The Louvre Museum
Before you go any further take a closer look at Psyche Revived by Cupid’s Kiss Video from the Louvre Museum. Here! and check out my question at the end of this post.
“The Amour” is the romantic story of (Eros) and Psyche
(credit goes to the mythsandlegends website)
Psyche was a princess who lived in a Grecian kingdom. Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty, heard about Psyche (the Greek word for “Soul”) and was jealous of all the attention people paid to Psyche. So she summoned her son, Eros, and told him to put a spell on Psyche.
Always obedient, Eros flew down to earth with two vials of potions. Invisible, he sprinkled the sleeping Psyche with a potion that would make men avoid her when it came to marriage. Accidentally, he pricked her with one of his arrows (which make someone fall in love instantly) and she startled awake. Her soulful beauty, in turn, startled Eros, and he accidentally pricked himself as well. Feeling bad about what he had done, he then sprinkled her with the other potion, which would provide her with joy in her life.
Well the potion worked because Psyche could find no husband. Her parents, afraid that they had offended the gods somehow, asked an oracle to reveal Psyche’s future husband. The oracle said that, while no man would have her, there was a winged creature on the top of a mountain that would marry her.
Surrendering to the inevitable, she headed for the mountain. When she came within sight, she was lifted by a gentle wind and carried the rest of the way. When she arrived, she saw that her new home was in fact a rich and beautiful palace. Her new husband never permitted her to see him, but he proved to be a true and gentle lover. He was, of course, Eros himself.
After some time, she grew lonely for her family, and she asked to be allowed to have them visit. When they saw how beautiful Psyche’s new home was, they grew jealous. They went to her and told her not to forget that her husband was some kind of monster, and that, no doubt, he was only fattening her up in order to eat her. They suggested that she hide a lantern and a knife near her bed, so that the next time he visited her, she could look to see if he was indeed a monster, and cut off his head if it was so.
Her family convinced her this was best, so the next time her husband came to visit her, she had a lamp and a knife ready. When she raised the lamp, she saw that her husband was not a monster but Eros! Surprised, he ran to the window and flew off. She jumped out after him, but fell the ground and lay there unconscious.
When she awoke, the palace had disappeared, and she found herself in a field near her old home. She went to the temple of Aphrodite and prayed for help. Aphrodite responded by giving her a series of tasks to do — tasks that Aphrodite believed the girl would not be able to accomplish.
The first was a matter of sorting a huge pile of mixed grains into separate piles. Psyche looked at the pile and despaired, but Eros secretly arranged for an army of ants to separate the piles. Aphrodite, returning the following morning, accused Psyche of having had help, as indeed she had.
The next task involved getting a snippet of golden fleece from each one of a special herd of sheep that lived across a nearby river. The god of the river advised Psyche to wait until the sheep sought shade from the midday sun. Then they would be sleepy and not attack her. When Psyche presented Aphrodite with the fleece, the goddess again accused her of having had help.
The third task Aphrodite set before Psyche was to get a cup of water from the river Styx, where it cascades down from an incredible height. Psyche thought it was all over, until an eagle helped her by carrying the cup up the mountain and returning it full. Aphrodite was livid, knowing full well that Psyche could never have done this alone!
The word aphrodisiac comes from the name of the Greek Goddess, (Venus) Aphrodite. She was also an animal lover and did not approve of ritual sacrifices and preferred gifts such as flowers, perfume and jewelry. It is also said that Aphrodite gave the rose its thorn, to remind us of the pain and suffering that we must endure with love.
Psyche’s next task was to go into hell to ask Persephone, wife of Hades, for a magic box of beauty. Thinking that she was doomed, she decided to end it all by jumping off a cliff. But a voice told her not to, and gave her instructions on making her way to hell to get the box. But, the voice warned, do not look inside the box under any circumstances! It gave Psyche instructions on how to find the route that will allow her to enter the Underworld alive and return again, as well as telling her how to get past Cerberus (by giving the three-headed dog a small cake) how to avoid other dangers on the way there and back; and most importantly, to eat nothing but coarse bread in the underworld, as eating anything else would trap her there forever.
Psyche follows the orders precisely, rejecting all but bread while beneath the Earth.
Well, Psyche received the box from Persephone and made her way back home. But, true to her nature, she was very curious and unable to restrain herself from peeking inside. She decides to open the box and take a little bit of the beauty for herself. To her surprise, there was nothing inside but darkness, which put her into a deep sleep. Inside, she can see no beauty instead an infernal sleep arises from the box and overcomes her. Eros who had forgiven Psyche flew to rescue his beloved. Eros could no longer restrain himself and wakened her with his sweet kiss, wipes the sleep from her face, puts it back in the box, and sends her back on her way. He told her to bring the box to Aphrodite, and that he would take care of the rest.
Eros went to the heavens and asked Zeus to intervene. He spoke of his love for Psyche so eloquently that Zeus was moved to grant him his wish. Eros brought Psyche to Zeus who gave her a cup of ambrosia, the drink of immortality. Zeus then joined Psyche and Eros in eternal marriage.
One Bad Apple Does Spoil the Bunch
The events that led to the Trojan War began long before the war itself did. The ingredients included a treacherous beauty contest, a prized apple, an oath to protect a marriage, a bribe of love, an unfaithful wife, and an impenetrable wall. Together, they added up to a war that would last for a decade.
Who’s the Fairest of Them All?
The wedding of Peleus and Thetis
was a marriage made in heaven. Almost all the gods and goddesses attended Mount Pelion (in northeast Greece) for the wedding—for it was the rarest of occasions when a goddess married a mortal man. But Eris, the disagreeable goddess of discord, had not been invited. Angered at this slight, she tossed a Golden Apple, inscribed “For the Fairest,” among the goddesses. Immediately Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite started to fight over the apple. Zeus ordered them to take their quarrel elsewhere, and instructed Hermes to lead the goddesses to Troy, a great walled city on the Aegean coast of Asia Minor.
To decide the matter, Zeus appointed Paris, a Trojan prince and reputedly the handsomest of mortal men. Paris thus found himself in the unenviable position of becoming the favorite of one goddess while incurring the wrath of the other two.
Rather than trust the prince’s good judgment, all three goddesses attempted to bribe Paris. Hera promised him dominion over the whole world. Athena offered certain victory in every battle. Aphrodite merely offered the most beautiful woman in the world: Helen, a daughter of Zeus and a sister of the Dioscuri. Paris did not hesitate, quickly accepting the beauty and awarding the Golden Apple to the goddess of love.
But She’s Already Married!
Unfortunately for Paris, Helen was married to the Greek king of Sparta, Menelaus. Helen was so beautiful that nearly every Greek prince—more than two dozen—had wooed her. Her foster father Tyndareus, fearing that those not chosen might react with violence, had made all her suitors stand on a slain horse and take a solemn oath. Each had sworn not only to abide by Helen’s choice, but to punish anyone who might steal the bride away.
Helen had chosen Menelaus, brother of the wealthy Agamemnon, king of Mycenae (and husband of Helen’s sister Clytemnestra). The couple had a daughter, Hermione, and perhaps a son or two as well. Before Paris set out some years later to claim his “prize,” his brother and sister, the seers Helenus and Cassandra, warned him not to go after Helen.
All’s Not Fair in Love and War: The Fall of Troy
Ignoring these naysayers, Paris left for Sparta. Helen’s husband, King Menelaus, and her brothers, Castor and Polydeuces, warmly welcomed the Trojan prince and entertained him for nine days. Unaware of his guest’s motives, Menelaus then left home to attend his grandfather’s funeral. In his absence, Paris carried off Helen and a good deal of treasure from the palace as well.
The Greek name for a butterfly is Psyche, and the same word means the soul. There is no illustration of the immortality of the soul so striking and beautiful as the butterfly, bursting on brilliant wings from the tomb in which it has lain, after a dull, grovelling, caterpillar existence, to flutter in the blaze of day and feed on the most fragrant and delicate productions of the spring. Psyche, then, is the human soul, which is purified by sufferings and misfortunes, and is thus prepared for the enjoyment of true and pure happiness. (From The Age of Fable)
◊So, dear reader do you believe, True Love Is Blind? Just giving you something to think about during your travels.
Have a fabulous day