Exploring Solar Deities in Traditional Mythology
Since the beginning of human history, people have admired the bright shining orb in the sky we know as “the sun”. Rising and setting each day, it shines down light and warmth on the Earth during the daytime and leaves the sky dark in its absence. Its position in the sky has been used to tell time and mark seasons. With the sun playing such an important part in our daily lives, it should come as little wonder to us that ancient peoples and cultures around the world have developed their own mythologies about the sun and have worshipped a variety of solar deities.
Here, we will take a look at a few of these solar deities from various cultures and religions around the world.
Solar deities from around the world
Solar deities are present in the traditional mythologies of almost every culture around the world. Here are 6 such sun gods and goddesses.
Apollo (Greek and Roman mythology)
Apollo was the god of the sun, music, and healing in Greek mythology. He was said to be the son of Zeus. Like many Greek gods, Apollo was also became part of Roman mythology. During the Hellenistic period and in Latin literature, Apollo is connected with the sun.
Ra (ancient Egyptian religion)
Ra is the god of the sun in the religion of the ancient Egyptians. It was believed that all life forms were created by this solar deity, who summoned each into existence with an utterance of their names. While depictions of Ra varied, he was often depicted as having the body of a man and the head of a hawk or falcon with a solar disc. Ra was merged with the god Horus later in Egyptian dynastic times.
Surya (Hindu mythology)
Also known by the names Aditya,Bhanu,and Ravi, Surya is the supreme solar deity in the Hindu religion of the Indian subcontinent.
Nanahuatzin (Aztec mythology)
The Aztecs who lived in what is now central Mexico believed in a sun god named Nanahuatzin. Nanahuatzin was said to be a very humble god who sacrificed himself to the fire so that he may continue to shine as the sun.
Amaterasu (Shinto religion)
The sun goddess Amaterasu is a major deity in the Shinto religion of Japan. She is seen not only as a sun goddess but also a goddess of the universe.
Koyash (Turkic mythology)
Koyash is the name of the sun god in Turkic mythology. Koyash is often depicted as having a fiery, birdlike appearance or as a horse with wings.
Harnessing solar energy in Connecticut
While sun gods are rarely worshipped these days, more and more people are turning to the sun as a source of clean, renewable energy. Solar energy, which is captured by solar panels and converted into electricity, is powering homes and businesses all over the United States. Since 2007, PurePoint Energy has been helping Connecticut residents and businessowners harness solar energy as a power source for their daily needs.