Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Prayer to Sol

"Apollo, God of Light" by Meynier, circa 1790s
Sol is the deity that is the sun. In the Roman tradition Sol is identified with Apollo, God of healing (and illness), light, music, poetry and prophecy. He is traditionally conceived of as a beautiful youth with long, golden hair. Alternate names for Apollo include Phoebus, the Greek Helios and Sol Invictus, the invincible sun. In the Germanic tradition Sol is a beautiful Goddess, also known as Sunna, who will give birth to a new sun before she is destroyed at Ragnarok. Like Apollo, she is associated with hope, light and divine protection. I do not know if I regard Sol as a God or Goddess. Excepting northern Europe, Indo-European religions generally conceive of Sol as male, but were we to sail to Japan every devout citizen there would swear that Sol (Amaterasu) is female, and it is the same amongst Indigenous Australians (Yhi), and no doubt among many other peoples. Nonetheless, wherever you go Sol is the embodiment of the sun, warmth, light and life. It is in consideration of these fundamental aspects that the following prayers are put forth.

For more on Apollo see Apollo - God of Healing, Music and the SunFor more on Sol Invictus see The Invincible Sun - Sol InvictusFor more on the Germanic Sol see The Germanic Sun (scroll half way down the post).

Prayer I
Sol rises and fills the air with warming rays,
Gazing on high, supreme healer, creator of days.
Your salubrious beams are dear to all our kind.
Without which to darkness we’d be confined.
Light bringer, heat bringer, soother of the mind.
Downward Sol sends heat: so downward go malaise.
Witness the centre of this sacred universe, all ablaze.
Let Sol bring a remedy, shine forth, banish our maladies
Protect our bodies and our spirits from disease.
Send us good health and good hearts, without pretense,
And may it please you, this offering of wine and incense.
[inspired by various Vedic hymns to Surya, as translated by Griffith]

Prayer II
The constellations pass away, like thieves, before the all-beholding Sol.
As a young man follows a maiden, so does Sol follow dawn, Aurora, the shining Goddess.
Swift and all beautiful, Sol, maker of sacred light, illumining this, your radiant realm.
Rising this day farseeing one, Sol, deliver us from disease, trouble and dishonour,
And fill us with truth and beauty, just as you fill earth and heaven with your warming light.
[inspired by Rig Veda prayers to Surya, as translated by Griffith]

Prayer III
Rapidly as fancy flies forth with conceptions of the mind.
So following fancy's flight, illness, flee rapidly away.
Rapidly as an arrow flies with keenly-sharpened point,
So swiftly flee away, illness, over this region of the earth!
Rapidly as the beams of light, the rays of Sol, penetrate the world,
So, illness! fly rapidly away over the current of the sea!
[Inspired by Hymn CV of the Atharva Veda, as translated by Griffith]

Prayer IV
Hear golden deity, whose far reaching eye
With broad survey, illumines all the sky.
Self-born, unwearied in diffusing light,
And to all eyes the mirror of delight:
Originator of the seasons, with your fiery car
And leaping horses, beaming light from far:
With your right hand the source of morning light,
And with your left the maker of the night.
Agile and vigorous, truth-bearing Sun,
Fiery and bright around the heavens you run.
Foe to the cruel, but the good person's guide,
Over steps auspicious you preside.
Parent of the ages, guide of prosperous deeds,
The world's commander, borne by lucid steeds,
The world’s, all-searching, bearing light,
Source of existence, pure and fiery bright
Bearer of fruit, almighty creator of years,
Agile and warm, whom every power reveres.
Great eye of nature and the starry skies,
Scorched with burning flames to set and rise
Dispensing justice, lovely, golden beam
The world's great centre, and over all supreme.
Faithful defender, and the eye of right,
Of steeds the ruler, and of life the light:
With founding whip fiery steeds you guide,
When in the car of day you glorious ride.
Propitious on these mystic labours shine,
And bless your suppliants with a life divine.
[An updated and slightly abridged translation (by me) of hymn VII in “The Hymns of Orpheus”, as originally translated by Thomas Taylor in 1792 – the original translation contains elements of archaic English, hence my intrusion]

Prayer V
You guide me, bright and shining Sol
And awaken my heart, my soul.
When the world darkens I wait a while
For you to come; for your warm smile.
As you fill the air with light, you fill my heart,
With truth and beauty and the gentle art
Of appreciation, compassion and joy,
Three metals that are the perfect alloy.
[inspired by “El Sol” by Willy Ortiz]

Prayer VI
Even after all this time
The sun never says to the earth,
“You owe Me.”
Look what happens with
A love like that,
It lights the whole sky.
[Ladinsky’s translation of “The Sun Nevers Says” by Hafiz]

Official video for Ireland's 2016 Eurovision entry, "Sunlight" by Nicky Byrne

Written by M. Sentia Figula.
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