Origin Of The Word Psychic: The Story Of Psyche

People sometimes ask, "where did the word psychic come from? It is such an odd word and sounds as exotic and the mysterious as the people which the word ‘psychic‘ describes. The word psychic comes from the ancient Greek name ‘Psyche’. In ancient Greek Psyche is as much a name as a word. Psyche means ‘the soul’ or ‘breath of life’ or ‘mind’ and was considered the spiritual part of a human being as opposed to the physical. Though many psychics today try and escape being called ‘a psychic’ due to the negative impression this gives to many unenlightened folks. However, to know the history, meaning and origin of the word ‘psychic’ is to learn a beautiful story that describes what a positive thing it is to possess such a title and mysterious gift.

In Greek Mythology Psyche was a beautiful women who unfortunately caught the attention of the goddess Aphrodite (also known as Venus). Aphrodite was the goddess of beauty who could seduce anyone. She was also known for her jealousy. Aphrodite would do just about anything to guard her reputation as the most beautiful woman on Olympus or on earth. Mortal women who were said to be as beautiful as Aphrodite, such as Medusa, paid the price of deformity, misfortune and/or banishment.

Psyche was said to be a beautiful woman that captured the eyes and hearts of all who gazed upon her. The youngest daughter of a king, Psyche’s beauty was so captivating that men worshiped her, do anything for her, and women everywhere both envied and admired her. This was not something Aphrodite could tolerate as being worshiped for beauty was reserved for her and her alone. So, Aphrodite devised a plan to humiliate and discredit Psyche. Naturally, Psyche’s father the king had high hopes for marrying Psyche to a man of wealth and status.

Scupture Of Psyche And Eros By Antonio Canova

Scupture Of Psyche And Eros By Antonio Canova

Aphrodite would make it so no man would have Psyche. If no man would marry Psyche, how beautiful or charming could she be? To carry out this plan Aphrodite called on her son Eros, god of love (and sometimes known as Cupid) to put the spell of rejection on Psyche.

Eros would take a magic potion to earth and sprinkle it upon Psyche while she slept. This potion would make any man avoid Psyche whenever marriage was mentioned. Men would be repealed by Psyche, without knowing why, whenever the prospect of marriage arose. The ability of Psyche to experience life long love would forever be unfulfilled and Psyche would die an old maid. As the Fates would have it, Eros accidentally pricked Psyche would one of his love arrows while sprinkling the potion of rejection and Psyche awoke. Gazing into the eyes of Psyche, Eros was stunned by her beauty. He stumbled and pricked himself with the same arrow of love. Then, Eros vanished into the darkness.

When no man would have Psyche for a wife, the king became concerned that his family had somehow offended the gods and went to the Oracle (dare we say a psychic) to discover Psyche’s fate. The Oracle told the king that no man would have her, but there was a creature on a near by mountain top who would marry Psyche and that she could have a life of happiness. Now, one thing about Psyche, she was an intelligent and very curious woman. She agreed to visit this mountain top. Unbeknownst to anyone, even the gods, Eros had secretly prepared to meet Psyche again. He was madly in love with her but dare not risk the wrath of his mother and other gods by loving Psyche openly.

When Psyche arrived near the mountain a mysterious wind carried her to a palace at the top of the mountain. If was obvious her new husband was rich and powerful and would indeed take care of her every need. Her husband’s only rule was that she could never gaze upon his face. Eros feared for Psyche and himself if their love was ever discovered. Eros proved to be so gentle, caring and an incredible lover that Psyche found that she loved her husband and felt no need to see his face. That was until Psyche’s sisters got involved.

When Psyche’s sisters discovered how happy Psyche was and how wealthy and powerful her husband they became envious. The sisters began whispering to Psyche that they had heard rumors her husband was a hideous monster and that is why she was not allowed to see her husband’s face. He may not even be human. He maybe was just fattening her up to eat her. Psyche’s sisters questioned how Psyche could not want to know who or what her husband really was, it just wasn’t like her. She should keep a knife and candle under the bed. If Psyche revealed he was a monster she should protect herself.

Finally, Psyche’s curiosity got the best of her and, one night when Eros came to her bed, she quietly lit a candle and raised it above him. She instantly recognize the handsome face of the god Eros and gasp. A bit hot wax dripped on Eros leg and he awoke. Realizing Psyche had broken his only rule Eros was up and disappeared out the window in an instant. When Psyche tried to follow, trying to apologize and beg forgiveness, she stumbled and fell, knocking herself unconscious. When she awoke the palace was gone and so was the love of her life, Eros.

In despair, Psyche went to the temple of Aphrodite to beg for help finding her love. No doubt the irony of the situation was not lost by Aphrodite. Now, Aphrodite could truly punish Psyche for her beauty. Aphrodite agreed to help Psyche find her lost love, but only if she complete a number of tasks (sometimes called the labors of Psyche). Aphrodite had no intention of helping Psyche. What she would do is keep assigning Psyche difficult, painful, miserable tasks to do alone so Psyche would live a long life of loneliness and pain, eventually to die unfulfilled. Eros, upon seeing this fate for his beloved Psyche decided to intervene. Each task Aphrodite gave Psyche, Eros would secretly help, creating a way for Psyche to succeed. Each time Psyche succeeded, Aphrodite’s rage grew. She knew someone was helping Psyche but was unable to prove it.

Aphrodite’s tasks for Psyche began to become deadly. Aphrodite sent Psyche to Persephone, wife of Hades, for a box containing a magical beauty ointment. Aphrodite had sent Psyche to hell itself. Eros secretly arranged safe passage for Psyche to pick up the box and return, completing Aphrodite’s task. Psyche had been warned not to open the box, but once again her curiosity got the better of her and she peeked inside. It was a trap, really, and all Psyche saw was utter darkness, a darkness so deep she fell into a deep, endless sleep. Finally, Eros had had enough. He awoke Psyche, told her to take the box to Aphrodite and say nothing.

Eros went to Zeus, king of the gods, and confessed his unyielding love for Psyche. Eros begged Zeus to allow him to be with Psyche forever. Zeus was no stranger to falling in love with mortal women. So moved was Zeus by Eros love for Psyche he granted Eros unprecedented request. Psyche was brought before Zeus and given a cup of ambrosia, the nectar of the gods, which made Psyche immortal. Psyche was literally remade into a goddess. Eros and Psyche were wed for eternity. Together they had a child, a daughter who would become the goddess of Pleasure or Bliss.

The ancient Greeks always seemed to weave a moral or spiritual message about life within their myths. In a way, the ancient Greek myths are partly parables about life. Many scholars believe the tale of Psyche is the story of love and the human soul. The human soul is purified and prepared by earthly suffering and struggle in the pursuit of perfect love. We must navigate through the negative emotions within and without ourselves, be cautious with our curiosity, and maintain an unyielding spirit. When we maintain our pursuit for what is good and best, love will give us unexpected support, and in the end, our soul will be worthy of immortality. And, our soul will be prepared for the gift of endless love. The word and name Psyche also means ‘butterfly’ (as well as soul, and mind and breath). It would seem to indicate that the ancient Greeks felt that if the human soul struggles through the groveling existence of a caterpillar and bursts through it’s cocoon, the soul will soar in flight and feast on the beauty of life (and be beautiful in it’s own right).

Historians believe it was the scientist, astrologer and spiritualist Camille Flammarion who first coined the word psychic. Perhaps Flammarion saw within clairvoyance and psychic gifts the ability to see into the human soul, past, present and future. To be psychic was to see the story of the human soul and it’s long path to perfection, and that path included not only a worldly life, but an afterlife. Most psychics would likely agree ‘psychic’ is a good word to describe their craft and talent. Unfortunately, due to ‘bad press’ and the negative attitude of many people about the word ‘psychic’, those with psychic gifts today feel they need to abandon being called ‘a psychic’. What a shame. The story and meaning of Psyche is a beautiful one. The title of psychic is really an honor for it implies seeing what few can see and the wisdom to understand ‘what it all means’. The story of Psyche seems to offer insight into why professional psychics spend much of their time answering questions about love and relationships, eh?

If you want a psychic love reading, you might find Psychic Kya or Psychic Penny very helpful. You can also Ask Psychic Love Questions at AskPsychics.net … or call 1-866-953-4960 and they will help you find the perfect psychic for your needs.

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