Today is Election Day in the US. I know (and am thrilled) that this blog has a high international readership, so please believe me when I say that this post will not become laboriously encumbered with US politics. Rather, I'd like to take a brief moment to talk about Aphrodite in her role as Pandemos.
The epithet PANDHMOS means "common to all people." In his Symposium, Plato interpreted this guise of Aphrodite as a vulgar, common-place Aphrodite due to her associations with the flesh; whereas OUPANIA, or "heavenly" Aphrodite was above such mundane, physical matters. Truthfully, the reverse was probably true. Aphrodite Ourania is the oldest known epithet of Aphrodite, the one that most clearly links her with her eastern predecessors whose worship was so intimately linked with sexuality, fertility and cult prostitution. Aphrodite Pandemos, who was honored in Athens, Cos and only a few other locals, was very distinctly associated with abstracts ideals dealing with the city/state.
Aphrodite Pandemos was honored in the Athenian agora so that, according to many scholars, the assemblies who met there to discuss the issues of the city would remember their love for Athens and each other and act in kind. She was a particular patroness of Athenian magistrates, who made sacrifices and inscriptions to her, asking for her guidance in the performance of their duties.
I voted today and prayed to Aphrodite Pandemos that the men and women who take office based on today's results will serve their cities, counties, states and nation from a place of love for the people and place that they represent.