O Sun, in the middle of the sky, at thy setting,
may the bright gates welcome thee favourably,
may the door of heaven be docile to thee.
May the god director, thy faithful messenger, mark the way!
In E-Bara, seat of thy royalty, he makes thy greatness shine forth.
May the Moon, thy beloved spouse, come to meet thee with joy.
May thy heart rest in peace.
May the glory of thy godhead remain with thee.
Powerful hero, O Sun! shine gloriously.
Lord of E-Bara, direct in thy road thy foot rightly.
O Sun, in making thy way, take the path marked for thy rays!
Thou art the lord of judgments over all nations.
There is one line in this Hymn which catch my attention:“Powerful hero, O Sun! Shine gloriously”.
To an ancient people who were well aware of their reliance upon agriculture, this description of the sun seems very appropriate. By contrast, in today’s modern world, it’s heroic nature is almost lost upon us. We use the light of the sun to navigate our surroundings, and therefore it is less a “hero” and more a “necessity”. Today, because humans have moved away from the more spiritual awe of the skies, we have no reason to look at the Sun the way that our ancestors did- to give it a persona.
Yet in about a week, we will be see the Vernal Equinox and finally the sun will become the more prominent celestial body in our skies ushering in Spring.
Having completely triumphed over the darkness in December, you could say that the sun is regaining it’s strength between the Winter Solstice and the Vernal Equinox. He reigns until the Summer Solstice, and then enters into battle once more through to the Winter Solstice again. Half the year in battle, the Sun rises as the hero once more every year. The Moon never entirely winning.
In this respect, we could also learn a thing or two about Fortitude. The Sun never gives up on it’s mission to provide the earth with warmth in order to allow for life to continue on earth. Without the Sun’s light, no plant could grow, and no animal could could survive. This simple truth was not lost on our ancient ancestors.
In this personification of the Sun as a hero, we can only guess that the reason for it’s continued battle is because it has care for life on Earth. At least, that seems to be why so many different cultures in ancient times saw the Sun as the highest deity. Thus, we can take the lesson that in order to build fortitude, we must first identify what and why we continue to fight for our causes.
Sure, the Sun hits burn out- that’s the period between the Autumn Equinox and Winter Solstice. But on the Winter Solstice, he puts in one last push completely defeating the Moon so he may rest and prepare for the next season of growth. Of course, learning from the fact that the sun takes time to rest (what we call Winter) is important to recognizing that fortitude doesn’t mean pressing through until you can’t any more. It means recognizing when you need to stop, re-assess, take time for self-care, and then enter back into the mission at full strength.