She's so hiiiigh...
So you want to know about the Goddess Venus was named for? You're in for a little more than you ever wanted to know, I'm sure. Basic overview that you should know: mythology isn't for everyone. ^^;;
Basic information: The Gods, both Roman and Greek, were firm believers in having sex with whomever they so chose, fidelity wasn't an issue, unless you were Hera/Juno. Aphrodite and Venus *shouldn't* be used interchangeably, although they quite often are. They aren't completely the same because they aren't the same cultures. They are just REALLY similar. Moving alonnnng...
Roman Goddess of Love and Beauty [*shock*] who began life as a lowly little vegetation goddess and patroness of gardens and vineyards. [party time?] "Her cult originated from Ardea and Lavinium [Lavinia anyone?] in Latium." The oldest temple devoted to the oh so pretty goddess dates back to 293 BC Two celebrations honoring the Goddess are: Vinalia Rustica on August 18th, and the Veneralia on April 1st. Various lovers included Mars and Vulcan.
new source of info:
Moon Magic describes Venus as, and I quote:
Venus: [Rome] : Moon goddess; patroness of vegetation and flowers. She was strong, proud, and loving. She was called virginal, meaning she remained independent; her priestesses were not physical virgins. Goddess of love, beauty, the joy of physical love, fertility, continued creation, renewal, herbal magick.
Moving on, her Greek counterpart:
Aphrodite has a rather... unusual birth scene (think birth of Venus folks), in that when Uranus was castrated by his son Cronus who threw the genitals into the ocean. The water began to churn, and there appeared the lovely Aphrodite. She is revered as the goddess of love, beauty, and sexual rapture. Well, well. Well.
Various members of her heartbroken trail include: Adonis, Anchises, and Aries.
Symbols of Aphrodite include: the dolphin, the swan, the pomegranate and the lime tree. Plus, she gets a character on Xena. Can't get too much cooler than that, can you? Didnae think so.