Skip to main content

Psyche and Eros - Her Beauty Brings Misfortune

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


Psyche by William Bouguereau, 1892

Psyche by William Bouguereau, 1892

A Story to Remember

The story of Psyche and Eros is one of the most endearing legends of Greek Mythology. The curse of Aphrodite sends both her son, Eros, and the beautiful Psyche into a long journey of testing faith and trust and how it affects their love.

Faith and trust is the most important thing to have in a marriage. When trust is broken, the marriage will begin to crumble -- faith in self and spouse can restore the union and rebuild trust.

Beautiful and Charming

In Greek mythology, when the Olympian gods ruled the world, there was a mortal king and queen who had three daughters. Psyche was the youngest daughter, the most beautiful. Her beauty brings misfortune to her, from her sisters and most of all from Aphrodite, the goddess of love. Her sisters, Megalometis and Baskania, were very jealous of Psyche, for she was exceedingly beautiful and charming.

All the beauty and loveliness, grace and sweetness, that could be given to a maiden had been bestowed upon Psyche. The qualities Psyche had been given far surpassed the gifts of any other mortal woman.

It seems the only fault within her was to not trust her own heart or have faith in herself. Her sisters were so jealous that they had no love for Psyche and cared not what happened to her -- yet, if given the chance, they would cause hurt and sorrow for their young sister. To see her joyless and destitute would give them great satisfaction.

This is a common situation that often shows up in mythology and fairy tales. The one who is good and pure of heart gives always to others and rarely to the self. The ones who are not happy with their own self put most of their energies into hurting others rather than focusing on healing and finding good within themselves.

Demure and Modest

Psyche was not a vain or self-centered maiden. She did not flaunt her beauty, nor did she flirt with men. She was a very demure and modest girl. She preferred the quiet and pleasant festivals for Artemis, the goddess of virgins, to the flamboyant and spectacular gaiety of the festivals for Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty.

However, Psyche was obedient and honored the wishes of her parents in regards to the traditions and festivals of Aphrodite and that she take her place in the processions as she was expected to do.

There came the time when Psyche and her sisters were to be part of a public appearance as priestesses of Aphrodite. As princesses, this was their duty and an honor to the family. At first, Psyche refused to attend, but upon reproach from her parents, she agreed to not neglect her duty to serve the goddess of love and beauty in the temple of Aphrodite.

The People Adore Psyche

When it was Psyche's turn to approach the altar and give her offerings, the people were stunned by her beauty -- they thought the goddess herself had graced them with her appearance.

They were overwhelmed by the grace and loveliness of Psyche and turned from the altar to gaze upon her as she walked back to her place. They showered her with love and flowers and began to worship Psyche, for there among them was the true goddess.

Psyche Honoured by the People

The people adore Psyche

The people adore Psyche

Aphrodite's Fury

From her home high on Mount Olympus, Aphrodite saw what was happening and became enraged with jealousy and indignation.

She went in search of her son, Eros, and found him in her garden. After telling Eros about Psyche, she said he must avenge his mother and banish Psyche -- curse her with severe punishment for daring to be a rival of his divine mother. He was to make her fall in love with the most hideous, ugliest monster that ever walked the earth.

This delighted Eros, for he did have a mischievous way about him at times.

From two fountains in the garden of Aphrodite, flowed magical water. One was bitter, the other sweet water. Eros filled two vases, one from each fountain and hung them over his shoulder near his quiver of arrows. Straight away he flew to the home and chamber of Psyche, where she lay asleep.

Eros Finds the Sleeping Psyche

Cupid and Psyche (1867) by Alphonse Legros.

Cupid and Psyche (1867) by Alphonse Legros.

Eros Falls in Love

Eros barely glanced at her as he sprinkled the bitter water upon her lips then pricked her breast with his sharpest arrow. Psyche softly moaned and opened her eyes.

Scroll to Continue

In her dream state she saw beauty as she looked up at Eros. He trembled as he gazed into her eyes that were more blue than the spring violets in his mother's garden. He knew he was invisible, yet still he trembled as her eyelids slowly closed again, the long lashes softly touching her face.

He was amazed and admitted to himself that she was even more lovely than what he was told, even more beautiful than his mother. His heart beat rapidly, like never before, as he gazed upon her beauty. She was perfection in her loveliness. Sorrow touched his heart for having wounded her with the curse.

Gently he reached down to wipe away the drop of blood where he had wounded her, then quietly bent and kissed her lips ever so softly. Psyche smiled in her sleep and Eros quickly moved back from her.

As he did so, he pricked himself on one of his arrows. Suddenly, all the mischievous glee and carelessness he knew as a boy left him and for the first time knew what love was. His heart swelled with the new and growing emotions he had never before known. He loved Psyche with every part of his being. He was a god, immortal, yet he loved a mortal maiden.

Filled with sorrow, regret, and shame for what he had done, Eros knew he had to find a way to save his beloved. No longer was he a boy, he was now a man who gazed upon his wife whom he loved beyond all things on earth or the realm of gods and goddesses.

One of the Best Love Songs Ever

Note From Author

I have published this story before on HubPages, but it was so long and took too long to read in one sitting. I have broken it down into parts - this article is part one. I will be publishing more parts to continue the story of Psyche and Eros - if you enjoyed this first part, you will like the next one: Psyche and Eros - Eros is in Love.

Phyllis Doyle Burns - Lantern Carrier, Spiritual Mentor

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:

Now, I understand the story about Psyche and Eros and why the latter fell in love. I will still follow the part 2.

Phyllis Doyle Burns (author) from High desert of Nevada. on October 18, 2014:

Hi Writer Fox. So glad you liked reading my hub. I appreciate the votes and your visit, thanks. I just finished the fifth and final part to Psyche and Eros, but I will check out the pics on you Cupid Hub. Thanks again.

Writer Fox from the wadi near the little river on October 18, 2014:

This classic tale has captured the imagination for thousands of years. I loved reading your analysis. Voted up, interesting and beautiful. If you write on this subject again, I have some great pictures you can use on my Cupid Hub.

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

My gosh! Thank you, Alicia. Psyche and Eros is my favorite mythological story. That must be obvious, huh?

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on October 15, 2014:

This is another interesting hub about mythology. Thanks for creating the series about Psyche and Eros.

Phyllis Doyle Burns (author) from High desert of Nevada. on October 11, 2014:

Ah - Manatita, you are so kind and giving, I appreciate you. Thank you so much.

manatita44 from london on October 11, 2014:

Yes, Phyllis,

An immortal love song and yes, I told you that your own prose is better. This is the proof. An awesome and beautiful story .... so far.

Phyllis Doyle Burns (author) from High desert of Nevada. on October 11, 2014:

Hi Genna. My gosh, I am thrilled that others like mythology also. It really is one of my greatest passions to read, research and write about mythology. Thank you so much, Genna, for your lovely comment.

Genna East from Massachusetts, USA on October 11, 2014:

Hi Phyllis. I love your articles on mythology, and I look forward to the continuing series on Psyche and Eros. Your passion has become ours. Blessings to you as well. :-)

Phyllis Doyle Burns (author) from High desert of Nevada. on October 11, 2014:

Thank you, Eddy. I love getting comments from you. Hope your weekend is wonderful. Thanks again.

Phyllis Doyle Burns (author) from High desert of Nevada. on October 11, 2014:

Thanks, Arachnea. Ads are disabled when nudity is in a hub. It is a shame really, for the beauty of art by Old Masters should be seen as it was intended to. I appreciate your visit and comment.

Tanya Jones from Texas USA on October 11, 2014:

I love your treatment of the image. Clothing the subject is a great way to get around the topic of nudity.

Eiddwen from Wales on October 11, 2014:

Like Nell I didn't know this story either and am so looking forward to the next part. So well told and loved it.

Have a great weekend Phyllis.


Phyllis Doyle Burns (author) from High desert of Nevada. on October 11, 2014:

Thank you, Jodah, for such a nice comment. The original was the whole story and over 6000 words. I unpublished it some time ago to break it down. So I will have more of the story to come. Thank you dear friend for your support.

Phyllis Doyle Burns (author) from High desert of Nevada. on October 11, 2014:

Hi Frank. Hope all is well with you. Thank you for always being here for me. Your support means a lot to me. Back in my school years I always got Psyche and Pandora mixed up. Glad you like my hubs, thanks.

John Hansen from Australia (Gondwana Land) on October 11, 2014:

Ah Phyllis I was certain I had read this story before from you, but then thought I must have been mistaken and it may have been written by someone else. This is a wonderful story of Eros and Psyche and I'm glad you reworked it so I could have the pleasure of reading it once more.

Frank Atanacio from Shelton on October 11, 2014:

I really enjoy reading your hubs Phyllis... they entertain and they bring back academic memories.. bless you

Phyllis Doyle Burns (author) from High desert of Nevada. on October 11, 2014:

Thank you very much, Devika, for that kind comment. I am happy you enjoyed reading about Psyche and Eros.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on October 11, 2014:

Great hub! A very interesting and well approached on this topic. I like the photos and I really enjoyed reading.

Phyllis Doyle Burns (author) from High desert of Nevada. on October 11, 2014:

Oh! that is great, Suzette, I am so happy you enjoyed it. Psyche and Eros is one of my favorite mythological stories. Like all mythology, there is a deeper meaning in the stories and I love to ponder and figure it out. I am working on the second one now and will get it out early tomorrow. Thank you so much for reading and commenting.

Suzette Walker from Taos, NM on October 11, 2014:

Wonderfully done. I did not know the story of Psyche so I enjoyed this immensely. I am looking forward to the next installments.

Phyllis Doyle Burns (author) from High desert of Nevada. on October 10, 2014:

Sorry, Nell. LOL I will publish the next part very soon. The original one I published was over 6000 words, so I will break it down into manageable reading parts. So glad you like it so far. Thanks, Nell.

Nell Rose from England on October 10, 2014:

Hi Phyllis, I was just getting into the story and you stopped! lol! I don't know this story, even though I love Greek myths, so I look forward to reading the rest of Eros and Psyche's story! nell

Related Articles