Mythology Part 2: Stories of Love..., Chapter 1: Cupid and Psyche
There was a king who had three daughters, the most beautiful of whom was Psyche. She was so beautiful that men worshipped her instead of Venus. Venus was enraged by this and sent her son Cupid to make the girl fall in love with a horrible beast. Apollo told her father that his daughter was doomed in a prophecy. He commanded the girl to be left at the edge of a cliff. Psyche waited there for her doom, but a soft wind lifted her and took her to an enormous beautiful house. Spirits spoke within it and told her that they were her servants. At night, her husband came to her and made love. This happened for awhile. One night, he warned her that her sisters were coming to visit her:
"'They are coming to the hill where you disappeared to weep for you,...but you must not let them see you or you will bring great sorrow upon me and ruin to yourself.'" Part 2, Chapter 1, pg. 124
She promised to do as he asked but eventually begs him to allow her to see her sisters. He relents and the next day they are carried to the house by the same wind. They saw her wealth and were immediately jealous. Psyche asked Cupid the next night if she might see her sisters again and he gives in to her but warns her that they are planning evil. When they came, they reveal the oracle of Apollo and convince her that her husband might be a hideous beast. That night, after having hidden a lamp and a razor to kill him if necessary, Psyche looked on the form of her husband and the oil from the lamp burned him. He fled and she wandered around looking for him for many days. Venus allowed none of the gods to hear her prayers. She eventually came to Venus herself and asked for Cupid. Venus gave her the impossible task of sorting an enormous pile of different grains by dawn. Psyche was heart broken and could not start her task, but a group of ants performed the task for her. Her next task was to gather the golden wool from fierce sheep; she accomplished this by pulling the wool from briars. Next, Venus made her get a vile of water from the river Styx. When she was about to kill herself, an eagle performed this task for her. Finally, Venus charged her with going to the underworld and getting a box of beauty from Persephone but not to look in the box. When she came back from the underworld, she opened the box and fell into a deep sleep. Cupid woke her and asked Jupiter to call an assembly of the gods. Zeus made Psyche into a deity and Cupid married her. Psyche's name means soul and Cupid means love; this tale represents the union of love and soul beyond the wishes of Venus, who represents lust.