Curious about Cupid
(originally posted as a newsletter Feb 2022)
Let's get a little curious this Valentine's...
Did you know that Cupid was originally depicted as the "studly immortal who was both irresistible to both man and gods"? He was Eros, Roman God of Love and son of Venus and Mars. And before that, Greek versions say Cupid was the only son of Aphrodite. It is said he had golden arrows to "arouse desire and leaden arrows to ignite aversion".
Some stories describe him as a bit on the manipulative side harnessing his power to create love where it didn't exist. Other stories say that he was being manipulated by his mother, Aphrodite (Greek version story). If we follow the line with Aphrodite, this created a scenario of an immortal ruled by his mother, following her wishes to make people fall in love, making him not much more than a man-child.
Romans retold Greek mythology with a narrative of a child figure, which evolved into variations of a toddler to a young boy over the centuries. Eventually there is a baby version of cupid we have all seemed to have settled on. But to be clear cherubs are more connected to Jewish, Christian, and Islamic literature and serve in the hierarchies of angels. And angels are not part of Greek nor Roman mythology.
It wasn't until the 19th century that the idea of chubby, winged baby cherub figures, aka Cupid with his arrow and bow, plus greeting cards began to merge into what we use today as Valentine's symbol of love. Hallmark began producing Valentine's cards in 1916.
Inspiration can start with a story and evolve into an idea that can change drastically over time. I'm sure there are those who are certainly drawn to particular parts of the story of Cupid/Eros, depending on what you need. Single adults just might like the idea of a hot-bod God igniting desire. And I'm sure parents and teachers would prefer the less sexualized cute baby version to express the idea of love being helped along by a well-meaning love goober.
Now, if you are looking for something related to love, but not to Cupid, you can always check out my Love; 10 Minutes a Day to Color Your Way small travel book. Taking time to relax, unwind, and reset is a form of self-love for those who need a break from Cupid or for those who need a sweet gift for the love in their life.
Click here to read more about Love (the book).