Since today is Valentine’s Day, I am sending you a copy of Titian’s “The Education of Cupid”, a strange piece from the mid-16th century, the explanation for which I am about to surmise for you: Please continue to the bottom (even if you skip some of what’s in the middle!) because I have an important astrological deduction about this subject which I make there, which may interest you. (New material, added St. Valentine’s Day, 2012 in blue and green, below!). Returning, now, to the venerable and curious Titian painting: One enthralled goddess brings the mischievous tot a quiver full of arrows, another, a bow; but he watches matter-of-factly, with resignation, as he is shown how to make someone blind (i.e., hopelessly in love), binding them to a purpose, a very magical thing, when you think about it…as an encrowned Lady Venus, (known as Aphrodite to the Greeks), with a shrewd and knowing smile, binds up the eyes of Psyche, Cupid’s little playmate. The little stubs of her wings can be seen, sticking out in back of her. It is not to be doubted that a blind psyche can cause humans to fall hopelessly in love! And what is Cupid’s other name, except Eros? The triumphant look on Venus’ face, coaxing him on, as she is obviously behind these suspicious shenanigans, and the look of the apt student on Cupids’ somewhat shy visage, almost saying out loud, “Yeah, okay.. If you say so, Mom! And then what?”
A copy of a public domain image of “Education of Cupid” was originally here on this page, but a friend convinced me not to have pictures of naked goddesses and cherubs on my site, and she removed said image, and another one below which is the questionable: “Danae and the Golden Rain” (you can imagine!). So these pix have been excised, but I herewith send you to the site of a romantic author who has a bevy of them, little thumbnails of Cupids with their Mars, Venus and sometimes Mercury — parents. It is as follows: http://naughtyromancewriters.wordpress.com/2011/07/11/true-beauty-blog-by-drea-becraft/
Here’s another onem, also by Titian, probably from around 1550, in which Cupid and another wistfully smiling female (Danai or Danae) both appear: Upon researching this subject, it seems Zeus was descending as a ‘golden rain’, and was about to rape Danae. So we can suspect Cupid/Eros as having borne some responsibility in helping bring about that sordid affair! There goes the little trouble-maker, now, looking to get out of the way as Zeus approaches! Danae looks after him fondly, for being the go-between and stirring-up the chances for love and its fulfillment through passion. Zeus’s Roman name is Jupiter, of course, and I have a powerful Jupiter in my chart. I should have evoked Cupid/Eros in my life, it might have brought me happier, more fertile, marriages. [more, below!]
Danae and the Golden Rain. Naples Gallery. From a Photograph by E. Alinari.
Note: Excised by the hand of a girlfriend when I wasn’t looking. Sorry!
WIKIPEDIA has the following to say on this subject — which gives us, also, two versions of the lineage of Cupid. One of them will prove to be most interesting, astrologically — as you will see! (By the way, we thank Wikipedia for all the good work it does, and for making information readily available for use by others!)
Throughout ancient mythological writing, there appear to be either two Cupids or two sides to the figure of Cupid. One is the son of Mars (Ares) and Venus (Aphrodite). (According to some, he is the son of Venus and Mercury. Which makes sense, as I am writing about this subject, and I have a close conjuction of Venus and Mercury in my natal chart!) He is a lively youth who delights in pranks and spreading love. The other is a son of Nyx and Erebus, known for riotous debauchery.
In the Roman version, Cupid was the son of Venus (goddess of love) and Mars (god of war), and in the Greek version he was the son of Aphrodite and was named Eros, the following story is almost identical in both cultures. He was often depicted with wings, a bow, and a quiver of arrows. When his mother got extremely jealous of the princess Psyche, who was so loved by her subjects that they forgot to worship Venus, she ordered Cupid to make her fall in love with the ugliest and poorest man in the world. When Cupid saw Psyche, though, he was so overcome with her unnatural beauty that he dropped an arrow on his foot, and fell in love with her himself.
Following that, Cupid visited Psyche every night in his invisible form and told her not to try to see him. Psyche, though, incited by her two older sisters who told her Cupid was a monster, tried to look at him and angered Cupid. When he left, she looked all over the known world for him until at last the leader of the gods, Jupiter, gave Psyche the gift of immortality so that she could be with him. Together they had a daughter, Voluptas (pleasure)  and Psyche became a goddess of the soul. (Ed’s Note: And isn’t it a shame that in the legends and stories of our monotheistic religions — there are so few ravishing, sensual figures?)
Cupid’s cult was closely associated with that of Venus, with Cupid being worshiped as devotedly as she. Additionally, Cupid’s power was supposed to be even greater than his mother’s, since he had dominion over the dead in Hades, the creatures of the sea and the gods in Olympus. Some of the cults of Cupid suggested that Cupid as son of Night and Hell mated with Chaos to produce both men and gods, making the gods the offspring of love.”
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In “Legend of the Cupid” we find: “According to legend, Cupid’s arrows come in two vasrieties: The Golden Arrow, which generally signifies true love, and the Leaden Arrow, which represents wanton and sensual passion. He is also known to sometimes carry a torch with which to inflame desire between men and women. Cupid is not always successfu in his endeavors, however. Sometimes his arrows turn people away from those who fall in love with them. In som mythological tales, Venus was scratched by one of Cupid’s arrows while playing with her son, the result being that the Goddess fell instantly in love with Adonis, the first man she saw after receiving the wound.
According to some sources, Cupid (as Eros) arose out of Chaos, along with Tartarus and Earth (making him one of the oldest Gods), only later becoming associated with Aphrodite [Venus] as her winged son. The mingling of Eros (who, in this instance, was considered to have no parents) with Chaos is said to have created the race of birds. [Well, Cupid does have wings to fly!] In certain mythological tales, it is stated that there was no race of immortals before Eros caused all things to mingle. Other legends maintain that Eros hatched from an egg laid by Nyx, also known as Night. Cherubs are also believed to be descendants of Cupid. Depicted as loveable little winged creatures devoid of either arrows or quivers, cherubs are typically not mischievous, as is their infamous alleged ancestor.” So, look around… is there a little Cupid/Eros hovering somewhere nearby? Ouch! Watch out for any arrows!
My Astrological Deduction!
Since Cupid was thought of as the child of Venus and Mars, perhaps the symbolic location of “Cupid” and therefore many of the most important correlations having to do with cupidity, eros, and both playful and procreative sexuality, in a person’s astrology chart, more important than the single location of either Venus or Mars, could be said to be half-way between the zodiacal longitude of one’s Venus and Mars. As an example: In my chart, I have Venus in 10.30+- Cancer and Mars in 10.45 Virgo; the half-way point between them is 10.37+- Leo. Something about nearby and interconnected planets and luminaries to THAT position that will explain…sexual desire and …cupidity… in my chart. (?) Hmmm! It is within a degree of the location of my natal MOON, close to PLUTO, as well, (thus helping to explain my sometime ‘dark side’), and makes a good aspect to NEPTUNE, the planet of fantasies. Hmmm, sounds a little like me!
According to some legends, Cupid was the offspring of Venus and Mercury, not Mars… which may explain why any chart that has Mars and Mercury in conjunction, opposition, or square, adds a FIERY, tempestuous side to the personality… maybe its Mars and Mercury feeling uncomfortable around each other as the possible fathers of Cupid and previous and perhaps present lovers of adorable VENUS.. Well, look at your chart! In MY chart, Venus is 9 degrees Cancer and Mercury is 7 degrees Cancer — they are in a powerful conjunction which explains a lot about my writing, my mind, my aesthetics, my abilities in music AND art… So maybe Mercury is just as good a candidate for fatherhood and inspiration of Cupid in his curious ways, as Mars is. That would mean that MY Cupid would be 8 degrees Cancer, equidistant from father (Mercury) and mother (Venus). No matter what else it means, that WOULD explain why I am WRITING about this subject — because it DOES exist in a place of prominence in my natal chart! LOOK AT YOURS! Find your Mars-Venus “Cupid” and then your Mercury-Venus “Cupid”, and see which one is the more powerful and relevant to your life!
What’s up with THAT? I will have to try this out immediately with people I know, and see the results are of interest! Best, —-Ed