Happy Summer Solstice, everyone!!
Due to astronomical peculiarities, the point during which our beloved, life-giving Sun reached its northernmost point in the sky occurred early this morning, while it was still technically nighttime here in the Northern Hemisphere…which means that yesterday and today will end up being about equal in terms of amount of daylight, so tagging one of the two days as “the Longest Day of the Year” might devolve into a battle of decimal points and such, which isn’t something I feel the need to feature here. Instead, I’m making an executive decision, and proclaiming today to be the official Arrow in Flight Summer Solstice…and in honor of that great light in our heavens, I thought I might drone on a bit about the Sun…
Obviously the Sun has massive, sweeping impact upon all our lives. In fact, without our great local Star, Sol…we wouldn’t even be here. And we’ve recognized that fact since time immemorial, celebrating the Sun in virtually every body of mythology we have.
Almost any pantheon you can think of will boast at least one Solar Deity, and possibly several other Goddesses or Gods who are at least associated with the Sun: Apollo, Ra, Tonatiuh, Surya and the Adityas, Helios, Olorun, Shamash, Utu, Inti, Kinich Ahau, and Dazbog are but some of the Solar Deities who reside among our Earth’s various bodies of lore.
The Sun seems often to be viewed as a male/masculine/Yang principle, with the Moon serving as its female/feminine/Yin counterpart…but this isn’t always the case every time out of the gate! The Japanese Solar Deity is the celebrated Goddess, Amaterasu, and the Lunar Deity is her brother, which effectively gender-swaps the more commonly known arrangement. Norse mythology also exhibits the female Sun/male Moon division, with the Sun personified as the Goddess Sol, and the Moon embodied in the male form of the God named Mani.
Sol and Mani are also examples of the popular recurring motif that involves the Sun being ferried across the sky in some manner of conveyance, such as a chariot (Sol and Mani fit here, as do other examples, such as in Greek mythology, where the God Helios rides his solar chariot across the heavens each day, and in Hindu mythology, where the Solar God Surya is often depicted riding in his chariot)…and in Egyptian mythology, the chariot is replaced by a solar boat, employed by the Sun God, Ra, for use in his journeys across the sky.
The Sun is always hailed as a vital source of light and warmth and life, in basically every corner of the globe, and various myths champion its place as one of the greatest treasures we have. For example, a popular story among some of the native peoples of the Pacific Northwest involves the crafty Bird-Spirit, Raven, stealing the Sun, Moon, Stars, and Fire from a miserly old chieftain, and bestowing them upon the world…
And mythology isn’t the only place where the Sun gets its due praise. Occult thought generally hails the Sun: one of the cards of the Tarot is dedicated to it as a concept, and the old Norse people have a Rune — Sowilo, it’s called — that signifies the great solar orb. One of the spheres of the Tree of Life, the sephira known as Tiphereth, is also associated with the Sun.
Clearly, humanity has not fallen down on the job of recognizing the general greatness of the Sun. We even named one of our days of the week after it! And what better day to make specific observance of the Sun than the longest day of the year, when it shines down upon us more than it can manage on any other day (again, I write this from a Northern Hemispheric perspective, so hopefully my friends below the Equator can forgive the egocentrism on display here…).
Last year, I bought myself a lovely piece of Sunstone on the day of the Summer Solstice. Today, I plan to take that piece of Sunstone out for a walk, and to let it bask in the glow of the Sun’s light while I focus on something I’d like to manifest around me at the present time. I highly recommend making use of this special occasion for some similar variety of creating intent, and willing it into being, as the Sun will be happy to help you along!
And don’t forget that we have a similar opportunity for celebrating the flip-side — the greatness of the Lunar — coming up when the so-called “SuperMoon” descends upon us in two days’ time! Thoughts on the Moon to follow then…