It’s a comprehensive account of both the history, rituals and traditions of the once world-wide practice of Solar Spirituality, which the author refers to as “The Religion of the Sun.”
The material contained after the introduction of this article is from notes I took while recently reading Mark’s book.
It’s funny to admit it, but some of my favorite books are those that confirm ideas that had already come to me, at one time or another, in the form of my own personal insights. Sometimes these insights were experienced as revelations. Sometimes they arose as a result of the inductive reasoning process we all use as our unconscious minds synthesize knowledge we’ve been accumulating over the years. Often these epiphanies feel like our own original ideas because we experience them as being born from our own thought processes. Sometimes they seem to be creations indigenous to our own Mind. That’s until we find another person whose words reflect these same things. That’s the pleasant impression this book made on my mind while reading it.
I think this is a fairly common experience, one that echoes a famous quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson who said, “In every work of genius we recognize our own rejected thoughts: they come back to us with a certain alienated majesty.” This probably seems a bit narcissistic, but I think it’s true. It’s how we as Individuals connect with great works of art.
The reason I mention this is because for years I followed what might be called a “Solar Current” in my own thinking and studies. For years I really didn’t know anyone else who was into that kind of thing. I had come to assume that it was “my own thing.” I had come to believe that the thoughts and realizations that came with this current were somehow exclusive to myself. I never rejected them or felt alienated from them, but while those revelations seemed profound they also seemed to go abrasively against the grain of most mainstream spiritual thought.
I grew up in rural Kentucky where the Southern Baptist held a tight grip on the reins of “spiritual authority.” It was a place where mentioning the pretty obvious fact that Christianity rests on a solar/pagan foundation only branded me as an ostracized heretic. That’s a bad thing to be in a small town where everyone knows you by name.
So eventually, I just did what the Gnostics, pagans and other similar folks did – I stopped talking to people about what I was into, went underground and developed my own strange little world of ideas and rituals.
I continued doing this for years, occasionally wondering if this whole solar spirituality hunch was just some quirk of my own eccentric imagination. But as I followed a trail of literary breadcrumbs it became clear that I had stuck a deep, rich vein. I began to notice that these “solar” references existed everywhere. This unusual interest involved years spiraling down rabbit holes of esoteric and occult writings and wading through mountains of books on diverse material including historical references from cultures across the globe and studies of ancient mythologies and the spiritual traditions that arose from them. Eventually I noticed as a steady thread of connection wove back and forth between all these ancient subjects only to rise again like a phoenix from its ashes in the modern writings of psychologist Carl Jung.
I slowly became aware that this “Solar Current” that I had imagined as somehow resulting from something within myself, may in fact be some kind of autonomous current of consciousness flowing through many different Individuals. The historical references in The Ancient Path of the Sun certainly point to the probability that in the ancient past there existed a “Solar Current,” and at that time all spirituality was essentially understood as “solar.”
Over the past few years I’ve been able to connect with Individuals who were definitely “solar” in their own right. It was through these interactions that I realized that I was far from the only individual who was feeling these things. It dawned on me that there may be quite a few Individuals who are on the same path, the solar path, and may not have even realized that others like them exist. The “Solar Current” may, in fact, be a thing with a WILL-OF-ITS-OWN.
That’s why I loved this book. It’s more proof that there are indeed Individuals in the world who are tapping into this Solar Current, seemingly independently, but also obviously connected by the same stream. By their work, they are restoring the broken pieces of an ancient religion so that the benefits of the solar path can once again become a conscious part of the collective reality.
I believe that’s the divine intention of resurrecting a “Solar Culture,” and of this very website – to stimulate the awakening of “a new dawn.”
The modern world is very much in need of a solar antidote to the existential crisis whose poisonous effects have infiltrated almost every level of our current society. It’s a plague that has been openly infecting mankind for more than a century now.
That said, as I read the book “The Ancient Path of the Sun” I could see that it was extremely well written. I felt a deep sense of comradery with this book’s author, as if we had both been playing the same game of solar connect-the-dots over the years. He obviously did some amazing research while putting together this well-organized book. Mark Atwood did a remarkable job compiling and presenting such a vast amount of material about The Religion of the Sun.
He’s obviously very well versed on the subject. This is one of the most comprehensive and well researched books I’ve read on the veiled history of the once global, post-ice age practice of Solar Spirituality.
The rest of this article reflects Mark’s work in the book, with segments that I personally felt were vital pieces of the solar puzzle useful to those interested in the subject.
This book was a little challenging to acquire because it initially wasn’t available and took a number of months to actually get a copy. That’s why some of the book notes here are more in-depth, because I think the work is really valuable and may not be available to every reader interested in the subject.
However, if you are able to get your hands on a copy, it’s well worth the price.
Book Notes from “The Ancient Path of the Sun” by Mark Atwood
*There had once been a shared religion that spread across much of the world in ancient times, the Religion of the Sun. A sacred path, to become a “son of the sun.”
*Central to the ancient Religion of the Sun was always a solar hero or sun god, the Spiritual Son.
*This Spiritual Son is both a cosmic and a personal force.
*The Inca royal family was literally believed to be the offspring of the Sun. Though most every culture uses solar motifs, only a relatively few cultures (Egyptian, Indo-European, and Meso-American) developed solar religions. The Egyptian, Indo-European, and Meso-American are likely connected to one another.
*From the ancient Religion of the Sun, there are references to a path of the sun leading to salvation and immortality, and liberation. The major stages on this path were celebrated as occurring on the solstices and equinoxes.
*A person has to fight their way out of psychological chaos by seeing and removing the dark inner states that arise, rather than being overcome by them, and in doing so, gradually establish order within themselves. This is the return of the Spiritual Son within an Individual.
*The followers of Horus, those who followed the path of Horus, the Horian Way, the solar way, which could also be translated as “those who follow the path of the Spiritual Son/Sun.”
*The Indo-Aryan sun god Mithra was known as “the Mediator,” as the Son, as the conciliatory force who on the path of the Spiritual Sun reconciles us with divinity. A being both personal and cosmic to unite and integrate the earthly human with heavenly divinity, joining the serpent with the feathers so it can fly.
* Odin/Wotan, (Germanic) Mithra (Indo-Aryan/Iranian), Dionysus (Greek), Horus (Egyptian) Svarog and Kolyada (Slavic). The Inca, Maya, and Aztec consistently state that these peoples had previously been visited by bearded men of Caucasian appearance in the distant past who had arrived by boat and taught them their solar religion and the arts of civilization. The reason many lives of these solar deities share similarities is because they all have the Spiritual Son in common. These principles were taught as part of the Religion of the Sun in ancient times, and were spread and passed down from one culture and civilization to another.
*It’s important to note that solar ceremonies are not necessarily about the worship of the physical sun. Instead they are like plays that enact the individual journey on the path of the spiritual sun
Solar Quotes from Ancient Scripture:
“That which is Brahman is light; that which is light is the Sun.”
–The Maitrayaniya Upanishad
“O Thou Lord of the Universe, whose form is universal! I see thee with the Crown, the scepter and the discus; a blaze of splendor. Scarce can I gaze on thee, so radiant thou art, glowing like the blazing fire, and brilliant as the Sun, immeasurable”
– The Bhagavad Gita
“The solar orb is said to be the salvation of human beings. The place is the separator of human beings from the world.”