Psyche and Eros - Eros is in Love
Eros is in Love
The god of Love Fell in Love
Eros had fallen in love with Psyche after he placed a curse on her that his mother, Aphrodite, demanded. Now he would have to have faith in that love and trust that Psyche, too, would have faith.
He was used to being loved by mortal women and goddesses, but he had never before known the feeling of love within his own heart. He was filled with a profoundness that changed his whole being.
After sprinkling Psyche with magical sweet water, he gazed once more at her lovely face, so sweet in slumber, then he left her.
Aphrodite was joyous with her victory over Psyche. However, Eros was devastated and knew he had some thinking to do on how to save Psyche from a fate worse than death.
Journey to Delphi
It was not long before word spread throughout the lands that Aphrodite had condemned Psyche as an enemy and rival for the most beautiful woman. Psyche had done no wrong, but in the eyes of Aphrodite, Psyche had stolen all the worshipers and admirers -- causing them to turn from the sacred altars of Aphrodite, the mother goddess, to worship herself.
All would-be suitors who once admired Psyche turned away from her in fear of how Aphrodite would punish them. The king and queen, Psyche's parents, could not understand why their two older daughters, Megalometis and Baskania, had already married when Psyche, the most beautiful and fairest of them, was shunned and had no suitors, no one asking for her hand in marriage.
In great concern, they journeyed to Delphi to ask the Oracle of Apollo what they should do.
Psyche felt no fear and still did not take any glory in her beauty. Her glory was the love and peace she felt within. She knew deep within herself that there was true love for her, yet she knew not who this beloved was.
Oracle of Apollo
Message of the Oracle
The message from the Oracle was more distressing than the the king and queen could ever have expected.
They were told they must take Psyche and bear her to the mountain top dressed in the finest bridal garments and leave her there for the monster that all heaven, hell and mortal men fear -- and this ugly, wicked monster would claim her as his bride.
When the words of the Oracle were known, all within the kingdom mourned for the lovely maiden and lamented her fate as if death had claimed her already.
To disobey the Oracle, the king and his entire kingdom would be destroyed. Psyche was horrified and scared beyond words, yet would not allow her father and his kingdom to be destroyed.
Obediently, she allowed her maid servants to prepare her in all her bridal finery. Psyche would sacrifice herself to protect her family and the kingdom.
Psyche to be Abandoned
Wedding Preparation for Psyche
Like a funeral procession, rather than a wedding march, Psyche was taken on a litter to the mountain top and left there alone.
Her fears grew ever worse after her parents, who could not bear to look at her, turned and left with all the mourners. As night came on, she lay there, startled at each sound, waiting to be claimed, hoping she would die before the monster found her. The wind caressed her, yet she felt nothing but fear till blessed sleep overcame her.
For the sake of her parents and the kingdom, Psyche had resigned herself to accept her fate at the hands of the evil monster and to be his bride. She grieved, when shivering from fear on the mountaintop, that she would never know true love.
Yet, there was some tiny bit of faith deep within her that told her she was doing the right thing by accepting her punishment that Aphrodite had demanded. Sleep claimed Psyche and she slept like death had taken her, but only a short while, for she would wake with a start, the thought of the beast strong on her mind.
Preparation for Phyche's Wedding
Eros had a lot to think about and time was of the utmost importance. His main thought was if Psyche would love him because he was the god of love, or could she love him for his inner self.
Since all women loved him because he was a god, and an irresistible one at that (he smirked to his image in a mirror), his only desire was to be truly loved in faith and trust. He feared that Psyche would not be able to love him that way - so, he decided to test her. He felt that was the only way they would truly love each other. He called upon Zephyr, his good friend and the god of the West Wind.
Eros did not want to risk being seen saving Psyche, and because he did not want Psyche to awaken and see who he was, he asked Zephyr to rescue the maiden and bring her to the sweet meadow of his palace. Zephyr did not hesitate and flew off to do the bidding of his friend.
Psyche had spent most of the night in fear of the beast claiming her. Sleep finally overcame her as a gentle wind caressed her and blew back the strands of hair from her brow. The only good thing she had known since the Oracle had spoken was that soft touch of the wind.
She knew not, when in her slumber, that Zephyr, the wind who had caressed her brow, gently picked her up and cradled her in his arms. Zephyr, at the request of Eros, carried Psyche away from the mountain and gently lay her down in a meadow of the sweetest flowers in the valley, near the palace of Eros.
Zephyr Rescues Psyche
During her deep slumber, Zephyr had done the bidding of Eros and carried Psyche to the sweet, peaceful meadow and left her there on the soft grass near a brook and under the shelter of trees.
When Psyche awoke, she still felt the chill of fear and the unknown. As she started up to see if the monster was coming for her, she was stunned by the beauty around her. She heard song birds and a bubbling brook. Was she dreaming? Had the fates given her a taste of beauty and peace just one more time before evil claimed her?
Or was this a cruel trick of the evil monster she must face -- a trick to make her think this beauty would compensate for the evil she must endure?
Bird Song and Bubbling Brook
Psyche and Eros in Greek Mythology ~
Have you read the story of Psyche and Eros before?
© 2014 Phyllis Doyle Burns