Sowilo -- Sun -- Finally! The southeastern US has been under intense winter storms for the last few weeks, leaving a glint of sunlight a welcomed thing! Many other regions remain frozen in winter, while others stretch to grow in summer. Regardless of where you are in the world, the sun sees you.
Every time I encounter Sowilo, my breath catches. We can talk about all the components of the sun that make it powerful -- the inspiring, active element of fire, that its rising each morning indicates we're still alive, that because of it life on our planet thrives. For me, it comes down to one simple reminder: I'm not alone.
When I was growing up, in history classes I was told stories about how Europeans encountered Native Americans making offerings to the sun, and as a result, thought they were worshiping it. They thought such rituals profane and blasphemy, contemptuous perspectives that colored their every engagement with the indigenous people of North America.
Many years later, I read an interview with a Native American man, who put a very different spin on that dynamic. He expressed that when his people showed gratitude for the sun, they were not worshiping the sun. They were celebrating the source behind it, thus, the Source behind All Things.
That, indeed, is the reminder this stave brings. From a spiritual perspective, it isn't just about the amazing presence of the sun. It's about what shines from behind it and reminds us of the life it gives, to enliven us, so that we may shine on others.
We know darkness. We know the cycle of the sun moves from light, to darkness, to light again, thus from hope, to despair, to accomplishment, repeat. Hold the full cycle of the sun, and we know everything we need to about taking care of ourselves and others.
Find a warm sliver of light these waning days of winter, curl up in it, lie back, and dream. Through dreams come our most profound insights into ourselves, life, and our deepest desires.
Behold the process. Be the change.