|BIORC Sun Card--copyright 2012 MDE (All Rights Reserved).|
Today's Tarot Blog Hop theme is Celebrate the Sunrise.
For me, a lot of my observances and celebrations of the sun and its cycles are colored by the fact that I am a Wiccan. This is something that extends to the other members of the Order and lodge that I belong to (though the correct label for them is pagan).
I tend to think of this blending as "mooning the sun." For a religion that focuses on the moon, Wicca pays a lot of attention to the sun. There are Wiccans who do the annual drumming up of the sun. Four of the eight big Wiccan holidays are directly related to the main turning points of the sun's cycle, the two Equinoxes and two Solistices.
By the way, three of these four are built right into the Golden Dawn system...all Golden Dawn Orders can claim to be involved in the ancient pagan mysteries if they still observe these three events in their annual ritual cycle.
On the other hand, one could argue that the Golden Dawn pays little attention to the moon...unless you count the number of members who are Wiccan and pagan and/or check the phase of the moon before doing any major magical work.
Life as we know it on this planet would not be as it is if it wasn't for the interplay of the sun and the moon. Our planet has been blessed to have a large moon and a solar orbit that places it in a comfortable (or as comfortable as you can get in this universe) zone that supports life.
The best illustration of the play between the sun and the moon comes from Ancient Egyptian mythology. The original calendar in Ancient Egypt was 360 days, which was divided up into ten day periods (the 36 decans). This calendar would rapidly grow out of sync with the actual seasons of the year. The mythology of Anciet Egypt actually records an attempt to correct the calendar and explain "mytholically" what was happening.
According to the myth, the Earth God Geb made love to his sister, the Sky Goddess Nut. This act upset Nut's father so much that he forbid her to give birth during the days of the normal calendar. Nut. being pregnant with quintuplets, called upon Thoth to aid her. Thoth goes to the moon and plays dice with the moon; in this manner, Thoth wins five extra days to allow for the birth of Nut's children (Osiris, Horus the Elder, Set, Isis and Nephthys). By this act, Thoth starts to become a moon God.
The interesting thing about this myth, besides the interplay of the solar and lunar calendars, is the fact that the moon, over the course of billions of years, have changed the length of the day on earth, therefore changing the number of days in a earth year. Therefore the myth mirrors a scientific truth.
I was reminded of this story when I was creating the version of the Sun card that illustrates this post. Originally, I meant for there to be two cats sitting on the wall (because I have a problem with Sun cards with creepy children in them)--but by the time I was done, they had morphed into monkeys or baboons, a symbol of Thoth. The baboons of Thoth are said to celebrate the sunrise every morning by giving out loud cries. One can say that the Ancient Egyptians celebrated the sunrise by having monkeys moon the sun.
If you are proceeding with the Blog Hop, your next stop will be The Hermit's Lamp (Andrew McGregor).