No, no, it is not a terminal illness, yet heliotropism is indeed incurable. Like flowers and plants, we turn towards the light consciously or not, as the sun moves through the sky. Our need for the sun personally accompanies us from the first to the last day of our lives. Every drop of organic life on our planet shares this predicament and depends, directly or indirectly, on the generosity of our magnificent star. Sol in Latin, Helio in Greek (heliotrops…dependent on the sun), Surya in Sanskrit, Oorun in Yoruba, the sun has been loved, worshipped, and prayed to by all our ancestors.
For this Summer Solstice, my invitation is to explore your relationship with the sun. The peak of the Solstice this year is at 10:07 UTC (California 3:07am; Italy 12:07…etc…). And all day today, as well as in the next couple of days as you are still in the aura of this powerful natural event, I suggest that you explore your thoughts and feelings about the sun, if you are a SoulCollager you can look at your deck to bring awareness of if, when, and how the sun is already present in any of them.
SoulCollagers or not, you may create a card for the Sun with the help of this slide show
You may also journal, dance, paint, engage in sensory awareness, or any other creative pathway to explore, discover and examine your relationship with what is always with us, even if we take for granted.
The sun is the largest body and a star in its own right, situated at the center of our solar system. It is made mostly of hydrogen and helium, has a diameter of about 1.4 million kilometers. It contains more than ninety-nine percent of the total mass of our solar system. We are truly tiny in its presence. Its mean distance from the earth is about 149 million kilometers. It is stationary and all the planets revolve around it. So do we.
If you discover a soft spot in your heart for the sun, know that you are not alone. And if you are filled with awe at the thought of its contribution to life, and its immense power, you will also be in good ancient company. It is quite safe to say that the sun is the first “object” of nature humans turned to with the reverential attitude one has for a divinity. How could they not? The history of sun worship is a fascinating subject, and it has been going on way before recorded history. To stimulate your curiosity, I will mention here a few interesting facts.
The first attempt of designing a monotheistic religion seems to have occurred in ancient Egypt by the Pharaoh Akhenaten. Below you may read a few lines of a hymn to the Aten (the sun-disk deity), probably composed in the middle of the 14th century BC, attributed to the Akenaten himself. After his death, the Egyptian people returned to their gods, and Atenism died out as a monotheistic religion. But this does not mean that the sun didn’t have a prominent place in the Egyptian pantheon, as the representation of the sun god Ra attests.
In the Vedic religion, the sun god Surya has prominent status, and the importance of the sun is acknowledged every morning by pious Hindus through a simple ceremony habitually performed by the oldest members of the household. The Sun Salutation often welcomes the sunrise as well – and all of you who practice Yoga must be quite familiar with it. Another sweet and intimate ceremony salutes the sun’s departure at sunset. It is like saying “good morning” and “good night” to a beloved mother/father every day.
Symbols of the sun are found everywhere in the world, from Paleolithic times onward. You are in fact surrounded by them, but might not be aware of their origin and meaning. Churches, cathedrals, and basilicas are filled with such symbols.
[Those on] earth come from your hand as you made them.
When you have dawned they live.
When you set they die;
You yourself are lifetime, one lives by you.
All eyes are on [your] beauty until you set.
All labor ceases when you rest in the west;
When you rise you stir [everyone] for the King,
Every leg is on the move since you founded the earth.
From the last part of the hymn to the Sun, translated by Miriam Lichtheim