Eros and Psykhe – Goddess Meditations, Worshipping Females & Depth Psychology
The Myth of Psyche and Eros
PSYKHE (Psyche) was the goddess of the soul and the wife of Eros (Roman Cupid) god of love.
The mythology of Eros and Psyche goes as follows:
Psyke (Psyche) was once a mortal princess whose captivating beauty was so astounding that men who worshipped the immortal goddess Aphrodite began treating the princess Psyche as a goddess. Consumed with envy, Aphrodite (Roman Venus) commanded Eros (Aphrodite’s son/ Cupid) to sneak into her room at night and cast a spell that would make her fall in love with the most hideous of monsters. However, the night that Eros snuck into Psyches room, he couldn’t help but become allured with the maidens delicate beauty. Star-struck, Eros accidentally shot himself with one of his arrows, falling madly in love with the princess. Eros carried Psyche to a hidden palace where they could be together, under one condition: Psyche was never to bear witness to his face. Her jealous sisters, who were already married, tricked Psyche into spying on the face of Eros. In a fit of betrayal, Eros was so offended and the angry god forsook her. Psykhe searched the universe for her lost love and eventually begged Aphrodite to reunite the lovers. Envious and bitter Aphrodite commanded her to deliver a series of impossible tasks which included venturing to the underworld and finding the beauty of Persephone. In a box, Persephone placed her beauty and vowed that Psyche could not open it. With the new excitement of being united with Eros, Psyche opened the box and was immediately attacked with spirits of death. Feeling his lovers demise, Eros ventured to Psyche where he saved her from death. Afterward, Psyche and Eros reunited where they were officially wed as a couple and Psyche was turned into an immortal goddess.
Psykhe was depicted in ancient mosaic art as a butterfly-winged woman in the company of her husband Eros. Sometimes a pair of Pyskhai (Psychae) were depicted–the second perhaps representing their daughter Hedone (Pleasure).
(John William Waterhouse, c.1903 )
The Goddess movement is a practice that includes earth-based spiritual religions (chiefly neopagan) which emerged predominantly in North America, Western Europe, Austrailia, and New Zealand during the ’70s. The movement was a response to traditional patriarchial religious institutions that were centered around the worship of male-dominated deities. the Goddess religion makes use of cultivating and focusing on paying homage to feminine and divine qualities in the female. For the use of psychology, the goddess religion acts as a mindfulness-based practice that allows females to tap into archetypal stories and myths that encompass feminine power.
The other day, I had a Reiki session with a dear friend of mine.
During the Reiki session, I unconsciously visualized a beautiful, blonde, greek maiden who was said to be more beautiful than Aphrodite herself. And she told me about the importance of cultivating beauty and love in myself. She helped me connect to my higher-self and helped me remember the compassion I needed to give others who were struggling.
She also reminded me of the magic I had for myself. The nymph-like qualities I needed to develop and remember to develop in my heart.
What do these visualizations signify about our unconscious desires and motivations?
It is hard for me not to attach meaning to dreams and metaphors that appear within the unconscious. As someone who studies Jungian analysis, the spirit world is apart of how we derive root-meaning and make distinct identifications about events in our lives.
However, I take my unconscious visualizations as stories my consciousness needed to process to remind me of my true desires.
Beauty is an unconscious quality we all wish to possess. However, the appearance of Psyche in my dream was a representation of my need to cultivate a sense of beauty for myself. She represented the potential I could possess if I learned to love myself. The story-line of Eros and Psyche was an unconscious manifestation of my desire to be in love. It was a love story that represented the truth behind attracting and finding true love. It was a reminder that true love is a not a silly, girly quip. It was a narrative illustration to the fact that I am beautiful and worthy of true love.
Why Goddess Meditations Help Our Self-Esteem
The point of Goddess meditations is to help females cultivate and be aware of the divine qualities we possess in ourselves.
Are we beautiful, flowing and giving of love like the goddess Aphrodite?
Are we jealous and manipulative like the goddess Hera?
How can we feel more powerful like the ancient female archetypes?
When it comes to developing a coherent identity for females, Goddess meditations are an important tool we can use to help us stay within our goddess energy. So many times, women are lead down a road of neediness and co-dependency to the men we love. We, unknowingly, worship men. However, Goddess meditations are a very important look into the illustrative past where men worshipped and adored females.
I think it is about time we start letting men worship us.