Article by Jon Alswinn.
Celebrating the solstices and equinoxes goes back to well before recorded history, to the time of the original Religion of the Sun of the global civilization that practiced and spread it throughout the world. Descendants of this civilization continued the same traditions, branching out into different cultures, languages, and peoples, eventually morphing into the traditions that exist today.
The symbology of enlightenment is the symbology of the path of the sun/son-Christ. These very symbols that have always existed in nature and the cosmos also exist within people — and can be a guide for a personal spiritual journey that one can choose to pursue.
Why Celebrate? The Value of Experience Over Reading
The rituals of those who practice the religion of the sun are not merely about observing the changing seasons, harvest festivals, or a veneration of the sun or related deities, but a reflection upon the principles of the solar path of the Christ portrayed by those figures who have walked this path throughout history.
Taking part in a solstice or equinox celebration allows someone to experience this symbolism firsthand, and reflect on its meaning and how it relates to them personally. This kind of experience can be much more profound than just reading about it.
According to Personal Circumstances
How the solstices and equinoxes are celebrated can vary a lot depending on personal circumstances. Celebrating with a group of people who practice the Religion of the Sun, at a location dedicated for this purpose, can be a great way to get an in-depth experience. Such a location could be a sun temple, monument, or a ceremonial circle setup just for solstice and equinox celebrations of the Religion of the Sun.
If a dedicated location like that isn’t available, celebrations could take place at a public location, like an existing ancient site associated with the Religion of the Sun, or even a public parkland (if it is permitted to hold such an event there, and if it feels private enough for this).
If celebrating with others isn’t possible or practical, there’s always the option of doing something alone, either at an existing monument, or anywhere in nature watching the sunrise or sunset, or even just at home (ideally from a vantage point where the sun can be seen during the ceremony). Another option is to see if anyone nearby would like to get together for a solstice or equinox celebration — our forum is a good place to find others for this.
Another alternative is to join a traditional revival group that celebrates solstices and equinoxes in accordance with the ancient local traditions of the sun for their area.
Examples of some traditional celebrations can be seen here:
Planning around the Solar Calendar
The exact time of the solstice or equinox can be converted to the local time in a given area using the above-mentioned widget. It also provides the functionality to work out which day the ceremony would occur, and to calculate the closest sunrise or sunset (depending on the ceremony). For example, if a solstice occurs at 3pm, and sunrise at that location is at 5am, the ceremony would be planned for that same day.
Whether in the northern or southern hemisphere, the ceremony would be the opposite — so when it’s the summer solstice in the north, it’s the winter solstice in the south.
If the days surrounding the actual ceremony used for activities like spiritual practices, bonfires, music, and other rituals related to the occasion, it can help create the right atmosphere to get “in tune” with the occasion, and make it an inspiring and insightful time.
By being prepared for the day of the ceremony it avoids the need to be rushed when it happens — its much easier to focus on the spiritual side of the occasion when there isn’t the need to worry about getting a lot of things ready.
Creating a Sacred Space
Having a sacred space in which to practice the religion of the sun is especially conducive to getting in touch with the spiritual aspects of the sun and the spiritual within. There are a variety of different possibilities depending on someone’s personal circumstance, which can also vary depending on the local culture.
They can be as simple as stone or wooden circles aligned to the sunrise/sunset, incorporate natural features of the landscape such as hills or water, or can be as elaborate as a temple complex with separate areas for different purposes (such as the wider complex Stonehenge is believed to have been part of).
These sacred spaces can be reserved for ceremonies, rituals, and gatherings for those practicing the religion of the sun.
Ceremonial Clothing and Items
Natural, handmade clothing is best for these ceremonies. A style similar to that of one’s own culture/ancestry can be a nice choice, or that of the local culture where the celebration is held. Symbols of the spiritual sun are good to incorporate, and can be worn on necklaces and belts.
White is the base color for ceremonies in the religion of the sun.
The religion of the sun is based on the actual experience of the spiritual path of the sun. It’s therefore much more about doing and experiencing, rather than reading. A great way to do this it is to attend celebrations of the solstices and equinoxes, where its possible to reflect on their significance on a personal level and gain new insights from the experience. This can allow someone to relate to the spiritual messages conveyed by these natural events in a new and more profound way.
Through the experience of ceremonies, practices, and applying any insights and knowledge within daily life, its possible for people today to be part of the very same stream of spiritual knowledge as those who practiced the original global religion of the sun. After all, it is the same sun today tracing the same path through the sky that those ancients celebrated; it still speaks of the same spiritual message which is as relevant now as it was in the past.
This article was written by Jon Alswinn.