isolde of Ireland is an amazing tale of forbidden love, as the two fell deeply in love and continued their relationship even after Isolde’s arranged marriage to King Mark of Cromwell.

  1. Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal

Not everybody knows that the Taj Mahal is a monument built as a final resting place by Shah Jahan for his beloved wife. Built in the 17th century, the building took 24 years to complete and is now considered one of the greatest declarations of love of all time.

To read the rest (and more on what’s mentioned here), go to http://love.allwomenstalk.com/amazing-love-stories-throughout-folklore-and-history

I’d add Lancelot and Guinevere, but perhaps that’s just me…

 

 

Maybe reading so many folktales and watching so many Disney movies growing up, made me a little rebellious where it comes to others (including Cupid) deciding my destiny regarding love. A while back I wrote a short story about the ups and downs of Valentine’s Day Another Crack at My Sweet Valentine. I entered it in Wattpad’s anti-Valentine’s Day writing competition.

 

 “While pouring water into the percolator, unnamed dread filled me. After switching on the machine and seeing its red light, realisation hit.

Valentine’s Day. The next day was that dreadful fake holiday of über-romance.

A coughing-fit overcame me. An incoherent list of reasons I abhorred that ridiculous day flitted through my mind while I tried to stop coughing.

Engaged friends calling off their wedding after a disastrous Valentine’s Day date.

Women – sensible creatures – turning into paranoid monsters accosting scared men over flowers and chocolates and other silly things.

Pitying looks directed at any lone woman having an enjoyable meal on the fourteenth of February.

Popularity contests revolving around this commercialised show of affection.

I ran to the bathroom. But there was nothing in my stomach to throw up. Probably the reason for my nausea. It couldn’t possibly be my thoughts…” 

 – Another Crack at my Sweet Valentine, Ronel Janse van Vuuren

 

I hope you enjoy reading the story. Comments can be left here or on Wattpad – I always appreciate feedback. Anything folklore-related you’d like to share? Or perhaps stories about your anti-Valentine’s Day vigilantism?

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