Wednesday, February 9, 2011

cupid (eros)

In Roman mythology, Cupid (Latin cupido, meaning desire) is the god of desire, affection and erotic love.  He is the son of Venus (goddess of love) and Mars.  In the Greek version he was named Eros, the Greek god of love and sexual desire.  He was also worshiped as a fertility god. Eros is the offspring of Aphrodite and Ares.  Sometimes Eros was worshiped by the name Erotes; this personified all the attractions that evoked love and desire.  Cupid (Eros)  is often depicted as a young winged boy, with his bow and arrows at the ready, to either shoot into the hearts of gods or mortals which would rouse them to desire.  His arrows came in two types: golden with dove feathers which aroused love, or leaden arrows which had owl feathers that caused indifference.  Eros is noted to be bittersweet and cruel to his victims, yet he was also charming and beautiful. Being unscrupulous, and a danger to those around him, Eros would make as much mischief as he possibly could by wounding the hearts of all. 
Cupid is frequently shown shooting his bow to inspire romantic love, often as an icon of Valentine's Day and the personification of love and courtship. He is frequently invoked as fickle and playful.
eros and psyche

The following story is identical in both cultures.  When Cupid's mother Venus became jealous of the princess Psyche, who was so beloved by her subjects that they forgot to worship Venus, she ordered Cupid to make Psyche fall in love with the vilest thing in the world.  While Cupid was sneaking into her room to shoot Psyche with a golden arrow, he accidentally scratches himself with his own arrow and falls deeply in love with her.  Cupid visited Psyche every night while she slept.  Speaking to her so that she could not see him, he told her never to try to see him.  Psyche, though, incited by her two older sisters who told her Cupid was a monster, tried to look at him and angered Cupid. When he left, she looked all over the known world for him until at last the leader of the gods, Jupiter, (or Zeus in Greek mythology,) gave Psyche the gift of immortality so that she could be with him.  Together they had a daughter, Voluptas, or Hedone (meaning pleasure) and Psyche became a goddess.  Her name Psyche means soul.
Sam Cooke

Cupid, draw back your bow and let your arrow go
Straight to my lover's heart for me, for me
Cupid, please hear my cry and let your arrow fly
Straight to my lover's heart for me

Now, I don't mean to bother you but I'm in distress
There's danger of me losin' all of my happiness
For I love a girl who doesn't know I exist
And this you can fix

Now, Cupid if your arrow make a love storm for me
I promise I will love her until eternity
I know between the two of us her heart we can steal
Help me if you will

Now, Cupid, don't you hear me
Callin' you, I need you
Cupid, help me xo