Jan 2, 2006

Waiting For The Sun

Left: A stand of trees near my home reaches for a hidden sun

(Toledo, OH) I cannot remember the last time in which this area had a solid day with clear skies, so it must have been well before Christmas.

The forecast for the next seven days calls for rain, snow, and overcast skies, and we may not see any significant sunshine until next week.

A George Harrison line comes to mind from the song "Here Comes The Sun":
It seems like years since it's been clear...
The sun not only brings warmth, but seems to connect with a primordial part of us even beyond the chemical connections associated with seasonally affective disorder (SAD). Sun imagery is among the oldest recorded artistic activity, and the sun's power made it the focus of worship in many ancient religious traditions.
Left: Aztec god Huitzilopochtli, courtesy of Museo del Templo Mayor website

The Aztec sun god (who also doubled as the god of war) was Huitzilopochtli, and he was believed to be in a continuous battle with darkness. From an account in the Florentine Codex (a European translation of Nahuatl texts), Huitzilopochtli was so bright that warrior souls approaching him had to use their battle shields to protect their eyes, lest they become blinded.

For the Egyptians the sun played an important role in the development of a number of deities. Ra was the sun-god of Heliopolis in ancient Egypt, and translated as "mouth" in the Egyptian language. Ra was believed to have created speech (hence the anatomical connection).

Left: The Egyptian sun-god Ra, from Art and Archaeology website

After the fifth Egyptian dynasty Ra had been elevated to the principal deity, and later merged with other gods to become Amun-Ra.

In order to travel through the underworld every night, so that he might rise in the morning, Ra used a boat to avoid being extinguished by the seas.

In the Judeo-Christian tradition the sun is also prominent. Genesis describes a creation process in which the birth of the sun played an important role:
And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
But for residents of Northwest Ohio, the wait continues. The light God gave us remains obscured from direct view, and it indeed seems like years since it's been clear.


Mrs. Phoenix said...

nice article, mike!

Lisa Renee said...

Just for you Mike...



historymike said...

Thanks, Mrs. Phoenix!

historymike said...

I have always loved that song, Lisa. Listening to that song is one of my earliest memories, and "Here Comes The Sun" is one of those tunes that can drag me out of all but the worst funks.

Lisa Renee said...

Same for me and I can see clearly now...

Always makes me smile.


Anonymous said...

Typical that you multiculturalists would invoke pagan gods in your attempt to brainwash us.

historymike said...

Ah, I see. I must be a dirty multiculturalist because I study history.

Yes, you have outed me, anonymous. Nothing I enjoy better than foisting my "multi-culti" agenda off on an unsuspecting world.

You got me, mister!

liberal_dem said...

On Solstice morning a few days ago, several of us lit a fire, chanted, and threw incense into the fire and, as a result of our hard work, the sun stopped its southern migration and is now headed back north to warm us once again.

...not that you need to thank us for that deed

Lisa Renee said...

Don't forget Mike, it's your turn to bring the sacrifice this week.


Hooda Thunkit said...

And make sure he's fresh, not frozen ;-)

historymike said...

Liberal Dem:

We are not worrrrrrthy...thank you though.

Lisa and Hooda:
I brought the sacrifice last week. It was a badger I had just run over on the way to Lisa's cauldron.

TimeLord said...



Anonymous said...

Laugh, liberal jews, laugh.

Lisa Renee said...

NOT a badger! Oh sheesh...they bring winter we want spring!

Now you did it...


HT, that's it, no more having Mike bring the sacrifice...


Lisa Renee said...

OMG...am I a jew now? I didn't realize it was that easy.

Wow...anybody have an extra torah lying around?


Stephanie said...

...and that's how prose, poetry and history can blend into something touching and beautiful. Well done!

Stephanie said...

Hey, I can't complain about the weather (and I guess I have you to thank for that, liberal_dem). It's January, I'm in Wisconsin, and it's been raining all day! It might not be sun, but at least it's not SNOW!!!


Sorry. I've been looking for about five years and still haven't been able to find one. I've seen witchcraft books aplenty, but no Torahs. Multi-culturalism must not be taking as big a hold on this nation as anonymous fears.

liberal_dem said...

Multi-culturalism must not be taking as big a hold on this nation as anonymous fears.

I thought that anonymous postings were verboten.


One might bring up this question:

Is America's greatness a result of 'melting pot' or multiculturalism?

Lisa Renee said...

I'm with you on that one Stephanie, I'd much rather have thunderstorms like we had yesterday than snow or ice.

Not just because my car has no heat but because rain is much easier than snow.


Timothy said...

...just thinking the same thing. The security light at my place is on a photosensor and it hasn't shut off for 2 days! We need some sunshine badly!

Hooda Thunkit said...


"HT, that's it, no more having Mike bring the sacrifice..."

What? You didn't want Mike to waste a perfectly good badger, did you?

If it was a possum, I would have expected a nice bowl of possum stew, wouldn't you???

Screw the sacrifice, when possum is involved ;-)

historymike said...


Ignore the white supremacist "multi-culti" claptrap. I am amazed at how these folks find a way to tie everything to their racist agenda.

liberal dem:

I am allowing anonymous comments with the caveat that I will delete them if they drift into profanity. Some people just prefer to stay completely anonymous.


Yes, you cheese-heads probably love a winter rain. :-}


I, too, love a good thunderstorm. One of these days I am going to get zapped because of my crazy fascination with them.


The sun will come back out just in time for Spring semester.

Stephanie said...

"I thought that anonymous postings were verboten."

Meaning they shouldn't be postable or I shouldn't respond to them?

"Is America's greatness a result of 'melting pot' or multiculturalism?"

My answer would be "melting pot," but that may be just because I'm such an American mutt. I believe multicultralism has it's place, but not as an ideology. Basically, I'm conservative, but neither hateful nor neo.

Stephanie said...


Your car has no heat!?! That is definitely not cool! Or is it?

Anyway, rain is my preference, though many here do not share that predilection. I get my way once in a while; they get theirs most of the time. Fair is fair.

Stephanie said...


I'll try to remember you'd prefer we not raise to their baiting comments, but I must say that I have NEVER worn cheese on my head, not even once. I'm imported.