Curiosities

Psique mith: the history of the psychology symbol -ψ

3-fatos-estudar-psicologiaPsi (Ψ ψ) is the twenty-third letter of the Greek alphabet. It was trasliterada with the digraph ps by the Romans in words such as psalmus, psalterium and psyche (Psalm, psaltery and psyche).

Meaning arises from the letter Psi association with the Greek word “Psyche“, which originally had the meaning of “Butterfly” (in fact we can easily assimilate the shape of the letter a stylized shape of a butterfly with wings deployed). He then moved into the term with the meanings of “breeze”, “breath,” “spirit” and finally “soul” or “mind” used.
Such is the origin of the name “Psychology” (science of the soul) and the use of the letter Psi to represent it. The Greeks believed that when a person died and breathed his last breath, the soul left the body in the form of butterfly wings. For them it was the beginning of life. Greek mythology is the goddess “Psyche” or “Psyche” as a teenager with butterfly wings, the youngest of the three daughters of the king of Anatolia, the most beautiful of them and representation of the human soul.

Eros&Psique mith

According to history, immortalized by Apuleius in his Metamorphoses (The Golden Ass), Psyche was the youngest and most beautiful of three sisters, daughters of a king of Anatolia. Aphrodite jealous of her beauty, he sent his son Eros (Cupid) to get launched an arrow that would fall for the most horrible and vile man could find. However, Eros loved her and released the arrow to the sea; when Psyche fell asleep, they took her flying into his palace.

To avoid the wrath of his mother, once you have Psyche in his palace, Eros is always presented at night, in the dark, and prohibits any inquiry into Psyche identity. Every night, in the dark, they loved each other. One night, Psyche told her lover that she missed her sisters and wanted to see them. Eros agreed but also warned him that his sisters would like to end his joy. The next morning, Psyche was with his sisters, who asked him, envious, who her wonderful husband. Psyche, was unable to explain how her husband, since she had not seen him, hesitated and told them he was a young man who was hunting, but finally confessed the truth: you do not really know who he was. So Psyche’s sisters convinced her that in the middle of the night light a lamp and observe his beloved, ensuring that only a monster would hide their true appearance. Psyche listen to them and light a candle for her husband. A drop of hot oil fell on the face of Eros asleep, waking up and leaving, disappointed, her lover.

When Psyche realizes what he has done, he begs Aphrodite to return the love of Eros, but the goddess, spiteful, orders him to perform four tasks, almost impossible for a mortal, before regaining her divine lover. As fourth album, Aphrodite claimed that the stress of caring for her son, depressed and ill as a result of Psyche’s unfaithfulness, had caused her to lose some of her beauty. Psyche was to go to Hades and ask Persephone, the queen of the underworld, a little beauty to Psyche in a black box that Aphrodite gave. Psyche walked to a tower, deciding that the shortest way to the underworld would be death. A voice stopped her at the last moment and told her a route that would allow him to enter and return still living, plus tell you how to spend the dog Cerberus, Charon and the other dangers of the route. She pacified Cerberus a barley cake and paid Charon óbolo to take him to Hades. Along the way, I saw hands out of the water. A voice told him to throw it a cake of barley them, but she refused. Once there, Persephone said she would be happy to oblige Aphrodite. Again he paid Charon and gave him another cake to Cerberus to return.
Psyche left the underworld and decided to open the box and take a bit of the beauty for herself, thinking that if I did this, Eros would love safely. It was a “Stygian sleep” which overtook her. Eros, who had forgiven her, flew to her body and wiped the sleep from his eyes, then begged Zeus and Aphrodite for permission to marry Psyche. They agreed and Zeus made her immortal. Aphrodite danced at the wedding of Eros and Psyche, and the daughter they had called Placer or (in Roman mythology) Voluptas.

Sobre el autor

Iván Pico

Graduado en Psicología (UNED). Nº Colegiado G-5480. Diplomado en Ciencias Empresariales (USC). Máster en Psicología del Trabajo y las Organizaciones. (INESEM). Máster Universitario Oficial en Orientación Profesional (UNED). Posgrado en Neuromarketing (Universidad Camilo José Cela). Técnico Deportivo Nivel II, fútbol sala (RFEF). Especialista en Psicología Aplicada al Deporte. Etc, etc…
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