The story of Psykhe is complex, hence the borrowing of the name for our scientific words which describe the perplexities of the human mind. Her tale is one of jealousy, mystery, deceit, shame, humility, kindness, justice, love—a long adventure which mirrors the woes and trials that women have faced over history.
Summarizing a lengthy story, Psykhe is hidden away, and entered into a fake marriage with a man whose body she cannot look upon (the god Eros, aka Cupid) due to her beauty stirring ire in the goddess Venus. From here she is further mistreated by others, as her sisters conspire against her, which ultimately leads to her being made a servant to Venus, who abuses the poor girl.
What appeals to me most in Psykhe’s tale, are the tasks that Venus sets upon her, and how Psykhe prevails each time. This tenaciousness, however, is not always through Psykhe’s resolve to prove herself, as she often is depressed and suicidal. Her survival is due to the kindness of strangers, who continually encourage and aid her despite Venus’s daunting challenges. As time goes on, through loss and gain, Psykhe grows.
In many ways, I see myself in the stories of Psykhe—struggling with depression, brought on from abuse by others, but pulling through suicidal thoughts because of the genuine goodness of acquaintances, friends, and many times, complete strangers. Her evolving storyline as a human (adolescent to adult, wife to mother) is probably the most real of the myth.
While, the end, is a classic “happily ever after”, with Psykhe being made a goddess so that she may officially wed her lover, Eros, it is everything in between her encounters with Eros that is most inspiring. Before Psykhe can have true happiness and love, essentially, she must learn to be herself.
Images published in Gilded Magazine's 21.2 Issue. Copies available at:
Copyright © 2016 - Jeannie Nadja