Jul 21, 2011


As I mentioned before, the Greek word for 'butterfly' is 'psyche', which is also 'soul' or 'mind.' Therefore, butterflies are a symbol for the soul, and it is interesting to look at how butterflies appear in art, or even in the common world. For instance, I have just arrived in London, and the main exhibit at the Natural History Museum is about butterflies. Definitely a must-see while I'm here. The butterfly, incidentally, is one of the more common interpretations of some of the blots in the Rorschach test.

The legend of Psyche and Cupid is also worth a look. The story goes that Venus was awfully jealous of Psyche's beauty, so she sent her son Eros (Cupid) to make her fall in love with a hideous creature. He enters into her room, invisible, but Psyche startles him by waking up and looking him straight in the eyes, which causes him to accidentally prick himself with one of his arrows, making him fall in love with her.

Venus, angry at this, places a curse on Psyche, so that she is unable to find a husband. Cupid naturally hates this so he refuses to shoot at anything, meaning that no man or animal marries or mates. The world begins to become old, so after three months Venus allows Psyche to marry again, and all returns to normal. Psyche, however, still can't find a husband, so her parents see an oracle, who tells them to take her to the top of a mountain (Tower) and leave her there, for her beauty is too great for any mortal man. They do so, and then Zephyr, the West Wind, carries her to a valley, where she is attended to, and makes love to an invisible Cupid regularly.

Cupid tells her she can't see who he is yet, but Psyche's sisters convince her to try to find out, which she does. While she is doing so, however, she also accidentally pricks herself with one of Cupid's arrows, and falls madly in love with him. Psyche goes to Venus' temple after Cupid flies away, and asks her for help. Since she is still jealous, however, she orders Psyche to do a series of impossible tasks, but animals take pity of her for her beauty and help her. Interestingly, in one of the tasks she has to reach a location protected by snakes, and manages to do so thanks to an eagle.

Eventually, Venus tells Psyche that caring for her son, who has been depressed due to Psyche's actions, has worn some of her beauty out, so she orders her to steal some beauty from Persephone. Deciding that the quickest way to the Underworld was by dying, she climbs to a Tower to throw herself away. However, the tower itself speaks to her, showing her the way to the Underworld and what to do and what to avoid. She then successfully gets the beauty into the box given to her by Aphrodite. However, she peers into the box before returning it, and falls into a deep sleep as a result. Eros wakes her, and eventually Zeus solves the whole matter, turning Psyche into a goddess.

A painting by Raphael. Psyche is often depicted with buttefly wings.

Oh, and Psyche and Cupid have a daughter called Voluptas, which in Latin means 'pleasure' or 'bliss.' That is to say, the union of body and soul results in bliss. If we consider the Greek myths as symbolic (much like many consider the Old Testament to be symbolic) we see that they are not flights of fancy, but true Keys to understanding.

Since I mentioned the Underworld, I thought I would also explore some connections in that direction. The river Styx is the boundary between the Underworld and Earth (or Middle-Earth). It circles Hades nine times (in addition, the gods who break a promise sworn to by the river lose their voice for nine years). In the Divine Comedy, Virgil takes Dante through the nine circles of hell. Perhaps it might be meaningful to see Hades not as a physical hell, but simply the opposite of solar consciousness. In this perspective, Olympus would be more or less the equivalent to the Sun, the ego, while Hades is the unconscious, dark and murky. Remember Psyche has to wander into the Underworld before she can enter Olympus as a goddess.

Olympus is ruled above all by Zeus, but also by eleven other gods, bringing the total to twelve. This is, of course, the same number of signs in both the Western zodiac and the Chinese. It would be interesting to draw a parallel between the gods and the signs, but that is not the point here.

The twleve Olympian gods

Each sign is divided into three decanates, which correspond to the three signs of the element (earth, air, water and fire). We have thus a figure of three in one, or three from one (like Cerberus, who dwells in Hades), forming a tetrahedron. If we consider the six axes of the zodiac and the decanates of the signs, we have six double tetrahedrons, which consist of seven points if we consider the tetrahedrons as having the tip in common. That makes 6 x 7 = 42. I'll admit this is perhaps a stretch, but I'm still feeling my way around all of this, and it seems to fit Nassim Haramein's ideas, which I like a lot (though not necessarily 100%). Also, 42 could be seen as 4 x 2, that is, a tetrahedron twice.

But again the hand of synchronicity waves its wand. I started writing this post yesterday, and news came out that astronomers discovered a new Moon in Pluto, the planet named after our famous Hades. My money is on the name being Cerberus, but that might be just too deliciously sweet. Additionally, though it is unrelated here, Neptune recently completed one full orbit from its discovery in 1846. Neptune seems angry, though...perhaps because no one offered him any gifts? Oh, and just to add the icing on the cake, yesterday it was 42 years since Buzz Aldrin first stepped on the Moon...(and peed on it, which is interesting in light of this Pluto news, given that Pluto is the planet associated with the excretory system)

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