“Turn your face to the sun and the shadows fall behind you” ~ Maori Proverb
At Litha, the summer solstice, the sun is at its highest point in the sky. Many ancient cultures marked this date as significant, and the concept of sun worship is one nearly as old as mankind itself. In societies that were primarily agriculture and dependent on the sun for life and sustenance, it is not surprising that the sun became deified. While many people today might take the day to grill out, go to the beach, or work on their tans, for our ancestors the summer solstice was a time of great spiritual importance.
The Egyptian peoples honored Ra, the sun god. For people in ancient Egypt, the sun was the source of life. It was power and energy, light and warmth. It was what made the crops grow each season, so it’s no surprise that the cult of Ra had immense power and was widespread. Ra was the ruler of the heavens. He was the god of the sun, the bringer of light and patron to the pharaohs. According to legend, the sun travels the skies as Ra drives his chariot through the heavens. Although he was originally associated only with the midday sun, as time went by, Ra became connected to the sun’s presence all day long.
The earliest forms of sun-worship presented the goddess as the bringer of warmth and life and so I’ve chosen to represent Aine with the flowers of harvest and bounty and the resurgence of life as the butterflies emerge from their cocoons fed by the living waters. Of course, the lollipop represents the circle of life. In modern times Aine has become revisioned as the Fairy Queen.