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Psyche and Eros - A Story Of Faith
Is it possible for a mythological story to have an affect on real life, or help us learn something valuable? Let us take a look at the story of Psyche and Eros to learn about faith and trust and how we can apply this to our own life.
In Greek mythology, when the Olympians gods ruled the world, there was a mortal king and queen who had three daughters. Psyche was the youngest daughter. Her sisters, Megalometis and Baskania, were very jealous of Psyche, for she was exceedingly beautiful and charming. All the beauty and loveliness, grace and sweetness, that could be given to a maiden had been bestowed upon Psyche. The qualities Psyche had far surpassed any other mortal woman. It seems the only fault within her was to not trust her own heart or have faith in herself. Her sisters were so jealous that they had no love for Psyche and cared not what happened to her -- yet, if given the chance, they would cause hurt and sorrow for their young sister. To see her joyless and destitute would give them great satisfaction. This is a common situation that often shows up in mythology and fairy tales. The one who is good and pure of heart gives always to others and rarely to the self. The ones who are not happy with their own self put most of their energies into hurting others rather than focusing on healing and finding good within themselves.
Psyche was not a vain or self-centered maiden. She did not flaunt her beauty, nor did she flirt with men. She was a very demure and modest girl. She preferred the quiet and pleasant festivals for Artemis, the goddess of virgins, to the flamboyant and spectacular gaiety of the festivals for Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty. However, Psyche was obedient and honored the wishes of her parents in regards to the traditions and festivals of Aphrodite and that she take her place in the processions as she was expected to do.
There came the time when Psyche and her sisters were to be part of a public appearance as priestesses of Aphrodite. As princesses, this was their duty and an honor to the family. At first, Psyche refused to attend, but upon reproach from her parents, she agreed to not neglect her duty to serve the goddess of love and beauty in the temple of Aphrodite.
When it was Psyche's turn to approach the altar and give her offerings, the people were stunned by her beauty -- they thought the goddess herself had graced them with her appearance. They were overwhelmed by the grace and loveliness of Psyche and turned from the altar to gaze upon her as she walked back to her place. They showered her with love and flowers and began to worship Psyche, for there among them was the true goddess.
From her home high on Mount Olympus, Aphrodite saw what was happening and became enraged with jealousy and indignation. She went in search of her son, Eros, and found him in her garden. After telling Eros about Psyche, she said he must avenge his mother and banish Psyche and curse her with severe punishment for daring to be a rival of his divine mother. He was to make her fall in love with the most hideous, ugliest monster that ever walked the earth. This delighted Eros, for he did have a mischievous way about him at times.
From two fountains in the garden of Aphrodite, flowed magical water. One was bitter, the other sweet water. Eros filled two vases, one from each fountain and hung them over his shoulder near his quiver of arrows. Straight away he flew to the home and chamber of Psyche, where she lay asleep. Eros barely glanced at her as he sprinkled the bitter water upon her lips then pricked her breast with his sharpest arrow.
Psyche softly moaned and opened her eyes. She looked up at Eros and he trembled as he gazed deep into her eyes that were more blue than spring violets. He knew he was invisible, yet still he trembled as her eyelids closed again.
He was amazed and admitted to himself that she was even more lovely than what he was told, even more beautiful than his mother. His heart beat rapidly, like never before, as he gazed upon her beauty. She was perfection in her loveliness. Sorrow touched his heart for having wounded her with the curse. Gently he reached down to wipe away the drop of blood where he had wounded her, then quietly bent and kissed her lips ever so softly. Psyche smiled in her sleep and Eros quickly moved back from her. As he did so, he pricked himself on one of his arrows. Suddenly, all the mischievous glee and carelessness he knew as a boy left him and for the first time truly knew what love was. He loved Psyche with every part of his being. He was a god, immortal, yet he loved a mortal maiden.
Filled with sorrow, regret, and shame for what he had done, Eros knew he had to find a way to save his beloved. No longer was he a boy, he was now a man who gazed upon his wife whom he loved beyond all things on earth or the realm of gods and goddesses. Eros quickly sprinkled sweet water on Psyche before he left. Psyche awoke with a feeling of joy and she was more radiant than ever.
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Author's note: Please see "Psyche And Eros: A Story Of Love" at the related link below for the second part of this great love story. Thank you.
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