Cupid's True Love

The most beautiful greek love story is the story of Eros and Pysche (Έρως και Ψυχή) which translates as love and soul. But you all know Eros better as Cupid, the god of love.

Giuseppe Maria Crespi, Cupid and Psyche 1707-1709

Psyche was the youngest of three beautiful daughters, however she was the most desired and men went as far as to neglect their worship of the goddess Venus to pursue the maiden's affections. Venus then sent her son Eros to exploit revenge on the girl. In a strange turn of events, he fell victim to her beauty and vowed to take her for his own.

The King and Queen were worried about their daughter Psyche as she had yet to fall in love. Desperate, they sought out the oracle of Apollo where they were instructed to leave her on a mountain top dressed in funeral attire. Pysche was to wait there until a winged serpent creature carried her away.

Psyche obeyed reluctantly, clearly upset about her fate. However, she only felt warmth when she was carried away from her hilltop and a soft voice invited her into her husband's home. Over time she fell in love with her husband's voice and grew content with her new life. She had finally found the perfect love she had been looking for.

Things turned sour when her sisters begged to visit. Her husband eventually allowed them, despite fearing the consequences. Her sisters arrived, only for them to convince Psyche that because she had not seen her husband, he must be the winged serpent monster the oracle had foretold.

Filled with fear and doubt, Psyche planned to slay her husband as he slept. She crept to his bedside with a dagger at hand, only for her gaze to fall on the most beautiful man she had ever seen. Overcome with guilt and awe, she dropped the dagger and in her confusion accidentally spilt wax from a candle onto his shoulder. He awoke and upon seeing her, realising she knew his secret, fled from their home never to be seen.

With nothing but the love for her husband, Psyche set out to find him and bring him home. She searched for days until she finally went to Venus to beg for help. Seeing her opportunity for revenge, Venus locked away her son and challenged Psyche with tasks that were almost impossible to complete.

Eventually, Psyche proved herself more then enough times and Eros, who she had now identified to be her mysterious husband, was set free. She was then turned immortal due to the overpowering love the pair had for one another. Venus approved as now Psyche lived as an immortal, the men of earth were free to worship the goddess once more and restore balance.

Antonio Canova, Cupid and Psyche 1796

Happy Valentine's Day! And just remember, don't give up on someone you love if they flee at the first signs of vulnerability. Let them know you love them more for it, and they will love you more for accepting them for who they are.

Emma x



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