According to psychologists Jean Shinoda Bolen and Robert Johnson, there are very few stories that describe the psychology of feminine, rather than masculine, development.

The myth of Psyche is one of them.

Psyche is a mortal woman who wants to find her estranged husband, Eros, God of Love and son of Aphrodite. Aphrodite, whose jealous fit led to their meeting and falling in love in the first place, holds the key to their being reunited: it often happens that whatever has wounded us is instrumental in our healing.

To become who she is – to accomplish all that she is meant to – Psyche needs to not only love and nurture and care and connect, she also must learn to sort through and prioritize her possibilities, obtain power without selling her soul, keep her eyes on her prize, and say no.

May I now share with you Mallika Sundaramurthy‘s original Myth of Psyche illustrations?

Task 1:  Sort the seedsSift through and prioritize possibilities

Task 2:  Gather the fleeceGet things done

Task 3:  Fill the flaskAccomplish a goal

Task 4:  Fill a box with beauty ointmentLearn to say no

Which of these four tasks is most difficult for you?

What can we learn from the men in our lives as we complete our hero's journey?

What can men learn from us?

If you think these images are as wonderful as I do, please take a moment to let Mallika know.  She may even be willing to sell a print to you  — I know I'm going to want one.

All images are copyright by Mallika Sundaramurthy and Whitney Johnson, 2008. 

P.S.  Mallika is the artist who designed my pOstcard for the Oprah contest last year.  It's fabulous, isn't it?

Related posts:
Stories We Love and Live By – The Myth of Psyche
A Hero's Journey
Psyche and Choice
Learning to Say No
The Galadriel Test