The Sun is a solar deity in nature-based spiritual practice. It is both of the Fire and Air/sky elements. Worshiping the Sun God or following its cycles, manifestations, presentations and cycles means it is looked upon as sacred energy of the earth, which plays an active role in the life of the natural world and our own.
On my walk in the rain this morning I got thinking about the Sun, as a god, and Yule celebrations that are coming up. How do we look upon the Sun when it is not shining and in darkness? How do we think of it, speak of it? Notice the language we use around darkness and no so bright weather. There are many parallels between the decline of the Sun, it being hidden, the darkness and human psyche. The main element is that we are in denial of it whether we are aware of it or not. Rejection of the darkness is an old thing, as old as humanity, but I always wonder if it has to continue quite the way it had done. The work of psychotherapy throws a lot of light on what human shadow really is, personally and collectively, and it is my strong belief that the work of integrating your darkness can be one most valuable, if not the most vital, part of the personal journey. Until one becomes of aware, first, then accepting of his/her own dark materials, not a lot will change and projections, judgements, victimhood, blaming, pretending will carry on impeding relationships, progression, understanding and acceptance of things as they are. This is where nature is the most wise, I have always believed. It is all light and all darkness naturally.
Why do we deny rain, sleet, strong winds, floods and fires? They represent emotions within ourselves, very strong ones, the ones we had always been told to fear, reject, suppress, etc. I believe this has been the biggest wounding on earth to humans via humans. Again nature is one such source that can reconnect you back to your humility and heart. It can help reawaken and let the lost emotional parts of yourself be accepted back into the whole. We are meant to be whole, both, logic and feeling, mind and heart with the body holding it all together.
The language we use around weather is a good example of yet another rejection seemingly external, but it is very much internal. Dreary, bleak, dark, miserable – are the words we hear every day whenever the sun is not shining outside. If it is not bright and warm it is not worth ‘worshiping’, yet even the Sun needs recharging, like a battery, like any of us, in order to shine bright again in a few months’ time. We continue to judge it for not shining, leaving us in darkness, nevertheless. This, I believe, is due to lack of understanding, valuing and accepting our own inner darkness.
This phenomenon, please notice, can also happen in reverse when the Sun is scolded for shining too much, instead of too little. It is the rejection of light instead of the darkness. Emotions of ecstasy, mania and depression come to mind and depending on what your experience is with mental health you will understand what I mean. We all heard of chronic clinical depression, but no one has of chronic clinical happiness. It is more complex than that, of course, but ‘happiness’ can be a warning sign, always wanting, moving, needing, asking for the light or pretending to be that way, can bring serious consequences to psyche when not in balance. Nature is the key to bringing things together, to demonstrate to us through weather, seasons, and elemental presentations how to be with it all without judgement.
In nature-based spirituality folk welcome both the Summer Solstice and the Winter Solstice. There is an understanding of the value of both points in nature and in life. We welcome equally the point when the Sun is at its peak and we also celebrate the Sun’s return and acknowledgement of where it has been during darkness.
I saw deer playing and chasing each other in the bush as I walked passed the hedgerows with trees up on a hill. I would not have been able to witness that was it not quiet, empty and winter time. That’s a blessing to me!
Going back to those ‘negative’ adjectives the opposite for me would be when I walk in all weather is raw, fresh, renewing and completely natural. There is no life without the rain and there is no light without the darkness. It really is simple. The rainy landscape offers refreshing perspectives, new insights. I get inspired by wintery silhouettes and transparency and vulnerability of the land. At this time of year everything is exposed and paths are clear to walk to ponder over the bare branches and bones of the natural world. The clarity of mind for me during this time is like at no other time of the year. I love vulnerability and openness in nature and internally during darker winter months.
The darkness is the conservation of energy so it can shine brighter in months to come. Yet we are in denial of any validity of the darkness externally and within while wishing for the light to shine brighter. Want it here, now, in this way and that without considering how things become one way or another or where they roots from. There’s a cycle, a very wise one, the wisest. Nature is not here to please or pacify. It does what it must and what it has always done regardless of collective preconceptions, personal projections and human storytelling.
Yule is such a time and opportunity to reflect of the meaning of light and warmth and the Sun as a God, a spiritual, astrological, seasonal phenomenon that has been here since the beginning of time and every year offers lessons for reflection and potential change of views and perspective.
Yule Blessings, everyone!