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Prometheus and the force of fire

Author: Anja Heij

Look at a flame of a fire or just a small candle. See how mesmerizing the ever-changing forms
of the fire are? Do you experience the pleasant warmth, romantic feelings or sense of truly being
at home, brought about by the flames?

From old fire is regarded as the igniting force of inspiration and creativity. This non-
physical fire is the enthusiasm, courage, action, passion and desire putting things into motion.
The fire in our hearts, bodies and minds keeps us going. We explore, experience, grow, and shape
the world, driven by the heat of the life force.

Several nature cultures locate the element fire at the genitals: it is the heat that creates
new life. Many myths tell of the transfer of divine talents and powers to humanity, with the aim
of growing above the instinctive state and co-create with the gods. Thus the runes, the creative
arts, the art of healing, sciences, and fire have been given to us, to make huge progress on the
spiritual path. A well-known fire myth is the story of Prometheus, an old Greek god whose name
means 'Forethinker', for he was wise and intelligent.

Prometheus formed men from clay and Zeus/Jupiter breathed them in life. The first men were
primitive cavemen and hunters. Prometheus looked upon them with compassion and wanted to give them
the heavenly fire, which burned eternally on Mount Olympus. With this fire, men could make an
enormous progression in civilization and life-style. Zeus refused, fearful that men would become
too powerful and threat his superiority. Prometheus replied that if people were treated well, they
would make a positive use of their new possibilities, but Zeus did not buy that.

Thereupon Prometheus decided to bring the divine fire to humanity without Zeus' consent, hidden
in the hollow stem of the herb Foeniculum (known to promote internal warmth in the body). When
Zeus discovered large fires burning on earth, he got beside himself with fury. Both Prometheus and
mankind should be punished. Pandora, who opened her box with evil and illnesses, bringing about
discord and unhappiness, visited mankind. But: on the bottom of the box also laid Hope, which will
finally lead us back to union again. Prometheus was chained to a rock, and an eagle sent to him
everyday to eat his liver. During the night the liver would replenish itself, so the torture would
go on.

The liver indeed is the body-part with most regenerative power. Just look at the name of this
organ: the word 'live' is in it! In case of a liver transplant more than one person can be served
with just one healthy liver; each receiver will get a piece of it, and the transplanted liver will
miraculously grow to its original proportions. The liver is our chemical factory, transforming
nutrients into useful substances, storing them, and purifying the body of poisonous substances.
The liver makes sure that the fire of life inside can burn well. A healthy liver gives optimism,
energy, and a good sleep. Medical astrology places the liver under rulership of Jupiter and its
sign Sagittarius, characterized by an enormous optimism based on an innate religious

The eagle is symbol of transformation; symbol of resurrection after having confronted one's
difficulties. It is a strong symbol of eternal life, living and surviving all its phases. After
30.000 years the great hero Hercules, personification of courage and strength, freed Prometheus
from his earthly boundaries and the pain of restriction.

The great romantic poet Shelley wrote a beautiful poem,' Prometheus Unbound', in which he

"To suffer woes which Hope thinks infinite;
To forgive wrongs darker than Death
or Night;
To defy Power which seems Omnipotent;
To love, and bear; to hope, till Hope
From his own wreck the thing it contemplates…"

Never give up, light your fire; facing your pain and difficulties will eventually set you free.

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