Psyche (Small Bracelet)

Regular price $9.00

One of my goddess paintings has been miniaturized and pendantified for your wearing pleasure. This is a chain bracelet measuring 7 1/2" and featuring a small glass tile pendant measuring a little over a half inch in diameter.

In a rare reversal of the typical trend, Psyche was a mortal woman who won herself immortality (as opposed to many goddesses who are later regarded as mere mortals or are even converted into Catholic Saints). She was so beautiful that people shunned Aphrodite to worship her, thus incurring her wrath. She sent her son Cupid/Eros to punish her by making her fall in love with something ridiculous, but he ended up falling in love with her himself. Her father consulted an oracle who said she was destined to marry a monster, so he more or less gave her up for dead and left her on a cliff in full funeral attire. Instead Cupid sent a messenger to collect her, and they were married (though she was forbidden from learning his identity). Over time she grew to be fond of the man she spent her nights with, and eventually her sisters were allowed to visit her. Jealous of the opulent palace she resided in, they reminded her of the oracle’s ominous prediction, thus provoking her into hiding a lamp and a knife in her room to confront her husband with one night. She readied her dagger and lit the lamp, only to discover she was married to the god of love and not the horrible monster she anticipated, and in surprise spilled some of the lamp oil on him, waking him. Cupid fled, and Psyche (now pregnant) was set on a harrowing journey to try and reclaim him. Eventually she finds her way to Aphrodite, who beats her and sets her on a series of impossible tasks (which she accomplishes through the help of unlikely accomplices, despite a heavy sense of despair). Finally she is sent to Hades to retrieve a box full of Persephone’s beauty to help restore Aphrodite’s own. But her curiosity gets the better of her and she opens the box, and is engulfed by a sleep. By this point Cupid has healed and escapes his mother’s aid to rush to her rescue, wiping the sleep from her face and replacing it in the box. They appeal to Zeus, who grants Psyche immortality, tells Aphrodite to leave her alone, and Psyche and Cupid are remarried in the company of all the gods.

Psyche literally translates into “soul” or “breath of life.” She is depicted in a pink and grey dress (pink for love and grey for the sorrow she had to go through to earn it back), with delicate butterfly wings. Psyche also means “butterfly,” a significant comparison considering their associations with transformation (caterpillar to butterfly; much like Psyche’s from mortal to goddess). I also added an arrow casually clasped in her hand; Cupid’s golden arrows infested one with love (and the flight is made from lovebird feathers).

The original piece was done in watercolor and colored pencil on rag paper, measuring 11 x 7".