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Psyche and Eros - Betrayal

Updated on February 22, 2017
Phyllis Doyle profile image

Mythology is a wonderful world that Phyllis can escape to when her mind needs a break from daily life.

Psyche Betrays Their Trust

Amore e Psiche (1707–09) by Giuseppe Cresp
Amore e Psiche (1707–09) by Giuseppe Cresp | Source

Betrayal of Trust

The age-old nemesis of love is jealousy. It can damage the trust in a relationship, which often leads to betrayal. Psyche listened to her sisters, who were jealous of all she had with her husband. They told her she was stupid to not know what her husband looked like.

When her husband was sleeping soundly that night Psyche slipped out of bed and went in search of a lantern. She lit the lantern and quietly went back to their chamber. When she neared the bed, she held up the lantern and was stunned as the soft glow shone upon his face and body. This was no hideous looking monster! Her husband was the beautiful god of love, Eros!

In her shock, Psyche jumped back. As she did, the lantern tipped , and a drop of hot oil spilled on his thigh. He awoke in pain and confusion. Then he saw Psyche standing there with the lantern and guilt clearly on her face.

Eros quickly got up. With tears in his eyes and sorrow in his heart, he told her she had betrayed their trust and faith in each other, that she had endangered their love by ignoring that he was protecting her from a decree of the gods. As Psyche stared at him with her own tears and sorrow, he said he must leave her now because she had listened to jealousy and doubts from her sisters rather than follow her heart and trust him. With a heavy heart and tears on his face, Eros flew away.

After Eros left her, Psyche fell on their bed and cried with a broken heart. She knew she had done the wrong thing and promised herself to somehow find her beloved again and repair the damage. She was so alone and empty without him.

Forgive Thyself

Psyche now realized that by listening to her malicious, jealous sisters, that she had betrayed her husband. She betrayed the trust and faith they had in each other. After Eros left her, she vowed to find him and put to right the wrong she had done.

She recalled what Eros had told her when she thought him the monster. She had so wanted news from her sisters and to tell them of her own life. Eros had told her that he would do what he could.

Psyche Then Remembered What Eros had Told her

"I will allow thee to see thy sisters who will reappear at the monument that has been built on the mountain-top in commemoration of thy departure from the world of men."

- Apuleius, Cupid and Psyche, 2nd century A.D.

Eros Leaves Psyche

Psyche Abandoned by François-Édouard Picot
Psyche Abandoned by François-Édouard Picot | Source

Psyche Cried in Despair

Yet he strongly advised her to not talk with them or listen to them, for it would only bring disaster upon their marriage. He reminded her that Aphrodite was still a bitter enemy of hers and therefore their love must be kept secret.

Oh!, if only she had listened to her beloved and trusted him. Psyche cried in despair, then began her search for Eros. She vowed to search till she found him, and prayed to him, to accept her again as wife -- to once again have trust and faith in each other. She within that she must first forgive herself before she could ever expect Eros to forgive her, then she prayed till tears soaked her gown and bedding as she knelt at the place her husband had last slept in their bed.

If Only she had Listened and Remembered

"Aphrodite imagines now that thou art utterly undone. She planned thy ruin and destined thee to dire perdition, but I shall not let thee die in misery and if ever love can accomplish the miracle, I will make thee happy in spite of her enmity."

- Apuleius, Cupid and Psyche, 2nd century A.D.

A Long Journey Begins

The journey Psyche began would not be an easy one. It would be one of heavy burdens and sadness. She first traveled the long way back to her parents castle, only to learn that both her father and mother had died.

In great sorrow, she then went to the home of Megalometis to ask for help. Her sister feigned sympathy for Psyche, yet inwardly was thrilled that Eros had left her. Megalometis, being so vain, thought that now the god of love would come to her, as she was Psyche's sister and lovely. When her husband found Megalometis at the altar, praying for Eros to come and claim her as his love, he killed her.

Psyche went to her younger sister's home and met with the same false sympathy so left. Baskania journeyed to the mountain top where Psyche had been taken and waited, praying for Zephyr to take her to Eros. When she felt the wind blow her hair, she leaped off the cliff for Zephyr to take her in his arms, but she fell to her death.

With an aching heart, Psyche continued her search alone, weary and footsore. She journeyed to the temples of Demeter, goddess of the harvest, and Hera, queen of Heaven and wife of Zeus. She prayed to them and begged for mercy and help. Both goddesses told her they would gladly help if they could, but, by divine etiquette could not go against Aphrodite, a sister goddess. "Be steadfast and faithful," Hera told her.

They also told Psyche that Aphrodite was hunting for her and would not be easy on her punishment. Psyche now had no place of refuge or protection from Aphrodite and made a difficult choice, she approached the goddess to turn herself in -- thus she delivered herself into the hands of her enemy.

About Aphrodite, Goddess of Love

Do you believe a goddess of love in mythology should always be kind and loving?

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Aphrodite, Goddess of Love and Mother of Eros

Aphrodite, 2nd century Roman copy after Praxiteles
Aphrodite, 2nd century Roman copy after Praxiteles | Source

The First Task

Psyche begged for mercy and offered to be Aphrodite's handmaid, to be obedient to her every need. Aphrodite decided to test Psyche and assigned a task to her that no mortal woman could do.

She took the young bride to the granary and showed her an enormous pile of mixed grains. Psyche was to sort the grains into piles of like kind, and the task had to be done before evening fell. If not done, Psyche would be turned over to Anxiety and Sorrow, servants, to torment as they wish.

Psyche was devastated when she sat there alone staring at the pile of grains. A little ant came in and saw the hopelessness of the situation, then it left. Soon it returned with thousands upon thousands of ants. In short time, the ants had all the grains sorted in neat piles. A familiar feeling came over Psyche. She felt as though Eros was nearby and gave her his spiritual help. She slept peacefully till Aphrodite returned.

Aphrodite was not impressed when she saw the task completed. She was sure Psyche had some assistance, so, assigned the girl another task.

Psyche had to go out to the forest beyond the stream and find a flock of sheep that had golden fleece. She was to return with a tuft of the valuable fleece - however, the sheep were wild, dangerous and could kill her with their horns.

Psyche realized just how important faith and trust is in their relationship. Will the power of love for Eros help her find him and right the wrong she had done?

The Power of Love

Note From Author

I hope you are enjoying my series on Psyche and Eros:

Psyche and Eros - her beauty brings misfortune

Psyche and Eros - Eros is in Love

Psyche and Eros - Beauty all around her

Psyche and Eros - Betrayal

Next in this series is:

Psyche and Eros - Aphrodite is unforgiving

Phyllis Doyle Burns - Lantern Carrier, Spiritual Mentor

© 2014 Phyllis Doyle Burns


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    • Phyllis Doyle profile imageAUTHOR

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 

      5 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      Well, thank you very much, Savannah. That is very kind of you.

    • Savannah Iraci profile image

      Savannah Iraci 

      5 years ago from Salt Lake Valley, Utah

      You inspire me!

    • Phyllis Doyle profile imageAUTHOR

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 

      5 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      I was thinking Lewis would have had to use a lot of creative license in the process, for the classic story is solid in mythology and the metaphorical glimpses into the psychological similarities in people. This story, more than any other myth, is a great one to analyze and pull out the deep meanings of each little action. hmmm ... I could run on and on with these thoughts.

    • Hannah David Cini profile image

      Hannah David Cini 

      5 years ago from Nottingham

      He uses a lot of creative license and there are a lot of details (or complete sections) that are missed out; he kind of goes his own way with it. I think that's why I enjoyed this series so much, you have included so much more and there are parts you've written about that I hadn't heard before.

    • Phyllis Doyle profile imageAUTHOR

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 

      5 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      Greetings Hannah. Thank you for reading and commenting on Psyche and Eros. I have not read "Till We Have Faces" by Lewis. I did a quick check and it looks like his version is quite different. Thanks again for the visit.

    • Hannah David Cini profile image

      Hannah David Cini 

      5 years ago from Nottingham

      A lovely hub. I absolutely adore 'Till we have faces'- Lewis and have been in love with this myth ever since.

    • Phyllis Doyle profile imageAUTHOR

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 

      6 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      It is quite a story, travel-man. Glad you are enjoying it. Thanks

    • travel_man1971 profile image

      Ireno Alcala 

      6 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      I'm glad those ants helped Psyche with Aphrodite's first test.

    • Phyllis Doyle profile imageAUTHOR

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 

      6 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      Thank you very much, Devika. So glad you enjoyed the story.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      6 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Great series and all are learning lesson fro me. Voted up, useful and interesting.

    • Phyllis Doyle profile imageAUTHOR

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 

      6 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      Awww - thank you, Genna. What a lovely thing to say about opening doors. I am so happy you and others are enjoying the series. I just published the last one. Thank you so much for supporting my Psyche and Eros series.

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 

      6 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Love, jealousy, vanity and doubt…all personified in these magical, mythical characters. You are our teacher, Phyllis, but you have opened the doors to this world in compelling ways that keep us spellbound. I love this series.

    • Phyllis Doyle profile imageAUTHOR

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 

      6 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      Hi AliciaC. Thank you. I hope you enjoy the other hubs on Psyche and Eros. I appreciate your visit.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is very interesting, Phyllis. I enjoy learning about mythology. I'll be reading more of your series.

    • Phyllis Doyle profile imageAUTHOR

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 

      6 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      Hi Paula. Psyche and Eros are very much a part of the reason I love mythology and stories of the gods and goddesses. When I was a kid I had a friend so much like me. We often made up our own stories based on mythology and even put on a neighborhood play. I love to write about these legends and am so happy that you and so many others enjoy reading them. I so appreciate your support. Thanks for reading and voting.

    • Phyllis Doyle profile imageAUTHOR

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 

      6 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      Hi Mary. Gosh, maybe I should become a mythology teacher. LOL Thank you so much for your very inspiring comment. Thanks for the votes and share also.

    • fpherj48 profile image


      6 years ago from Carson City

      Phyllis.....This is the first I am aware of your series..and so glad I found it. I need to catch up and continue to read.

      What an intriguing topic you have chosen....I enjoy tales of the gods. Quite mystifying, Phyllis and always a profound lesson to learn..UP+++

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      I absolutely love the stories and your writing of them. Had this been read in class I probably would have retained more. You make the stories come alive and truly interject human feelings.

      Voted up, useful, awesome, interesting and shared.

    • Phyllis Doyle profile imageAUTHOR

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 

      6 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      Woo hoo ! Thank you so much, Frank. You have made my day !!! Thanks for sharing, too. :)

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 

      6 years ago from Shelton

      I find this series fast paced and it kept me glued to the computer... Even though I expect it.. it is still intense, suspenseful, emotionally and visually graphic.. yeah love it


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