Solar Magic, Myth and Folklore

SunriseWVilleBeach_1500
Capture the power of the sun in your magical workings!. Image by Patti Wigington 2014

In many Pagan traditions today, there’s a lot of emphasis on the magic and power of the moon. However, it’s important to remember that the moon isn’t the only heavenly body out there. The sun itself – something we often take for granted, since it’s out there all the time – has been a source of myth, magic and legend for thousands of years. Let’s take a look at some of the best known folklore about the sun, as well as how you can incorporate it into your magical practice.

  • Sun Worship: Many ancient cultures honored the sun as significant, and the concept of sun worship is one nearly as old as mankind itself. In societies that were primarily agricultural, and depended on the sun for life and sustenance, it is no surprise that the sun became deified.
  • In some folkloric traditions, babies born at sunrise are considered special – they will be blessed with a long and prosperous life.
  • Many Native American tribes celebrate the Sun Dance as a way to honor the sun as a manifestation of the Great Spirit. For centuries, the Sun Dance has been performed as a way to not only honor the sun itself, but also to bring the dancers visions.
  • In some Wiccan traditions, movement in the direction of the sun – or deosil – is associated with positive or gainful magic. Likewise, the opposite direction, widdershins, is connected to banishing or destructive magic.
  • In the Appalachian mountains, there’s a superstition that if you sweep your home after the sun has set, you’re doomed to live a life of poverty. There are also weather legends connected to the sun – if the sun shines during a rainstorm, that means it will rain again at the same time the next day. A red sunrise means that rain is coming soon. This is similar to the old adage of “Red sky at morning, sailors take warning.”
  • It’s not uncommon to find deities associated with the sun in a variety of ancient cultures. Most of these are associated with the season of Litha, the summer solstice.
  • Stone circles, megaliths and pyramids around the globe are aligned to the sun’s position during the summer and winter solstices, as well as the vernal and autumn equinoxes.

    Here are just a few of the ways you can incorporate the sun’s power and energy into your magical workings:

    • Hold a Midsummer Sun Ritual and celebrate the warmth and power of the sun. Summertime – especially around Litha - is a great time of year to get outside, enjoy the extra hours of daylight, and celebrate the season with family and friends.
    • Utilize the sun’s energy to add a bit of magical oomph to your ritual tools, with this simple Tool Recharging Ritual.
    • During Litha and Yule, hang solar symbols around your house to celebrate the energy of the sun – remember, at Yule the sun is returning to earth, and at Litha, it’s at its highest and most powerful point in the sky.
    • When it comes to plant magic, the sun is associated with a number of flowers and herbs, including sunflowers, daisies, dandelions, chamomile and rosemary. Use these in your workings for a bit of extra solar mojo.
    • Got a solar eclipse coming your way in the near future? In some magical traditions, workings performed during an eclipse of the sun are extra powerful – read more here: Solar Eclipse Magic and Folklore