“I choose to remember us whole”
-Daniel Alexander Jones
A new project by Daniel Alexander Jones & Friends
The Aten was the name for the sun disc deity in Ancient Egypt. The term is best known to us because of Pharaoh Akhenaten’s “Hymn to the Aten” or “Hymn to the Sun”, often cited as the earliest surviving example of African poetry. To quote writer Normandi Ellis: “Akhenaten believed that love and light knew no boundaries”. The Aten is often pictured as a disk with rays of light that end in outstretched hands–the divine reaches to us with its sustaining light; we reach, simultaneously to the divine light without and within. The Sun’s radiance touches us without a gatekeeper or intercessor. It is, freely.
We have chosen to consider the Aten’s reach as the heliosphere, and to meditate upon our sun, the planets (yes, we rep Pluto as a planet) and Earth’s moon as parts of a moving whole. As all the planets orbit the Sun, the entire solar system hurtles through spacetime on its own trajectory. The solar system is never in the same place or time twice, yet it is also recognizably itself. Each of the planetary bodies have undergone and continue to undergo changes both visible and not, yet they are still recognizably themselves. So, too, we are each shaped and held by the gravity of our experiences and marked by our relationships as we move through our lives, never in the same place or time twice, but somehow, ourselves. Each heavenly body, of course, has long been associated with particular properties, qualities, and questions in cosmologies around the world. Each planet, for example, is said within astrology, to rule certain parts of the body, and to influence certain natural phenomena, and spheres of human behavior and epochs of history.