Human beings were inking their skin with tattoos for thousands of years. The ancient practice was utilized to show status or tribal affinity, to decorate the body, or sometimes, as a form of punishment. Tattoos have been utilized as amulets which safeguard people against the unknown. For example, in ancient Egypt, the household god Bes was said to be a protector of women in labor. Or, the Greek god Eros, who is also known as the Roman god Cupid, was said to be the god of love, in all of its aspects.
During those times, women would tattoo a figure of a deity at the top of their thighs in order to protect themselves during childbirth.
Nowadays, tattoos are still seen as ways of expressing religious beliefs, as well as spirituality among people.
Here, we will talk about the tattoo of the Roman God Cupid, the god of love. Read below and find some reasons for choosing such a tattoo design.
- Who was Cupid, his origins and what was his purpose?
Cupid, which actually means desire in Latin, was the god of affection, desire, and erotic love in Roman mythology. He has often been portrayed as the son of Venus, but his father was never clearly known. He is also considered to be the Roman counterpart of the Greek god Eros.
He is usually portrayed as a naked, winged boy, holding a bow and an arrow in his hands, who shoots mortals, and even the gods, directly in their hearts, enticing them with love.
This started during the Hellenistic period, as he started to be portrayed as a chubby child. It has been during this period when he received the bow and the arrow which remain a strong symbol nowadays.
It has been said that anyone who was shot by one of the arrows of Cupid, either mortal or also a deity, just like we said before, would be filled with uncontrollable love and desire. The Roman version of Eros retained those characteristics, which actually gives us the Cupid that we are all familiar today with.
Cupid has been quite popular at the time of the Middle Ages. The influence of the Christian religion changes his nature to both earthly and heavenly love. At the time of the Renaissance, a new interest in classical philosophy gave him complex allegorical meanings. Nowadays, Cupid is a recognizable figure that inspires romantic love. Throughout the years, he has served as an inspiration for the strongest of all human emotion, and also for numerous tattoo designs among tattoo lovers.
- The story about Cupid.
All of the myths about Cupid revolve around love in some form. While most of the gods truly represent what they reign over, there is not a lot of them that do so as this god does.
As we already said, he is the son of Venus, who is the goddess of love, and of Mars, who is the god of war, but it was never confirmed about his father. In the Greek version, his name was Eros.
The following story or legend of Cupid and Psyche is nearly identical in the Roman and Greek culture. When the mother of Cupid became jealous of the princess Psyche, the one that was beloved by her own subjects so they forgot to worship Venus, she said to her son Cupid that he has to make Psyche to fall in love with the vilest thing in the world. While Cupid sneaked into her room to shoot her with a golden arrow, he accidentally scratched himself with his arrow and then feel deeply in love with Psyche.
After that, he visited her every night while she was sleeping in her room, and told her never to try to see him. However, she saw him, and he left. After that, she started looking for him every day, until his mother told her she would help her if she completes some tasks. Psyche agreed and completed every task, although each of them was hard. In the end, Venus had one task left, and it was that Psyche had to give Pluto a box containing something which she was not allowed to look at. However, her curiosity made her do so, she opened the box, and there was eternal sleep which Venus placed. Cupid was no longer angry with Psyche and brought her back from her sleep. Then, she was given the gift of immortality by Jupiter, the leader of the gods so that she could be with Cupid. Her name itself means a soul.
- Cupid tattoo – designs and meaning.
Even though sometimes mischievous as a matchmaker, even careless, Cupid nevertheless was viewed in positive ways. It is a sudden and new love which appears, merry and without a care, that Cupid often represents.
In tattoo art, Cupid usually appears in a fight, with the arrow being prepared, sometimes combined with a heart or a pierced heart.
The arrows of him are actually a well-recognized symbol of the god, and there were two types. According to one legend, the golden arrow of Cupid stood for true love, while the leaden arrow stood for sensual passion. This is the explanation why the god has been associated with a lot of different types of love, which include erotic and romantic.
Tattoos of the arrows are also another common tattoo design which is related to the god of love, Cupid. All the types of these tattoos are a representation of love, desire, romance, or a lot more.