The Mythology of Venus is a collection of essays that summarizes the archaeoastronomy, calendar associations, religious and cultural icons, and myths identified with the planet Venus. The book concentrates on Western Europe, the Mediterranean, the Near East, and the East from the Paleolithic Age to the Iron Age. It reveals the archetype of a goddess associated with the planet Venus who is identified with transformation, spiritual resurrection, and enlightenment. The characteristics of the goddess are steeped in sexual metaphors which contain images of birth and re-birth, and they reveal a pattern of symbols that follows the journey of the planet Venus through its cycles in the night sky. Moreover, the journey of Venus and the corresponding icons associated with the goddess are part of an intricate pattern of symbolic language that is seen on ancient monuments and on the ancient calendars of several cultures. Temples from France and Ireland to Greece and Malta trace the journey of the planet Venus and the story of the goddess of Venus.
Helen Benigni graduated with a Ph.D. in English from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 1989. She is a professor at Davis and Elkins College in Elkins, West Virginia, where she teaches comparative mythology, composition, and literature. Her other works include The Myth of the Year: Returning to the Origin of the Druid Calendar (2003) and The Goddess and the Bull: A Study in Minoan-Mycenaean Mythology (2007).
Foreword Morgan Llywelyn Preface Helen Benigni Acknowledgements 1. The Emergence of the Goddess: A Study of Venus in the Paleolithic and Neolithic Era Helen Benigni 2. The Epiphany of the Goddess: A Study of Venus in the Bronze and Iron Age Helen Benigni 3. Love Goddesses of the Early Historic Age Miriam Robbins Dexter 4. Venus, The Caillichin na Mochoirighe of Newgrange, Ireland Anthony Murphy Appendix I: The Astronomy of the Nights of Venus Barbara Carter Appendix II: The Eight Year Cycle of Venus Barbara Carter Appendix III: Of K'uk'ulcan and Quetazlcoatl, Venus in Mesoamerica R.P. Hale Index Plates About the Authors