Solstices & Equinoxes: The Mystical Meaning Throughout History
Solstices and equinoxes were not celebrated as purely physical events. They also held vast ritual and spiritual meaning in many cultures. The life cycle of the sun finds its parallel in the lives of solar deities and spiritual figures around the world and in the legends of civilizations spanning place and time.
Such practices are fascinating to study, but they can still easily be framed as simple sun worship by primitive peoples. It is intellectually unpopular to even suggest that any objective, universal meaning lies beneath the ancient myths, and that the symbols, figures, and rituals might be far more connected than we suppose.
The Significance of Solstices and Equinoxes for Spiritualists
Winter Solstice was about the rebirth of the sun. Spring Equinox is about the rebirth of the earth. The signs of this massive stirring are everywhere!
Soaking rains shift to brilliant sunshine, and back again. Soil softens. Snowdrops creep out. Shoots of tulips, daffodils and crocuses push, green, through drooping winter pansies. Birds return. Hibernating animals wake up. Days lengthen. Nights shorten.
Slowly but surely, Earth is turning toward March 20th, the Spring Equinox, when day and night will be in perfect balance.
For Spiritualist and Sages, the cycles of the sun have their own special significance. Going back to their most ancient origins, the various myths and rituals surrounding the solar journey are reflective of a universal process of spiritual change: the ascendancy from the material to the spiritual, the struggle against inner darkness, and the victory of spiritual light.
This is a process that mystics aim to experience within themselves, on a personal level. It’s a universal process, not owned by any place or time but having clear and unique manifestations in many cultures throughout history.
The ancient cultures of Egypt, India, Summer, Greece, Rome, Peru, Mexico, and so on, had within them people that understood this inner spiritual journey. They saw it being reflected in the heavens themselves.
At the center of these cultures, we can find many ancient monuments that align with the solstices and equinoxes, built with such enormous effort and immense precision. How these feats of engineering even took place is still unclear to modern science.
It can be difficult as a present-day person to understand the need for these monuments and even harder to grasp the underlying spiritual meaning they communicate. To do this, we need to understand the mystical meaning of the solar cycle; an event which recognizes the spiritual descent from darkness into light.