Monday, October 12, 2009

Psyche and Eros

It came to me in one of those long moments of illness -- the myth I had used for the current ms in revisions. Psyche and Eros. The Beauty and the Beast as well as East of the Sun, West of the Moon fairy tales owe their origins to this myth. It is also the archetypal mother in law from Hades story. In case anyone is unfamiliar with the story -- Aphrodite objected to the princess Psyche being worshipped for her beauty. She sends Eros ( Cupid in his form as a young man) down to make mischief only Eros pricks himself with his arrow and falls for Psyche. He then uses the West wind to whisk her away to be married. Psyche however as she never sees her bridegroom thinks she is married to a beast after an encounter with her jealous sisters. Following their advice, she spies on him with an oil lamp and drips wax on his shoulder. Eros is furious and states -- there is no love without trust and abandons her. Thereby setting up one of the great mother in law v daughter conflicts as Aphrodite is furious to discover that her boy has actually had the temerity to marry. Poor Psyche roams the world, accomplishes tasks and eventually ends up working for Aphrodite as a slave. Eros comes to his senses and saves her from certain death when Psyche is sent to the underworld to retrieve a beauty casket. He pleads with Zeus and Psyche is given ambrosia to drink. Aphrodite is forced to concede as her main objection was that Psyche was human. Zeus then joins Eros and psyche in eternal marriage and they have a daughter -- voluptas (pleasure or sex) A true marriage is one where the soul (Psyche) and love (Eros) meet.

There in lies the problem. I did not want to use the early bit. I wanted to use the later bit of the story and the focus was off.

It is possibly an easier fix than my editor currently thinks. There is lots to be drawn out as well. I can not believe I made a few fundamental errors!

It is helpful to figure out the underlying myth sometimes.

I feel far happier when I do.

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