Today is the day on which I celebrate the Vinalia Rustica, a holiday celebrated in Rome as the establishment of the first temple of Venus. Elle Hull, on the Aphrodite's Flowers blog, provides a lovely discussion of the significance of this day.
Having just spent a significant amount of time tending to a very garden-state shrine in honor of our lady, I rather agree with her conclusions that Aphrodite has deep and abiding connections to the land. Gardens in particular. In fact, Ginette Paris discusses this aspect of Aphrodite at some length in her book Pagan Meditations in a section in which she discusses the many guises of Aphrodite of the Gardens. This is an Aphrodite of cultivated beauty that springs from the green growing wildness of the land.
As such, I can see the connection inherent between Bacchus and Venus, Dionysos and Aphrodite. Elle talks about the name Vinalia Rustica. Why a celebration venerating the vine and Aphrodite? A good question! And one I don't have a solid answer for, but only gut reactions. These two are mates in several ways, as Aphrodite is mated with other lovers. And the wine of Dionysos offers an ecstasy and pleasure that is related, I think, to the beauty and pleasure and love of Aphrodite.
I'm the kind of person that often likes having more questions than answers, and I'm glad to have these questions today as I celebrate my lady.
May her blessings be upon all of us.