19: Sun

Lie in the sun on a warm summer day. Listen to the bees buzzing about. Ponder the worship of the star we circle, for it is the source of all we are and do – without its light, the planet would be frozen and lifeless. The ancients put it near the center of the cosmos, but we know better now – this star is important to *us*, but it’s just one among many stars making up one of many galaxies. Just another golden bee in the great hive.

Still, it’s the endless dance of her fires and self-consumption that keeps us alive. Her heat and light is the source of everything we do; our fossil fuels are crushed plants and animals, all fed ultimately on her light. Only nuclear energy is not of her. She keeps us sane (how well do *you* cope with seasonal depression?), she keeps us close with her gravity. If you’re going to worship a Source Of All Good Things, the Sun is a pretty good place to start.

Light, often, is knowledge – we speak of a dawning awareness, of the clouds parting. A lightbulb appears over a cartoon character’s head. So the Sun brings knowledge each time it’s resurrected from seeming death, when it sinks into the bloody evening sky. But be careful; if you look too close you’ll burn your eyes out. (What can you learn if you travel through your own dark night of the soul? Go ask the Moon if she’ll loan you her hounds to be your guides; ask Apollo to borrow his chariot, ask to hitch a ride on the Boat Of A Million Years. You probably don’t want to ask Tonatiuh[5] for a hand, though. His price is pretty high.)

There’s intense joy here. The joy of having more energy than you know what to do with, enough to do anything you can think of. In the middle of winter, what seems more appealing than going out under the Sun and being caressed by its rays? Life seems easier nearer the equator, where she never goes so far away.

Of course, there can be too much. The Sun can bring heatstroke, the Sun can bring dehydration. The Sun can bring skin cancer. The Sun can leave you a slowly baking corpse in the middle of a desert. Fly too close like Icarus and the wax will melt from your wings. Leave the protective embrace of the Earth’s atmosphere while the Sun’s having a storm and harsh radiation will fry you while the folks down on the ground enjoy the pretty aurorae. Keep this in mind; wear sunscreen.

What flower is the bee in the sun giving directions to as she dances? Can you tell, or are you just fascinated by watching her shake her ass?

[5] The Fifth Sun in Aztec myth, and, coincidentally, the fifth footnote I’ve written for this text. If I was full of myself I’d ask if the bee I drew is a herald of the Fifth Cosmic Age coming after the Aztec calendar cycles through its Long Count sometime in 2012, but, well, see my comments on the futility of declaring New Ages in the text for the very next card. I just like drawing beegirls.