Venus and Jupiter meet every twenty-four years and, when this happens, beauty abounds because Jupiter can deny her nothing. This year they met at her lover’s house while he (Mars) was away. No one else was there except creaky old Saturn who had been defeated by Jupiter long ago. In fact old Saturn is always at his weakest when visiting the home of Mars. Venus asked for her benedictions from Jupiter while Saturn was nodding off. This was a good time for lovers, devoted to Venus, to get their wish which is, of course, to be together. Lately she has ask for something concerning the fate of her Birdman, descended from her through Aeneus. This would have occurred when he was seventeen years old and now at forty-one.
“Now, at forty-one he is to have what he wished for when we last met,” she said, “remember, when we met at my house? The silly boy was praying for eternal love, but I thought it best that he struggle some and earn this boon from me. It is now time for, not only his true love, but his fortune as well. I have never needed you for the gift of love but, by your help, this man will get the love he needs and the fortune to accomplish what he wants. He is totally in my service and devotes his life to expanding my realm.”
Jupiter replied, “Yes, I agree, his time has come. He has also
been my concern, for he is descended from my offspring by Electra and any
service he does for you is for me as well. Thank you for bringing
this to my attention. That old man snoring in the corner over there has had his way with him long enough. Haven't you, Old Man!," he yelled in Saturn's ear.
"Hungh . .What!? Oh, yes, yes, yes, quite!" a startled Saturn said before nodding back to sleep.
Jupiter continued, "By our combined will this Birdman will get what he desires and time and trials have taught what he should desire. Who have you found to be his mate?”
“None other,” Venus answered, “than the ever-changing goddess, Thetis, herself. He will have the joy of experiencing all woman-kind through her for she can assume any form she wishes. She has been longing in her native waters for a man such as he. And, although she is much older, she seems half his age. She already knows of, and loves, the part of him that is immortal. She longs for Death so that they may be joined in immortality throughout eternity.”
“Yet his destiny as a mortal has not been fulfilled,” said Jupiter. “Will he not seem very old in appearance by the time the fates have decreed his mortal ending?”
Venus answered, “Thetis, the changeling, is wise and cares very little for appearances. Cupid’s arrow has given her a deep wound as well. Also, my blessing greatly over balances these minor concerns. Please, Jupiter, come quickly to Birdman’s aid so that he and Thetis may be brought together.”
“I will appear to him as an academic dean and, through me, he will acquire grants for traveling so his body may fly where his soul has already flown,” said Jupiter.
“Then they may together perform their rituals of beauty in honor of us,” added Venus.