Mythology Monday: The Trials of Psyche Part 3- The Underworld

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Maleficent: Oh come now Prince Phillip. Why so melancholy? A wondrous future lies before you – you, the destined hero of a charming fairy tale come true. Behold – King Stefan’s castle. And in yonder topmost tower, dreaming of her true love, the Princess Aurora. But see the gracious whim of fate – why, ’tis the self-same peasant maid, who won the heart of our noble prince but yesterday. She is indeed, most wondrous fair. Gold of sunshine in her hair, lips that shame the red red rose. In ageless sleep, she finds repose. The years roll by, but a hundred years to a steadfast heart, are but a day. And now, the gates of a dungeon part, and our prince is free to go his way. Off he rides, on his noble steed, a valiant figure, straight and tall! To wake his love, with love’s first kiss. And prove that “true love” conquers all!
[she laughs]

For Psyche’s final trial, Venus sent Psyche to the Underworld to obtain “the secret of Persephone’s beauty,” a box called a pyxis. Generally the myths say Psyche was sent to retrieve a beauty cream of some sort, but that gets pretty vague. Psyche planed to get to the Underworld by throwing herself off a tower (this girl had more suicidal tendencies than Bella Swann) but the tower talked her down. Personally, I would have fallen in surprise when the tower talked, but for a girl that’s constantly “in despair,” she’s made of some pretty tough stuff.

The tower told Psyche how to get to an entrance of the Underworld and told her to carry two coins in her mouth (for Charon), two barley cakes in her pockets (for Cerberus), and to ignore any souls begging for help by not speaking a word herself until she reaches the queen. She followed the instructions to a ‘T’ and found the queen of the Underworld more than sympathetic to her cause. Persephone filled the box with her “beauty cream” and sent Psyche safely on her way.

But Psyche wanted to be pretty, too. So after she left the Underworld, she opened the box which Persephone has actually filled dark Stygian Sleep. Once freed, it put Psyche into a death like coma.

Meanwhile, Cupid finally healed and escaped his mother’s house by flying out the window. When he found his bride, he awakened her with true loves kiss, by drawing the Stygian Sleep from her body like venom and spitting it back in the Pyxis. As soon as Psyche woke up, Psyche and Cupid went to Venus (in front of an audience this time) to prove she’s completed the trials and to ask Zeus to bless their marriage.

Zeus was more than happy to bless their marriage (though why you’d want the blessing of a serial cheater is beyond me) provided Cupid promised to help him catch any girls that catch Zeus’ attention in the future (sorry, did I say serial cheater? I meant serial rapist.) Cupid doesn’t have a problem being Zeus’ accomplish, so Zeus gave Psyche  ambrosia so she could be immortal and wed her husband as an equal. The married before Zeus could change his mind, gave birth to the goddess Hedone (pleasure), and lived happily ever after.

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One thought on “Mythology Monday: The Trials of Psyche Part 3- The Underworld

  1. Pingback: Psyche Master Post | Kaitlin Bevis

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