In traditional societies as far removed as Zuñi Pueblo of the American Southwest and the Kalasha valleys of what is now northwestern Pakistan, the Winter Solstice is marked—among other activities—by footraces.

I've long wondered why this would be so, but this morning—watching the Sun leap up over the horizon—it suddenly occurred to me why.

It's sympathetic magic. The Sun is a runner.

Every day, the Sun walks across the Sky. Even on the day of his birth, he walks from one horizon to the other. Well, he's a god; he can.

(During the Bronze Age, when we became a Horse People, people began to say that the Sun drove across the sky daily in his chariot. In those days, nobles and warriors rode horses and drove chariots, unlike us common folks who walked; when we rode, it was in ox-carts. Surely, went the logic, the Sun was more like nobility and the warrior-kind: hence his chariot. These days, though, we understand that to walk is more sacred than to ride.)

Three-some weeks until the Evenday and his due Eastern rising. This morning he came up still considerably south of east.

“He'll have to run to catch up,” I thought.


As the New Pagans of the West deepen and retribalize, expect the Sun Run to become a regular feature of the Solstice and Equinox seasons.

And even better it be, with torches.