Thursday, June 7, 2018

DIY Summer Solstice Sun Wheel

 DIY Summer Solstice Sun Wheel

I am excited to share this wonderful craft with you today! Every year I look at possible decorations and crafts for the Summer Solstice, and every year I see beautiful sun wheels. Last year I actually bought some supplies to make a sun wheel, but never got around to it. Well, this year I decided enough is enough; I am going to make that darn sun wheel!

Sun wheels are usually equal-armed crosses within a circle. They have been used by a variety of cultures, including the Celts and Vikings. Sometimes referred to as Odin's Cross, the sun wheel is believed to invoke power, fertility, life, abundance, and peace, attributes often attributed to the Sun. The four equal divisions in the sun wheel represent the four seasons (spring, summer, fall, and winter) as well as the four directions (North, East, South, and West) and the solar calendar marked by the 4 solstices/equinoxes. However, modern pagans have begun using the traditional God's Eye to make images of the sun, thus we have developed a modern version of this ancient symbol to invoke the same powers.

DIY Summer Solstice Sun Wheel

To make this modern version of the sun wheel, you will need a couple of items, including:
  • 4 branches of the same length
  • yellow, red, orange, brown yarn, string, ribbon, twine, or raffia
  • scissors
  • sage

For this particular project, I used branches from my Weeping Willow. It lost two very large limbs this year due to storms, which I figured I could use for some project eventually. Sure enough, I found a use! Willow trees represent love, tranquility, protection, and growth, all of which correspond to the meaning of a sun wheel, making Willow a great choice for my project, even though it is usually associated with the Moon. You can also use Oak, Birch, or Ash. From one of the limbs, that is miraculously sprouting roots and growing in my brush pile, I snipped off four branches of equal width. Because the limb is still somehow alive, I thanked it for providing me with the cuttings. I used my gardening shears to clip them off and then clip them to equal lengths. I stripped off any small side branches and leaves and brought them inside. If you are using dead or fallen branches, be sure to check them for pests. You may wish to bake the branches in the oven for 10 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit prior to completing this project. That should kill off any possible insects that may be hiding in the bark.

DIY Summer Solstice Sun Wheel
Crystals to increase the potency of my spell.
Next, cleanse all your items with the sage or any other type of cleansing herb. This gets rid of any energies your supplies may have picked up, especially if you bought anything from a store. Once the items are cleansed, you need to secure your four branches together with some twine. I began by wrapping two branches together at a time to make an equal-armed cross. Once I had two crosses tied together, I combined them to make my wheel or base for the different yarns, twine, ribbons, and raffia to thread through. This doesn't need to look perfect; however, you want to be sure the branches are secure and will not move. Securing the two equal-armed crosses is by far the toughest part of this entire project.

DIY Summer Solstice Sun Wheel

DIY Summer Solstice Sun Wheel

Now that the branches are secure, start threading your yellow yarns, twine, ribbons, and raffia through the branches. I secured the first line by tieing it to the twine used to secure the branches. I found that wrapping the raffia around a section several times produced a more cohesive look and gave me thicker sections faster. Don't worry about what the back looks like; focus only on the front. Alternate between colors and textures to make your own unique design. I picked up my ribbon, yarn, and raffia from my local Dollar Tree. Double check how many yards of each you are purchasing though because I ran out of the orange yarn within seconds and didn't have any more on hand to make a larger section of it. The twine I purchased from the gardening section of Michael's Craft Store, although I am sure there is twine available at the Dollar Tree as well. As you thread the materials through the branches, visualize the sun and all its strength pouring into your sun wheel. You may even wish to chant a litter mantra as you work.

DIY Summer Solstice Sun Wheel
Back: You can see where I tied the knots as I thread the materials.
Once you are finished, place on your altar, hang it up or otherwise display it for all the see. If you wish, you can charge your sun wheel in the sun. Don't leave it there too long, however, as the colors will fade quickly.

DIY Summer Solstice Sun Wheel

DIY Summer Solstice Sun Wheel

DIY Summer Solstice Sun Wheel

And there you have it! A beautiful sun wheel for this Summer Solstice. You'll see mine appear again on my Solstice altar in a couple of weeks. Until then!



DIY Summer Solstice Sun Wheel: See the complete directions on flyingthehedge.com

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