In ancient Egypt it was imagined that the sun-god Ra was dragged through a channel under the earth riding on a boat during the night. Ra (or Re as he was also known) was the creator god and the most important of the Egyptian panoply. Every night it was feared that Ra would not reappear the next morning as there was a serpent living there who tried to swallow him up each time he passed by. It was the responsibility of the priests to ensure that he did reappear. Solar eclipses were a worrying time and their prediction was extremely important; the observation and recording forming the basis of modern astronomy.
The relief at the reappearance of the morning sun and its warmth was documented by Jung during his African travels. Everyone stood waiting for the dawn and raised their hands so their palms were warmed by the first rays of the rising sun.
For us today to watch the sun rise or set is still a deeply awe-inspiring spiritual experience if seen in pristine nature. So easy to take for granted now so many live indoors in heavily polluted cities. We too need to be vigilant and make sure our children and grandchildren have a chance to appreciate its full splendour.
In a sense the egyptians were right all those years aoo. We all do depend on the sun for our existence.
Beware!! looking at the sun with the naked eyes can be dangerous.
Photos geoff clements http://www.cobb.leon for the photo of Ra