Everyone Forgets Cupid or, How a Candle Moved the Gods
January 16, 2014
Valentine's Day is right around the corner, love it or hate it, take it or leave it.
Chocolates, candy, flowers, cards, candles, and all other kinds of instruments of love are soon going to be bought up, given away, and love will be in the air. Some people do without Valentine’s Day, some people make grand gestures out of it, but for us at Aunt Sadie’s we’ve got a particular appreciation of it because candles are, well, romantic, and for a lot of people a big part of their holiday. And even if we didn’t sell candles, at the end of the day, we’d still appreciate the heck out of a holiday that celebrates love.
And why is Valentine’s Day THE holiday of love?
Legend of the saintly fellow says he pretty much broke Roman law by marrying people in the old fashioned Christian way, but the history is murky, as history tends to be. What “they” can say for certain is the Romans were kind of set in their ways, and St. Valentine became a martyr for what he believed in.
And speaking of the Romans, we at Aunt Sadie’s want to talk to you about one of the world’s best love stories, one a lot of people aren’t familiar with, or forget once they learn it in grade school. St. Valentine may have been martyred by the Romans, but our story comes from the Greeks, who can pretty much take credit for most things Roman. It’s the story of how a candle, yes a candle, moved the gods and gave one named Cupid eternal renown for being one of the world’s most famous icons of love. And other than being portrayed as a cute little cherub, Cupid doesn’t really get his share of the limelight, and that’s a little unfair.
The legend of St. Valentine’s Day, and St. Valentine, certainly deserve attention. After hearing what Cupid and Psyche went through, we want to know if you think it holds a candle to it.
Here’s our short version: Apparently once upon a time there was a woman named Psyche (meaning soul or gift of life, depending on who you ask) who was so beautiful men stopped worshiping Aphrodite, the goddess of love, and started flocking to her. Well, because the Greek gods and goddesses were known for their cool heads and use of reason, Aphrodite gets a little jealous and decides Psyche needs to be, well, removed from the picture.
Aphrodite crafts this grand scheme to send her son, Cupid, to Psyche, so he can shoot her with one of his handy-dandy arrows, and cause her to fall in love with a hideous monster. You know, because as the goddess of love, that was the reasonable thing to do.
Cupid, either a good son or a smart one, decides to take his mom up on her errand. He seeks Psyche out, but once he sees her, the love train hits him smack in the forehead. There was no way he could do as his mom asked, and BAM! they were in love.
But, there was a hitch, as there usually is: Cupid would give Psyche everything she ever desired, but when they lay together she could not see what he looked like, so they pretty much had to live together in the cover of darkness. Thing was, these two were so in love it didn't matter.
Psyche's sisters come over, see Psyche was on cloud nine, and as sisters do, pry the story out of her. Jealous because they weren't on the love train, they convince Psyche she has to find out what this guy looks like, because he could be a hideous monster. Psyche crumbles beneath the weight of her sisters' manipulation, poor girl.
And this is where the candle comes into play.
Psyche decides she needs to see what this guy looks like, because, well, could she live with a hideous monster, once she could see his face?
She lights a candle, finds Cupid where he’s sleeping, and sheds some light on the issue.
And yes, we reserve full right to use every candle pun we can, cause darn it, we’re a candle company.
Anyways, once Psyche shines light on her lover’s face, she sees he’s not a monster, but in fact a magnificent god. She’s so overcome by his beauty, she let’s a drop of wax fall from the candle and onto Cupid’s shoulder. He wakes up, the jig is up, and he’s out the door because from what he can see, Psyche’s been unfaithful to him, and neighbors tell of overhearing him yelling when he left the house: “Love can’t live where there’s no trust”...or something godly and epic like that.
Psyche, heartbroken, goes and begs to his mom, the one who caused the whole fiasco, and Aphrodite doesn’t really have any sympathy for her, but decides to give her a snowball’s chance. She gives Psyche this enormous list of awful tasks to complete, knowing she’d never complete them and probably die trying.
Meanwhile, Cupid just couldn’t live without his lovely Psyche, and being sneaky, helps Psyche finish her quests. And they weren’t easy: we’re talking hydras, cyclops, desserts, WalMart on any given Black Friday.
Now that’s love.
Aphrodite, finally figuring out these kids mean business, decides to turn Psyche immortal so she and Cupid can live happily ever after.
We’ve got a feeling St. Valentine at some point heard these legends while he was in ancient Rome, and it was probably easy for him to be a hero for love, growing up on stories like these.
You can certainly tell why we’re keen on this story!
Aunt Sadie’s has a collection of Valentine’s Day candles, and along with all our others, we only hope you can feel the love that goes into every single one we make. And this love for what we do grew out of the chance we took, deciding it would be wise and great thing to start a candle company.
Psyche, overwhelmed by familial pressure, takes a chance, spills a little candle wax, and unknowingly turns her relationship on its head. How often have we all taken risks in the name of love, to only have it backfire in our face?
But more importantly, how often have we all taken risks in the name of love, only to scratch that itch between our shoulders and feel Cupid’s arrow back there?
What a sneaky guy he can be sometimes.