and retired Clinical Psychologist.
Why am I sitting with Psyche?
Psyche represents the story of the coming together of the soul. The soul is always seeking that something that makes us whole. It is no single thing but a multitude of things: relationships, our connection to our environment and the world beyond us, our values, our desires and our resilience and resourcefulness. The soul calls to the imagination.
Greek mythology unites the soul and love through the tale of Psyche and Cupid, who, despite the difficulties put in place by Venus, Psyche’s sisters, and their own shortcomings – Psyche’s willingness to be swayed by her sisters and Cupid’s lack of assertiveness with his mother, Venus, as well as their immaturity. Both were young and innocent when they met. They knew that each was incomplete without the other and must find a way to come together. But, like the emerging butterfly from its cucoon, full revealation comes after the struggle.
This website brings together my professional and personal interests. These include making my books and writing accessible, providing people with resources that may help them in a time of difficulty and a personal desire to explore a different way of writing. The photos will, I hope, share moments of reflection on this amazing world that we live in: what we make of it and how it reveals itself to us wthout our having shaped it to our own needs.
It is a dangerous thing to challenge the gods: those whose fickle nature claim our fate. It was not of my doing that I was born beautiful and would incur the wrath of Venus. Nor indeed, that I would attract the love of Cupid, sent by Venus to kill me. And I, of course, fell in love with him before even his face was revealed to me.
Revealed to me? No! I listened to my sisters, allowed to visit me on my secret island where I shared the love of Cupid, his sweet whispers, his beautiful body and the loveliest of gardens where all the creatures were my friends and companions during the day when he was absent.
“Could he not be a monster in disguise?” They asked. “Why has he forbidden you to look at him? What is he hiding? We only care for you, dear sister.” I wondered briefly whether they had forgotten or were unaware of their past unkindnesses when we lived together at my father’s palace.
“How could someone as kind and tender be a monster?” I asked, but doubt was seeded.
That night, when they had returned home and I lay beside my love, doubt hovered. Apollonius described my dilemma so well many years later:
Now trembling, now distracted; bold,
And now irresolute she seems;
The blue lamp glimmers in her hold,
And in her hand the dagger gleams.
Prepared to strike, she verges near,
Then, the blue light glimmering from above,
The hideous sight expects with fear –
And gazes on the god of Love.
Oh my! How could I have doubted my love? I leant closer, catching his breath. A drop of hot oil fell on his shoulder. He started awake. He looked at me appalled, stood up and gathered his bow and arrow. As he left he whispered over his shoulder: “Love without Faith is a failing. You have broken your word, not me mine.” And was gone. I had lost my love and my saviour; he who had protected me from that bully, Venus, and had cared for me. I was cast out from our home.
I despaired and would have ended my life had it not been for those interfering driads and nymphs. Finally Ceres stepped in: “Go into the employ of Venus. Show her who you are.”
Venus, I thought, that cow! She’s the cause of my despair. She made my life miserable in my father’s home. No. But Ceres was adamant and what else could I do? Venus hadn’t changed. But I worked hard and all the while thought of my love and my stupidity. My eyes became dark ringed, my skin sallow with grief and hardship. Time passed.
“Go to Hades,” commanded Venus. “I will have a specially prepared ointment that will make me even more beautiful. A lotion prepared by Prosperina. Do not dare to open it!” Another trick, I thought, to finally get rid of me. But I shall accept my fate, if Hades will grant me entry.
I was granted entry but not to stay. I was given an intricately carved box. On my return, I stopped to drink at a pond and as I gazed into the still water saw my sad, tired face. A little ointment will do the trick, I thought. I opened the box and felt myself grow heavy with sleep. I lay down.
How long did I sleep? I don’t know. I was woken by grunts and a shufflng of feathers and feet. Cupid was closing the box that I had dropped onto the ground.
“That was lucky,” he said. “I found you embraced by Sleep but have put him back in his box. And now, we are off to Olympus. I have had enough of my mother’s antics. We will be married and you shall have your place in Olympia, by my side. You are my very soul.”
“And you,” I replied, “my love, my faith, my very life.”
Venus was a pussy after that. We became quite good friends. Apparently she just needed someone to stand up to her!