Saturday, November 27, 2010

The myth of Cupid and Psyche: Just another fallen angel

Genesis 6: 1 "When men began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them, the sons of God [angelic beings] saw that the daughters of men [humans] were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose."

The bible attests to angels being shape-shifters, that is they could take on human form: eat, sleep and would be able to have sexual intercourse. It is of my opinion that angels were also male in gender (but were not given in marriage as they were not created to be procreative as humans - another reason for their jealousy of mankind).

Verse 3: "Then the Lord said, "My Spirit will not contend with man forever, for he is mortal [making a comparative inference that the angels were immortal, therefore, God has to change the human's life span]; his days will be a hundred and twenty years."

Verse 4: "The Nephilim were on the earth in those days --- and also afterward --- [after what? the Deluge?] when the sons of God went to the daughters of men and had children by them. [Greek mythology's foundation is found here, the demi-gods are born]. They were the heroes of old, men of renown. [that is the heroes of mythologies and legends].

Verse 6: "And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth [remember we are made in God's image, unlike the angels], and it grieved him at his heart."

Verse 7: "And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, [but here it gets tricky, why would God want to destroy the beasts as well? because the angels had sexual intercourse with them and produced hybrid animal monstrosities and beasts; the fallen angels introduced bestiality to mankind] and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repents me that I have made them."

Nephilim: the word means 'giant' in the English language. The nephilim were believed to be the offspring of the illegal marriages between the sons of God and the daughters of men. They are believed to be the mighty men of renown who ruled the world before the flood, as recorded in Genesis 6:4. Thy were considered to be tyrannical bullies that ruled the mortals of their era with cruelty and ruthlessness, including human sacrifice to appease their anger.

Extensive etymology of the name infers they were fallen creatures, angelic beings whom Jude tells us kept not their first estate. These were, according to word meanings, considered to be the fallen angels who cast themselves down to the earth to inhabit flesh and so procreate themselves to take over its rule. They wanted to experience what humans were experiencing: sex. (See Jude 4). They were judged by the Creator as fugitives and inferior as angels go. They were archons of the day and are presently under Creator arrest until such time as they are released on the earth for its final judgement.

The story of Cupid and Psyche is classic of the probability of how some of these fallen angels worked in relation to women's propensity for being deceived.

Story from the book Classic Myth and Legend by A. R. Hope Moncrieff

Chapter One:
Aphrodite's Rival (Roman goddess - Venus)
Once upon a time a king and queen had three fair daughters, of whom the two eldest at fit time came to wed princely suitors. But the youngest, Psyche, was so wondrously beautiful that no one durst woo her, who seemed worthy rather of adoration. Men gazed at her from afar as at a goddess and the rumour went that this was no mortal maiden, but Aphrodite herself revealed one earth to show her matchless charms in flesh and blood.

So eager was all the world to behold this prodigy, that far and wide the altars of the true goddess stood cold and silent, her chief shrines at Cnidus, Paphos, and Cythera deserted by the crowds flocking to strew flowers under the feet of Psyche. The jealous Aphrodite, seeing herself neglected for such a rival, called on her son to avenge her with his mischievous arrows. 

"Inflame her heart with love, but with the hottest love for the meanest wretch alive, so that together they may come to poverty and sorrow!"

Young Cupid needed not the kisses and caresses with which she would have coaxed him to such an errand. Ever too ready to play his cruel tricks, he promised to do his mother's bidding, and flew off to work harm for Psyche. But at the first sight of her beauty he was so amazed that he dropped on his foot the shaft he had made ready for her, and so became wounded by the enchantment of his own weapon. Himself unseen, he loved this mortal as hotly as he though to make her love some unworthy man.

Meanwhile it grieved Psyche's parents that so many came to wonder at but none to wed their youngest daughter, left at home like a virgin-widow, lamenting her too renowned charms. The anxious father sought an oracle of Apollo to know how she should find a husband; and the answer filled him with dread. On the top of a high rocky mountain, he was told, he must leave his daughter alone in bridal array. There should she be wooed by one of whom the very gods stood in fear: she whom men likened to Aphrodite was worthy of no common mate.

Hard was it to part with their daughter thus; but her parents durst not disobey the oracle. At nightfall they led her up the mountain, with a wedding train that seemed rather a funeral, for the light of the torches burned dim, and the songs of the bridesmaids turned to dirges, and poor Psyche was fain to dry her tears with her bridal veil. But having resigned herself to this strange fate as the will of the gods, she strove to comfort her weeping friends. The top of the mountain reached, they quenched the torches, and with tearful farewells left the maiden alone at dead of night as if borne here to her tomb.

When all were gone, Psyche stood shuddering in the chill darkness, so full of fear that she had almost called them to stay, or hurried after their footsteps while still heard on the mountain side. But soon came a gentle Zephyr [angelic being who creates wind] that softly wrapped her about and carried her away to lay her on a bed of scented flowers, where all the rest of the night she slept off her sadness and weariness.

Daylight awoke her to look round in wonder. CLose at hand, she saw a grove of tall tress, though which flowed a crystal stream, and on its banks stood a house so noble that it appeared the home of a god. The roof of costly woods was borne up by golden and ivory pillars; the floor was paved with coloured marbles, and the walls glowed with pictures inlaid in gems and precious metals. When Psyche ventured to enter, the found vast inner halls more and more splendid the farther she stole on tiptoe, filled with treasures from every part of the earth, and everywhere lit by a gleam of gold shining like the sun. And what seemed most marvellous all these riches were unguarded, every door stood open, and no living form came to view, as she passed from chamber to chamber, lost in astonishment at the wealth of their unknown lord.

"Who can it be that owns so many rich and beautiful things!" she cried out at length; and soft voices answered in her ear, though as yet she saw no human form.

"All are thine, Psyche! And we are they servants, appointed to wait on thee. Command us as thou wilt, and it shall be done."

When she was tired of wandering through the palace, and feasting her eyes on its beauty, Psyche took courage to try what such invisible attendants could do for her. Having refreshed herself by bathing in a bath of silver, she took her place at a golden table that was at once spread with the finest fare; then as she ate and drank, soft music arose and a choir of sweet voices filled the room where she sat alone.

So the day passed by as in a dream; and when night feel, she would have lain down on a soft couch spread for her by those unseen hands. Now was she aware of a shadow by her side, and had almost cried out for terror. But her fears were kissed away as she found herself warmly embraced in the darkness, and heard a voice murmuring in kindest tones ---

"Dear Psyche, I am the husband chosen for thee by destiny. Ask not my name, seek not to see my face; only believe in my love, and all will be well with us!"

The very sound of his voice and the very touch of his hand won Psyche's heart to this unseen bridegroom. All night he told her of his love, and before daylight dawned, he was gone, since so it must be, promising with a kiss to return as soon as darkness fell.

Thus it was, night after night, that went by in tender speeches and endearments; yet never culd she see her lover's face.

Chapter Two:
The Jealous Sisters
Psyche rejoiced in the love of this husband who came to her only by night; but sad were the long days through which she had to live alone. She soon wearied of wandering about her splendid house that seemed like a gilded cage; the daintiest food did not please her so long as no one shared it; the sunlit hours went too slowly by in sighing for the darkness that should bring back the joy of her life. In vain she begged him not to leave her by day, when she might see his face.

"It may not be," he whispered, and sealed her lips with kisses. "A dire danger threatens thee, if thou shouldest know who or what I am. Be content to trust in my love, that is ever thine."

Strive as she might to be content, still poor Psyche pined in that daily solitude; and she besought her unseen husband to let her have at least a visit from her sisters to cheer her in his absence.

"Dearest Psyche!" cried he, "I fear they will come to do thee harm. Already they seek thee on the rocky crest where thou wert last seen of men; but they bring hate and peril for our love."

Yet she wept and entreated, till in the end he gave her leave to see her sisters, making her promise to tell them nothing about himself. So next morning, when he vanished with daylight, the same Zephyr that had wafted Psyche to this beautiful valley, was charged to catch up her two sisters and bring them to the house in which she lived alone with invisible attendants.

Glad was she to see them again, and not less amazed were they by the riches and adornments of her new home. But when eagerly they questioned her as to the master of all this wealth, she put them off with short answers. Her husband, she said, was a handsome young prince who strayed out all day hunting in the woods. And lest she should be tempted by their curiosity to say more, she made haste to dismiss the sisters with costly presents before the hour that should bring him to her arms.

But they, filled with envy of her good fortune, came back next day set on knowing who could be that great lord so much richer than their own husbands. With caresses they again sought to worm the secret out of her; and this time, forgetting what she had said of him before, she gave out her husband as a grey-bearded merchant, whose affairs called him often away from home. Nor did the sisters fail to note how she contradicted herself, so letting them understand she had something to hide.

Again dismissed with rich presents, the jealous elders were hotter than ever to know the secret of Psyche's marriage. They guessed that this husband of hers must be no mere man, and enviously railed at her for making a mystery of his real name. So they hatched a plot, of which he was well aware, for that night he murmured in her ear ---

"Dearest one, beware of thy sisters. To-morrow they will tempt thee to look on me; but that would be the end of our happiness."

With tears and kisses Psyche vowed she would rather die a hundred times than disobey his least wish; and when left alone in the morning, she was determined to keep her secret. But soon came the sisters, who now coaxed and threatened her by turns, till in her confusion she owned to not having told them the truth. At least they pressed her to a confession that she had never seen this bridegroom who visited her only by dark night, and that she knew not even his name.

"Dear sister," said they, "it is as we feared. Believe us, who are older and wiser, and mean thy welfare. That false bridegroom is in truth a loathly monster that durst not meet the eye, lest love should be changed to horror. For all his fair words, his purpose is to devour thee secretly; and such will soon be Psyche's fate unless she act by our counsel."

"What shall I do?" cried Psyche, wringing her hands, for she believed their false words, knowing not why else her husband should remain every unseen.

"Have ready a lamp and a sharp knife," they bid her. "As soon as he is asleep, light the lamp, then the sight of the monster's hateful form will steel they hand to drive the knife to his cruel heart. THus only canst though save thine own life."

Earnestly urging her to follow their counsel without delay, her sisters left Psyche tossed in mind like the waves of the sea. She doubted whether to obey them or her own heart. She at once loved her unseen husband and hates the monster they pictured him to be. But as night drew near, she made ready the lamp and the knife, with which she hoped to find courage to save herself from the threatened destruction.

As always, her husband came home with the darkness, and after embracing Psyche, lay down in bed. Curiosity now aiding dread, she made up her mind at least to see what shape he bore. When his breathing told that he was asleep, she rose to light he lamp; then holding it up in one hand and the sharp knife in the other, she stole softly to his side.

A cry had almost burst form her lips, as the lamp-gleam showed the sweetest and loveliest of monsters, Cupid himself in the bloom of youthful beauty, with ambrosial locks curling about his rosy cheeks, and snow-white shoulders on which his wings were softly folded like flowers. At such a sight the knife dropped from Psyche's trembling hand. Beside him lay his bow and quiver, whence she drew out one of the golden-tipped arrows, and in examining it pricked her finger, instantly inflaming her blood with new love for a husband no longer unseen.

Bending over this sleeping form, she would have hastily stooped to kiss him, when in her agitation she let a drop of hot oil fall from the lamp upon his shoulder. Roused by the smart, Cupid sprang up, and at a glance understood all.

"Ah, Psyche!" he exclaimed, "thou hast ruined our love. Why listen to they treacherous sisters rather than to my warning? Now we must part for ever!"

In tearful entreaties she sank before him, and sought to clasp his knees; but he spread his wings and flew into the air without a look of forgiveness. At the same moment, the enchanted palace vanished about her like a dream, then Psyche stood alone in the cold darkness, calling vainly for the love she had lost, with his last words ringing in her ears.

Chapter Three:
Penance and Pardon
Psyche's first thought, as she turned away from the scene of her lost happiness, was to die in despair. Coming to a river bank, she threw herself into its black water; but the pitiful stream washed her ashore on the further side, and she wandered on, hardly knowing where she went. She passed through the cities where lived her sisters; and these jealous women would have persuaded her that she had done well to follow their advice, since love was a cruel monster, for all the fair shapes he would take. Yet, on hearing truly how it had gone with her, the sisters in turn stole away to the top of that high mountain, each hoping that she herself might be chosen for the bridge of a god. Far otherwise it fared with them, when, one after the other, they were caught up by a strong wind and cashed to destruction over the misty cliffs.

Meanwhile Psyche went her way alone through the world, everywhere seeking in vain for her vanished love. He, fevered by the pain of his burnt shoulder, or rather by the same grief as gave Psyche no rest by night and day, had taken refuge in his mother's chamber, and lay sick of a wound he durst not own. But a telltale bird whispered in Aphrodite's ear how Cupid had deigned to love a mortal, and hot was her anger to learn this no other than the very maid boasted on earth as her rival.

In sore dudgeon the resentful goddess tended her son with rating and upbraiding. She threatened to take away his arrows, to unstring his bow, to quench his torch and to clip his wings, that he might no more fly about playing mischievous pranks on gods and men. And though she could not bring herself to punish him as he deserved, all the more eagerly she sought out Psyche for her vengeance. In vain her sister goddesses strove to appease her, making excuses for that wilful boy, reminding her that he must not be treated always as a child, asking who might choose a bridge if not the god of love, and why marriage should be hateful in her family of all others.

Their jests but stirred the mother of Cupid to direr wrath. By leave of Zeus, she sent down Hermes to proclaim through the world that whoever sheltered Psyche should be punished as an enemy to the gods, but seven kisses from Aphrodite herself were offered as reward to whoever gave her up. This proclamation reached poor Psyche's own ears, when, tired of the bootless search for her husband, she was ready to throw herself on his mother's mercy; and, going from one temple to another, some kinder goddess gave her counsel to seek forgiveness at the queen of Love's. Having none other refuge in her hapless plight, as a humble suppliant she approached the halls of Aphrodite, where she had no sooner told her name than one of the servants dragged her by the hair into her mistress's presence.

"At last!" the goddess greeted her with mocking laughter. "At last, thou comest to greet they mother-in-law! Or is it to visit that husband of thine, that lies sick through they hurting? I have had trouble enough to catch thee; but now thou shalt not go without learning what it is to rival Aphrodite."

Tearing her clothes for rage, she gave over Psyche to be scourged by sore tormentors who stood ready to obey her will. The next morning she was called to where Aphrodite had mixed up together a heap of wheat, barley, millet, peas, beans, and other seeds. 

"Behold!, sift me all these seeds, laying each kind apart; and let me see it done by evening."

But a little ant took pity on Psyche's despair, and called out a troop of his kind to help Cupid's bride. 

At nightfall Aphrodite came back from the feast, wreathed with roses, scented odours, and flushed with wine. Darkly she frowned to see how the task had been accomplished.

"This is no work of thine!" she cried and thrust Psyche a crust of bread. Aphrodite had taken care to have her son locked up in an inner chamber, lest he and his bride should come to know how near they were to each other.

Next morning Psyche was roused betimes by her tyrant, who led her in sight of a rocky hill, and showed her a thicket at the top, about which fed a flock of wild sheep with fleeces shining like gold.

"They are untamed as lions," Aphrodite told her, "But I must needs have a handful of their golden fleece. Fetch it for me before the sun sets."

Psyche thought of throwing herself from the rocks rather than venture to handle such beasts. Then she looked down upon a deep pool which seemed fit for a grave, the Nymph of that fountain spoke form its depths.

"Psyche, defile not with they death my sacred water! I know what troubles thee, and can give helpful counsel. Now, in the heat of the sun, the wild creatures play and fight, and it would be dangerous to come near their sharp horns, yea, their venomous teeth. But when they are tired, they will lie down to sleep in the shade; then thou mayst safely steal up to where they have left their fleecy gold, torn by thorns or handing to the branches."

She took this good advice, and when the sheep lay down to rest, she was able to gather off the thorns a whole lapful of their golden wool, which she brought back long before evening. But obedience still gained her no favour.

"I will try thy courage and strength where there will be none to help" said Aphrodite. "Behold that cloudy mountain, from whose crest flows a black stream that waters the Stygian marsh and falls into the fiery river of Cocytus. Haste to fill this crystal urn from its icy source, then bring it back to me before sunset."

Psyche took the urn, and patiently set out on her errand, from which soon she never thought to come back alive. For as she toiled upwards, she saw how the way was guarded by fearsome dragons that from afar glared at her with burning eyes and hissed out of their swelling throats. And the cold stream was its own guard, falling over the slippery cliffs in cataracts that, as they dashed into a dark abyss, warned her back with angry voices.

"What doest thou here? Away, or be swept from our path!"

Long before she got near the top, Psyche sank down like a stone, too much dismayed even for tears. But a friend was at hand. Overhead hovered the eagle of Zeus, that, mindful how Cupid had guided its course when sent to fly away with Ganymede from Mount Ida, was now willing to serve his hapless bride.

"Weak and unknowing one," screamed the royal bird, as it swooped down upon the mountain side, "Canst thou hope to steal a drop from that sacred spring, or even to approach it? The very gods, yea Zeus himself, hold its black water in dread. But give the task to me."

She let the urn be snatched away in the eagle's claws, and swiftly it soared over the heads of the spitting dragons, and above the boiling cataracts into clouds that darkly wrapped the summit; then soon it came back with the urn filled from Stygian springs. Psyche thankfully took it, to carry it carefully down without spilling a drop. Yet not a whit was her mistress appeased.

"Ar thou, then, a witch, or wicked enchantress, so lightly to finish such perilous tasks?" said Aphrodite mockingly. "But thou shalt be tried still further, my darling, and learn what it is to have the goddess of love for foe!"

But those trials had an end when Cupid got to hear of his mother's cruelty, that made him love Psyche all the more. Escaping secretly from his sick-chamber, he flew up to Olympus, and besought Zeus to favour his wedding with a daughter of men

"Art thou one to ask indulgence at my hands!" quoth that father of the gods, stroking the lad's smooth face. "On which of us, pray, hast though not played those tricks of thine? I myself have been turned into a bull, a swan, or what not, through they forlicsome roguery. But we cherish thee kindly as the spoilt child of Olympus, for all they faults; and if I grant they prayer, be mindful of the grace thou hast ill deserved."

Forthwith Zeus sent out Hermes to summon a meeting of the gods, to which Aphrodite must come among the rest on pain of high displeasure; and Psyche, too, was brought in with downcast eyes that lit up at the sight of her lost over among the radiant band. When all were assembled, the father of heaven thus addressed them --- 

"Gods and goddesses, ye all know this tricksy boy, who has grown up among us, and whose wild pranks I have often had to chastise. Now he is of an age to settle down, with his wanton restlessness fettered in chains of marriage. He has chosen a bride among the daughters of men, to whom he has plighted his troth for weal or woe. What is done, is done; and so be it! Thou, mother  of love," he turned to Aphrodite, "Do not grudge this alliance with a mortal. To make her the equal of her spouse, I raise her among the gods: henceforth let none despise a child of heaven; and thou, Psyche, take from me the gift of immortality in reward of they faithful love."

With this he held a goblet of nectar to her trembling lips. Psyche drank the wine of the gods; but the charm of deathlessness that ran through her veins was not such a strong cordial as to find Cupid's arms once more thrown round her, in full light of day. All the gods hailed their union; for even Aphrodite ceased to frown when she saw her son's pouting face now bright with smiles, nor could she scorn a daughter-in-law welcomed to Olympus. 

After all their troubles, Cupid and Psyche were made happy; and their first child was a daughter named Joy. Nor was this last of the immortals the least among them in the eyes of generations to come, and in the honour of poets for her that had no priest. 

Further information about fallen angels:

No comments:

Post a Comment