When we burn a sunwheel and urge the sun to return at Yule, exactly what are we doing? Are we trying to lend the sun some of our might so that it can come back to us, or are we celebrating something that we know for certain will happen in any case?
We are not childish enough to think that our ritual actions will make the sun return. The sun presumably turned in the heavens before there were humans to witness the fact, and should we annihilate ourselves in a nuclear war tomorrow morning the sun will continue in its course, unseen by human eyes, through the silent centuries. To think otherwise would be to deny the very attributes we recognize in the sun - dependability, predictability, rhythm, the essence of the rune Raido. This extrapolation from past events demonstrates the fundamentally scientific instincts of our ancestors.
Notwithstanding, there is another dimension to our actions, and it may best be summarized as "participation." The logical process described in the paragraph above applies to the normal world of human experience, but beyond cause and effect there is a level on which we participate in, or become one with, the act of the sun's return. We do not cause the return but we do more than merely observe and celebrate; we become a part of it. It is in this spirit that we burn sunwheels, pour libations, and make invocations - that we may transcend who and what we normally are, and partake of eternity.
So light your candle, and think on Loyalty - including, but not limited to, our loyalty to ourselves and to the highest, God-like potential that is within us.
Saturday, February 5, 2011
The Eleventh Day of Yuletide
From the Asatru Folk Assembly: