The sunrise and the sunset are spiritual twilight windows. These are the best sun-gazing times. We have some safe sun-gazing tips to help you get the most out of this experience.
Many people are drawn to sunrises and sunsets. How about you? These are extraordinary times when energy shifts from light to dark and from darkness to light. Many people love watching the sun during these times of transition, and these are only a part of the benefits of sun-gazing. These celestial events project energy. It resonates with us on an emotional and spiritual level. It’s almost as if these events open a window to our souls.
Studies show a magnetic body alignment occurs at sunrise and sunset. (1) At these times, magnetic fields shift northeast to southwest afterward. Scientists believe this may be key to understanding the migration ability of animals, birds, and butterflies.
Spiritual Meaning of Twilight Windows
Some believe the Druids originated the ancient practice of gathering at sunrise. No one knows for sure. Today, you can find it practiced globally.
“The sun was the first object of the adoration of mankind, I apprehend, is a fact, which I shall be able to place beyond the reach of reasonable doubt. Absolute proof of this fact, the circumstances of the case put it out of our power to produce; but it is supported by reason and common sense, and by the traditions of all nations, when carefully examined to their foundations. The allegorical accounts or mythos of different countries. The inventions of an advanced state of society, inasmuch as they are really only allegorical accounts or mythos, operate nothing against this doctrine.” (2)
These spiritual twilight windows are beautiful, but we must respect their power and only do it during the brief window, as the sun rises or sets. These are times when Ultraviolet rays are at their lowest intensity. Of the sun-gazing tips, this is the most important.
The safe window for sun gazing will vary depending on the time of the year and location. It can be as short as 2 minutes in the summer. The window is not as long during the summer because the sun is more intense, but during the winter, the safe window extends up to perhaps 30 minutes. The power times of the day are essential cycles for the Earth.
These more extended periods are the two Solstices. There is one in June and one in December. Your location also affects this safe window of opportunity—the closer to the equator, the more intense the sun and the shorter the window of safety.
Benefits of Sun-Gazing & Sun-Gazing Tips
First, use peripheral vision and gaze just below the horizon. Don’t look at the sun. Looking at the sun, even for a short period, can cause permanent damage to the retina, which could lead to blindness.
Second, research the best sun-gazing times for your area and time of year, and remember the window of safety is shorter during the summer months. It may be one of the reasons the ancient cultures celebrated the raising sun at the Winter Solstice.
Third, find out if you feel more from the sunrise or sunset. Which do you prefer?
Fourth, create your own sung gazing ritual.
Some claim you can exist without food using a proper sun gazing technique. Unfortunately, there is no credible evidence. The only evidence we have are those who died from starvation or dehydration. You can’t synthesize the sun’s rays like a plant.
However, it is pleasant and therapeutic when you do it right during these spiritual twilight windows. You don’t need to stare at the sun in order to get the benefits of sun-gazing.
All the myths of the Sun-God are based on the sun’s rising or setting. These celestial events represent death and rebirth or resurrection. You will find many ancient structures align facing either East or West. However, organized religion forbid the practice of the ancient rituals that went with them. Only the buildings and monuments remain a testament to spiritual twilight windows.
“To strive to watch the reflection of the splendor of the sunrise every day in the state of self-consciousness. Its significance becomes clear when we do this because we realize that it is a daily reminder of relativity. It puts earth and all the events upon it in perspective as less than the significance of a grain of sand in the universal plan. (See page 78 of Beelzebub’s Tales to His Grandson.) In practice, since the Fourth Way is a way in the midst of life. A student, for reasons of work in life who cannot be available to watch the sunrise, can select another cosmic event during the course of each day. For example, we can watch the sunset or moonrise or moonset or the starry sky.” (3)
Everyone enjoys the fleeting beauty of a sunset or sunrise. Many people find profound significance in these moments. Some people are drawn more to one time of day than the other. It doesn’t matter to some. There are, of course, some people who couldn’t care less. There are reasons for these preferences.
Remember, don’t look directly at the sun. Use your peripheral vision and look at the horizon. It’s the most important of the sun-gazing tips. Don’t chance it.
Spiritual Twilight Windows
Sunrises have special significance in Western religion. The Sunrise service on Easter is a celebration to commemorate the raising of the dying god from the dead. It’s always celebrated on Sunday, the first Sunday after the first full moon following the spring equinox. This rite or ceremony bears the name of the god Ishtar.
Ishtar is the sun god from Sumerians, also known as Inanna, in Mesopotamia. She is the goddess of war, sex, and love. Her symbols include rain and thunderstorms, and she is often in the company of a lion whose roar resembles thunder. So, in a spiritual sense, the Christian twilight service celebration commemorates the ancient mystery god of Sumerians. It revolves around the legends of the Spring Solstice. We have no record of these ceremonies. Many of the best sun-gazing times and celebrations are also a part of Hermetic tradition. (4)
The Summer Solstice is the day with the most sunshine, so ancient cultures celebrated and created permanent structures to commemorate this celestial event.
Yucatan Peninsula is the pyramids of Chichén Itzá. The precise construction and engineering of the pyramids create a visual display at mid-day on the Summer Solstice. The sunlight cuts the pyramid into two pieces. The central pyramid of El Castillo is in pure sunlight on one side and a complete shadow on the other.
Modern-day Druids celebrate the Summer Solstice. They are one of the few groups with permission to perform their celebration at Stonehenge. These rituals have a common thread that leads us back to the fundamental practice. The original spiritual meaning of twilight is in the enjoyment and simplicity of the sunrise and sunset.
The Best Sun-Gazing Times and Sun-Gazing Tips
The best way to gain the most out of these extraordinary times is to create a meaningful rite or ritual commemorating this event. We are not suggesting that you start a religion. There are already plenty of mythologies without adding more.
Rituals are indispensable to focus your intent and summon the confidence needed to overcome life’s obstacles. Some people use the moon and its cycles as focal points for their practice. The sunrise and sunset are other perfect times because the light and spiritual energy change. Make your own tradition. Walk your own path.
We have these two opportunities every day. Perhaps this is why religions use them. The Spring equinox is a significant benchmark for many cultures; it signals the beginning of the Spring and Summer growing season. Some ancient civilizations built architecture to align with specific sunrise events.
For example, the Pyramid of Kukulkán, also known as El Castillo, is the 79-foot pyramid at Chichen Itza in Mexico. The structure creates the visual effect of a serpent on the pyramid’s stairs during the spring and autumn equinoxes. It’s a significant engineering creation that shows their knowledge of astronomy and building skills. We don’t know what rituals may have accompanied these events.
If you are looking for an easy way to tune in or energize, then the sun-gazing times are a perfect opportunity. Follow the sun-gazing tips if you feel inclined to use this technique. Do your research to find the specific time of the spiritual twilight window best for you. If you are new to the practice, remember never to look directly at the sun. Start with only a few seconds and always use peripheral vision.
Otherwise, you can always enjoy the sunrise or sunset when the sun is the least powerful. Please don’t look directly at the sun.
(1) The importance of time of day for magnetic body alignment in songbirds.
(2) Anacalypsis – Or an Inquiry Into the Origin of Languages, Nations, and Religions (1836) by Godfrey Higgins, Wikipedia
(3) Gurdjieff unveiled: an overview and introduction to the teaching, 2005 Seymour B. Ginsburg
(4) The Corpus Hermeticum, 2001 translated by G.R.S Mead, pp15