In the Theogony, the sickle (a type of curved sword) is representative both of violent succession of power, as well as a link to the natural world and the cycles of life, death, and regeneration. Upset with Heaven’s cruel treatment of her and her children, Earth crafts a sickle from unbreakable adamantine in order to use it against him. Kronos, one of Earth’s children, volunteers to conspire with her in this plan. The next time Heaven visits the cave where he’s forced his family to reside, Kronos sets an ambush and uses the sickle to castrate his father. The sickle is thus representative of the violent succession of power from one generation to the next, as Heaven is literally unable to bear any more children and has lost his generative power (made all the more final by the fact that his genitals fall into the sea). That the sickle is made out of adamantine, an unbreakable material, further reinforces its nature as an object of power and violence.
At the same time, however, the sickle also symbolizes the fundamental link between the divine and the natural worlds. It is crafted by Earth, who by her very nature bridges the natural and the divine. In ancient Greece, sickles were also used to harvest crops, and are symbolic of agricultural bounty and the changing of seasons. The sickle’s symbolic significance is twofold, then, as it is both the tool for violent, life-defying action, and a tool of harvest and natural plenty.
The Sickle Quotes in Theogony
Great Heaven came, bringing on the night, and, desirous of love, he spread himself over Earth, stretched out in every direction. His son reached out from the ambush with his left hand; with his right he took the huge sickle with its long row of sharp teeth and quickly cut off his father's genitals, and flung them behind him to fly where they might.