Monday, February 14, 2011

Eros & Psyche (Cupid's Story)......

Happy Valentine's Day! Rather than give my commentary, I thought I'd share the story of Cupid (Eros) and his mortal love Psyche......

The most well-known legend concerning Eros details his love for the mortal princess, Psyche, who was so beautiful that people began paying homage to her...homage that was due only to Aphrodite. The Goddess of Love soon found her altars deserted while men turned their devotion to Psyche, the young virgin. Calling upon her winged son, Eros, Aphrodite instructed him to cause Psyche to fall in love with the ugliest creature he could find. But, when Eros set eyes upon Psyche, he himself fell in love and forgot his mother's command. They became lovers...although Eros forbade Psyche ever to look upon him.

Psyche was happy until her two sisters persuaded her to unmask the identity of this mysterious sweetheart. Eros, fearing what Aphrodite might do to him now that his secret was out in the open, departed from Psyche...their lovely castle and gardens vanishing with him...and Psyche found herself alone in an open field.

As she wandered in search of her love, Psyche came upon the Temple of Aphrodite. Wishing to destroy her, the Goddess of Love gave Psyche a series of tasks, each harder and more dangerous than the one before. For her last task, Psyche was given a little box and told to take it to the Underworld, where she was to obtain some of the beauty of Persephone, the wife of Hades, and put it in the box.

During her journeys, Psyche had been given advice on avoiding the dangers to be found in the Realm of the Dead and also cautioned not to open the box, but temptation overcome her and she ignored the warnings. Instead of finding beauty, however, Psyche found deadly slumber. When Eros discovered his beloved lying lifeless upon the ground, he gathered the perpetual sleep from Psyche's body and returned it to the box.

Aphrodite was persuaded to forgive Psyche and Zeus, moved by Psyche's love for Eros, made her immortal, agreeing that the lovers could be united for all eternity. In due time, a daughter was born to them and they named her Volupta, which means "Pleasure."

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