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Cupid God Of Love
By Anna Lynn Sibal
If you know a little about Roman mythology, you would know that Cupid is the son of Venus, the goddess of love. The name Cupid itself was derived from the Latin word "Cupido," meaning love, passion, desires, yearnings, wanting or longing. In Greek mythology, Cupid is none other than Eros, the son of Aphrodite, the goddess of love, and Ares, the god of war.
Cupid is often characterized as the mischievous, playful, winged cherub who played with his arrows. There is a story where it was told that Venus, his own mother, was Cupid's very first victim. The two of them were playing in the garden when she was accidentally scratched by one of Cupid’s arrows. Instantly, she fell in love with the first man she saw at the time, and that man happened to be Adonis.
There is also a story that Cupid had two sets of arrows. One was the golden arrow, which symbolized pure love. The other was the leaden arrow, which represented wanton and sensual love.
Cupid's Own Love Story
In one version of this story, it was told that Venus became envious of this mortal princess who went by the name Psyche. Psyche was so beautiful that everyone began paying homage to her instead of Venus. This resulted in the desertion of the goddess’ altar. Venus was so furious that she sent Cupid to destroy Psyche.
However, when Cupid saw Psyche, he was attracted to the young maiden as well, and he forgot that his mother sent him to kill her. They fell in love with each other, and their love was blessed with a child. There was one condition to their affair, though, and this was that Psyche was never to look at Cupid’s physical appearance. Nonetheless, Psyche lived happily with Cupid and their child, in a lovely castle with vast gardens that Cupid gave her.
But that was not to last. Chaos began when Psyche’s two sisters came to visit her. Envious of their sister’s good fortune, they poisoned Psyche’s mind and convinced her that she should see who her lover really was. Curiosity overtook Psyche, and so she sought to behold her lover with her own eyes. Psyche did see Cupid, but upon her discovery, everything vanished. Gone were the castle and the gardens; Psyche found herself alone in an open field.
Determined to regain her lost love, Psyche began searching for Cupid, and this search led her to Venus. Venus had not forgiven Psyche, and so she devised a series of tasks for Psyche to fulfill. The last of these tasks brought Psyche to make a visit to Hades carrying a precious box. She was told never to open that box until she reached her destination.
Psyche apparently had not learned her lesson. Again, curiosity overtook her, and she opened the box. Opening the box released perpetual sleep, and it overcame her. Cupid found her in that state, lying lifeless. He gathered the perpetual sleep and returned it to the box.
After Psyche finished this task, Venus was compelled to forgive her. Psyche’s deeds gained the attention of Jupiter himself, and so, he made her immortal. Cupid and Psyche then lived happily ever after.
What Cupid Means to Us Now
Cupid is a figure of mythology and his story is certainly something to be interested in. But what does he mean to us now?
Now, as he was then, Cupid is the celebrated icon of the heart. He is one of the few ancient gods who is still part of modern society and who still plays an important role in the celebration of romance.
Cupid’s arrows still have meaning for us. People say that when a guy means a girl, or vice versa, and at first glance they clicked and fell in love, it was the work of Cupid shooting hearts with arrows. Also, Cupid is often depicted as blindfolded, meaning that love is blind.
Cupid is the god of love. As long as there is love, Cupid will always have a place in our hearts.
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