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The Mythology of Cupid

As we approach Valentine’s Day, prepare for stores to begin showing images of Cupid to get everyone in the spirit of love. Have you ever wondered why so many Valentine’s gifts are centered on Cupid? The reality is that Cupid has a long history that began in Greek Mythology.

The History of Cupid

Greek goddess Aphrodite was actually the mother of Cupid.  Aphrodite was known as the Greek goddess of love and had a bit of a jealous streak.  She not only passionately loved the men in her life, but also her family members.  For this reason, when her son Cupid found a human to love, she worked extremely hard to break up this marriage. 

Cupid Marries Psyche

Psyche was worshipped in her homeland for her radiant beauty. This enraged Aphrodite, who caused a plague to overtake the land. Aphrodite told the king, who was Psyche’s father, that he must sacrifice Psyche for the land to return to normal. The king then tied up Psyche to a tree and left her to die. Cupid found his soon to be bride tied up and promptly released and ultimately married her. 

Psyche and Cupid’s Secret

There was one thing about Psyche and Cupid’s relationship that was a bit odd. Cupid required that Psyche never see what he looked like. Therefore, Psyche and Cupid only spent time together in the dark of night.

Psyche’s sisters were jealous of her happiness and convinced her that her husband was a monster. Because of this, Psyche had her doubts and decided to look at her husband with a candle one evening.  While Psyche was looking at Cupid with a candle, wax dripped on his face and woke him up.  He was furious and felt disobeyed. Aphrodite urged Cupid to divorce Psyche.  Psyche was crushed and wanted to do anything in her power to win Cupid back.  She pleaded with Aphrodite, who forced her to perform 4 tasks.

The Trials of Psyche

1.                  Sort a large amount of grains and beans.

2.                  Gather wool from the golden sheep.

3.                  Fill a crystal vessel with water from the Styx and Cocytus springs.

4.                  Fetch a beauty cream from the Underworld to give Aphrodite unlimited beauty.

All of the tasks were easy except for the last, which rendered Psyche into a deep sleep.  Thankfully, Cupid was able to bring back Psyche with the help of Olympus, and Cupid and Psyche lived happily ever after.

 

Bio: Alaska Jewelry offers a wide variety of jewelry as well as Valentine’s gifts.  With years of experience as a high quality brick and mortar jewelry store, Alaska Jewelry launched their online store in 2000.