Most of us know Cupid OR maybe not- a child having two wings and holding bow and arrow.
In Roman mythology, Cupid is the son of Venus, the goddess of love and beauty. And he is known as the god of affection. Legend has it that Cupid shoots magical gold-tipped arrows at gods and humans alike. By piercing their heart with an arrow, he causes individuals to fall deeply in love. Cupid has the capacity to build a relation between enemies and create love and harmony between two individuals. We fall in love cause of Cupid.
But, do we know that Cupid is blind and that also because of love.
The myth of Cupid and Psyche
Now, most of us know Cupid but very few of us know about Psyche. Psyche was born so beautiful that she was worshipped as a new incarnation of Venus, the goddess of love”. But human lovers were too intimidated to approach her, and Apollo recommended her father abandon her on a crag where she would marry “a cruel and savage, serpent-like winged evil.” But Psyche’s story ended up being much more interesting. At one point she thought that beauty is a curse. But she was so beautiful, according to historians, no words could describe her beauty. She was an absolute beauty with the brains.
She was born with so much physical perfection that people thought she was the incarnation of Venus- the Goddess of love. The real-life humans were even so shy to approach her. Now, seeing all this her father asked the guidance from the oracle of apollo. The God of light, reason, and prophecy was told to abandon his daughter Psyche on a rocky crack where she would marry a cruel and savage serpent-like evil.
Now, alone in the dark, she followed her father’s direction, but something else happened after her father left her in the rocky crack.Alone, not knowing that comes next-my guess is most of us will be paranoid in the situation. Amazingly Zephyr, the Greek god of the west wind also known as the gentlest of the wind showed up. Zephyr gently lifted Psyche and placed her before a palace. The palace looked grand and exclusive. A moment later she heard someone saying-“You are home, your husband awaits you in the bathroom-if you dare to meet him” Zephyr did his task or his obligation was done the rest was now all on Psyche.
Psyche was brave enough, she entered the palace and went to the bedroom. It was so dark she didn’t see anything but she felt a soft-skinned man. He was not a serpent-like devil, his voice and manner were gentle. She asked him who he was. Upon that the reply was”this is one question he could never answer”. If she loved him, she doesn’t need to know. This way their visit continued night after night and so did their sexual activities. One day soon enough Psyche found out that she was pregnant. She was happy but also sad about how can she have a child with a man she had never ever seen. That night she made a brave decision, this was very costly and deadly at the same time. With a burning oil lamp as a source of light, she went to see the very person she made love with lust and passion every night.
What she saw was beyond her imagination. It was none other than the God Cupid, who sets gods and humans fall in love with his bow and arrow. In such a surprise and so great or extreme as to be difficult to believe, Psyche panicked and with trembling hands, she dropped the hot oil of the lamp accidentally on Cupid burning him, mostly it fell in his facial area.
Cupid woke up in agony but he himself being a God he resisted the pain with ease except one thing,he did not realize the hot oil had fallen on his face and slowly he was getting blind.
Apart from this now as Psyche knew who he was he had to answer Psyche who he was? Cupid said he had been in love with Psyche ever since his jealous mother Venus asked him to embarrass young Psyche by pricking with an arrow. But the beauty of Psyche was so much that he used the arrow on himself for the first time in his life. But one thing he didn’t believe however was the Gods and humans could not be equals.
This is the time Psyche knew his true form that her hopes for happiness went away. At this moment Cupid left Psyche and flew away. Psyche once again became alone, but again the same miracle happened, the same unseen voice said that it was possible for Cupid and Psyche to love each other as equals. This motivated Psyche and with strong determination she went searching for Cupid. During her search, this time Venus, mother of Cupid intercepted her and said that she and Cupid could wed if only Psyche can finish four nearly impossible tasks.
The four tasks for the sake of love
Venus hated Psyche passionately because of her great beauty. People were beginning to ignore Venus’s altars and they instead sacrificed to Psyche, calling her the new goddess of beauty. Furious at this mere mortal girl who was stealing the homage that Venus thought rightfully belonged to her, she attempted to have her son Cupid make Psyche fall in love with a horrible monster
i) Sorting Seeds: The following is extracted from the original writing by Apuleius who wrote this in 150 AD,
“Venus leaped upon the face of poor Psyche, and took her by the hair, and dashed her head upon the ground. Then she took a great quantity of wheat, of barley, poppy seeds, peas, lentils, and beans, and mingled them altogether on a heap saying: Thou evil favored girl, thou seemest unable to get the grace of thy lover, by no other means, but only by diligent and painful service, wherefore I will prove what thou canst do: see that thou separate all these grains one from another disposing them orderly in their quantity, and let it be done before night.”
As Psyche was to sort out huge pile of seeds of different types, which was also in a very messy condition. Just as she was about to give up a colony of massive ants took pity on her and altogether they sorted it out.
ii) The second of Psyche’s tasks, arrogantly and insultingly set out by Aphrodite, is to go to a certain field across a river and gather some of the golden fleece of the rams pastured there. She is to be back by nightfall, on pain of death.
In order to finish the task Psyche must be very brave and even perhaps foolhardy if she is to finish this dangerous task, as the rams are known as very fierce in nature. Thinking all this she becomes unconscious and even thinks of suicide. She goes towards the river which separates her from the field of the rams, her intention was to throw her herself in. At this moment she even forgets that she is carrying a baby in her womb. But, just at the very critical moment the reeds on the river’s edge spoke to her and gave her advice.
The reeds, humble products of the place where water meets land spoke to Psyche not to go near the rams during the daylight hours to gather the wool. If she did she would be battered to death. Instead, she should go at dusk and take some of the wool that has been brushed off by the brambles-brambles are rough, tangled, prickly shrub, usually in the genus Rubus, which grows blackberries, raspberries, or dewberries and low hanging boughs of a grove of trees. There she will find enough of the golden fleece to satisfy Aphrodite without attracting the rams.This way she finished the second task.
iii) Psyche’s Third Task
When Aphrodite discovered that ,incredibly, Psyche has gathered enough of the golden fleece. In her anger, she decided to find a terrible way to defeat Psyche. She tells Psyche that she must fill a crystal goblet with the water from the Styx. Styx is a river that tumbles from a high mountain, disappears into the Earth and comes back to the high mountain again. This stream is guarded by dangerous monsters, and there is no place where one can set foot near enough to the stream to get one small goblet of water from it.
This time true to the event, Psyche collapses. She is numb with defeat and could not even cry. Every time Psyche is in trouble there is someone to assist her. This time an eagle of Zues appears like a magic.There was certain reason why the eagle and Zeus had a previous warm relation.Zeus, felt it was his obligation to protect Cupid’s love and asks the eagle to assist Psyche. The eagle flies to her distress and asks for the goblet. Flying to the center of the center, he lowers the goblet and fills it and brings the vessel safely back to Psyche. Her task was completed
iv)Psyche’s fourth task was the most important and most difficult of them all
The fourth task is she is instructed for Psyche to go underworld and convince Proserpina -queen of the dead to put a drop of her beauty in a box for Venus. Proserpina is the daughter of Zeus, also the chief god of Demeter, goddess of agriculture, and wife of Hades, King of the underworld. Once again the unseen voices came to her aid and gave her some specific instructions. She is to carry two pieces of barley cake in her hands, two half penny coins in her teeth, and sufficient fortitude to pass several difficult tests. The passage to Hades is not without its price and preparation is a must
The barley cake was for cerberus, the guard dog of the underworld and the coins to pay the boatman Charon, to ferry her across the river Styx.
Here is what Psyche had to endure to finish the final task:
- FIrst of all she finds the way to the pathless path,descends to the river Styx and finds a lame man driving a lame donkey laden with sticks of wood.Some of the woods fall to the ground and Psyche automatically feeling pity, reaches to retrieve them for the old man. Actually,she is forbidden to do this as it will deplete her energy,which she needs for further travel.
- Then she comes to the ferryman Charon, with his patched boat and requires one of the coins to go to Hades.
- During the passage over the river,a drowning man begs for help from Psyche but she must refuse and ignore him.
- Now in Hades, Psyche is confronted with three old women weaving the strand of fate on a loom.They ask the help of Psyche but she must walk giving no attention.Psyche is also warned before that she would lose one of the barley cake and she would have no payment for the dark journey later on and she could never return to the human world of light.
- Next, Psyche had to confront Cerberes,the guardian of Hades,they were the monster dog with three dogs.She throws one of the barley cakes to the dog and she passes by while the three heads were fighting over the cake.
Finally she reached the hall of Proserpina,queen of mysteries.As the tower had warned her,Psyche refused the lavish hospitality. She only accepted only the simplest food and sat on the ground to eat it.The reason was the law binds if in any house you taken the hospitality and if Psyche had accepted the luxury of Proserpina,she would be bound to her forever.
Psyche in her wisdom and strength passes each of the tests and asks Proserpina for a cask of beauty ointment. She gets the precious cask without any question,and now Psyche prepares to go to the human light.She had kept second barley cake to buy past the terrible dog, and she had second coin ready for the ferryman.
Now, finishing all the three tasks Psyche felt so overjoyed and rejoiced with happiness that she made a mistake that only humans do. The last instructions given by the tower were too much for her and she decides to disobey its wise counsel. The tower had instructed her never to open the box or to see its contents. Just as her journey was about to end the human side lifts up, Psyche thinks within herself, “Here I have the precious beauty of Aphrodite in my hand, would I not be foolish not to look at the cask and take a tiny bit that I might adorn myself so that I would be beautiful to my beloved Cupid?“
She defies what was instructed to her and opens the box. This causes her to a part of hell and goes into a deadly coma. She laid there on the path as a corpse without any sense at all. It was luck or the destiny to be loved Cupid, hears his beloved Psyche’s distress and finds a way out of his mother’s imprisonment. He is a part of God so he flies to her, wipes the deadly sleep from her face, and puts it back to the cask where it belonged. He awakes her with the prick of one of his arrows and gives the formal task of disapproval for her having failed to resist temptation cause of curiosity, which almost killed her.
Cupid listens to all the tasks and all the bearing Psyche had to go to in the name of love. Cupid instructs Psyche to finish her final task, which she takes the mysterious cask to Aphrodite. Cupid flies straight away to Zeus and pleads his cause for Psyche, Zeus honors him as his son and promises his help.
Lasting love and wedlock
Zeus calls all the gods together and at the same time instruct Hermes to bring Psyche to the court. Zeus announces to all the citizens of the heavens that Cupid’s love has gone long enough and it is time that this young firebrand is put into the fetters of wedlock. Zeus demands a wedding but the difficulty in this wedding was Cupid was immortal, the son of GOD, whereas Psyche was just a mortal woman. To overcome this difference, Zeus gives fair Psyche a pot of immortality and instructs her to drink from it. This brings her both immortality and the promise that Cupid will never depart from her again but be her everlasting husband.
The wedding of the Psyche and Cupid in heaven, never ever before equalled with any.Even Aphrodite was caught up in merry making and was happy with her son and new daughter in law.
In due time PSYCHE bore a daughter whose name was Pleasure. To be exact
it was VOLUPTA
VoluptasIn Roman mythology, Voluptas or Volupta, according to Apuleius, is the daughter born from the union of Cupid and Psyche. She is often found in the company of the Gratiae, or Three Graces, and she is known as the goddess of “sensual pleasures”, “voluptas” meaning “pleasure” or “delight”.
Each of first three helpers was a natural element-ant,reed,eagle .Psyche would have failed at her last test,but her failure activates Cupid.Even though he was burnt by the hot oil, told Psyche the true story he became blind cause the oil also caught his eyes. But since he is a part of God he could feel things, It is the prick of an arrow of love which awakens her and redeems her from sleep of death.
Only love can save you from the hardness and remoteness of a partial spirituality.
Cupid performs his godlike task and Psyche is welcomed into heaven as an immortal.However, Cupid was not always angelic. Cupid enjoyed being mischievous and pairing odd couples together to see what would happen. This backfired on him when he fell in love with a human, Psyche.But he had to pay the price of loving Psyche,she made him blind not intentionally but it did happen.
Hence,the sentence was formulated
LOVE IS BLIND
YES -LOVE IS BLIND…WHEN YOU ARE IN LOVE YOU DON’T SEE ANYTHING OR ANYONE BOTHERS YOU. YOU ARE FOCUSED WITH ONE AND ONLY ONE