Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Here Comes the Sun

"Raven Steals the Sun" watercolor & ink
As the wheel of the year turns to spring, we see the day lengthen and sun fills the sky.  Here is a story about the arrival of the sun compiled from many of the cultures in the northern latitudes:

Long ago, at the beginning of the world, Eagle was the guardian of the Sun, Moon and Stars, of fresh water and of fire. Eagle hated humans so much that he kept these things hidden so humans had to live in darkness, without fire, fresh water or light. Raven did not like stumbling about in the darkness, so he came up with a plan. Eagle had a daughter and Raven being a handsome snow-white bird, pleased Eagle's daughter so that she invited him to her father's home. She hoped Raven would ask to marry her. While at Eagle's house, Raven found the Sun, Moon and stars, and fresh water inside a box. He waited for his chance to slip the box beneath his feathers when no one was looking. Then he took a brand of fire and flew out of the house. As soon as Raven got outside he placed the Sun in the sky. When the Sun set, he hung the Moon up in the sky and spread the stars around. He flew back over the land and dropped the water he had stolen, forming streams and lakes in the world. Raven continued to fly, holding the brand of fire in his beak. The smoke from the fire turned his white feathers black. Finally, when the firebrand began to burn his beak he had to drop it. The fire struck the rocks below and hid itself within them. That is why, when two stones are struck together, sparks of fire will fly out. Raven's feathers never became white again after they were blackened by the smoke. That is why Raven is now a black bird. 
The painting pictured here is currently available as prints. The original painting is being made into a box, not quite big enough to fit the sun, and I will post it here once it is constructed.
Art Prints
Click here to view print  & greeting card options

Like myths about Raven? Listen to this story Raven and the Winding River on BirdNote.

Happy Spring!


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