Cora Vivian © An Investigation on Myths


Task 1: Defining

What do you know about myths?

They teach you something. I mostly hear about Greek stories. They come thousands of years ago. Almost all the stories I hear about are about Gods and Goddesses.

The myths that I chose:

Myth areas: Love story

Cultures: Roman and Hindu

Title of the Stories: Cupid and Psyche and Parvati, The Goddess of Love and Devotion

The three questions that will be answered in my report:

What are the similarities?

What are the differences?

Why do people have myths?


Task 2: Retrieving

Where do you think you can find sources of information?

The library, in the non-fiction section and also the reference section. Google and Wikipedia are also good choices. A mythology site. From my grandparents since they always tell stories about my culture and others too.

Getting to know the library:

Where in the library would you find a old newspaper article? In the information file

Where in the library would you find an encyclopedia? In the Reference Section

Where in the library would you find a biography? The non-fiction area

Where in the library would you find a autobiography? Also, in the non-fiction area


Task 3: Processing

Summary for Cupid and Psyche :

There was a girl named Psyche who was so beautiful that it drove the Goddess of beauty, Venus, envious and jealousy. Commanding her son, Cupid, to ensure that no man would ever love her. Cupid went to Psyche one night, and accidentally plucks himself with one of his golden arrows and fell in love with her. He still followed his mother's orders that no man would fall in love with her.

Her parents, surprised that no man asked them for their daughter's hand decided to consult a oracle. The Oracle told them that Psyche had angered the Gods some way and she should be left to the nearest mountain because her beauty was too great for a mere mortal man. Terrified, they had no choice but to follow. Soon, Zephyr, the God of the winds came and swooped her away to a beautiful palace.

During darkness, Psyche's husband goes to her. Cupid visits her every night and demanded her that she never light any lamps, since he does not want her to know who he is yet.

Her two jealous sisters came to her one day telling Psyche, who was pregnant with Cupid's child at the time, that their were rumors that her husband was a monster waiting to devour her and the child. And that she should find out as soon as possible if this was true. Sadly, Psyche follows their advice, she also was anxious to truly see her husband for the first time. Lying in her bed was Cupid in her shock she prickled herself with one of his golden arrows and is consumed with desire for her husband. She kisses him, but as she does, a drop of oil falls from her lamp onto Cupid's shoulder and wakes him.

Outraged, Cupid flew and abandoned her. Out of hopelessness, she went to Venus and begged for help. Still slightly angry and jealous refuses to help unless Psyche agrees to do the three tasks to prove her devotion. Psyche agreed.

The first task was to sort out a storehouse full of grains. Despairing, she asked for help. An army of ants pities her and helps her sort out the grains. She was next directed to gather a handful of wool from a dangerous, wild sheep. Again, she asked for help. A river-God tells her to wait until noontime when the sheep will go to other side of the field and sleep. She then can gather the wool.

Venus was outraged that the girl had performed the tasks well. For the final task, Venus says that the stress of caring for her son, and Psyche's lack of faith has caused her to loose some of her beauty. She then gives Psyche a box and tells her to go to the Underworld to get some beauty from Proserpina. Psyche travelled to the underworld and met the Queen of the dead, who gave her a box, commanding her not to open it. Psyche felt that she had worked so hard and needed a reward. She thought to open the box and get some beauty for herself. However, when she opened the box and discovered that it was no beauty and it put her into infernal sleep.

Cupid had already forgiven Psyche and rushed to see her. Wipes the sleep of her face and declares his marriage to the other Gods. Jupiter then has Psyche fetched to Mount Olympus and gives her a drink that will turn her to an immortal.

Cupid and Psyche had a child called Voluptas.

Summary for Parvati, The Goddess of Love and Devotion:

It was a dark time for the Gods. Demons from the Netherworld had driven Gods away from their heavenly homes. Shiva, the God of War was not there to protect them anymore. Shiva had turned his back to the world, grieving for the woman he loved. He secluded himself in his cave.

The Gods were desperate for a solution, they decided to consult the mother Goddess, Shakti, who suggested that only a child of Shiva can wage a successful war against the demons. Shakti was reborn as the daughter of the Lord of the Mountain and was named Paravti.

Even when she was young, Parvati fancied Shiva and would clean his cave, give him some fruits and decorate his cave with flowers. Shiva spurned her efforts. (Some versions say he rejected her because she had dark skin.)

Parvati was determined though. She decided to go up the mountains and be an ascetic herself, proving that she was worthy of Shiva's love.

Parvati lived in the forest, no clothes and no food to eat. She had mastered her physical needs. Soon enough, she was able to match Shiva's powers that it attracted the Supreme Deity, Brahma.

Brahma took pity on her and asked what she wanted. Ashamed of her dark skin, she asked for golden skin. Brahma granted her wish.

When Shiva saw her, he realized how beautiful and powerful she had become. They soon become married in a sacred ritual performed by the Gods.

Parvati kept her promise to the Gods, she sent them part of Shiva's aura and with the help of the river Goddess Ganga who cooled it into her icy waters until it formed intoa seed.

The seed was planted on a fertile soil and it grew into the warrior God named Skanda. He soon took command and defeated the demons.

Parvati wanted a child of her own. Shiva didn't want to be bothered with offspring and spitefully gave her a scrap of cloth and told her to make a doll and cuddle it instead.

Hurt by Shiva's remark. Parvati went to a cave and mediate and get control of her emotions. Grasping the cloth to her chest, Parvati's tears dropped on it and the cloth grew into form of Ganesha, her son.

Shiva began to regret his act and came to find Parvati to apologize. Ganesha didn't recognize him and blocked his way.

Shiva flew into outrage and beheaded him. Parvati's grief was so intense that Shiva promised to find Ganesha another head. Though Shiva could only find an elephant's head.

Ganesha was reborn as half human, half elephant. He became the Keeper of the Threshold and the God of Good Fortune.

His union with Parvati eventually inspired Shiva to accept pleasure into his life. He soon became patron of the Arts and Lord of Dance.


Task 4: Creating

Answer questions using the information that you found.

What are the similarities of the two myths?

Both myths are about falling in love with a God or someone mythical. Also, when Cupid and Shiva (both men from the two myths that I picked) turned away from the two heroine/women in the story, they still try to gain both men's love. Each using different methods to rekindle their love.

Both heroine also wants to be pretty. Psyche opening the box so she can take some beauty for herself that Venus (Aphrodite) said. Though instead when she opened the box, it put her into an infernal sleep. While Parvati, living on the forest to meditate and gain power so that Shiva can notice her. She soon gains a lot of energy that it attracted the supreme deity Brahma. Brahman took pity on her when he heard her story and asked what she wanted. Parvati, ashamed, told Brahma that she has dark skin and wanted gold skin. Brahma granted her wish.

What are the differences between two myths?

The two myths that I picked are from different cultures. One is from Roman while the other is from Hindu.

In the Roman myth, there is a villain stopping Cupid and Psyche from falling together and that's Venus, Cupid's mother.

In my Hindu myth, there is no real villain except for themselves. Shiva's partner died. Shiva was in grief and didn't want to let Parvati into his life. Initially, there was an internal struggle. The villain being himself.

Another difference is that Cupid (boy) falls in love with Psyche (girl) first. While in my Hindu myth, Parvati (girl) falls in love with Shiva (boy).

Why do people have myths?

I think people have myths because it defines their cultures. Some people tell stories of how they believe in gods and goddesses and create stories of who those gods are. There's also a bit of mystery, since we don't know if it really happened or not.

For example, there are some stories that tells you of how the Earth came to being or of how bad things came to humanity. Somehow myths provide people explanations on some things science cannot explain. And, undeniably they make people feel good too. Sometimes they can be source of inspirations too.


Task 5: Communicating

My Report:

Date: 06/09/2011

Title: Report for Myths

My two myths are the Roman myth of Cupid and Psyche and a Hindu Indian myth about Parvati, The Goddess of Love and Devotion. These are both love myths. I am intrigued by these stories because even though they are Gods and Goddesses they can still feel human emotions. To this I can relate to.

In this report, I will be asking questions about these myths. Answers will focus on their similarities, their differences and why do people have myths.

What are the similarities between the two stories? I focused on the main plot to find their similarities: love. Both stories are about falling in love with a God or someone mythical. A second similarity is when both Cupid and Shiva (both men from my myths) turned away from the two heroine/women in the story. Though both both women still try to gain both men's love by using different methods.

Another similarity is that Parvati and Psyche (the two women from my myths) wants to be pretty. Each having different ways to express their want for beauty. For example, Psyche opening the box so she can take some beauty for herself that Venus (Aphrodite) said. Though instead when she opened the box, it put her into an infernal sleep and Cupid had to save her.

While Parvati, living on the forest to meditate and gain power so that Shiva can notice her. She soon gains a lot of energy/power that it attracted the supreme deity Brahma. Brahman took pity on her when he heard her story and asked what she wanted. Parvati, ashamed, told Brahma that she has dark skin and wanted gold skin. Brahma granted her wish.

What are their differences in the two stories? The two myths that I picked are from different cultures. One is Roman while the other is Hindu Indian. This difference causes a big distinction on how these love myths are told.

Also, in the Roman myth, there is a villain stopping Cupid and Psyche from falling together and that is Venus, Cupid's mother. While in my Hindu myth, there is no real villain except for themselves. Shiva's partner died. Shiva was in grief and didn't want to let Parvati into his life. Initially, there was an internal struggle. The villain being himself.

Another difference is that Cupid (boy) falls in love with Psyche (girl) first. While in my Hindu myth, Parvati (girl) falls in love with Shiva (boy).

Why do people have myths? Myths are traditional stories, they're mostly about people from the early times. I think people have myths because it defines their cultures.

Some people tell stories of how they believe in gods and goddesses and create stories of who those gods are. There's also a bit of mystery, since we don't know if it really happened or not. Some myths explain natural or social phenomena that even science cannot explain. Few myths make people feel good. While sometimes they can be source of inspirations too.

Cupid and Psyche and Parvati, The Goddess of Love and Devotion may be two worlds and lifetimes apart. However, they're similarities and plot cannot be overlooked. Both love stories tell of their internal and outside struggles that led to victory and a happy ending.

Though their differences are noticeable, they seem small compared to the theme of the whole story.

Stories such as these may or may not be true. However, the passing of these myths will go on and go on. And it will always remain mythical.


Task 6: Reflecting

What went well?

I think the relief teachers helped me and helped me understand the whole meaning of this report. They were patient and explained what to do in the report thoroughly. The times in the library helped me too. Where we had to look for myths and legends on the selected books.

What could I do to make it better?

I started a bit late and it caused a bit of stress for me. I didn't know in what format to submit the report since it did not cross my mind until I actually started writing it.

I think I should really plan ahead on what myths to do my report on and focus on it until the end.

What did I learn about my question and the process?

I learned to analyze stories. Their differences and similarities and the reason why people have myths. I learned to read between the lines and actually read differently. Comparing two stories to each other.

The process helped me to be organized and made it easy to sit down and write my report.

What advice would I give other students who are about to start this process?

Follow the process. From Task One to Task Six. It actually helps. Tick the boxes when you finished that part of the investigation.

Don't be afraid to ask questions, to your teachers or peers. You'll be surprised on what they actually think.

Let your teacher check on what you're doing so that you can learn from her/him. If you think this is hard, but when you actually start doing it you'll find that it's enjoyable!


AN: I had to do this research project for English. I hoped you found it educational and helpful!