Wednesday, February 13, 2013

More About Goddesses: Aphrodite and the Story of Eros and Psyche (new column) (Tim Kavi's VALENTINES BE MINE FOR NINE: Posting 9)

Painting: "Eros and Psyche" by Josephine Wall

More about Goddesses: Aphrodite and the Story of Eros and Psyche 
by Tim Kavi

Aphrodite is often hailed as the goddess of beauty, love, procreation and pleasure. She is also hailed as the protector of sailors as she was born from the sea foam. Aphrodite is the daughter of Zeus and Dione, making her one of the most vital goddesses in Greek mythology.

Given her nature, Aphrodite is a very personal and intimate goddess, invading the secret places of her followers and remaining close to those that are loyal to her. She can easily bring about a feeling of wonder and magic, particularly encouraging a natural feminine power, but Aphrodite is also capable of deceiving the heart when exalting the sensuality of a couple’s union as she sees fit.

The nature of Aphrodite and her ability to manipulate the magical or deceptive side of sensuality is noted in her son Eros’s union with Psyche. Eros is the god of passionate sexual love while Psyche was a princess that was so beautiful that many treated her like a goddess. Some would even make sacrifices or perform symbolic gestures in her name, which caused much jealousy among the other goddesses, particularly Aphrodite.

In her jealousy, Aphrodite sent her son Eros to put a spell on Psyche, making her fall in love with the ugliest man on the Earth. When Eros arrived, he was so stunned by Psyche’s beauty that he accidentally pricked himself with one of his magical arrows, falling in love with her instantly. Feeling guilty for his deeds, Eros worked to undo the spell and then left. Enraged that her son could not manage this deed, Aphrodite cast a similar spell to seal Psyche’s fate.

Concerned that their daughter would marry a monster, they summoned the Fates. They told her parents to take her to a mountain to leave her for her beastly betrothed. Her parents eventually obliged, and Psyche was left on the mountain in her sorrow. Seeing her tears, Zephyr the West Wind took her away to a lush forest in the valley below. Here she wandered until she found a palace with invisible servants and an invisible lover that would care for her.

Psyche was welcome to enjoy these benefits so long as she only united with her lover in darkness. After much time together, Psyche could no longer manage her curiosity and lit a candle to see her lover, Eros. Hurt by her suspicions, Eros flew away. Psyche’s suspicions show the conscience’s unwillingness to live with a relationship surrounded in darkness. Given this impossible task, Psyche appealed to Aphrodite asking to be reunited with Eros with no conditions.

Aphrodite conceded, provided Psyche enter the underworld and place a drop of Persephone’s beauty in a box. Persephone is known as the beauty of the depths because she was taken down to the Underworld to be the bride of Hades. Determined to be reunited with her lover, Psyche completed this final task, achieving a state where the dark anonymity of her previous love and the divine, personal aspects of love could merge.

Eros and Psyche were given one of few wedding ceremonies given in the presence of all the gods on Olympus. The gods celebrated this new union with a great feast that celebrated the union of the soul, and Eros, the representation of sexual love. At this blessed union, Aphrodite danced in celebration.

Poet's Afterword:  Appropriate for Valentine's Day, today's blog celebrates the balanced love of Psyche and Eros (aka Cupid) --the love that came to light in complete openness and blissful reunion.  A love that Aphrodite and the enitre Greek pantheon celebrated. This concludes the First Annual VALENTINES BE MINE FOR NINE daily blogging celebration leading up to Valentine's Day.  However, there will be a special Valentine's Day poem posted tomorrow. HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY to all of my readers--may your lives be filled with love and loving others.My writings and love poems are always an encouragement to love--for life is just too short for anything else.~~TK

If you liked this column you will like my eBook Collection, More About Goddesses, even more! You can order it here! Also, don't forget it's simple to view a Kindle ebook on any device with an App (or even in a web browser), the FREE apps for doing so are here.  My kids and I appreciate the support, you see, they need me home, and I'm trying to get there!  Thanks!~~TK


  1. This is such an amazing story. As I read along the lines, I couldn't wait to see what would happen next. You did a super job with this poem!

    1. Dear Susana: Thank you so much for your commenting here (and other places) about this story of Eros and Psyche. For many, it is considered a favorite story line of Greek Mythology. Thanks for your compliment! Keep visiting often! Many blessings to you.~~TK