The art of stealing fire

The title of today’s post is taken from Liz Greene’s book on Uranus. I’ve been reading this recently and, like most of Greene’s work, it is so rich yet at time overwhelming in its content. Together with Donna Cunningham’s Healing Pluto Problems, they’ve kept me fascinated over the past week. I have an interesting relationship with astrology: for now, I have a magnetic attraction to it, yet when I read works by scholars such as Greene or Cunningham I feel it is way beyond me. Even if I spend the next three years in study – in a serious, dedicated way – I feel that unless I get that “a-ha” moment where one has an intuitive yet lucid flash of understanding of a horoscope, I will not pursue it as a vocation. Still, as my favourite homeboy Lao Tzu says, “Perseverance is favourable”. 😉

So this morning I drew three cards on Liz Greene’s book, more out of creative curiosity than anything else. A rather interesting combination from Jolanda:

I relate the Magician to Prometheus, stealing the fire from the Gods. The Knight of Swords makes me think of the courage and boldness it takes to do so, and the need to do so in a speedy manner, and also I see the Knight as Prometheus journeying across the celestial clouds on his way to reach humanity. And when I look at the 10 of Cups, it’s like an image of humankind in darkness, before receiving the gift of fire. I might be stretching it a bit here, but on this very rainy day my imagination is left to its own sweet wonderings. To be honest, the Knight of Swords card is very peculiar at best: we have sweet angels drawing the chariot, and the Knight holds not just a sword but a sickle as well (which is more fitting for Saturn in my opinion).

Here are three quotes from this book, one for each card I drew.

Prometheus is a magician, an artist, and a culture-bringer. He teaches human beings astrology, architecture, and navigation – everything, in fact, that involves knowledge of how the cosmic or holistic system operates. In this aspect he is different from other culture-bringers, who offer very specific arts or crafts, such as weaving (which is Athene’s gift). Prometheus’ knowledge always involves something heavenly or cosmic, translated into earthly form. Architecture requires an understanding of geometry, which, as any Platonist knows, is ultimately cosmic in nature; astrology and astronomy are obviously aspects of cosmic knowledge. One must have a broad understanding of the entire system to make these arts and sciences work. So Prometheus is a kind of inspirational daimon.

In a creative sense, yoga is a form of magic. It is a discipline which involves psychic or psychological as well as physical energy, and it aims toward balancing the human being through a synthesis of physical and spiritual. The Eastern approach to health has always been more holistic, more attuned to the cosmic system, than ours has, and could therefore be seen as more Uranian, although our high level of technology in medicine is also Uranian, in a different way. Yoga can be enormously creative and healing. Yet I have met many people who are obsessed with it as a kind of dogma. Once again, we can see Uranus operating in both ways – as a creative and constructive force, and sometimes as a rigid world-view which rejects every other perspective.

When one doesn’t belong, one learns to be very tolerant; the wonderer is in no position to feel superior, because he or she learns to be grateful for any sign of welcome, regardless of the social inappropriateness of the welcomer. Do you know the I Ching hexagram, “The Wonderer”? People who are used to belonging, who take social acceptance for granted, can be appallingly intolerant, because they have never experienced deep loneliness. Sometimes there is no one more smug and insufferable than the person who has always had the luxury of belonging to a certain community, and feels superior because of it.


4 thoughts on “The art of stealing fire

  1. Magic Mentha November 20, 2011 / 5:33 pm

    Two things I need to work more persistently in doing and learning: astrology and yoga! I like the idea of both of them, but they both require frequent practice and discipline: two of my worst enemies!!


    • Monica November 20, 2011 / 6:24 pm

      Mentha, I couldn’t agree more. They are equally fascinating yet require a decent amount of effort to master. I guess I have enthusiasm for each on my side and hopefully will be doing some formal study next year. I have my eye on medical astrology in particular 🙂

      Many blessings!

  2. submerina November 20, 2011 / 5:57 pm

    Like you, I am fascinated by astrology and, like you, utterly overwhelmed by it too! There’s just… SO. MUCH. I get as far as “transits” and then I’m all *o_O*

    Have you read “Making the Gods Work For You”? ( It’s not complicated; just examines the mythological archetypes etc. of each of the planets in a very easy, casual way.

    And oh man! The Magician _IS_ Prometheus! Jolanda knows 🙂

    • Monica November 20, 2011 / 6:27 pm

      What’s this, another good astrology book I haven’t set eyes upon?! 🙂 Will be delighted to sink my teeth into that one, from the brief intro on Amazon it does look very tasty.

      Many blessings!

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