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Psyche and Eros: Eros Is in Love

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

This article explores the mythological love story of Eros and Psyche.

This article explores the mythological love story of Eros and Psyche.

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.

Psyche abandoned by François-Ãdouard Picot.

Psyche abandoned by François-Ãdouard Picot.

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.

Ruins of the Oracle of Delphi (Appolo) at the base of Mount Parnasus

Ruins of the Oracle of Delphi (Appolo) at the base of Mount Parnasus

Message of the Oracle

The message from the Oracle was more distressing than 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 maidservants to prepare her in all her bridal finery. Psyche would sacrifice herself to protect her family and the kingdom.

Psyche by William Bouguereau, 1892.

Psyche by William Bouguereau, 1892.

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 the punishment that Aphrodite had demanded. Sleep claimed Psyche and she slept as if 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.

Psyche's Wedding by Edward Burne-Jones, 1895

Psyche's Wedding by Edward Burne-Jones, 1895

Eros Had to Think

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 at 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.

Psyche et L'Amour (1889) by Bouguereau

Psyche et L'Amour (1889) by Bouguereau

Psyche Awakens

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 songbirds 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?

Sources and Further Reading

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2014 Phyllis Doyle Burns


Ireno Alcala from Bicol, Philippines on October 21, 2014:

Oh, my! Can't wait for the part 3, hehehe! You keep me guessing what happened.

Phyllis Doyle Burns (author) from High desert of Nevada. on October 15, 2014:

Ah, hahaha - Paula you have me pegged. I am for sure a fierce romantic. That is why I love to read Romeos Quill poetry. Some day that "special someone" will be in my life and I hope he loves romantic stories. Thanks, Paula, for being a faithful reader of Psyche and Eros.

Suzie from Carson City on October 15, 2014:

Phyllis....The more I read of your work and becomes very clear that you are a 100% Total and fierce ROMANTIC!! Lucky for the "special someone" in your life.....:)

Phyllis Doyle Burns (author) from High desert of Nevada. on October 13, 2014:

Blessings and hugs to you, Manatita.

Phyllis Doyle Burns (author) from High desert of Nevada. on October 13, 2014:

Hi Don. Hope all is well with you. Mythology can be a good way sometimes to just escape from all that goes on in society today. Just come visit any time you want to read about mythological legends of the world. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Take care and have a good day.

manatita44 from london on October 13, 2014:

Stunningly beautiful, Phyllis.

Don A. Hoglund from Wisconsin Rapids on October 13, 2014:

I have no read very much of the mythological stories. I should become more familiar with them.

Phyllis Doyle Burns (author) from High desert of Nevada. on October 12, 2014:

Hi Catherine. Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate it.

Catherine Giordano from Orlando Florida on October 12, 2014:

I love the retelling of old myths.

Phyllis Doyle Burns (author) from High desert of Nevada. on October 12, 2014:

Thank you very much, bibliopola. So glad you stopped by to read and comment.

Işın Tuzcular from Istanbul on October 12, 2014:

I read the story in high school and loved it. Your hub is wonderful :)

Phyllis Doyle Burns (author) from High desert of Nevada. on October 12, 2014:

How beautiful, Frank. You must come and read some Greek tales to me. I love to be read to. LOL

Thank you so much for staying with the continuing story. I am working on the next one right now. Bless you, Frank.

Frank Atanacio from Shelton on October 12, 2014:

again Phyllis.. I love it whe you write these kinds of hubs... just brings back the days I use to read Greek Tales: . Firstly, blackwinged Night laid a germless egg in the bosom of the infinite deeps of Darkness, and from this, after the revolution of long ages, sprang the graceful Love (Eros) with his glittering golden wings.... see i still can remember LOL :) Frank

Phyllis Doyle Burns (author) from High desert of Nevada. on October 12, 2014:

Hi Jackie. Thanks so much for the votes, reading and commenting. I always appreciate your visits.

Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on October 11, 2014:

Oh wow I have not read this before and I can't wait to see how it ends! Thanks for sharing! ^+