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Solar deity

Solar deity

Overview


A solar deity is a sky deity who represents the Sun
Sun
The Sun is the star at the center of the Solar System. It is almost perfectly spherical and consists of hot plasma interwoven with magnetic fields...

, or an aspect of it, usually by its perceived power and strength. Solar deities and sun worship can be found throughout most of recorded history
History
History is the discovery, collection, organization, and presentation of information about past events. History can also mean the period of time after writing was invented. Scholars who write about history are called historians...

 in various forms. Hence, many beliefs have formed around this worship, such as the "missing sun" found in many cultures.

In different religions solar supreme deities carry different names and are associated with different aspects of the cultural universe of the society, but for the most part its raw image remains identical.

The Neolithic
Neolithic
The Neolithic Age, Era, or Period, or New Stone Age, was a period in the development of human technology, beginning about 9500 BC in some parts of the Middle East, and later in other parts of the world. It is traditionally considered as the last part of the Stone Age...

 concept of a solar barge, the sun as traversing the sky in a boat
Boat
A boat is a watercraft of any size designed to float or plane, to provide passage across water. Usually this water will be inland or in protected coastal areas. However, boats such as the whaleboat were designed to be operated from a ship in an offshore environment. In naval terms, a boat is a...

, is found in the later myths of ancient Egypt
Ancient Egypt
Ancient Egypt was an ancient civilization of Northeastern Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile River in what is now the modern country of Egypt. Egyptian civilization coalesced around 3150 BC with the political unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under the first pharaoh...

, with Ra
Ra
Ra is the ancient Egyptian sun god. By the Fifth Dynasty he had become a major deity in ancient Egyptian religion, identified primarily with the mid-day sun...

 and Horus
Horus
Horus is one of the oldest and most significant deities in the Ancient Egyptian religion, who was worshipped from at least the late Predynastic period through to Greco-Roman times. Different forms of Horus are recorded in history and these are treated as distinct gods by Egyptologists...

.
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Encyclopedia


A solar deity is a sky deity who represents the Sun
Sun
The Sun is the star at the center of the Solar System. It is almost perfectly spherical and consists of hot plasma interwoven with magnetic fields...

, or an aspect of it, usually by its perceived power and strength. Solar deities and sun worship can be found throughout most of recorded history
History
History is the discovery, collection, organization, and presentation of information about past events. History can also mean the period of time after writing was invented. Scholars who write about history are called historians...

 in various forms. Hence, many beliefs have formed around this worship, such as the "missing sun" found in many cultures.

Solar deities throughout cultures


In different religions solar supreme deities carry different names and are associated with different aspects of the cultural universe of the society, but for the most part its raw image remains identical.

The Neolithic
Neolithic
The Neolithic Age, Era, or Period, or New Stone Age, was a period in the development of human technology, beginning about 9500 BC in some parts of the Middle East, and later in other parts of the world. It is traditionally considered as the last part of the Stone Age...

 concept of a solar barge, the sun as traversing the sky in a boat
Boat
A boat is a watercraft of any size designed to float or plane, to provide passage across water. Usually this water will be inland or in protected coastal areas. However, boats such as the whaleboat were designed to be operated from a ship in an offshore environment. In naval terms, a boat is a...

, is found in the later myths of ancient Egypt
Ancient Egypt
Ancient Egypt was an ancient civilization of Northeastern Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile River in what is now the modern country of Egypt. Egyptian civilization coalesced around 3150 BC with the political unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under the first pharaoh...

, with Ra
Ra
Ra is the ancient Egyptian sun god. By the Fifth Dynasty he had become a major deity in ancient Egyptian religion, identified primarily with the mid-day sun...

 and Horus
Horus
Horus is one of the oldest and most significant deities in the Ancient Egyptian religion, who was worshipped from at least the late Predynastic period through to Greco-Roman times. Different forms of Horus are recorded in history and these are treated as distinct gods by Egyptologists...

. Earlier Egyptian myths imply that the sun is within the lioness, Sekhmet
Sekhmet
In Egyptian mythology, Sekhmet , was originally the warrior goddess as well as goddess of healing for Upper Egypt. She is depicted as a lioness, the fiercest hunter known to the Egyptians. It was said that her breath created the desert...

, at night and can be seen reflected in her eyes or that it is within the cow, Hathor
Hathor
Hathor , is an Ancient Egyptian goddess who personified the principles of love, beauty, music, motherhood and joy. She was one of the most important and popular deities throughout the history of Ancient Egypt...

 during the night, being reborn each morning as her son (bull). Proto-Indo-European religion
Proto-Indo-European religion
Proto-Indo-European religion is the hypothesized religion of the Proto-Indo-European peoples based on the existence of similarities among the deities, religious practices and mythologies of the Indo-European peoples. Reconstruction of the hypotheses below is based on linguistic evidence using the...

 has a solar chariot, the sun as traversing the sky in a chariot
Chariot
The chariot is a type of horse carriage used in both peace and war as the chief vehicle of many ancient peoples. Ox carts, proto-chariots, were built by the Proto-Indo-Europeans and also built in Mesopotamia as early as 3000 BC. The original horse chariot was a fast, light, open, two wheeled...

.

During the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

, a festival of the birth of the Unconquered Sun
Sol Invictus
Sol Invictus was the official sun god of the later Roman empire. In 274 Aurelian made it an official cult alongside the traditional Roman cults. Scholars disagree whether the new deity was a refoundation of the ancient Latin cult of Sol, a revival of the cult of Elagabalus or completely new...

(or Dies Natalis Solis Invicti) was celebrated on the winter solstice
Winter solstice
Winter solstice may refer to:* Winter solstice, astronomical event* Winter Solstice , former band* Winter Solstice: North , seasonal songs* Winter Solstice , 2005 American film...

 — the "rebirth" of the sun. In Germanic mythology this is Sol, in Vedic Surya
Surya
Surya Suraya or Phra Athit is the chief solar deity in Hinduism, one of the Adityas, son of Kasyapa and one of his wives, Aditi; of Indra; or of Dyaus Pitar . The term Surya also refers to the Sun, in general. Surya has hair and arms of gold...

, and in Greek Helios
Helios
Helios was the personification of the Sun in Greek mythology. Homer often calls him simply Titan or Hyperion, while Hesiod and the Homeric Hymn separate him as a son of the Titans Hyperion and Theia or Euryphaessa and brother of the goddesses Selene, the moon, and Eos, the dawn...

 (occasionally referred to as Titan
Titan (mythology)
In Greek mythology, the Titans were a race of powerful deities, descendants of Gaia and Uranus, that ruled during the legendary Golden Age....

) and (sometimes) as Apollo
Apollo
Apollo is one of the most important and complex of the Olympian deities in Greek and Roman mythology...

. Mesopotamian Shamash
Shamash
Shamash was a native Mesopotamian deity and the sun god in the Akkadian, Assyrian and Babylonian pantheons. Shamash was the god of justice in Babylonia and Assyria, corresponding to Sumerian Utu...

 plays an important role during the Bronze Age
Bronze Age
The Bronze Age is a period characterized by the use of copper and its alloy bronze as the chief hard materials in the manufacture of some implements and weapons. Chronologically, it stands between the Stone Age and Iron Age...

, and "my Sun" is eventually used as an address to royalty. Similarly, South American cultures have emphatic Sun worship, see Inti
Inti
According to the Inca mythology, Inti is the sun god, as well a patron deity of the Inca Empire. His exact origin is not known. The most common story says he is the son of Viracocha, the god of civilization.- Worship :...

. Svarog
Svarog
Svarog is a Slavic deity known primarily from the Hypatian Codex, a Slavic translation of the Chronicle of John Malalas. Svarog is there identified with Hephaestus, the god of the blacksmith in ancient Greek religion, and as the father of Dažbog, a Slavic solar deity...

 is the Slavic
Slavic peoples
The Slavic people are an Indo-European panethnicity living in Eastern Europe, Southeast Europe, North Asia and Central Asia. The term Slavic represents a broad ethno-linguistic group of people, who speak languages belonging to the Slavic language family and share, to varying degrees, certain...

 god
God
God is the English name given to a singular being in theistic and deistic religions who is either the sole deity in monotheism, or a single deity in polytheism....

 sun
Sun
The Sun is the star at the center of the Solar System. It is almost perfectly spherical and consists of hot plasma interwoven with magnetic fields...

 and spirit
Spirit
The English word spirit has many differing meanings and connotations, most of them relating to a non-corporeal substance contrasted with the material body.The spirit of a living thing usually refers to or explains its consciousness.The notions of a person's "spirit" and "soul" often also overlap,...

 of fire
Fire
Fire is the rapid oxidation of a material in the chemical process of combustion, releasing heat, light, and various reaction products. Slower oxidative processes like rusting or digestion are not included by this definition....

.

During the later periods of Roman history, sun worship gained in importance and ultimately led to what has been called a “solar monotheism.” Nearly all the gods of the period were possessed of solar qualities. The feast of Sol Invictus
Sol Invictus
Sol Invictus was the official sun god of the later Roman empire. In 274 Aurelian made it an official cult alongside the traditional Roman cults. Scholars disagree whether the new deity was a refoundation of the ancient Latin cult of Sol, a revival of the cult of Elagabalus or completely new...

 (Unconquered Sun) on December 25 was celebrated with great joy, and eventually this date was taken over by the Christians as Christmas
Christmas
Christmas or Christmas Day is an annual holiday generally celebrated on December 25 by billions of people around the world. It is a Christian feast that commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ, liturgically closing the Advent season and initiating the season of Christmastide, which lasts twelve days...

, the celebrated birthday of Christ.

Hinduism



The Ādityas
Ādityas
In Hinduism, Āditya , meaning "of or related to Aditi", refers to the offsprings of Aditi. Adityas are solar class deities. In later Hinduism, Aditya is used in the singular to mean the sun.-Vedas:...

 are one of the principal deities of the Vedic
Vedic
Vedic may refer to:* the Vedas, the oldest preserved Indic texts** Vedic Sanskrit, the language of these texts** Vedic period, during which these texts were produced** Vedic pantheon of gods mentioned in Vedas/vedic period...

 classical Hinduism belonging to Solar class. In the Vedas
Vedas
The Vedas are a large body of texts originating in ancient India. Composed in Vedic Sanskrit, the texts constitute the oldest layer of Sanskrit literature and the oldest scriptures of Hinduism....

, numerous hymns are dedicated to Mitra
Mitra
*Mitra was an important Indo-Iranian divinity. Following the prehistoric cultural split of Indo-Aryan and Iranian cultures, names descended from *mitra were used for the following religious entities:...

, Varuna
Varuna
In Vedic religion, Varuna is a god of the sky, of water and of the celestial ocean, as well as a god of law and of the underworld...

, Savitr
Savitr
Savitr IAST: savitrIn Vedic religion, Savitr , Savitā is a solar deity and one of the Adityas i.e. off-spring of Vedic deity Aditi. His name in Vedic Sanskrit connotes "impeller, rouser, vivifier"...

 etc.

Even the Gayatri mantra
Gayatri Mantra
The Gāyatrī Mantra is a highly revered mantra, based on a Vedic Sanskrit verse from a hymn of the Rigveda , attributed to the rishi . The mantra is named for its vedic gāyatrī metre. As the verse can be interpreted to invoke the deva Savitr, it is often called Sāvitrī...

, which is regarded as one of the most sacred of the Vedic hymns is dedicated to Savitr, one of the principal Ādityas. The Adityas are a group of solar deities, from the Brahmana
Brahmana
The Brāhmaṇas are part of the Hindu śruti literature. They are commentaries on the four Vedas, detailing the proper performance of rituals....

 period numbering twelve. The ritual of sandhyavandanam
Sandhyavandanam
Sandhyavandanam is a religious practice performed by Hindu men initiated into the rite by the ceremony of Upanayanam, and instructed in its execution by a Guru . Sandhyavandanam consists of excerpts from the Great Vedas that are to be recited thrice daily...

, performed by Hindu
Hindu
Hindu refers to an identity associated with the philosophical, religious and cultural systems that are indigenous to the Indian subcontinent. As used in the Constitution of India, the word "Hindu" is also attributed to all persons professing any Indian religion...

s, is an elaborate set of hand gestures and body movements, designed to greet and revere the Sun.

The sun god in Hinduism
Hinduism
Hinduism is the predominant and indigenous religious tradition of the Indian Subcontinent. Hinduism is known to its followers as , amongst many other expressions...

 is an ancient and revered deity. In later Hindu usage, all the Vedic Ādityas lost identity and metamorphosed into one composite deity, Surya
Surya
Surya Suraya or Phra Athit is the chief solar deity in Hinduism, one of the Adityas, son of Kasyapa and one of his wives, Aditi; of Indra; or of Dyaus Pitar . The term Surya also refers to the Sun, in general. Surya has hair and arms of gold...

, the Sun. The attributes of all other Ādityas merged into that of Surya and the names of all other Ādityas
Ādityas
In Hinduism, Āditya , meaning "of or related to Aditi", refers to the offsprings of Aditi. Adityas are solar class deities. In later Hinduism, Aditya is used in the singular to mean the sun.-Vedas:...

 became synonymous with, or epithets of, Surya.

The Ramayana
Ramayana
The Ramayana is an ancient Sanskrit epic. It is ascribed to the Hindu sage Valmiki and forms an important part of the Hindu canon , considered to be itihāsa. The Ramayana is one of the two great epics of India and Nepal, the other being the Mahabharata...

 has Rama
Rama
Rama or full name Ramachandra is considered to be the seventh avatar of Vishnu in Hinduism, and a king of Ayodhya in ancient Indian...

 as a descendant of the Surya
Surya
Surya Suraya or Phra Athit is the chief solar deity in Hinduism, one of the Adityas, son of Kasyapa and one of his wives, Aditi; of Indra; or of Dyaus Pitar . The term Surya also refers to the Sun, in general. Surya has hair and arms of gold...

, thus belonging to the Suryavansha
Suryavansha
The Sooryavamsham or Suryavansh or Suryavamsa or Sun Dynasty or Solar Dynasty was one of the most prominent dynasties in the mythical history of India, along with the "Chandra-vaṃśa" or Lunar Dynasty.-Introduction:...

 or the clan of the Sun. The Mahabharata
Mahabharata
The Mahabharata is one of the two major Sanskrit epics of ancient India and Nepal, the other being the Ramayana. The epic is part of itihasa....

 describes one of its warrior heroes, Karna
Karna
Karna or Radheya is one of the central characters in the epic Mahābhārata, from ancient India. He was the King of Anga...

, as being the son of the Pandava mother Kunti and Surya
Surya
Surya Suraya or Phra Athit is the chief solar deity in Hinduism, one of the Adityas, son of Kasyapa and one of his wives, Aditi; of Indra; or of Dyaus Pitar . The term Surya also refers to the Sun, in general. Surya has hair and arms of gold...

.

The sun god is said to be married to the goddess Ranaadeh, also known as Sanjnya. She is depicted in dual form, being both sunlight and shadow, personified. The goddess is revered in Gujarat and Rajasthan.

The charioteer of Surya is A
Aruna
In to Hindu mythology and Hindu scriptures, Aruṇá or Aruṇ is a personification of the reddish glow of the rising Sun, which is believed to have spiritual powers...

runa, who is also personified as the redness that accompanies the sunlight in dawn and dusk. The sun god is driven by a seven-horsed Chariot depicting the seven days of the week.

In India, at Konark
Konark
Konark is a small town in Puri district in the state of Orissa, India, on the Bay of Bengal, sixty-five kilometers from Bhubaneswar. It is the site of the 13th-century Sun Temple , built in black granite by King Narasimhadeva-I of the Eastern Ganga Dynasty. The temple is a World Heritage Site...

, in the state of Orissa
Orissa
Orissa , officially Odisha since Nov 2011, is a state of India, located on the east coast of India, by the Bay of Bengal. It is the modern name of the ancient nation of Kalinga, which was invaded by the Maurya Emperor Ashoka in 261 BC. The modern state of Orissa was established on 1 April...

, a temple is dedicated to Surya. The Konark Sun Temple
Konark Sun Temple
Konark Sun Temple is a 13th-century Sun Temple , at Konark, in Orissa. It was constructed from oxidized and weathered ferruginous sandstone by King Narasimhadeva I of the Eastern Ganga Dynasty. The temple is an example of Orissan architecture of Ganga dynasty...

 has been declared a UNESCO
UNESCO
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations...

 World Heritage Site
World Heritage Site
A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a place that is listed by the UNESCO as of special cultural or physical significance...

. Surya is the most prominent of the navagrahas or nine celestial objects of the Hindus. Navagrahas can be found in almost all Hindu temples. There are further temples dedicated to Surya, one in Arasavilli, Srikakulam District in AndhraPradesh, one in Gujarat at Modhera  and another in Rajasthan. The temple at Arasavilli was constructed in such a way that on the day of Radhasaptami, the sun's rays directly fall on the feet of the Sri Suryanarayana Swami, the deity at the temple.

Chhath
Chhath
Chhath is an ancient Hindu festival dedicated to the Hindu Sun God, Surya, also known as Surya Shashti. The Chhath Puja is performed in order to thank Surya for sustaining life on earth and to request the granting of certain wishes. The Sun, considered the god of energy and of the life-force, is...

 (Hindi: छठ, also called Dala Chhath) is an ancient Hindu festival dedicated to Surya, the chief solar deity, unique to Bihar
Bihar
Bihar is a state in eastern India. It is the 12th largest state in terms of geographical size at and 3rd largest by population. Almost 58% of Biharis are below the age of 25, which is the highest proportion in India....

, Jharkhand
Jharkhand
Jharkhand is a state in eastern India. It was carved out of the southern part of Bihar on 15 November 2000. Jharkhand shares its border with the states of Bihar to the north, Uttar Pradesh and Chhattisgarh to the west, Orissa to the south, and West Bengal to the east...

 and the Terai
Terai
The Terai is a belt of marshy grasslands, savannas, and forests located south of the outer foothills of the Himalaya, the Siwalik Hills, and north of the Indo-Gangetic Plain of the Ganges, Brahmaputra and their tributaries. The Terai belongs to the Terai-Duar savanna and grasslands ecoregion...

. This major festival is also celebrated in the northeast region of India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

, Madhya Pradesh
Madhya Pradesh
Madhya Pradesh , often called the Heart of India, is a state in central India. Its capital is Bhopal and Indore is the largest city....

, Uttar Pradesh
Uttar Pradesh
Uttar Pradesh abbreviation U.P. , is a state located in the northern part of India. With a population of over 200 million people, it is India's most populous state, as well as the world's most populous sub-national entity...

, and parts of Chhattisgarh
Chhattisgarh
Chhattisgarh is a state in Central India, formed when the 16 Chhattisgarhi-speaking South-Eastern districts of Madhya Pradesh gained separate statehood on 1 November 2000....

. Hymns to the sun can be found in the Vedas, the oldest sacred texts of Hinduism. Practiced in different parts of India, the worship of the sun has been described in the Rigveda. There is another festival called Sambha-Dasami, which is celebrated in the state of Orissa
Orissa
Orissa , officially Odisha since Nov 2011, is a state of India, located on the east coast of India, by the Bay of Bengal. It is the modern name of the ancient nation of Kalinga, which was invaded by the Maurya Emperor Ashoka in 261 BC. The modern state of Orissa was established on 1 April...

 (India) for the surya.

The Gurjars (or Gujjars), who belonged to Suryavansha
Suryavansha
The Sooryavamsham or Suryavansh or Suryavamsa or Sun Dynasty or Solar Dynasty was one of the most prominent dynasties in the mythical history of India, along with the "Chandra-vaṃśa" or Lunar Dynasty.-Introduction:...

, were Sun-worshipers and are described as devoted to the feet of the sun god Surya. Their copper-plate grants bear an emblem of the Sun and on their seals too, this symbol is depicted.

Ancient Egypt



Sun worship was exceptionally prevalent in ancient Egyptian religion. The earliest deities associated with the sun are Wadjet
Wadjet
In Egyptian mythology, Wadjet, or the Green One , was originally the ancient local goddess of the city of Dep , which became part of the city that the Egyptians named Per-Wadjet, House of...

, Sekhmet
Sekhmet
In Egyptian mythology, Sekhmet , was originally the warrior goddess as well as goddess of healing for Upper Egypt. She is depicted as a lioness, the fiercest hunter known to the Egyptians. It was said that her breath created the desert...

, Hathor
Hathor
Hathor , is an Ancient Egyptian goddess who personified the principles of love, beauty, music, motherhood and joy. She was one of the most important and popular deities throughout the history of Ancient Egypt...

, Nut
Nut (goddess)
In the Ennead of Egyptian mythology, Nut was the goddess of the sky.-Goddess of the sky:...

, Bast, Bat, and Menhit
Menhit
In Egyptian mythology, Menhit was originally a foreign war goddess. Her name depicts a warrior status, as it means massacres.When included among the Egyptian deities, she became the female counterpart of Anhur...

. First Hathor, and then Isis
Isis
Isis or in original more likely Aset is a goddess in Ancient Egyptian religious beliefs, whose worship spread throughout the Greco-Roman world. She was worshipped as the ideal mother and wife as well as the matron of nature and magic...

, give birth to and nurse Horus and Ra
Ra
Ra is the ancient Egyptian sun god. By the Fifth Dynasty he had become a major deity in ancient Egyptian religion, identified primarily with the mid-day sun...

. Hathor the horned-cow is one of the 12 daughters of Ra, gifted with joy and is a wet-nurse to Horus.

The Sun's movement across the sky represents a struggle between the Pharaoh's soul and an avatar of Osiris. Ra travels across the sky in his solar-boat; at dawn he drives away the demon Apep
Apep
In Egyptian mythology, Apep was an evil god, the deification of darkness and chaos , and thus opponent of light and Ma'at , whose existence was believed from the 8th Dynasty onwards...

 of darkness. The "solarisation" of several local gods (Hnum-Re, Min-Re, Amon-Re) reaches its peak in the period of the fifth dynasty
Fifth dynasty of Egypt
The fifth dynasty of ancient Egypt is often combined with Dynasties III, IV and VI under the group title the Old Kingdom. Dynasty V dates approximately from 2494 to 2345 BC.-Rulers:...

.
Rituals to the god Amun
Amun
Amun, reconstructed Egyptian Yamānu , was a god in Egyptian mythology who in the form of Amun-Ra became the focus of the most complex system of theology in Ancient Egypt...

 who became identified with the sun god Ra
Ra
Ra is the ancient Egyptian sun god. By the Fifth Dynasty he had become a major deity in ancient Egyptian religion, identified primarily with the mid-day sun...

 were often carried out on the top of temple pylons
Pylon (architecture)
Pylon is the Greek term for a monumental gateway of an Egyptian temple It consists of two tapering towers, each surmounted by a cornice, joined by a less elevated section which enclosed the entrance between them. The entrance was generally about half the height of the towers...

. A Pylon mirrored the hieroglyph for 'horizon' or akhet
Akhet (hieroglyph and season)
The Egyptian language word Akhet is both a hieroglyph and an Ancient Egyptian season.The two uses for akhet:* In ancient Egyptian, the place where the sun rises and sets; often translated as "horizon" or "mountain of light". It is included in names like "Akhet Khufu" and Akhetaten...

, which was a depiction of two hills "between which the sun rose and set", associated with recreation and rebirth. On the first Pylon of the temple of Isis at Philae
Philae
Philae is an island in the Nile River and the previous site of an Ancient Egyptian temple complex in southern Egypt...

, the pharaoh is shown slaying his enemies in the presence of Isis
Isis
Isis or in original more likely Aset is a goddess in Ancient Egyptian religious beliefs, whose worship spread throughout the Greco-Roman world. She was worshipped as the ideal mother and wife as well as the matron of nature and magic...

, Horus
Horus
Horus is one of the oldest and most significant deities in the Ancient Egyptian religion, who was worshipped from at least the late Predynastic period through to Greco-Roman times. Different forms of Horus are recorded in history and these are treated as distinct gods by Egyptologists...

 and Hathor
Hathor
Hathor , is an Ancient Egyptian goddess who personified the principles of love, beauty, music, motherhood and joy. She was one of the most important and popular deities throughout the history of Ancient Egypt...

.
In the eighteenth dynasty
Eighteenth dynasty of Egypt
The eighteenth dynasty of ancient Egypt is perhaps the best known of all the dynasties of ancient Egypt...

, Akhenaten
Akhenaten
Akhenaten also spelled Echnaton,Ikhnaton,and Khuenaten;meaning "living spirit of Aten") known before the fifth year of his reign as Amenhotep IV , was a Pharaoh of the Eighteenth dynasty of Egypt who ruled for 17 years and died perhaps in 1336 BC or 1334 BC...

 changed the polytheistic religion of Egypt to a monotheistic one, Atenism
Atenism
Atenism, or the Amarna heresy, refers to the religious changes associated with the eighteenth dynasty Pharaoh Amenophis IV, better known under his adopted name, Akhenaten...

 of the solar-disk and is the first recorded state monotheism. All other deities were replaced by the Aten
Aten
Aten is the disk of the sun in ancient Egyptian mythology, and originally an aspect of Ra. The deified Aten is the focus of the monolatristic, henotheistic, or monotheistic religion of Atenism established by Amenhotep IV, who later took the name Akhenaten in worship in recognition of Aten...

, including Amun-Ra, the reigning sun god of Akhenaten's own region. Unlike other deities, the Aten did not have multiple forms. His only image was a disk—a symbol of the sun.

Soon after Akhenaten's death, worship of the traditional deities was reestablished by the religious leaders (Ay the High-Priest of Amen-Ra, mentor of Tutankhaten/Tutankhamen) who had adopted the Aten during the reign of Akhenaten.

Chinese mythology



In Chinese mythology
Chinese mythology
Chinese mythology is a collection of cultural history, folktales, and religions that have been passed down in oral or written tradition. These include creation myths and legends and myths concerning the founding of Chinese culture and the Chinese state...

 (cosmology), there were originally ten suns in the sky, who were all brothers. They were supposed to emerge one at a time as commanded by the Jade Emperor. They were all very young and loved to fool around. Once they decided to all go into the sky to play, all at once. This made the world too hot for anything to grow. A hero named Hou Yi shot down nine of them with a bow and arrow to save the people of the earth. He is still honored this very day. In another myth, the solar eclipse
Solar eclipse
As seen from the Earth, a solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between the Sun and the Earth, and the Moon fully or partially blocks the Sun as viewed from a location on Earth. This can happen only during a new moon, when the Sun and the Moon are in conjunction as seen from Earth. At least...

 was caused by the magical dog of heaven biting off a piece of the sun. The referenced event is said to have occurred around 2,160BCE. There was a tradition in China to make lots of loud celebratory sounds during a solar eclipse to scare the sacred "dog" away.
The Deity of the Sun in Chinese mythology is Ri Gong Tai Yang Xing Jun (Tai Yang Gong / Grandfather Sun) or Star Lord of the Solar Palace, Lord of the Sun. In some mythologies, Tai Yang Xing Jun is believed to be Hou Yi. Tai Yang Xing Jun is usually depicted with the Star Lord of the Lunar Palace, Lord of the Moon, Yue Gong Tai Yin Xing Jun (Tai Yin Niang Niang / Lady Tai Yin).

Buddhism


In Buddhist cosmology
Buddhist cosmology
Buddhist cosmology is the description of the shape and evolution of the Universe according to the canonical Buddhist scriptures and commentaries.-Introduction:...

, the bodhisattva
Bodhisattva
In Buddhism, a bodhisattva is either an enlightened existence or an enlightenment-being or, given the variant Sanskrit spelling satva rather than sattva, "heroic-minded one for enlightenment ." The Pali term has sometimes been translated as "wisdom-being," although in modern publications, and...

 of the Sun is known as Ri Gong Ri Guang Pu Sa (The Bright Solar Bodhisattva of the Solar Palace) / Ri Gong Ri Guang Tian Zi (The Bright Solar Prince of the Solar Palace) / Ri Gong Ri Guang Zun Tian Pu Sa (The Greatly Revered Bright Solar Prince of the Solar Palace / one of the 20 or 24 guardian devas). In Sanskrit
Sanskrit
Sanskrit , is a historical Indo-Aryan language and the primary liturgical language of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism.Buddhism: besides Pali, see Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Today, it is listed as one of the 22 scheduled languages of India and is an official language of the state of Uttarakhand...

, He is known as Suryaprabha. He is usually depicted with Yue Gong Yue Guang Pu Sa (The Bright Lunar Bodhisattva of the Lunar Palace) / Yue Gong Yue Guang Tian Zi ( The Bright Lunar Prince of the Lunar Palace) / Yue Gong Yue Guang Zun Tian Pu Sa (The Greatly Revered Bright Lunar Prince of the Lunar Palace / one of the 20 or 24 guardian devas
Deva (Buddhism)
A deva in Buddhism is one of many different types of non-human beings who share the characteristics of being more powerful, longer-lived, and, in general, living more contentedly than the average human being....

known as Candraprabha
Candraprabha
Candraprabha Bodhisattva, or Gakkō Bosatsu in Japanese, is a bodhisattva often seen with Nikkō Bosatsu , as the two siblings serve Yakushi or the Medicine Buddha. Statues of Nikkō and Gakko closely resemble each other and are commonly found together, sometimes flanking temple doors...

in Sanskrit. With Yao Shi Fo / Bhaisajyaguru Buddha (Medicine Buddha), these two bodhisattvas create the Dong Fang San Sheng or the Three Holy Sages of the East.

Africa


The Munshi tribe considers the Sun to be the son of the supreme being Awondo and the Moon is Awondo's daughter. The Barotse tribe
Lozi people
The Lozi people are an ethnic group primarily of western Zambia, inhabiting the region of Barotseland. Lozi are also found in Namibia , Angola and Botswana.-Name:...

 believes that the Sun is inhabited by the sky god Nyambi and the Moon is his wife. Even where the sun god is equated with the supreme being, in some African mythologies he or she does not have any special functions or privileges as compared to other deities.

Aztec mythology




In Aztec mythology
Aztec mythology
The aztec civilization recognized a polytheistic mythology, which contained the many deities and supernatural creatures from their religious beliefs. "orlando"- History :...

, Tonatiuh (Nahuatl: Ollin Tonatiuh "Movement of the Sun") was the sun god. The Aztec
Aztec
The Aztec people were certain ethnic groups of central Mexico, particularly those groups who spoke the Nahuatl language and who dominated large parts of Mesoamerica in the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries, a period referred to as the late post-classic period in Mesoamerican chronology.Aztec is the...

 people considered him the leader of Tollan
Tollan
Tollan, Tolan, or Tolán is a name used for the capital cities of two empires of Pre-Columbian Mesoamerica; first for Teotihuacan, and later for the Toltec capital, Tula-Hidalgo, both in Mexico...

(heaven
Heaven
Heaven, the Heavens or Seven Heavens, is a common religious cosmological or metaphysical term for the physical or transcendent place from which heavenly beings originate, are enthroned or inhabit...

). He was also known as the fifth sun, because the Aztecs believed that he was the sun that took over when the fourth sun was expelled from the sky. According to their cosmology
Cosmology
Cosmology is the discipline that deals with the nature of the Universe as a whole. Cosmologists seek to understand the origin, evolution, structure, and ultimate fate of the Universe at large, as well as the natural laws that keep it in order...

, each sun was a god with its own cosmic era. According to the Aztecs, they were still in Tonatiuh's era. According to the Aztec creation myth, the god demanded human sacrifice
Human sacrifice
Human sacrifice is the act of killing one or more human beings as part of a religious ritual . Its typology closely parallels the various practices of ritual slaughter of animals and of religious sacrifice in general. Human sacrifice has been practised in various cultures throughout history...

 as tribute and without it would refuse to move through the sky. It is said that 20,000 people were sacrificed each year to Tonatiuh and other gods, though this number is thought to be inflated either by the Aztecs, who wanted to inspire fear in their enemies, or the Spaniards, who wanted to vilify the Aztecs. The Aztecs were fascinated by the sun and carefully observed it, and had a solar calendar
Solar calendar
A solar calendar is a calendar whose dates indicate the position of the earth on its revolution around the sun .-Tropical solar calendars:...

 similar to that of the Maya
Maya civilization
The Maya is a Mesoamerican civilization, noted for the only known fully developed written language of the pre-Columbian Americas, as well as for its art, architecture, and mathematical and astronomical systems. Initially established during the Pre-Classic period The Maya is a Mesoamerican...

. Many of today's remaining Aztec monuments have structures aligned with the sun.

In the Aztec calendar
Aztec calendar
The Aztec calendar is the calendar system that was used by the Aztecs as well as other Pre-Columbian peoples of central Mexico. It is one of the Mesoamerican calendars, sharing the basic structure of calendars from throughout ancient Mesoamerica....

, Tonatiuh is the lord of the thirteen days from 1 Death to 13 Flint. The preceding thirteen days are ruled over by Chalchiuhtlicue
Chalchiuhtlicue
Chalchiuhtlicue was an Aztec goddess of love, beauty, youth, lakes, rivers, seas, streams, horizontal waters, storms, and baptism. Reputedly universally revered at the time of the Spanish conquest, she was an important deity figure in the Postclassic Aztec realm of central Mexico...

, and the following thirteen by Tlaloc
Tlaloc
Tlaloc was an important deity in Aztec religion, a god of rain, fertility, and water. He was a beneficent god who gave life and sustenance, but he was also feared for his ability to send hail, thunder and lightning, and for being the lord of the powerful element of water. In Aztec iconography he...

.

Indonesian mythology



Solar gods have a stronger presence in Indonesian mythology
Indonesian mythology
- History :The origin of Indonesian mythology can be traced back to the earliest development of Indonesian kingdom predominantly called the Javanese Empire. Fossil evidence suggests the Indonesian archipelago was inhabited by Homo erectus, popularly known as the "Java Man". Estimates of its...

. In some cases the Sun is revered as a "father" or "founder" of the tribe. This may apply for the whole tribe or only for the royal and ruling families. This practise is more common in Australia and on the island of Timor, where the tribal leaders are seen as direct heirs to the sun god.

Some of the initiation rites include the second reincarnation of the rite's subject as a "son of the Sun", through a symbolic death and a rebirth in the form of a Sun. These rituals hint that the Sun may have an important role in the sphere of funerary beliefs. Watching the Sun's path has given birth to the idea in some societies that the deity of the Sun descends in to the underworld without dying and is capable of returning afterward. This is the reason for the Sun being associated with functions such as guide of the deceased tribe members to the underworld, as well as with revival of perished. The Sun is a mediator between the planes of the living and the dead.

Theosophy



The primary local deity in Theosophy
Theosophy
Theosophy, in its modern presentation, is a spiritual philosophy developed since the late 19th century. Its major themes were originally described mainly by Helena Blavatsky , co-founder of the Theosophical Society...

 is the Solar Logos, "the consciousness of the sun".

Solar myth


Three theories exercised great influence on nineteenth and early twentieth century mythography, beside the Tree worship
Tree worship
Tree worship refers to the tendency of many societies throughout history to worship or otherwise mythologize trees. Trees have played an important role in many of the world's mythologies and religions, and have been given deep and sacred meanings throughout the ages...

 of Mannhardt
Wilhelm Mannhardt
Wilhelm Mannhardt was a German scholar and folklorist. He is known for his work on Baltic mythology, as a collector, and for his championing of the solar theory....

 and the Totemism
Totemism
Totemism is a system of belief in which humans are said to have kinship or a mystical relationship with a spirit-being, such as an animal or plant...

 of J. F. McLennan, the "Sun myth" of Alvin Boyd Kuhn
Alvin Boyd Kuhn
Alvin Boyd Kuhn was a scholar of comparative religion, mythology, linguistics and language.Born in Franklin County, Pennsylvania, Kuhn studied the Ancient Greek language at university. He started his career working as a language teacher in high schools. He later enrolled at Columbia University to...

 and Max Müller
Max Müller
Friedrich Max Müller , more regularly known as Max Müller, was a German philologist and Orientalist, one of the founders of the western academic field of Indian studies and the discipline of comparative religion...

.

R. F. Littledale criticized the Sun myth theory when he illustrated that Max Müller on his own principles was himself only a Solar myth, whilst Alfred Lyall delivered a still stronger attack on the same theory and its assumption that tribal gods and heroes, such as those of Homer
Homer
In the Western classical tradition Homer , is the author of the Iliad and the Odyssey, and is revered as the greatest ancient Greek epic poet. These epics lie at the beginning of the Western canon of literature, and have had an enormous influence on the history of literature.When he lived is...

, were mere reflections of the Sun myth by proving that the gods of certain Rajput clans
Rajput clans
The Rajputs are a martial race and caste of the Indian subcontinent. They are a Hindu caste whose members generally consider themselves to belong to the Kshatriya varna ; however, Encyclopædia Britannica notes that their members have come from a variety of lineages, including from foreign...

  were really warriors who founded the clans not many centuries ago, and were the ancestors of the present chieftains.

Solar barge / sun chariot



A "solar barge" (also "solar bark", "solar barque", "solar boat", "sun boat") is a mythological representation of the sun riding in a boat
Boat
A boat is a watercraft of any size designed to float or plane, to provide passage across water. Usually this water will be inland or in protected coastal areas. However, boats such as the whaleboat were designed to be operated from a ship in an offshore environment. In naval terms, a boat is a...

. The "Khufu ship
Khufu ship
The Khufu ship is an intact full-size vessel from Ancient Egypt that was sealed into a pit in the Giza pyramid complex at the foot of the Great Pyramid of Giza around 2500 BC. The ship was almost certainly built for Khufu , the second pharaoh of the Fourth Dynasty of the Old Kingdom of Egypt...

", a 43.6-meter-long vessel that was sealed into a pit in the Giza pyramid complex
Giza pyramid complex
The Giza Necropolis is an archaeological site on the Giza Plateau, on the outskirts of Cairo, Egypt. This complex of ancient monuments includes the three pyramid complexes known as the Great Pyramids, the massive sculpture known as the Great Sphinx, several cemeteries, a workers' village and an...

 at the foot of the Great Pyramid of Giza
Great Pyramid of Giza
The Great Pyramid of Giza is the oldest and largest of the three pyramids in the Giza Necropolis bordering what is now El Giza, Egypt. It is the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and the only one to remain largely intact...

 around 2500 BC, is a full-size surviving example which may have fulfilled the symbolic function of a solar barque. This boat was rediscovered in May 1954 when archeologist Kamal el-Mallakh and inspector Zaki Nur found two ditches sealed off by about 40 blocks weighing 17 to 20 tonnes each. This boat was disassembled into 1,224 pieces and took over 10 years to reassemble. A nearby museum was built to house this boat.

Other sun boats were found in Egypt dating to different pharonic dynasties.

Examples include:
  • Neolithic petroglyph
    Petroglyph
    Petroglyphs are pictogram and logogram images created by removing part of a rock surface by incising, picking, carving, and abrading. Outside North America, scholars often use terms such as "carving", "engraving", or other descriptions of the technique to refer to such images...

    s which (it has been speculated) show solar barges
  • The many early Egyptian goddesses who are related as sun deities and the later gods Ra
    Ra
    Ra is the ancient Egyptian sun god. By the Fifth Dynasty he had become a major deity in ancient Egyptian religion, identified primarily with the mid-day sun...

     and Horus
    Horus
    Horus is one of the oldest and most significant deities in the Ancient Egyptian religion, who was worshipped from at least the late Predynastic period through to Greco-Roman times. Different forms of Horus are recorded in history and these are treated as distinct gods by Egyptologists...

     depicted as riding in a solar barge. In Egyptian myths of the afterlife, Ra rides in an underground channel from west to east every night so that he can rise in the east the next morning.
  • The Nebra sky disk, which (it has been speculated) features a depiction of a solar barge.
  • Nordic Bronze Age
    Nordic Bronze Age
    The Nordic Bronze Age is the name given by Oscar Montelius to a period and a Bronze Age culture in Scandinavian pre-history, c. 1700-500 BC, with sites that reached as far east as Estonia. Succeeding the Late Neolithic culture, its ethnic and linguistic affinities are unknown in the absence of...

     petroglyphs, including those found in Tanumshede
    Tanumshede
    Tanumshede is a locality and the seat of Tanum Municipality in Västra Götaland County, Sweden with 1,597 inhabitants in 2005.-Rock Carvings in Tanum:...

     often contains barges and sun cross
    Sun cross
    The sun cross, also known as the wheel cross, Odin's cross, or Woden's cross, a cross inside a circle, is a common symbol in artifacts of the Americas and Prehistoric Europe, particularly during the Neolithic to Bronze Age periods.-Stone Age:...

    es in different constellations.


A "sun chariot" is a mythological
Mythology
The term mythology can refer either to the study of myths, or to a body or collection of myths. As examples, comparative mythology is the study of connections between myths from different cultures, whereas Greek mythology is the body of myths from ancient Greece...

 representation of the sun riding in a chariot
Chariot
The chariot is a type of horse carriage used in both peace and war as the chief vehicle of many ancient peoples. Ox carts, proto-chariots, were built by the Proto-Indo-Europeans and also built in Mesopotamia as early as 3000 BC. The original horse chariot was a fast, light, open, two wheeled...

. The concept is younger than that of the solar barge, and typically Indo-European
Proto-Indo-Europeans
The Proto-Indo-Europeans were the speakers of the Proto-Indo-European language , a reconstructed prehistoric language of Eurasia.Knowledge of them comes chiefly from the linguistic reconstruction, along with material evidence from archaeology and archaeogenetics...

, corresponding with the Indo-European expansion after the invention of the chariot in the 2nd millennium BC.

Examples include:
  • In Norse mythology, the chariot of Sól, drawn by Arvak and Alsvid
    Arvak and Alsvid
    In Norse mythology, Árvakr and Alsviðr are the horses which pull the sun, or Sol's chariot, across the sky each day.- References :...

    . The Trundholm sun chariot
    Trundholm sun chariot
    The Trundholm sun chariot , is a late Nordic Bronze Age artifact discovered in Denmark. It is a representatino of the sun chariot, a bronze statue of a horse and a large bronze disk, which are placed on a device with spoked wheels....

     dates to the Nordic Bronze Age
    Nordic Bronze Age
    The Nordic Bronze Age is the name given by Oscar Montelius to a period and a Bronze Age culture in Scandinavian pre-history, c. 1700-500 BC, with sites that reached as far east as Estonia. Succeeding the Late Neolithic culture, its ethnic and linguistic affinities are unknown in the absence of...

    , more than 2,500 years earlier than the Norse myth, but is often associated with it.
  • Greek Helios
    Helios
    Helios was the personification of the Sun in Greek mythology. Homer often calls him simply Titan or Hyperion, while Hesiod and the Homeric Hymn separate him as a son of the Titans Hyperion and Theia or Euryphaessa and brother of the goddesses Selene, the moon, and Eos, the dawn...

     riding in a chariot, (see also Phaëton
    Phaëton
    In Greek mythology, Phaëton or Phaethon was the son of Helios and the Oceanid Clymene. Alternate, less common genealogies make him a son of Clymenus by Merope, of Helios and Rhode or of Helios and Prote....

    )
  • Sol Invictus
    Sol Invictus
    Sol Invictus was the official sun god of the later Roman empire. In 274 Aurelian made it an official cult alongside the traditional Roman cults. Scholars disagree whether the new deity was a refoundation of the ancient Latin cult of Sol, a revival of the cult of Elagabalus or completely new...

     depicted riding a quadriga
    Quadriga
    A quadriga is a car or chariot drawn by four horses abreast . It was raced in the Ancient Olympic Games and other contests. It is represented in profile as the chariot of gods and heroes on Greek vases and in bas-relief. The quadriga was adopted in ancient Roman chariot racing...

     on the reverse of a Roman
    Ancient Rome
    Ancient Rome was a thriving civilization that grew on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to one of the largest empires in the ancient world....

     coin.
  • Vedic Surya
    Surya
    Surya Suraya or Phra Athit is the chief solar deity in Hinduism, one of the Adityas, son of Kasyapa and one of his wives, Aditi; of Indra; or of Dyaus Pitar . The term Surya also refers to the Sun, in general. Surya has hair and arms of gold...

     riding in a chariot drawn by seven horses


The sun itself also was compared to a wheel, possibly in Proto-Indo-European, Greek hēliou kuklos, Sanskrit suryasya cakram, Anglo-Saxon sunnan hweogul (PIE
Pie
A pie is a baked dish which is usually made of a pastry dough casing that covers or completely contains a filling of various sweet or savoury ingredients....

 ).

Female and male



Among modern English speakers, solar deities are popularly thought of as male counterparts of the lunar deity
Lunar deity
In mythology, a lunar deity is a god or goddess associated with or symbolizing the moon. These deities can have a variety of functions and traditions depending upon the culture, but they are often related to or an enemy of the solar deity. Even though they may be related, they are distinct from the...

 (usually female); however, sun goddesses are found on every continent (e.g. Amaterasu
Amaterasu
, or is apart of the Japanese myth cycle and also a major deity of the Shinto religion. She is the goddess of the sun, but also of the universe. the name Amaterasu derived from Amateru meaning "shining in heaven." The meaning of her whole name, Amaterasu-ōmikami, is "the great August kami who...

 in Japanese belief) paired with male lunar deities. Among the earliest records of human beliefs, the early goddesses of the Egyptian pantheon
Egyptian pantheon
The Egyptian pantheon consisted of the many gods worshipped by the Ancient Egyptians. A number of major deities are addressed as the creator of the cosmos. These include Atum, Ra, Amun and Ptah amongst others, as well as composite forms of these gods such as Amun-Ra. This was not seen as...

 carried a sun above their head as a symbol of dignity (as daughters of Ra). The sun was a major aspect of Egyptian symbols and hieroglyphs, all the lunar deities of that pantheon were male deities. The cobra
Cobra
Cobra is a venomous snake belonging to the family Elapidae. However, not all snakes commonly referred to as cobras are of the same genus, or even of the same family. The name is short for cobra capo or capa Snake, which is Portuguese for "snake with hood", or "hood-snake"...

 (of Pharaoh Son of Ra), the lion
Lion
The lion is one of the four big cats in the genus Panthera, and a member of the family Felidae. With some males exceeding 250 kg in weight, it is the second-largest living cat after the tiger...

ess (daughter of Ra), the cow (daughter of Ra), the dominant symbols of the most ancient Egyptian deities, carried their relationship to the sun atop their heads; they were female and their cults remained active throughout the history of the culture. Later a sun god (Aten) was established in the eighteenth dynasty
Eighteenth dynasty of Egypt
The eighteenth dynasty of ancient Egypt is perhaps the best known of all the dynasties of ancient Egypt...

 on top of the other solar deities, before the "aberration" was stamped out and the old pantheon re-established. When male deities became associated with the sun in that culture, they began as the offspring of a mother (except Ra, King of the Gods who gave birth to himself).

Some mythologists, such as Brian Branston and Janet McCrickard, contend that sun goddesses are more common worldwide than their male counterparts. They also claim that the belief that solar deities are primarily male is linked to the fact that a few better known mythologies (such as those of late classical Greece
Greek mythology
Greek mythology is the body of myths and legends belonging to the ancient Greeks, concerning their gods and heroes, the nature of the world, and the origins and significance of their own cult and ritual practices. They were a part of religion in ancient Greece...

 and late Roman mythology
Roman mythology
Roman mythology is the body of traditional stories pertaining to ancient Rome's legendary origins and religious system, as represented in the literature and visual arts of the Romans...

) rarely break from this rule, although closer examination of the earlier myths of those cultures reveal a very different distribution than the contemporary popular belief. The dualism of sun/male/light and moon/female/darkness is found in many (but not all) late southern traditions in Europe that derive from Orphic and Gnostic philosophies.

In Germanic mythology
Germanic mythology
Germanic mythology is a comprehensive term for myths associated with historical Germanic paganism, including Norse mythology, Anglo-Saxon mythology, Continental Germanic mythology, and other versions of the mythologies of the Germanic peoples...

 the Sun is female and the Moon is male. The corresponding Old English name is Siȝel ˈsɪjel, continuing Proto-Germanic *Sôwilô or *Saewelô. The Old High German Sun goddess is Sunna. In the Norse traditions, every day, Sól rode through the sky on her chariot, pulled by two horses named Arvak and Alsvid. Sól also was called Sunna, Sunne, and Frau Sunne, from which are derived the words, sun and Sunday.

Missing sun



The missing sun is a theme in the myth
Mythology
The term mythology can refer either to the study of myths, or to a body or collection of myths. As examples, comparative mythology is the study of connections between myths from different cultures, whereas Greek mythology is the body of myths from ancient Greece...

s of many cultures, sometimes including the themes of imprisonment
Imprisonment
Imprisonment is a legal term.The book Termes de la Ley contains the following definition:This passage was approved by Atkin and Duke LJJ in Meering v Grahame White Aviation Co....

, exile
Exile
Exile means to be away from one's home , while either being explicitly refused permission to return and/or being threatened with imprisonment or death upon return...

, or death
Death
Death is the permanent termination of the biological functions that sustain a living organism. Phenomena which commonly bring about death include old age, predation, malnutrition, disease, and accidents or trauma resulting in terminal injury....

. The missing sun is often used to explain various natural phenomena, including the disappearance of the sun at night, shorter days during the winter, and solar eclipse
Eclipse
An eclipse is an astronomical event that occurs when an astronomical object is temporarily obscured, either by passing into the shadow of another body or by having another body pass between it and the viewer...

s.

Some other tales are similar, such as the Sumerian story of the goddess Inanna
Inanna
Inanna, also spelled Inana is the Sumerian goddess of sexual love, fertility, and warfare....

's descent into the underworld
Underworld
The Underworld is a region which is thought to be under the surface of the earth in some religions and in mythologies. It could be a place where the souls of the recently departed go, and in some traditions it is identified with Hell or the realm of death...

. These may have parallel themes, but do not fit in this motif unless they concern a solar deity.

In late Egyptian mythology
Egyptian mythology
Ancient Egyptian religion was a complex system of polytheistic beliefs and rituals which were an integral part of ancient Egyptian society. It centered on the Egyptians' interaction with a multitude of deities who were believed to be present in, and in control of, the forces and elements of nature...

, Ra
Ra
Ra is the ancient Egyptian sun god. By the Fifth Dynasty he had become a major deity in ancient Egyptian religion, identified primarily with the mid-day sun...

 passes through Duat
Duat
In Egyptian mythology, Duat is the underworld. The Duat is a vast area under the Earth, connected with Nun, the waters of the primordial abyss. The Duat is the realm of the god Osiris and the residence of other gods and supernatural beings...

 (the underworld) every night. Apep
Apep
In Egyptian mythology, Apep was an evil god, the deification of darkness and chaos , and thus opponent of light and Ma'at , whose existence was believed from the 8th Dynasty onwards...

 has to be defeated in the darkness hours for Ra and his solar barge to emerge in the east each morning.

In Japanese mythology
Japanese mythology
Japanese mythology is a system of beliefs that embraces Shinto and Buddhist traditions as well as agriculturally based folk religion. The Shinto pantheon comprises innumerable kami...

, the sun goddess Amaterasu
Amaterasu
, or is apart of the Japanese myth cycle and also a major deity of the Shinto religion. She is the goddess of the sun, but also of the universe. the name Amaterasu derived from Amateru meaning "shining in heaven." The meaning of her whole name, Amaterasu-ōmikami, is "the great August kami who...

 is startled by the behavior of her brother Susanoo
Susanoo
, also known as is the Shinto god of the sea and storms. He is also considered to be ruler of Yomi.-Myths:In Japanese mythology, Susanoo, the powerful storm of Summer, is the brother of Amaterasu, the goddess of the sun, and of Tsukuyomi, the god of the moon. All three were born from Izanagi, when...

 and hides in a cave, plunging the world into darkness until she is willing to emerge.

In Norse mythology
Norse mythology
Norse mythology, a subset of Germanic mythology, is the overall term for the myths, legends and beliefs about supernatural beings of Norse pagans. It flourished prior to the Christianization of Scandinavia, during the Early Middle Ages, and passed into Nordic folklore, with some aspects surviving...

, the gods Odin
Odin
Odin is a major god in Norse mythology and the ruler of Asgard. Homologous with the Anglo-Saxon "Wōden" and the Old High German "Wotan", the name is descended from Proto-Germanic "*Wodanaz" or "*Wōđanaz"....

 and Tyr both have attributes of a sky father
Sky father
The sky father or heavenly father is a recurring theme in mythology all over the world. The sky father is the complement of the earth mother and appears in some creation myths, many of which are Indo-European or ancient Near Eastern. Other cultures have quite different myths; Egyptian mythology...

, and they are doomed to be devoured by wolves (Fenrir
Fenrisulfr
In Norse mythology, Fenrir , Fenrisúlfr , Hróðvitnir , or Vánagandr is a monstrous wolf...

 and Garm, respectively) at Ragnarok
Ragnarök
In Norse mythology, Ragnarök is a series of future events, including a great battle foretold to ultimately result in the death of a number of major figures , the occurrence of various natural disasters, and the subsequent submersion of the world in water...

. Sól, the Norse sun goddess, will be devoured by the wolf Skoll
Skoll
In Norse mythology, Sköll is a wolf that chases the horses Árvakr and Alsviðr, that drag the chariot which contains the sun through the sky every day, trying to eat her. Sköll has a brother, Hati, who chases Máni, the moon...

.

See also


  • Abram Smythe Palmer
    Abram Smythe Palmer
    The Reverend Abram Smythe Palmer was a doctor of divinity, lecturer at Trinity College, Dublin, and enthusiastic lexicographer and mythographer....

  • Ame-no-Uzume-no-Mikoto
  • Beaivi
    Beaivi
    Beaivi, Beiwe, Bievve, Beivve or Biejje, is the Sami name of the Sun or might refer to the Sami Sun-deity. The Sami Sun-deity is mostly depicted female but sometimes also as male...

  • Belenos
  • Black Sun (deity)
    Black Sun (mythology)
    The Black Sun in Mesoamerican mythology has many mystical meanings, among them it is connected to the god Quetzalcoatl and his penetration in the Underworld through the west door after his diurnal passage on the sky. Amidst the Mexicas there were two suns, the young day sun and the ancient sun,...

  • Black Sun (disambiguation)
    Black Sun (disambiguation)
    Black Sun may refer to:* Black Sun , used to refer to the sun in hermetic and alchemic study* Black Sun , a symbol of esoteric or occult significance* Black Sun , Mesoamerican mythology...

  • Canticle of the Sun
    Canticle of the Sun
    The Canticle of the Sun, also known as the Laudes Creaturarum , is a religious song composed by Saint Francis of Assisi. It was written in the Umbrian dialect of Italian but has since been translated into many languages...

  • Fire worship
    Fire worship
    Worship or deification of fire is known from various religions. Fire has been an important part of human culture since the Lower Paleolithic...

  • Five Suns
    Five Suns
    Five Suns is an album by progressive rock group Guapo released in 2003.- Track listing :#Five Suns, Pt. 1 #Five Suns, Pt. 2 #Five Suns, Pt. 3 #Five Suns, Pt. 4 #Five Suns, Pt...

  • Guaraci
    Guaraci
    Guaraci is a municipality in the northwestern area of the state of São Paulo in Brazil. The population in 2004 is 9,376 and the area is 640.72 km². The elevation is 481 meters. This place name comes from the Tupi language....

  • Heliocentrism
    Heliocentrism
    Heliocentrism, or heliocentricism, is the astronomical model in which the Earth and planets revolve around a stationary Sun at the center of the universe. The word comes from the Greek . Historically, heliocentrism was opposed to geocentrism, which placed the Earth at the center...

  • July Morning
    July Morning
    In Bulgaria, there is a tradition called July Morning as an echo from the hippie era of the 1970-1980s. People from across the country travel to the Black Sea coast on the night of June 30 to meet the first sun rays on the 1st of July...

  • Konark Sun Temple
    Konark Sun Temple
    Konark Sun Temple is a 13th-century Sun Temple , at Konark, in Orissa. It was constructed from oxidized and weathered ferruginous sandstone by King Narasimhadeva I of the Eastern Ganga Dynasty. The temple is an example of Orissan architecture of Ganga dynasty...

  • List of solar deities
  • Nature worship
    Nature worship
    Nature worship describes a variety of religious, spiritual and devotional practices that focus on natural phenomenon. A nature deity can be in charge of nature, the biosphere, the cosmos or the universe. Nature worship can be found in panentheism, pantheism, deism, polytheism, animism, totemism,...

  • Order of the Solar Temple
    Order of the Solar Temple
    The Order of the Solar Temple also known as Ordre du Temple Solaire in French, and the International Chivalric Organization of the Solar Tradition or simply as The Solar Temple was a secret society based upon the modern myth of the continuing existence of the Knights Templar...

  • Phoenix
    Phoenix (mythology)
    The phoenix or phenix is a mythical sacred firebird that can be found in the mythologies of the Arabian, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, Chinese, Indian and Phoenicians....

  • Solar calendar
    Solar calendar
    A solar calendar is a calendar whose dates indicate the position of the earth on its revolution around the sun .-Tropical solar calendars:...

  • Solar symbol
    Solar symbol
    A solar symbol is a symbol which symbolises the Sun. Solar symbols can have significance in psychoanalysis, symbolism, semiotics, astrology, religion, mythology, mysticism, divination, heraldry, and vexillology, among other fields.Some solar symbols include:...

  • Stonehenge
    Stonehenge
    Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument located in the English county of Wiltshire, about west of Amesbury and north of Salisbury. One of the most famous sites in the world, Stonehenge is composed of a circular setting of large standing stones set within earthworks...

  • Thelema
    Thelema
    Thelema is a religious philosophy that was established, defined and developed by the early 20th century British writer and ceremonial magician, Aleister Crowley. He believed himself to be the prophet of a new age, the Æon of Horus, based upon a religious experience that he had in Egypt in 1904...

  • White horse (mythology)
    White horse (mythology)
    White horses have a special significance in the mythologies of cultures around the world. They are often associated with the sun chariot, with warrior-heroes, with fertility , or with an end-of-time saviour, but other interpretations exist as well...

  • Winged sun
    Winged sun
    The winged sun is a symbol associated with divinity, royalty and power in the Ancient Near East . The symbol has also been found in the records of ancient cultures residing in various regions of South America as well as Australia.- Ancient Egyptian use :In Ancient Egypt, the symbol is attested...



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