His symbols are the arrow and torch, "because love wounds and inflames the heart."
I love Cupido. I think the common astrological interpretation ( a superficial love/approach to love) is contaminated by puritanistic Christianity, which transformed Cupido in a symbol of temptation, empty lust and vice.
The myth of Cupido is much more complex and the triad Eros-Cupido-Amor depicts the facets of the primordial god of love, the male version of the Great Goddess of Love (Ishtar Inanna Hathor Aphrodite Venus and their counterparts in other cultures)
I think in the chart Cupido shows the place where we receive and send the arrow of love, a point where we are initiated and initiate in the tribulations of love, along with Eros (an elevated experience of physical love and transformation connected to general love for life - what Freud called Libido - Eros as opposed to Thanatos) and Amor ( a place in the chart where we experience true love, just as Cupido-Eros-Amor discovered with Psyche). It's that first part of love, the arrow piercing the heart, when we discover a strong infatuation and desire for another. Cupido connected in synastry shows what planet/asteroid of the other sends an "arrow" to our heart, over and over again, what makes us fall infatuated with them over and over again, what we find fresh and enticing about them, even after a long time. A soft spot we have with them. It has an Uranian vibe - permanent, but intermittent.
At the same time, Cupido in our chart shows when and how we do that to others. The position by house and sign shows what is always fresh about us when it comes to attracting others. For example, a 3rd house Cupido shows we can be a permanent source of delight for our partners through our way of expressing words. The aspects our Cupido makes show where and with what we have an ageless appeal to lovers, our "arrows".
Why fresh and permanent? Because Cupido is a boy who never grows up, always ready to provoke infatuation, to start love from the beginning.
Not to forget Cupido has two types of arrows: "one with a sharp golden point, and the other with a blunt tip of lead". The golden tip makes us fall in love "with uncontrollable desire", the lead tip fills us with aversion. So Cupido in synastry could also be a symbol of unrequited love.
Cupido is strongly aspected in long-term couples.
Excerpts from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cupid
In classical mythology, Cupid (Latin Cupido, meaning "desire") is the god of desire, erotic love, attraction and affection. He is often portrayed as the son of the love goddess Venus, and is known in Latin also as Amor ("Love"). His Greek counterpart is Eros.
Although Eros appears in Classical Greek art as a slender winged youth, during the Hellenistic period, he was increasingly portrayed as a chubby boy. During this time, his iconography acquired the bow and arrow that represent his source of power: a person, or even a deity, who is shot by Cupid's arrow is filled with uncontrollable desire. In myths, Cupid is a minor character who serves mostly to set the plot in motion. He is a main character only in the tale of Cupid and Psyche, when wounded by his own weapons he experiences the ordeal of love. Although other extended stories are not told about him, his tradition is rich in poetic themes and visual scenarios, such as "Love conquers all" and the retaliatory punishment or torture of Cupid.
In art, Cupid often appears in multiples as the Amores, or amorini in the later terminology of art history, the equivalent of the Greek erotes. Cupids are a frequent motif of both Roman art and later Western art of the classical tradition. In the 15th century, the iconography of Cupid starts to become indistinguishable from the putto.
Cupid continued to be a popular figure in the Middle Ages, when under Christian influence he often had a dual nature as Heavenly and Earthly love. In the Renaissance, a renewed interest in classical philosophy endowed him with complex allegorical meanings. In contemporary popular culture, Cupid is shown drawing his bow to inspire romantic love, often as an icon of Valentine's Day.
Origins and birth
The Romans reinterpreted myths and concepts pertaining to the Greek Eros for Cupid in their own literature and art, and medieval and Renaissance mythographers conflate the two freely. In the Greek tradition, Eros had a dual, contradictory geneaology. He was among the primordial gods who came into existence asexually; after his generation, deities were begotten through male-female unions. In Hesiod's Theogony, only Chaos and Gaia (Earth) are older. Before the existence of gender dichotomy, Eros functioned by causing entities to separate from themselves that which they already contained.
At the same time, the Eros who was pictured as a boy or slim youth was regarded as the child of a divine couple, the identity of whom varied by source. The influential Renaissance mythographer Natale Conti began his chapter on Cupid/Eros by declaring that the Greeks themselves were unsure about his parentage: Heaven and Earth, Ares and Aphrodite, Night and Ether, or Strife and Zephyr. The Greek travel writer Pausanias, he notes, contradicts himself by saying at one point that Eros welcomed Aphrodite into the world, and at another that Eros was the son of Aphrodite and the youngest of the gods.
In Latin literature, Cupid is usually treated as the son of Venus without reference to a father. Seneca says that Vulcan, as the husband of Venus, is the father of Cupid. Cicero, however, says that there were three Cupids, as well as three Venuses: the first Cupid was the son of Mercury and Diana, the second of Mercury and the second Venus, and the third of Mars and the third Venus. This last Cupid was the equivalent of Anteros, "Counter-Love," one of the Erotes, the gods who embody aspects of love. The multiple Cupids frolicking in art are the decorative manifestation of these proliferating loves and desires. During the English Renaissance, Christopher Marlowe wrote of "ten thousand Cupids"; in Ben Jonson's wedding masque Hymenaei, "a thousand several-coloured loves … hop about the nuptial room".
In the later classical tradition, Cupid is most often regarded as the son of Venus and Mars, whose love affair represented an allegory of Love and War. The duality between the primordial and the sexually conceived Eros accommodated philosophical concepts of Heavenly and Earthly Love even in the Christian era.
Attributes and themes
Cupid is winged, allegedly, because lovers are flighty and likely to change their minds, and boyish because love is irrational. His symbols are the arrow and torch, "because love wounds and inflames the heart." These attributes and their interpretation were established by late antiquity, as summarized by Isidore of Seville (d. 636 AD) in his Etymologies. Cupid is also sometimes depicted blindfolded and described as blind, not so much in the sense of sightless—since the sight of the beloved can be a spur to love—as blinkered and arbitrary. As described by Shakespeare in A Midsummer Night's Dream (1590s):
Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind
And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind.
Nor hath love's mind of any judgement taste;
Wings and no eyes figure unheedy haste.
And therefore is love said to be a child
Because in choice he is so oft beguiled.
In Botticelli's Allegory of Spring (1482), also known by its Italian title La Primavera, Cupid is shown blindfolded while shooting his arrow, positioned above the central figure of Venus.
Particularly in ancient Roman art, cupids may also carry or be surrounded by fruits, animals, or attributes of the Seasons or the wine-god Dionysus, symbolizing the earth's generative capacity.
Cupid carries two kinds of arrows, one with a sharp golden point, and the other with a blunt tip of lead. A person wounded by the golden arrow is filled with uncontrollable desire, but the one struck by the lead feels aversion and desires only to flee.
The use of these arrows is described by the Latin poet Ovid in the first book of his Metamorphoses. When Apollo taunts Cupid as the lesser archer, Cupid shoots him with the golden arrow, but strikes the object of his desire, the nymph Daphne, with the lead. Trapped by Apollo's unwanted advances, Daphne prays to her father, the river god Peneus, who turns her into a laurel, the tree sacred to Apollo. It is the first of several unsuccessful or tragic love affairs for Apollo.
A variation is found in The Kingis Quair, a 15th-century poem attributed to James I of Scotland, in which Cupid has three arrows: gold, for a gentle "smiting" that is easily cured; the more compelling silver; and steel, for a love-wound that never heals.
Cupid and the bees
In the tale of Cupid the honey thief, the child-god is stung by bees when he steals honey from their hive. He cries and runs to his mother Venus, complaining that so small a creature shouldn't cause such painful wounds. Venus laughs, and points out the poetic justice: he too is small, and yet delivers the sting of love.
The story was first told about Eros in the Idylls of Theocritus (3rd century BC). It was retold numerous times in both art and poetry during the Renaissance. The theme brought the Amoretti poetry cycle (1595) of Edmund Spenser to a conclusion, and furnished subject matter for at least twenty works by Lucas Cranach the Elder and his workshop. The German poet and classicist Karl Philipp Conz (1762–1827) framed the tale as Schadenfreude ("taking pleasure in someone else's pain") in a poem by the same title. In a version by Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, a writer of the German Enlightenment, the incident prompts Cupid to turn himself into a bee:
Through this sting was Amor made wiser.
The untiring deceiver
concocted another battle-plan:
he lurked beneath the carnations and roses
and when a maiden came to pick them,
he flew out as a bee and stung her.
The image of Cupid as bee is part of a complex tradition of poetic imagery involving the flower of youth, the sting of love as a deflowering, and honey as a secretion of love.
Cupid and dolphins
In both ancient and later art, Cupid is often shown riding a dolphin. On ancient Roman sarcophagi, the image may represent the soul's journey, originally associated with Dionysian religion. A mosaic from late Roman Britain shows a procession emerging from the mouth of the sea god Neptune, first dolphins and then sea birds, ascending to Cupid. One interpretation of this allegory is that Neptune represents the soul's origin in the matter from which life was fashioned, with Cupid triumphing as the soul's desired destiny.
In other contexts, Cupid with a dolphin recurs as a playful motif, as in garden statuary at Pompeii that shows a dolphin rescuing Cupid from an octopus, or Cupid holding a dolphin. The dolphin, often elaborated fantastically, might be constructed as a spout for a fountain. On a modern-era fountain in the Palazzo Vecchio, Florence, Italy, Cupid seems to be strangling a dolphin.
Dolphins were often portrayed in antiquity as friendly to humans, and the dolphin itself could represent affection. Pliny records a tale of a dolphin at Puteoli carrying a boy on its back across a lake to go to school each day; when the boy died, the dolphin grieved itself to death.
In erotic scenes from mythology, Cupid riding the dolphin may convey how swiftly love moves, or the Cupid astride a sea beast may be a reassuring presence for the wild ride of love. A dolphin-riding Cupid may attend scenes depicting the wedding of Neptune and Amphitrite or the Triumph of Neptune, also known as a marine thiasos.
Demon of fornication
To adapt myths for Christian use, medieval mythographers interpreted them morally. In this view, Cupid might be seen as a "demon of fornication". The innovative Theodulf of Orleans, who wrote during the reign of Charlemagne, reinterpreted Cupid as a seductive but malicious figure who exploits desire to draw people into an allegorical underworld of vice. To Theodulf, Cupid's quiver symbolized his depraved mind, his bow trickery, his arrows poison, and his torch burning passion. It was appropriate to portray him naked, so as not to conceal his deception and evil.
Cupid sleeping became a symbol of absent or languishing love in Renaissance poetry and art, including a Sleeping Cupid (1496) by Michelangelo that is now lost. The ancient type was known at the time through descriptions in classical literature, and at least one extant example had been displayed in the sculpture garden of Lorenzo de' Medici since 1488. In the 1st century AD, Pliny had described two marble versions of a Cupid (Eros), one at Thespiae and a nude at Parium, where it was the stained object of erotic fascination.
Michelangelo's work was important in establishing the reputation of the young artist, who was only twenty at the time. At the request of his patron, he increased its value by deliberately making it look "antique", thus creating "his most notorious fake". After the deception was acknowledged, the Cupid Sleeping was displayed as evidence of his virtuosity alongside an ancient marble, attributed to Praxiteles, of Cupid asleep on a lion skin.
In the poetry of Giambattista Marino (d. 1625), the image of Cupid or Amore sleeping represents the indolence of Love in the lap of Idleness. A madrigal by his literary rival Gaspare Murtola exhorted artists to paint the theme. A catalogue of works from antiquity collected by the Mattei family, patrons of Caravaggio, included sketches of sleeping cupids based on sculpture from the Temple of Venus Erycina in Rome. Caravaggio, whose works Murtola is known for describing, took up the challenge with his 1608 Sleeping Cupid, a disturbing depiction of an unhealthy, immobilized child with "jaundiced skin, flushed cheeks, bluish lips and ears, the emaciated chest and swollen belly, the wasted muscles and inflamed joints." The model is thought to have suffered from juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. Caravaggio's sleeping Cupid was reconceived in fresco by Giovanni da San Giovanni, and the subject recurred throughout Roman and Italian work of the period.
Love Conquers All
Earlier in his career, Caravaggio had challenged contemporary sensibilities with his "sexually provocative and anti-intellectual" Victorious Love, also known as Love Conquers All (Amor Vincit Omnia), in which a brazenly naked Cupid tramples on emblems of culture and erudition representing music, architecture, warfare, and scholarship.
The motto comes from the Augustan poet Vergil, writing in the late 1st century BC. His collection of Eclogues concludes with what might be his most famous line:
Omnia vincit Amor: et nos cedamus Amori.
Love conquers all, and so let us surrender ourselves to Love.
The theme was also expressed as the triumph of Cupid, as in the Triumphi of Petrarch.
What are your Cupido aspects in natal and synastry and how do you feel those?
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