Saturday, March 22, 2014


The Sun is the star at the center of the Solar System.  It is almost perfectly spherical and consists of hot plasma interwoven with magnetic fields.  Chemically, about three quarters of the Sun's mass consists of hydrogen, while the rest is mostly helium.  The remainder consists of heavier elements, including oxygen, carbon, neon and iron.

Sunrise or Sun up is the instant at which the upper edge of the Sun appears over the eastern horizon in the morning.  Solar noon is when the Sun is at its highest elevation in the sky.  Noon (also midday or noon time) is usually defined as 12 o'clock in the daytime.  Sunset or Sundown is the daily disappearance of the Sun below the western half of the horizon.  Solar midnight or midnight is the transition time period from one day to the next; the moment when the date changes.

Like other natural phenomena, the Sun has been an object of veneration in many cultures throughout human history.  Humanity's most fundamental understanding of the Sun is as the luminous disk in the sky, whose presence above the horizon creates day and whose absence causes night.  In many prehistoric and ancient cultures, the Sun was thought to be a solar deity or other supernatural phenomenon.

A solar deity is a God or Goddess who represents the Sun, or an aspect of it, usually by its perceived power and strength.  In Chinese mythology, there were originally ten Suns in the sky, who were all brothers.  In Baltic mythology, Saule, is the Goddess of the Sun and fertility.  The Old High German Sun Goddess is Sunna.

In many traditions of modern Pagan cosmology, all things are considered to be cyclical, with time as a perpetual cycle of growth and retreat tied to the Sun's annual death and rebirth.  The Wheel of the Year is an annual cycle of seasonal festivals.  Among Wiccans, the festivals are also referred to as sabbats.

Sabbats are celebrated in honor of the Divines.  There are 8 Sabbats that make up the Wheel of the Year.  The Sabbats are solar, seasonal and represent the cycle of birth, life, death and rebirth. 

The English weekday name Sunday stems from Old English (Sunnandæg; "Sun's day").  Worship of the Sun was central to civilizations such as the ancient Egyptians, the Inca of South America and the Aztecs.  In religions such as Hinduism, the Sun is still considered a God.  Sunna is the Sun personified in Norse mythology.  Many ancient monuments were constructed with solar phenomena in mind; for example, stone megaliths accurately mark the summer or winter solstice.
Sun-Earth Day is a joint educational program established in 2000 by NASA and ESA.  The goal of the program is to popularize the knowledge about the Sun, and the way it influences life on Earth, among students and the public.  The day itself is mainly celebrated in the USA near the time of the spring equinox.  However, the Sun-Earth Day event actually runs throughout the year, with a different theme being chosen each year.



The Sun is out of sight, resting old age. This is the drowsy time for beauty, dreams, psychic dreams, psychic awareness, spirituality, sleep, sex, purifications, love, friendships, peace, releasing stress, healing wounds.  A time for the Dark.  For Earth and Winter.

God is born during Yule, the God is a youth, unsure of his strength.  He, like a boy from birth to adolescence, doesn't really notice the Goddess.  She herself is recovering from his birth at Yule, cleansing and regaining her maidenhood.   Dark Divine reigns as the year and Divines transitions.

Midwinter (Winter Solstice or Yule) has been recognized as a significant turning point in the yearly cycle since the late Stone Age.  The ancient megalithic sites of Newgrange and Stonehenge, carefully aligned with the solstice Sunrise and Sunset, exemplify this.  The reversal of the Sun's ebbing presence in the sky symbolizes the rebirth of the solar Goddess and presages the return of fertile seasons.  From Germanic to Roman tradition, this is the most important time of celebration.

Imbolc is time for purification and spring cleaning in anticipation of the year's new life.  In Rome, it was historically a shepherd's holiday and among Celts associated with the onset of ewes' lactation, prior to birthing the spring lambs.  The Sun gets a little brighter, the Earth gets a little warmer and we know that life is quickening within the soil.


Sunrise in one's life depicts the heralding of a new beginning.  Day begins as light stretches out from the eastern horizon, an infant. This is an excellent time to perform rituals involving purification, business success, study, employment, breaking addictions of all kinds, travel, releasing guilt and jealousy, healing diseases and the conscious mind.   A time of air, spring, Maiden and Warrior. 

The God is man, holding his rightful place in the sky as the waxing Sun.  He is king among the deer herds and the Goddess has taken him as her rightful consort once more.  Seeds have been planted and the Goddess is becoming a Mother once again.  Warrior God.  Maiden Goddess.

The spring equinox, in Germanic traditions called Ostara, inaugurates the new year on the Zodiacal calendar.  From this point on, days are longer than the nights.  Many mythologies regard this as the time of rebirth or return of vegetation and celebrate the spring equinox as a time of great fertility.  After the spring equinox the Sun begins to wax again.

Traditionally Beltane is the first day of summer in Ireland, in Rome the earliest celebrations appeared in pre-Christian times with the festival of Flora, the Roman Goddess of flowers, and the Walpurgis Night celebrations of the Germanic countries.  The ceremony for the day can begin at Sunrise with freshly picked flowers.



The Sun shines far above at full strength, a strong youth.  This is fine for all Sunrise ritual purposes, as well as those that involve magical energy, physical energy and strength, protection, money and courage.  A time of fire, summer, Mother and Father.

The God is beginning to tire, his golden tresses fade to gray.  He no longer fights off the other stags as fiercely as he did in spring and early summer.  He is past courting the Goddess and is content to let the afternoon shadows grow long.  The Goddess is now the one busy in the fields, making sure all is right for the harvests.  Father God.  Mother Goddess. 

Midsummer is one of the four solar holidays and is considered the turning point at which summer reaches its height and the Sun shines longest.  The focus is nearly always on celebrating the power of the Sun.  People gather to watch the bonfire and celebrate the solstice.

Lammas or Lughnasadh is the first of the three Wiccan harvest festivals.  Wiccans mark the holiday by baking a figure of the God in bread and eating it, to symbolize the sanctity and importance of the harvest.  Pagans see this as a time when the God loses his strength as the Sun rises farther south each day and the nights grow longer.


The Sun slips below the western horizon, fully mature, signaling the time for breaking addictions weight-loss, banishing misery and pain, transforming anguish and negative habits.  A time of water, autumn, Crone and Sage.

The God passes into the underworld.  While the Goddess is a crone-like figure, welcoming her consort to the underworld.  She is still pregnant with the new God, waiting to be born once more at Yule.  Sage God.  Crone Goddess.

The holiday of the autumnal equinox is a Pagan ritual of thanksgiving for the fruits of the Earth and a recognition of the need to share them to secure the blessings of the Goddess and the God during the coming winter months.  After the Autumn equinox the Oak King slowly begins to regain his power as the Sun begins to wane.

Samhain is considered by Wiccans to be one of the four Greater Sabbats.  Samhain is considered by some as a time to celebrate the lives of those who have passed on, and it often involves paying respect to ancestors, family members, pets and elders.


In addition to the eight major holidays common to most modern Pagans, there are a number of minor holidays during the year to commemorate various events depending on your path. 

Some solar events are also honored by Pagans.


Solar Eclipse

As seen from the Earth, a solar eclipse is a type of eclipse that occurs when the Moon passes between the Sun and Earth, and the Moon fully or partially blocks the Sun.  In a total eclipse, the disk of the Sun is fully obscured by the Moon.  In partial and annular eclipses only part of the Sun is obscured.

An eclipse is a natural phenomenon.  Nevertheless, in some ancient and modern cultures, solar eclipses have been attributed to supernatural causes or regarded as bad omens.  The Emperor Kang supposedly beheaded two astronomers, Hsi and Ho, who failed to predict an eclipse 4000 years ago. 

The Black Sun in Mesoamerican mythology has many mystical meanings, among them it is connected to the God Quetzalcoatl and his penetration in the Underworld through the west door after his diurnal passage on the sky.

The ancient Greek historian Herodotus wrote that Thales of Miletus predicted an eclipse to occurred during a war between the Medians and the Lydians.  Both sides put down their weapons and declared peace as a result of the eclipse.

In Norse mythology, the Gods Odin and Tyr both have attributes of a sky father, and they are doomed to be devoured by wolves at Ragnarok.  Sunna, the Norse Sun Goddess, will be devoured by the wolf Skoll.

Sun Dog

A Sun dog (or Sundog, mock Sun, phantom Sun, parhelion), is an atmospheric phenomenon that creates bright spots of light in the sky, often on a luminous ring or halo on either side of the Sun.  Jonas Persson suggested that out of Norse mythology, constellations of two wolves hunting the Sun and the moon, one after and one before, may be a possible origin for the term.

Often mistaken as UFOs, Sun Dogs are the result of Sunlight refracting through tiny ice crystals in the atmosphere.  They develop at a 22 degree angle from the Sun, and are very common during winter Sunrises and Sunsets.


Sun Pillar

A light pillar is a visual phenomenon created by the reflection of light from ice crystals with near horizontal parallel planar surfaces.  The light can come from the Sun (usually at or low to the horizon) in which case the phenomenon is called a Sun pillar or solar pillar.

They’re called Sun pillars when the Sun helps make them.  But this the moon or even streetlights can create this light phenomenon, too, in which case the name light pillar is more appropriate.

Light pillars have also been known to produce false UFO reports.  Niagara Falls is one such area, where the mist from the Niagara Falls causes the phenomenon to appear frequently during the winter months.



Similar to a rainbow but appears in a clear sky, without rain and does not arc to Earth.  A bow or arc of prismatic colors like a rainbow, caused by refraction through a spray of water from a cataract, waterfall, fountain, etc., rather than through droplets of rain.  Some ancients saw these as a the Gods smiling down on them. 

A Prayer to the Sun

The Sun is high above us
shining down upon the land and sea,
making things grow and bloom.
Great and powerful Sun,
we honor you this day
and thank you for your gifts.
Ra, Helios, Sunna, Aten, Svarog,
you are known by many names.
You are the light over the crops,
the heat that warms the Earth,
the hope that springs eternal,
the bringer of life.
We welcome you, and we honor you this day,
celebrating your light,
as we begin our journey once more
into the darkness.



Always take precautions while observing any Sun related phenomena.  Never look directly into the Sun.  Always wear protective glasses or use objects to block the direct glare of the Sun.




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