Eros is not just the little winged fat angel baby found on Valentine’s Day cards, the equivalent of Cupid. He is a profound, primeval force of love. According to Hesiod’s Theogony, in the beginning there was Chaos. From Chaos emerged Gaia (Earth), Nyx (Night), and Eros (Love and the erotic impulse).
That’s one version of his origins, but there are many:
• He may be the child of Nyx and the Wind, hatched from a silver egg, known as the firstborn of the gods.
• He may be the son of Aphrodite and either Hephaestus or Ares.
Eros is the spirit of beauty, youth, vitality, desire, sexuality, and pleasure. He is the erotic impulse without which life would cease. He has a double, a twin or alter ego, called Himeros “Desire.” In some versions, Aphrodite brought Eros to live on Earth as her companion and servant. Second-century Pagan Gnostics considered Eros the spirit closest to people. They envisioned him as an eternal child (hence all those greeting card images).
A radiantly beautiful androgynous young man who may have wings
He had a shrine in the ancient Greek city of Thespiae, near Mount Helicon.
Encyclopedia of Spirits: The Ultimate Guide to the Magic of Fairies, Genies, Demons, Ghosts, Gods & Goddesses – Written by : Judika Illes Copyright © 2009 by Judika Illes.