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June 21: A Day of Balance and Harmony

In Cultural Bridges on June 21, 2011 at 12:07 AM


By René Wadlow


The 21st day of June, the Summer Solstice, is in many cultures the cosmic symbol of balance and harmony between light and dark, between the universal and the local, between giving and receiving, between women and men, and between our inner and outer worlds. History records humanity’s preoccupation with the sun’s annual cycle.  Sites such as Stonehenge in England are thought to have been erected specifically to trace the path of the sun through the heavens.

The sun has always had symbolic meaning. As the ancient Sanskrit prayer, the Gayatri, tells us, the sun is a disc of golden light giving sustenance to the universe. Plato used the image of the sun to represent the idea of the One, the Good.

In Ancient Egypt, summer solstice was the most important day of the year.

There is an old tradition attributed to Hermes Trismegistus and the Emerald Tablet which says “that which is below is like that which is above, and that which is above is like that which is below”.  Thus, the cosmic growth of light should be reflected in our lives in greater light, greater awareness, greater understanding.

Sunrise Solstice at Stonehenge, England, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

June 21 is a day of recognition of the world-wide increase of light which transforms ignorance. It is a day in which we celebrate illumination as it dispels darkness.  It is a day during which we can all recognize the growth of greater awareness and concern for the common good. We recognize our need to redouble our efforts to restore a golden balance within the natural world.

Due to the work of the United Nations, people throughout the world are recognizing their responsibility to each other and are attempting to resolve ancient and entrenched global problems. June 21 marks our dedication to balance and harmony, to ecologically-sound development and to following a path of light.

Due to the work of the United Nations, people throughout the world are recognizing their responsibility to each other.

René Wadlow is Senior Vice President and Chief Representative to the United Nations Office at Geneva of the Association of World Citizens.

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