The Sun and the Eternal Return

For the week of December 16-22, 2009.

It’s one of those rare times of the year when we are able to witness and participate in the unicity of life. No matter our religious or cultural heritage, all our season festivals celebrate the solstice, the darkest day of the year (in the Northern Hemisphere) and the day the Sun’s light starts to return. It’s one of several cosmic moments human beings have commemorated since we first noticed solar cycles. You could say — and it would not be a stretch — that the solstice, winter and summer, as well as the equinox, vernal and autumnal, are the first astrological holidays. For they delineate significant cycles within our enduring relationship with the Sun. Great monuments thousands of years old — Newgrange, Stonehenge, Maes Howe, Carnac, Gao Cheng Zhen, Chichen Itza, Chaco Canyon — all celebrate this turning point, when the Sun “stands still,” which is what “solstice” means, and the solar cycle begins anew.

Other than from an astrological perspective, we seldom think of the Sun as a powerful symbol. And even from an astrological perspective, we tend to relegate the Sun to a Sign and think of it as an indicator of personality traits. But what the ancients knew and the knowledge that still resonates through modern holidays — Christmas, Yule, or Yalda, no matter how commercial these festivals have become, is that the Sun, in its regular, reliable, consistent, and constant presence, is the source of life. The Sun is eternal and when we celebrate its eternality, we celebrate our own, and not just our individual, particular life, but all of life — life it its entirety. Which may be way the notion of good cheer and fellowship with all sentient beings is integral to the festivities. We invite the light in with trees, logs, candles, and fire of all sorts, and that warmth is shared with family, friends, and in the best of times, with foes.

The Sun shines equally on all of life — something I try to remind myself of when I find myself in an unhealthy polarized stance, and by that I mean a position that’s based on egocentricity and self-righteousness. Or in Buddhist terms, ignorant about the true nature of reality, which is that we are all one and what seemingly divides us is born of our failure to recognize the truth of our interconnectedness. The Sun is the primary symbol of our unity. It creates a unified field and holds within its vast and infinite reach all of us from the quark to the elephant, from a grain of sand to Mount Everest. All of us. Everything.

On December 21, celebrate the Sun and allow its eternal celestial fire to light your personal fire. Cultures come and go, traditions change, symbols lose or gain meaning, but the Sun endures. And, through its eternal light, so do we.

If you know your Ascendant and/or your Moon sign, read that, too.

ARIES The coming years will not be a year like any other, so spend the rest of this one tying up loose ends. Finish lingering projects, perfect your strategies, and get ready for an entirely different pace.

TAURUS While external activities demand your attention, overextension could have serious consequences. So rather than worry what others might think, take as much quiet time as you need to gather your strength and resources.

GEMINI You’re still talking as fast as you can, and while the dialogue is necessary, it’s just as important to think about what’s being said, by you and by others. Take your time and try not to feel pressured into making decisions you might later regret.

CANCER Try not to allow anxiety about security corrupt your capacity to take in the big picture. Yes, there are certain obligations that must be met, but there are also opportunities to grow.

LEO It’s a process of self-definition, so do your best to make sure that your intentions are aligned with your words as well as your deeds. The mark of a good leader can be measured by example: when you walk your talk, you inspire others to do the same.

VIRGO If you compulsively chew on the same information, you will only give yourself “mental” indigestion. Let go of your need to have everything make sense. Sometimes life isn’t logical, and that would be the point.

LIBRA Friends and family demand time and energy, and while you’re certainly in the mood to accommodate everyone, you don’t have unlimited reserves. Remember to take care of yourself before you take care of others.

SCORPIO You don’t have to apologize for wanting to pursue your goals or waste a moment of time pretending you don’t want to work. Have at it, and enjoy the many moments of unbridled ambition.

SAGITTARIUS Spread your gorgeous wings and embrace your essential need to be free. I’m not suggesting you leap into space without a safety net, but I am advising you to be true to yourself with the hope that authenticity will comfort your soul.

CAPRICORN You’re molting, shedding one coat, growing another, and while this process may be uncomfortable, it is a necessary part of your current growth cycle. Rather than resist, be open to change.

AQUARIUS The emphasis continues to be on relationships, but as you interact, remember, your first relationship is with yourself. Get to know you, and you’ll deepen the context of all your relations.

PISCES Yes, you are repeating yourself, but it is a worthwhile endeavor, if only because each round helps you to perfect your point. Stay with this process, even if it’s maddening, and you’ll soon see progress.

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