The Sun at its Kingly Hour: This week on the Storyteller's Night Sky

Jun 19, 2017

Summer Solstice "out breath" on the shore at Headlands International Dark Sky Park, by Steve Vorpagel

The cycle of the year is like a breathing process for the Earth, with the full in breath completing at Winter Solstice, and the full out breath completing at Summer Solstice, which happens this week on Wednesday. And if we imagine ourselves to be involved in this process, then right now is the time to ask: what are we breathing out into cosmic spaces with the Earth this year?

We can take this idea of Earth breathing even further, because it’s not just that Earth breathes in and out, but that Earth receives something into itself at the inbreathe, and it offers something back to the cosmos at the out breath. That “something” is like a blossom that can only be fructified by the celestial world. 

Think of it this way: seeds are planted in the Earth. Through Earth’s forces they begin to germinate, sprout and bud, until finally they offer their blossoms, not just to Earth, but upward, to the Sun. Through warmth and light of Sun, the blossoms gather enough forces to mature the plant for producing its fruit, and, consequently, more seeds. We can imagine the same things happens to us: what we “offer up” at Solstice gets fructified, so that we can bear it back toward Earth on the in breath, for our own maturing.

The Sun reaches its Solstice at 12:24 am Wednesday, June 21st. And just like we pause between every breath, this moment instigates a mighty pause that lasts about three days; this is when the “fructification” by cosmic forces occurs. 

And during this three days this year, not only will Sun stand still, it will be met by the fleet footed messenger Mercury, and the Moon at New Phase.  

This is tight and interesting configuration with embraced by Moon and Mercury at its Solstice. John Keats described just such a scene when he wrote:

And now at once, adventuresome, I send

My herald thought into a wilderness:

There let its trumpet blow, and quickly dress        

My uncertain path with green, that I may speed

Easily onward, thorough flowers and weed. From John Keats' poem "Endymion":