comes the sun king...
At Winter Solstice we celebrate the passing of the long dark and the rebirth
of the light. Sun gods and solar heroes from all over the world share
this birthday. It is nature's promise that the darkest days will always
All this year, we have been caught up in new exposure to what is for us
an old familiar myth, and so we have chosen Boromir and Aragorn to express
this concept of power, transference and sacrifice.
The fellowship sets out from Rivendell in the gathering dark on December
25th. Aragorn is the lightbringer, a solstice king, who begins his ascent
with the return of the sun. With every day of his journey he grows stronger
and as his power increases, the earth gains strength with him. Boromir,
his companion, will be the sacrifice.
In the midnight of the year, as the star that lights our world reaches
the southernmost post of its journey, bells toll the passing of the wren,
the Winter King. The wren is hunted to symbolize the death of winter,
dressed up in ribbons and carried around the village so the people could
see that the sacrifice has been performed. He has been conquered by the
robin, the Solstice King, ruler of the waxing year in an eternal duel
of light and dark brothers. They vanquish each other in order to transfer
their power, so it might seem like they are enemies, but that isnt
how it works. S acrifice is part of the natural cycle of the world, and
they replace each other in the same way a son replaces his father in time.
Solstice Kings are easy to love. They rule the world when the light is
growing in strength. The Winter Kings can seem harsh - they bring the
productive time to an end, bring hard times and trial, but also bring
the fallow time that lets the earth rest and renew itself.
The stewards of Gondor have been holding on to past glory and waiting
to try the new kings worth. Their power must be sacrificed to clear the
path for the new king.
When Boromir falls at Amun Hen, his horn and sword, the signs of his office
are broken. Aragorn, his own power and broken sword newly reforged, will
ascend. All proceeds as it has always been ordained it should, and it
is still a spiritual victory for the Winter Kings when Boromir reasserts
the fire of his own soul by trading his ties to the flames of madness,
for ties to the rising sun, the Flame of the West - Andruil, in Aragorns
The Winter King's body will make a hero's journey down the river, bringing
the power of his sacrifice to all the lands the river touches. And the
Solstice King will begin his own journey, crossing first of all into the
grasslands of Rohan, the lands of the rising sun.
words and music by Jim and Tay with Frostbite,
Aragorn and Boromir are from The Lord Of The Rings by JRRTolkien
Special thanks to Tolkien, who changed Tay's life forever in 1963
and to Toby who, knowing our need for solstice and language info, tracked
down the translation from the Maori.