Pluto, Uranus, Prometheus, & Herschel
A few years ago, I wrote a piece about Uranus and Prometheus….
- Tarnas’ original essay: http://www.amazon.com/Prometheus-Awakener-Archetypal-Meaning-Dunquin/dp/0882142216
- A reply to Chandler’s reply to Tarnas by Gerry Goddard: http://www.islandastrology.net/herschel.html
I have retained no copy of my original work, and the Wayback Machine did not either. As far as I know, it is forever lost.
However, I will summarize my points, from memory, here:
- Uranus, mythologically, was a castrated sky god (a source of disdain and not much inspiration)
- The planet in question is symbolic of THE source of inspiration of all the planets routinely used in astrology (except by traditionalists who refuse to use any modern concepts starting with, roughly, the discovery of the planet in question)
- The story of Prometheus much more closely fits the idea and purpose of the planet. That is, even though Prometheus did fall (twice! once after liberating the Olympian gods and again after giving fire to the humans), he is truly inspirational. His story is the basis of the Olympian torch, and more traditional Christians appear to have re-written his story into the “fallen angel” Lucifer (the “Light Bringer” who was the most beautiful of all angels). (Some disagree and the debate still rages among some. Decide for yourself.But, whatever you decide, keep in mind that the Titan Prometheus was always more of a source of controversy than the castrated Sky God. (And that is ONE way he enlightens. Still does.)
- Finally, based on these ideas, I argued planet that we typically call Uranus really should be called Prometheus. I noted that I would continue to say “Uranus” for the sake of communicating with readers but then noting my real opinion on the idea to help elucidate (pun intended) my ideas to my readers.
I have written this short piece to fill in the gap left by the deletion of my previous piece. Hopefully it will clarify this somewhat important point to my more regular readers (over 130 of them now, as of this writing).
One more point, in addition to the work of Tarnas, I still think that the works of Rudhyar and Jung are especially important to understanding what the “Light Bringer” is trying to tell us with his “tricks” and surprises that encourage us to raise our consciousness and develop some bit of forethought. And, as we continue to progress in a Promethean world characterized by the Internet and “Smart Phones,” such understanding is nothing less than essential.
[Update 2015-08-08] I have located a copy of the original text, and it follows next:
Pluto Still BeDevils the IAU
When Pluto was “officially” demoted from status as a planet a few years ago, I was unofficially upset.
Why would such a change be made? And, could the IAU really have that level of authority, given that the rest of us had accepted the Little Devil as a planet for so many generations?
Over the years, I have been a student of “authority.” Much of what we call “authority” is really voluntarily given, with a kick in the seat of the pants from what is essentially “peer pressure.” More than a few authorities are merely bullies that use their schoolyard gangs to force the rest of us to cry “Uncle.”
The consequence of the IAU’s assertion of their “authority” has been the inspiration of a rebellion.
(Does anyone recall their ongoing effort to get the rest of us to refer to the Sun as “Sol”? Sounds like they want to rename our home star after a Discount Men’s Clothing Salesman.)
That Planet Named Uranus
So, consider an article titled “Uranus, Prometheus or just plain Herschel?”
The obvious key question: Should Uranus actually be called “Uranus”?
The not-so-obvious key question is “why are we stuck using the Greek / Roman pantheons, anyway?”
First off, hats off to Gerry Goddard for his thoughts on this matter. I wish that he hadn’t passed through transition in 2007; I’d like to discuss this article with him.
The Traditional Name of the Tradition Breaker
Gerry throws his hat in the ring regarding the question of whether the planet we know as Uranus should be called Uranus or Prometheus. He points out that the notion that the name “Uranus” should continue to be used because of “tradition” or “authority” is really a ludicrous paradox. Tradition (or “we’ve always done it that way”) is precisely the ANTITHESIS of the energy of that planet. Certainly the IAU was quite willing to dispense with the idea of “we’ve always done it that way” when they demoted Pluto.
AND, dear reader, consider that the moniker of a castrated sky-god who was deposed by his peers isn’t the best name for that planet.
This planet is about rebellion: “authority” is its enemy. “Uranus” was a Fallen Authority rather than a Rebel.
The first Titan (remember the Titans?), he was castrated by his son, Kronos (Saturn). And, all of the Titans were later exiled by Zeus (Jupiter) in a rebellion. The supposed symbol of rebellion was an authority figure who was deposed and castrated by his own group, only to be exiled (along with his group) by a new set of rebels? Frankly, Uranus doesn’t sound very Uranian.
On the other hand, Prometheus was the Titan who defected from the established others to join a younger rebel group. Prometheus (aka “forethougth,” or seeing the future) also rebelled against the rebels (the Olympians) to side with an even newer and younger group (humans). Maybe Prometheus is more Uranian than Uranus?
Not So Traditional Names
Goddard points out that we could solve the debate about “Promethus v. Uranus” simply by calling the planet “Herschel” after the discoverer.
This is even more rebellious because it jumps out of the system of the Greek / Roman mythology altogether. That is what skeptical, but brilliant, Douglas Hofstadter calls JOOSTing. Since astrology doesn’t fit within the box, or system, of “skepticism,” a skeptic’s idea of “jumping out of the system” somehow seems particularly appropriate to this planet.
[I should stop with the “Astrology v. Skeptic” stuff, lest I become mired by that Titanic debate.]
How about this: maybe the notion of using the Greek or Roman pantheons is a box, or prison, that we should leave altogether? We could name the Sun “Bob” and the Moon “Vera.”
Pluto could be known as “The Little Devil.” We’d strip the IAU of any power or authority in our system by ignoring questions of Planethood altogether. And, Uranus wouldn’t be called Uranus or Prometheus, but would be known by another name. Maybe we could call it “JOOST.”
Or, maybe is wouldn’t be known by a name at all, but by a symbol, color, or a number (or all three together)? In honor of Robert Anton Wilson (author of “Prometheus Rising”), we could number it “twenty-three.” Or, maybe just “23.” Or, maybe “JOOST-23?”
The Prince of Rebellion
Maybe the planet called Uranus is a bit like the artist called ‘Prince” once known as the symbol formerly known as the artist called “Prince.”
Note that I only half-jest. Maybe the reader should consider renaming and re-conceptualizing the planets and their symbols. JOOST think of the possibilities