The Sun, Giver of Life
You get to choose. You always get to choose. When studying astrology, you get to choose if you work with Jupiter as a “body of trapped helium, hydrogen and water” or a celestial being with eyes and ears and a heart three times the Earth’s size. The first approach is pragmatic and mechanistic and the second is animistic and saturated with mystery and creativity.
“The universe is not a collection of objects, it is a communion of subjects.” - Father Thomas Berry
There are a lot of benefits to living during this time of technological advancement and instant connectivity but while science has made us clever it has not made us wise.
Once upon a time, before one million women were burned at the stake, human beings had a close relationship with the Earth. We made offerings to the tumbling streams and exchanged possibilities with bear, fox, wolf and whale. We heeded warnings in the wind, watched the changing sky for signs and interpreted the messages in the stars.
Everything shivered with life. Everything spoke. Everything drew us into a relationship.
Today we sit behind screens, shut off from web weavers, feathered singers and petalled dancers. We rarely if ever look up at the bone-white Moon or burn offerings of sweet smelling herbs to the land deities. Instead we worship our smartphones; give our precious attention to the stream of images on our social media feeds.
We are information-rich but soul-poor. Still, we remain motivated to build relationships because human beings are tuned for relationships but many of these relationships fail to assuage our anxiety or fill an ever-widening void.
Today I am launching a monthly series on the planets starting with the Sun because Sol is the most powerful influence in nature and because it’s Leo Season.
I am deeply immersed in Mantra Yoga this year so I’m throwing in some mantra recommendations!
Sol, the Magnificent is much much more than a globe of hot gas. He is the source of life, intelligence, love and consciousness. Throughout the ancient world, worship of the Sun was the spiritual path to enlightenment and self-realization. In ancient Egypt the Sun was worshipped as Ra, in Persia he was worshipped as Mithra and in Hinduism the Sun is invoked with various names, including Vishnu.
The Gayatri mantra, one of the most commonly used mantras in Yoga practices, invokes Savita, who is the source of Prana ( Life Force), a powerful (and feminine) form of the Sun. Savita represents the Divine light of awareness that resides with us so when we recite the Gayatri mantra we are drawing the spiritual energy of the Sun into our hearts, minds and bodies.
Here is the short and more commonly recited version of the Gayatri Mantra:
Om Bhur Bhuvah Suvaha Tat Savitur Varenyam Bargo Devasya Dhimahi Dhiyo Yo Nah Prachodayat
Listen here to Deva Premal sing this mantra.
The Sun is our life-giver. The Sun is medicine. The Sun is the heart. The Sun is the soul within the heart.
One of the most spiritually powerful things you can do every day is to get up at dawn to greet the Sun. If you don’t want to be up with the sparrows or find it impossible to be up that early, then the next best thing is to go outside or stand at your window and allow yourself to be bathed in sunlight. Stand there and say Thank You.
If you’re moved to do so you can chant Om (pronounced Aum). The Upanishads tell us that the Sun chants Om as he moves in the sky. Chanting mantras while standing in the sunlight is a powerful Mantra Yoga practice.
In astrology the Sun represents the vital force that drives us to seek the highest expression of our truest selves. Let the Sun fill your heart chakra with radiant light. Let the Sun awaken you to the truth of your Divine Self. Let the Sun light the fire of courage in your heart.