August 1, 2014 at 8:26 pm 5 comments

Prometheus is a Titan, the son of Iapetos and Klymene.

In the war between the Titans and the Olympians, Prometheus (his name means “foresight”) knew that the Olympians would win, so he convinced his brother Epimetheus to join him in siding with them. Prometheus created humans out of clay. Later he noticed that humans were cold on earth, and feeling compassion for them,  he decided to steal fire from Olympus to share with them. In punishment, he was chained to Mt. Parnassus, and every day an eagle would come and eat his liver. Every night his liver would grow back, in a cycle of endless torture. Finally his agony was ended when he was freed by Herakles, and apparently by that point Zeus had gotten over it- or maybe it was because it was his son that was freeing him?

I tend to think of Prometheus as a patron of reason, free-thinking and humanism- which may seem contradictory, but as I’ve stated before humanism does not necessarily exclude theism. I also associate the flaming chalice symbol of Unitarian Universalism with him- it represents the torch of civilization being passed on and the light of reason. Prometheus reminds as we revere the gods to not forget about humanity. He inspires us to challenge unjust authority, while his story warns us that rebellion does come at a cost.

Theoi article on Prometheus

Speculation on Reddit: Were the Titans the gods of a pre-Greek society that was supplanted?

Origin of the Flaming Chalice as a symbol of UU-ism

Threads on the Cauldron Forum: Honoring Prometheus, Experiences Honoring Prometheus?


Entry filed under: Deities, Mythology, Theology, Unitarian Universalism. Tags: , , , , , , , .

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5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Lesley  |  August 3, 2014 at 5:42 am

    After the movie Prometheus, I can’t picture him as anything other than the engineers.

    • 2. caelesti  |  August 5, 2014 at 1:37 am

      I haven’t seen the movie, but I don’t think Prometheus as a mythic figure or god was involved, it’s just the name that was used. I think of Hephaestus, the smith-god as being the patron of engineers.

  • 3. aediculaantinoi  |  August 5, 2014 at 1:05 am

    I have a theory on possible connections between Prometheus delivering fire to humans in a hollow fennel stalk, and the Dionysian thyrsos, which I’ll perhaps elaborate on for you at some other time…!

  • 4. caelesti  |  August 5, 2014 at 1:36 am

    I’d definitely like to hear more! Dionysos is also very much associated with human liberation, though in a different way. Fennel also has some Italian folklore surrounding it.

  • 5. Pagan Blog Project Archive Post | The Lefthander's Path  |  January 4, 2015 at 10:20 am

    […] – Prometheus August […]


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