APHRODITE / VENUS Goddess of love, desire and beauty. There are two accounts of her birth. One says she is the daughter of Zeus and Dione. The other that when Kronus castrated Uranus, tossing his severed genitals into the sea, she arose on a giant scallop and walked to shore in Cyprus. Zeus married her to Hephaestus to control the other gods jealousy. Aphrodite later was both Adonis' lover and his surrogate mother. Myrtles, doves, sparrows, horses, and swans are sacred to her.