Cupid is the most famous of Valentine symbols and everybody knows that boy armed with bow and arrows, and piercing hearts.
He is known as a mischievous, winged child armed with bow and arrows. The arrows signify desires and emotions of love, and Cupid aims those arrows at Gods and Humans, causing them to fall deeply in love. Cupid has always played a role in the celebrations of love and lovers. In ancient Greece he was known as Eros, the young son of Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty. To the Roman's he was Cupid, and his mother was Venus.
There is a very interesting story about Cupid and his mortal bride Psyche in Roman and Greek mythology. Venus was overly jealous of the pure heart and beauty of Psyche, and ordered her son, Cupid, to punish the mortal. But instead of punishing her as his mother wished, Cupid fell completely and deeply in love with Psyche. He adored her heart and goodness. Cupid took Psyche as his beloved wife, with one huge complication and hurdle in their life together, as a mere mortal, Psyche was forbidden to look at Cupid, for she would be punished terribly if she were to gaze upon him.
Psyche was very happy until her humanly sisters persuaded her to gaze upon at Cupid, just once. Quickly. No harm would come of it. As soon as Psyche looked at Cupid, Cupid punished her by leaving her. Their lovely castle and gardens vanished too. Psyche found herself alone in an open field with no signs of other angels or Cupid himself. As she wandered trying to find her true love, she came upon the temple of Venus, where her mother-in-law resided. Venus always wanting and wishing to destroy Psyche, the goddess of love gave Psyche a series of tasks, each harder and more dangerous then the last.
For her last task Psyche was given a little box and told to take it to the underworld. She was told to get some of the beauty of Proserpine, the wife of Pluto, and put it in the box. During her trip she was given tips on
avoiding the dangers of the realm of the dead. She was also warned not to open the box. However, as in most fables, temptation overcame Psyche and she opened the box. But instead of finding beauty, she found deadly slumber.
Cupid found his beloved bride, Psyche, lifeless on the ground. He gathered the deadly sleep from her body and put it back in the box. Cupid forgave her, as did his mother, Venus. The gods, moved by Psyche's devoted love for Cupid made her a goddess.
Today, Cupid and his arrows have become the most popular symbols of love during the February holiday of Valentine's Day, and love is most frequently depicted by two hearts pierced by an arrow. Cupid's arrow to be exact!
May Cupid's arrow keep true love always close to your heart! Happy Valentine's Day Everyone!
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Posted by Debra Michelle Hiebert at 9:30 PM