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URANUS - OURANÓS - ΟΥΡΑΝΟΣ

The Limits of Mind - Ὅρια Νοός

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Ouranós

As Yaia (Gaia, Γαῖα) is Earth, Ouranós is Sky; they are both personal manifestations of the two kozmogonic substances, Earth and Water, but they are progressed, conscious entities. Ouranós is one of the most important deities of Ællinismόs (Hellenismos, Ἑλληνισμός), the ancient Greek religion; he is a mighty and splendid God. In the mythology, Ouranós is presented in a negative way, but this is mythic language and should not be taken literally. The Orphic hymn to Ouranós states that he is the father of Gods and men; this same declaration is made for both Krónos and Zefs in their respective hymns. He is called the "abode of the Gods," for his very existence is the foundation of divinity. His aithirial nature, like the rómvos (rhombus or top, ρόμβος), whirls through all the heavens and through our very soul, for he is Aithír (Aether or Ether, Αἰθήρ) itself, evolved into a divine consciousness. He is called the Panypǽrtatos Daimohn (Panypertatus Daemon, Πανυπέρτατος Δαίμων), the most exalted and highest divinity.


Etymology

Ouranós - (Uranus; Gr. Οὐρανός, ΟΥΡΑΝΟΣ. Pronounced: oo-rah-NOHS) Etym. ὅρος, "boundary, limit" + νόος, "mind," thus ὅρια νοός, "the limits of the mind." The English word horizon comes from the ancient Greek word ὁρίζω which comes from ὅρος (> ϝόρϝος) "limit, boundary." We can see the sky only as far as its boundary, the horizon. In Greek, the word ouranós means, simply, "sky [1]." 

Plátohn (Plato, Πλάτων) in the Kratýlos (Cratylus, Κρατύλος) gives this meaning to his name:

"But, according to report, Saturn (Krónos) is the son of Heaven (Ouranós): and sight directed to things above is called by this name ουρανια, from beholding things situated on high. From whence, O Hermogenes (Ἑρμογένης), those who discourse on sublime affairs, say that a pure intellect is present with him, and that he is very properly denominated Heaven (Ouranós)." [2]
 
The Latin word, Uranus, is derived from the Greek. Also we find the pure Latin Caelum or Caelus [3], related to the word caelo which means "to carve," as in carving a relief in metal or marble. [4]
 


The Parentage of Ouranós
  

According to Orphic TheogonyOuranós is born of Nyx who gave him supreme power.  

" 'First indeed is the reign of glorious Irikæpaios,' as declared in the poem, with Nyx holding in her hand the brilliant scepter of Irikæpaios, and then Ouranós, the first of the Gods to reign after Nyx." [5]

...who (Ouranós) first reigned over the Gods after Nyx. [6] 

A
nd this in agreement with the Dærvǽni (Derveni; Gr. Δερβένι) Papyrus. [7] This text says that Ouranós was the first to rule, referring to the lineage of the Six Vasileis (Basileis or Kings, Βασιλεῖς [Βασιλεύς is singular]), he following Phánis (Phanes, Φάνης) and Nyx (Νύξ). Why is he first to rule?...because he is the first personal deity in the series, Phánis and Nyx being impersonal deities. Nyx precedes Ouranós and Phánis before Nyx.


The Progeny of Ouranós

Ouranós is the first personal God, or, rather, he and Yaia are the first personal deities. The pairing of Ouranós and Yaia is described as the first marriage. [8]

According to the Orphic Rhapsodic theogony Ouranós and Yaia fathered children: the Kýklohpæs (Cyclopes, Κύκλωπες) and Ækatónkheiræs (Hekatonkheires or "hundred-handed-ones," Ἑκατόνχειρες) were born first but Ouranós found them an unruly bunch and pushed them deep into the earth [9] . Yaia, angered, gave birth to the Titánæs (Titans,Τιτᾶνες[10].

The Kýklohpæs were three in number, but counted together with their sons, they were seven, a number which causes pause. They were smith-like Gods freed by Krónos, who later drove them into Tártaros (Τάρταρος), and later yet to be freed by Zefs, for whom they forged his great weapon, the Kæravnós (Keraunos, Κεραυνός), the thunderbolt. They also created the three-pronged spear or scepter called the Tríaina (Trident, Τρίαινα) wielded by mighty Poseidóhn, and they made the Áïdos kynǽin (Aïdos kuneēn, Ἄϊδος κυνέην), the dog-skin cap of Ploutohn which renders the wearer invisible.

The Ækatónkheiræs were three brothers of the Kýklohpæs. They were creators of violent storms and hurricanes, terrifying and dangerous portents, but natural phenomena nonetheless. They are associated with violent occurrences of nature, upheavals of the earth and extreme weather. So, it is obvious that neither of these groups of deities are "evil" in any way, but they may appear so to mortals which encounter the effects of their manifestation in the Kózmos (Cosmos, Κόσμος).


The Defeat of Ouranós by Krónos

Yaia (Gaia) plotted against Ouranós for suppressing her sons and implored the Titans to defeat him. All the Titánæs agreed to the plot with the exception of Okæanós (Oceanus, Ὠκεανός) [11] . When Ouranós came to Yaia's bed to lie with her, the conspirators overtook and bound him and Krónos (Cronus, Κρόνος) castrated his father with a sickle given to him by Yaia. The generative powers of Ouranós have been transformed and are now held by his son. Krónos then cast his father's genitals into the sea and from the foam that rose was born Aphrodíti (Aphrodite, Ἀφροδίτη) [12] . The Orphic Rhapsodic theogony presents two births of the Goddess Aphrodíti. The blood of Ouranós falling into the sea produces Heavenly Aphrodíti (Ουρανíα Ἀφροδίτη), she who unites with Áris (Ἄρης) and gives birth to Harmony (Harmonia, Ἁρμονία). The Common Aphrodíti (Πάνδημος Ἀφροδίτη), she who blesses the sexual union of mortals, is produced from the semen of Zefs (Ζεύς) falling into the sea as he pursued the Goddess Dióhni (Dione, Διώνη) [13].



Ouranós and the Six Vasileis

Ouranós is a constituent of the evolutionary progression of Aithír (Aether, Αἰθήρ) known as the dynasty of the Six Vasileis (Basileis = Kings, Βασιλεῖς [Βασιλεύς is singular]): PhánisNyx,  OuranósKrónosZefs (Ζεύς), and Diónysos [14]. Phánis and Nyx are not personal deities but are primordial divine aspects of AithírOuranós is the first personal deity of the six; he and all those who follow him are conscious deities. Please visit this page for the mythology of the Six Kings: Orphic Rhapsodic Theogony.


The Orphic Hymn to Ouranós:


4. Ouranós [Sky or The Heavens, Οὐρανός] [15]

The Fumigation from Frankincense.

Great Heav'n, whose mighty frame no respite knows,
Father of all, from whom the world arose:
Hear, bounteous parent, source and end of all,
Forever whirling round this earthly ball;
Abode of Gods, whose guardian pow'r surrounds [16] 
Th' eternal World with ever during bounds;
Whose ample bosom and encircling folds
The dire necessity of nature holds.
Ætherial, earthly, whose all-various frame
Azure and full of forms, no power can tame.
All-seeing Heav'n, progenitor of Time, [17] 
Forever blessed, deity sublime,
Propitious on a novel mystic shine,
And crown his wishes with a life divine.

4. Οὐρανοῦ, θυμίαμα λίβανον.

Οὐρανὲ παγγενέτωρ, κόσμου μέρος αἰὲν ἀτειρές,
πρεσβυγένεθλ', ἀρχὴ πάντων πάντων τε τελευτή,
κόσμε πατήρ, σφαιρηδὸν ἑλισσόμενος περὶ γαῖαν,
οἶκε θεῶν μακάρων, ῥόμβου δίνῃσιν ὁδεύων,
οὐράνιος χθόνιός τε φύλαξ πάντων περιβληθείς,
ἐν στέρνοισιν ἔχων φύσεως ἄτλητον ἀνάγκην,
κυανόχρως, ἀδάμαστε, παναίολε, αἰολόμορφε,
πανδερκές, Κρονότεκνε, μάκαρ, πανυπέρτατε δαῖμον,
κλῦθ' ἐπάγων ζωὴν ὁσίαν μύστηι νεοφάντηι.


EPITHETS OF OURANÓS (under construction)

Akmonídæs - (Acmonides; Gr. Ακμονίδες, ΑΚΜΟΝΙΔΕΣ. Etym. from the God Ἄκμων, whose name is derived from ἀκάματος, "unwearying," thought of as a characteristic of the heavens.) According to the ancient Spartan poet Alkmán (Alcman, Ἀλκμάν), Ákmohn is the father of Ouranós (frag. 61 Εὐστάθιος commentary on the Ιλιάς Ὁμήρου), for which he (Ouranós) is called Akmonídæs (Son of Ákmohn)Ákmohn is a name for Aithír (Aether, Αἰθήρ).

Caelus - (CælusCaelus (also Coelus) is the Roman sky God and thus equated with Ouranós.

Coelus - (CœlusCoelus (also Caelus) is the Roman sky-God and thus equated with Ouranós.

Kozmokrátohr - (Cosmocrator; Gr. Κοσμοκράτωρ, ΚΟΣΜΟΚΡΑΤΩΡ) lord of the world.


Kronótæknæ - (Cronotecne; Gr. Κρονότεκνε, 
ΚΡΟΝΟΤΕΚΝΕFather of Krónos.

Ória Noós - (Gr. Ὅρια Νοός) Ória Noós is Ouranós, the limits of mind. We acquire the English word "horizon" from ὅρια.

Panypǽrtatos Daimohn - (Panypertatus Daemon; Gr. Πανυπέρτατος Δαίμων, ΠΑΝΥΠΕΡΤΑΤΟΣ ΔΑΙΜΩΝ) the highest and most exalted divinity.


NOTES:

[1] Greek English Lexicon by Liddel & Scott, 1843.

[2] Κρατύλος Πλάτωνος 396c, trans. Thomas Taylor, 1804. Below is Taylor's note concerning this line of the text:

"Heaven (Ouranós), which is here characterized by sight, is the heaven which Plato so much celebrates in the Phædrus (Φαῖδρος), 247c and composes that order of Gods which is called by the Chaldean oracles νοητός καί νοερός, i.e. intelligible, and at the same time intellectual. This will be evident from considering that Plato, in what follows, admits with Hesiod, that there are Gods superior to heaven, such as night, chaos, &c. But as sight corresponds to intelligence, and this is the same with that which is both intelligible and intellectual, and as Saturn (Κρόνος) is the summit of the intellectual order, it is evident that heaven must compose the middle order of Gods characterized by intelligence, and that the order above this must be entirely intelligible. In consequence of all this, what must we think of their system, who suppose Heaven (Ouranós), Saturn (Κρόνος), and Jupiter (Ζεὺς), and indeed all the Gods of the ancients, to have been nothing more than dead men deified, notwithstanding the above etymologies, and the express testimony of Plato to the contrary in the Timæus (Τίμαιος), who represents the Demiurgus commanding the subordinate Gods, after he had produced them, to fabricate men and other animals? For my own part, I know not which to admire most, the ignorance, the impudence, or the impiety of such assertions. All that can be said is, that such opinions are truly barbaric, modern and Galilæan."

[3] Latin Dictionary by Lewis and Short, 1879, under caelo.

[4] Latin Dictionary by Lewis and Short, 1879, under caelo.

[5] Orphic frag. 107. (85) De deorum regnis hi loci extant: Ἀλέξανδρος ὁ Ἀφροδισιεύς in his commentary on Ἀριστοτέλης' μετὰ τὰ φυσικά. N 1091 b 4 (821, 5 Hayd.):

....πρῶτον μὲν γὰρ 'Βασίλευσε περίκλυτος Ἠρικεπαῖος' (fr. 108) φησὶν ἡ ποίησις, μεθ' ὃν Νὺξ 'σκῆπτρον ἔχους' ἐν χερσὶν ἀριπρεπὲς Ἠρικεπαίου (fr. 102) μεθ' ἣν Οὑρανός, 'ὃς πρώτος βασίλευσε θεῶν μετὰ μητέρα Νύκτα (fr. 111) ---, οὗτοι δὴ διὰ τὸ τοὺς ἄρχοντας μεταβάλλειν τὸ ἀγαθὸν καὶ ἄριστον ὕστερον ποιοῦσιν.

“ 'First indeed is the reign of glorious Irikæpaios,' as declared in the poem, with Nyx holding in her hand the brilliant scepter of Irikæpaios, and then Ouranós, the first of the Gods to reign after Nyx." (trans. by the author)

[6] Orphic frag. 111. (85) Ἀλέξανδρος ὁ Ἀφροδισιεύς in his commentary on Ἀριστοτέλης' μετὰ τὰ φυσικά. N 1091 b 4 (821, 19 Hayd.): 

ὃς πρῶτος βασίλευσε θεῶν μετὰ Νύκτα

“...who (Ouranós) first reigned over the Gods after Nyx.” (trans. by the author)

[7] Δερβένι βύβλος Col. 14.

[8] Orphic frag. 112. (91) Πρόκλος Commentary on the Τίμαιος 30e (III 176 10 Diehl): 

καὶ εἰώθασι γάμον οἱ θεολόγοι προσαγορεύειν· οἰκεῖος γὰρ καὶ ὁ γάμος τῆι τάξει ταύτηι, καθά φησιν ὁ θεολόγος· πρώτην γὰρ νύμφην ἀποκαλεῖ τὴν Γῦν καὶ πρώτιστον γάμον τῦν ἕνωσιν αὐτῆς τὴν πρὸς τὸν Οὐρανον· οὐ γὰρ ἐν τοῖς μάλιστα ἡνωμένοις ὁ γάμος, διὸ Φάνητος οὐκ ἔστι γάμος καὶ Νυκτός, ἀλλήλοις νοητῶς, ἀλλ' ἐν τοῖς μετα τῦς ἑνώσεως καὶ τὸ διηιρημένον τῶν δυνάμεων καὶ τῶν ἐνεργειῶν ἐπιδεικνυμένοις.

"And this union theologists are accustomed to call marriage. For marriage, as the theologist Orpheus says, is appropriate to this order. For he calls Earth (Γαῖα) the first Nymph (ed. woman), and the union of her with Heaven (Οὐρανός) the first marriage; since there is no marriage in the divinities that are in the most eminent degree united. Hence there is no marriage between Phanes and Night..." (trans. Thomas Taylor, 1820.)

[9] Orphic frag. 121. (97) Πρόκλος Commentary on the Τίμαιος 40e (III 185, 20 Diehl):

μᾶλλον δὲ πάντον οὐρανίων γενῶν τὰ μὲν μένει μόνον ἐν ταῖς ἀρχαῖς, ὥσπερ αἱ δύο πρῶται τριάδες --- ὡς γὰρ ἐνόησε, φησίν [sc. ὁ θεολόγος], αὐτοὺς ὁ Οὐρανὸς
                             ἀμείλχον ἦτορ ἔχοντας
καὶ φύσιν ἐκνομίην ᵕᵕ-ᵕᵕ-ᵕᵕ-ᵕ
ῥῖψε βαθὺν γαιης Τάρταρον.

"For (says Orpheus) as soon as Heaven (Ouranós) understood that they had an implacable heart, and a lawless nature, he hurled them into Tartarus, the profundity of Earth." (trans. Thomas Taylor, 1824.)

The text is somewhat unclear as to whether it was only the Kýklohpæs and the Ækatónkheiræs who were imprisoned in Yaia.

[10] Orphic frag. 114. (95) Πρόκλος Commentary on the Τίμαιος 40e (III 184, 1 Diehl):

ἑπτὰ μὲν εὐειδεῖς κούρας (ἑλικώπιδας, ἁγνάς,) 
ἑπτὰ δὲ παῖδας ἄνακτας (ἐγείνατο λαχνήεντας)·
θυγατέρας μὲν (τίκτε?) Θέμιν καὶ ἐΰφρονα Τηθὺν
Μνημοσύνην τε βαθυπλόκαμον Θείαν τε μάκαιραν,
ἠδὲ Διώνην τίκτεν ἀριπρεπὲς εἶδος ἔχουσαν
Φοίβην τε Ῥείην τε, Διὸς γενέτειραν ἄνακτος·

παῖδας δὲ ἄλλους τοσούτους·

Κοῖόν τε Κρῖόν τε μέγαν Φόρκυν τε κραταιὸν
καὶ Κρόνον Ὠκεανόν θ' Ὑπερίονά τ' Ἰαπετόν τε.

(Yaia begot:) "Indeed seven comely daughters (with rolling eyes, holy)
Daughters indeed (begotten) Thǽmis (θέμις) and cheerful Tithýs (Τηθύς)
Both thick-haired Mnimosýni (Μνημοσύνηand happy Theia (Φεία), 
And she begot Dióhni (Διώνη)  possessed of splendid form, 
And Phívi (Φοίβη) and Rhǽa (Ῥέα), the mother of Zefs (Ζεὺς) the king. 

Now the other children were as many, 

Kíos (Κοῖος) and Kreios (Κρεῖος) and mighty Phórkys (Φόρκυς
And Krónos (Κρόνος), Okæanós (Ὠκεανός), both Ypæríohn (Ὑπερίων) and Iapætós (Ἰαπετός).” (trans. by the author)
 
[11] Orphic frag. 135. (100) Πρόκλος Commentary on the Τίμαιος 40e (III 185, 28 Diehl): 

ἔνθ' αὖτ' Ὠκεανὸς μὲν ἐνὶ μεγάροισιν ἔμιμνεν
ὁρμαίνων, ποτέρωσε νόον τράποι, ἢ πατέρα ὃν |
γυ(ι)ώσηι τε βίης καὶ ἀτάςθαλα λωβήσαιτο
σὺν Κρόνωι ἤδ' ἄλλοισιν ἀδελφοῖς, οἳ πεπίθοντο
μητρὶ φίληι, ἢ τούς γε λιπὼν μένοι ἔνδον ἕκηλος.
πολλά δὲ πορφύρων μένεν ἥμενος ἐν μεγάροισι,
σκυζόμενος ἧι μητρί, κασιγνήτοισι δὲ μᾶλλον.

“Accordingly Okæanós (Ὠκεανὸς) remained in his palace,
Deliberating, to which course his mind should incline, to be with his father,
Or should he wound his father’s might in wicked dishonor,
With Krónos and his other brothers, who being persuaded
By their beloved mother, or should he quit them and stay where he is at peace.
Then he brooded long and remained idle in his palace,
For he was angry with his mother, yet more with his brothers." (trans. by the author)

[12] Orphic frag. 127. (101) Πρόκλος Commentary on the Κρατύλος 406c, (p. 110, 15 Pasqu.):

μήδεα δ᾿ ἐς πέλαγος πέσεν ὑψόθεν, ἀμφὶ δὲ τοῖσι λευκὸς ἐπιπλώουσιν ἑλίσσετο πάντοθεν ἀφρός· ἐν δὲ περιπλομέναις ὥραις Ἐνιαυτὸς ἔτικτεν παρθένον αἰδοίην, ἥν δὶ παλάμαις ὑπέδεκτο γεινομένην τὸ πρῶτον ὁμοῦ Ζῆλός τ' Ἀπάτη τε.

“The genitals fell down from high into the sea, swirling round about from every side in the bright foam; Then in the circling season the Year begot a venerable maiden; so soon as she was born Zílos (Ζῆλος) and Apáti (Ἀπάτη) together received her into their hands.” (trans. by the author)

[13] Orphic frag. 183. (140) Πρόκλος Commentary on the Κρατύλος 406c, (p. 110, 23 Pasqu.):

... ὑπέδεκτο δὲ πόντος
σπέρμα Διὸς μεγάλου· περιτελλομένου δ' ἐνιαυτοῦ
ὥραις καλλιφύτοις τέκ' ἐγερσιγέλωτ' Ἀφροδίτην ἀφρογενῆ.

“…then the sea received 
the seed of mighty Zefs; and having gone round a year,
 in the season of beautiful begetting he bore laughter-rousing Aphrodíti, the foam-born.”

[14] See Orpheus and Greek Religion by W.K.C. Guthrie,  p. 82. The progression of the Six Vasileis can be found in the Orphic Theogony.

[15] trans. Thomas Taylor, 1792.

[16] Thomas Taylor, the translator of the hymn, comments on this line: 

"Whose guardian power surrounds, &c. and v. 11 All-seeing Heaven. 

ὁ του Ὀρϕέος Ὀυρανὸς ὁυρος ϰαὶ πάντων ϕυλὰξ έναι βούλεται

Damascius περὶ αρχῶν. i. e. "according to Orpheus, Heaven is the inspector and guardian of all things."

[17] This line in Greek is actually two epithets of Ouranós: πανδερκές "all-seeing," and Κρονότεκνε "father of Krónos" (not "Time," which would be Χρονότεκνε).


The story of the birth of the GodsOrphic Rhapsodic Theogony.
We know the various qualities and characteristics of the Gods based on metaphorical stories: Mythology
Dictionary of terms related to ancient Greek mythology: Glossary of Hellenic Mythology.

Introduction to the Thæí (the Gods): The Nature of the Gods.
How do we know there are Gods? Experiencing Gods.


The logo to the left is the principal symbol of this website. It is called the CESS logo, i.e. the Children of the Earth and the Starry Sky. The Pætilía (Petelia, Πετηλία) and other golden tablets having this phrase (Γῆς παῖς εἰμί καὶ Οὐρανοῦ ἀστερόεντος) are the inspiration for the symbol. The image represents this idea: Earth (divisible substance) and the Sky (continuous substance) are the two kozmogonic substances. The twelve stars represent the Natural Laws, the dominions of the Olympian Gods. In front of these symbols is the seven-stringed kithára (cithara, κιθάρα), the lyre of Apóllohn (Apollo, Ἀπόλλων). It (here) represents the bond between Gods and mortals and is representative that we are the children of Orphéfs (Orpheus, Ὀρφεύς).



PLEASE NOTE: Throughout the pages of this website, you will find fascinating stories about our Gods. These narratives are known as 

, the traditional stories of the Gods and Heroes. While these tales are great mystical vehicles containing transcendent truth, they are symbolic and should not be taken literally. A literal reading will frequently yield an erroneous result. The meaning of the myths is concealed in code. To understand them requires a key. For instance, when a God kills someone, this usually means a transformation of the soul to a higher level. Similarly, sexual union with a God is a transformation.


The story of the birth of the Gods: Orphic Rhapsodic Theogony.
We know the various qualities and characteristics of the Gods based on metaphorical stories: Mythology
Dictionary of terms related to ancient Greek mythology: Glossary of Hellenic Mythology.

SPELLING: HellenicGods.org uses the Reuchlinian method of pronouncing ancient Greek, the system preferred by scholars from Greece itself. An approach was developed to enable the student to easily approximate the Greek words. Consequently, the way we spell words is unique, as this method of transliteration is exclusive to this website. For more information, visit these three pages: 

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