Drawing Down the Sun – a review and my thoughts

Drawing Down the Sun is a devotional guide for sun goddess worship, written by Stephanie Woodfield. Ms. Woodfield is a well known writer for SageWoman and The Portal and is also a founding member of Morrigu’s Daughters. Her website is www.stephanie-woodfield.com.

I picked this book up in the Circle Sanctuary store sometime last fall. I was drawn to the cover art more than anything, and a yearning for the sun that was already fading into the Wisconsin winter.

Cover image from Llewellyn Publications

I found this book a refreshing change as someone who loves the Sun but hasn’t seen practical worship of Her as a Goddess even during solar sabbats. Stephanie starts with a brief introduction to the topic, discussing the feminine Sun worship in ancient cultures where either heavenly body may have been Feminine or Masculine, once you left Rome. As Stephanie says, “Recognizing the sun goddess is out bringing balance to both the Goddess & her worship,” honoring the Divine Feminine & Divine Masculine in all aspects. One chapter in particular details some of the themes generally associated with feminine Sun myths including the “hidden sun”, weaving, mirrors, dance, and being a psychopomp to the land of the dead.

From there, she moves into the meat. The book covers 9 geographical regions with 14 goddesses between them. Stephanie provides a guided meditation for each deity as well as spells & rituals specific to each. She acknowledges that these aren’t going to be culturally traditional, but she does attempt to draw in those elements when possible. It may feel a bit culturally appropriative to some. For me, introducing these goddesses and their worship in a wider context, especially when Stephanie treats them with such respect, is more important.

I enjoyed reading the myths and meditations for each goddess, though I do feel that a more critical analysis could’ve been done. An example was found in Sekhmet’s section. She is described as a warrior and a healer, with Stephanie calling out that this may seem odd to today’s practitioner. In my opinion, healers fight the hardest battles of all, to save their patience from disease and injury. You must be able to destroy in order to heal, or rather you must understand how the injury/illness happened (and be able to replicate it) in order to heal it. Therefore, I’m not sure what sort of “fluffy bunny” she is talking to that thinks a healer is always passive and gentle.

The very last section is a general discussion of modern worship & connection, and my favorite part next to the guided meditations to meet each Lady. I especially recommend the Daily Devotions on page 250!

Ultimately, I would recommend the book. It’s a part of paganism that is not often discussed, and her Charge of the Sun Goddess at the beginning is a powerful text in its own right.

About the Author

Grace is an avid reader, geek, and gamer living with anxiety and fighting against depression. She volunteers when she can, in as many avenues as possible. Grace loves attending cons and festivals, but also values her time at home with fur-babies and her books. An eclectic pagan since childhood, Grace has studied as a Chakradance facilitator, level 2 Usui Reiki healer, and has been a member of the Sisterhood of Avalon since 2012. She credits Phyllis Curott and Edain McCoy with her introduction to Wicca, and The Chalice & The Blade by Riane Eisler as her introduction to historical concepts of paganism. Other inspirations include The Invitation by Oriah Mountain Dreamer, The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz, The Red Book by Sera Beak, and Avalon Within by Jhenah Telyndru. Her (current) greatest shero and ladycrush is Michelle Obama <3. Facing hard topics dead on is Grace's signature, asking the questions no one wants to hear, and rustling the jimmies to get Change made. It has often said that you never have to wonder what Grace is thinking! She is currently fleshing out several writing projects, and hopes to pitch those soon.

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