Tag Archive: sun


It was hard for me to wrap my head around a Sun Goddess after having it instilled since starting out on my Path that the sun was masculine and the moon was feminine – especially as my interests were piqued by the Germanic and Norse hearth cultures. The idea that Sól or Sunna, a Goddess of the sun, was so strange – and stranger yet, Máni, brother of Sól, the moon personified! But as Carol P. Christ commented on this post, “As we reclaim our female selves, we need to know that we are not restricted to the dark, the unconscious, or the unformed. All of life, light and dark, conscious and unconscious, formed, forming, and unformed were once imagined to be female. We affirm all of these as parts of ourselves, parts of all selves.”

Lest we not forget the different Goddesses found throughout the world in other cultures that have solar associations “List of Sun Goddesses“.

photo of Judith ShawAs we approach the summer solstice, the longest day of the the year, I find myself reflecting on my love of the long, hot days of summer.  The bliss of lying on a beach caressed by the kisses of sun and breeze, with the promise of the cool inviting embrace of the sea by my side, is one of my most favorite forms of relaxation.  Though the ozone layer has thinned and I can only indulge this desire in small doses now, I still love the feeling of the sun on my skin as She paints colored visions in my mind’s eye.

Sulis painting by Judith ShawShe –  how can I personify the sun as She when from across the world we hear only of Sun Gods and Moon Goddesses?  Yet hidden deep in mythology one discovers that long, long ago the sun was worshipped as a goddess. From Aditi – Hindu Solar Goddess…

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“Great sun, wheel of fire, Ra in your glory,
hear me as I honor you
on this, the shortest day of the year.
Summer has gone, passed us by,
the fields are dead and cold,
all of earth sleeps in your absence.
Even in the darkest times,
you light the way for those who would need a beacon,
of hope, of brightness,
shining in the night.
Winter is here, and colder days coming,
the fields are bare and the livestock thin.
We light these candles in your honor,
that you might gather your strength
and bring life back to the world.
O Ra, mighty sun above us,
we ask you to return, to bring back to us
the light and the warmth of your fire.
Bring life back to earth,
Bring light back to earth.
Hail Ra! Ruler of the sun!” ~ Patti Wigington

 

 

 

http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/yulethelongestnight/qt/SunGodYule.htm

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Colorado winter landscape at night by SILBECL

“The longest night has come once more,
the sun has set, and darkness fallen.
The trees are bare, the earth asleep,
and the skies are cold and black.
Yet tonight we rejoice, in this longest night,
embracing the darkness that enfolds us.
We welcome the night and all that it holds,
as the light of the stars shines down.” ~ Patti Wigington

http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/yulethelongestnight/qt/SunsetYulePraye.htm

Goddess Eguzki

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Art from the album “Sun Goddess” by Ramsey Lewis

“Eguzki’s themes are femininity, birth and renewal. Her symbols are the dawn and daylight.  In Basque tradition, this daughter of the earth is the solar disk and the eye of God; being beautiful, warm, and welcoming. Eguski continues to embrace Her mother in golden arms each day, gathering us in the glow.

The night before Christmas was Mōdraniht (“Night of the Mothers” or “Mothers’-night”), when the Goddess prepares once more to give birth to Eguski and growing daylight. It is traditionally a time to enjoy the Goddess’ energy for personal renewal and to show appreciation to mothers everywhere with their life-giving power. Take a moment out of your day to call your mom and say thanks – thanks for giving you life, for nurturing you, for passing on family traditions, for the important lessons she taught. Also take a moment to thank Eguski for Her blessings in some way that suits your vision and path. Pray, chant, sing, meditate, light a candle. Ask Her for another year filled with Goddess magic and miracles!

To encourage Eguski’s renewal and warmth every day, rise early this morning and wait for sunrise. As the first beams of light caress the horizon, open your arms and hug the Goddess. Feel the energy and power in those rays to transform and overcome anything you may face. Gather the Goddess into your heart for now and always!”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

The Goddesses Eguzki, Ilargi & Lur

The Goddesses Eguzki, Ilazki & Lur

“In Basque mythology, Eki or Eguzki is seen as daughter of [LurMother Earth to whom She returns daily. She was regarded as the protector of humanity and the enemy of all evil spirits. The ancient Iberians called Her ‘grandmother’; and held rites in Her honour at sunset. They believed that when the sun set, Ekhi travelled into Itxasgorrieta (‘The Reddish Seas’) beneath the earth into the womb of Lurbira, Her mother.” [1]

She was the sister of Ilazki, Goddess of the moon.

Also seen as Eguski, Eguzku, Ekhi, Eki, Iduzki, Iguzki, and Iuski. [2]

 

 

Sources:

Goddesses-and-gods.blogspot.com, “Eguzki“.

Sabrina. Goddessaday.com, “Eguzki“.

Wikipedia, “Eki“.

 

Suggested Links:

The Apricity Forum: A European Cultural Community, “Basque Gods and Creatures“.

Arcadia93.org, “Basque Paganism“.

Gimbutas, Marija and Miriam Robbins Dexter. The Living Goddesses, “The Basque Religion” (p. 172 – 175).

Lauraantolinez. Litteramedia.wordpress.com, “Basque Mythology“.

Wikipédia, “Eguzki” (translated from French to English).

Wikipedia, “Basque Mythology“.

“The sun returns! The light returns!
The earth begins to warm once more!
The time of darkness has passed,
and a path of light begins the new day.
Welcome, welcome, the heat of the sun,
blessing us all with its rays.” ~ Patti Wigington

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http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/yulethelongestnight/qt/YuleSunrisePray.htm

Goddess Xi Hou

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“Xi Hou’s themes are kinship, longevity, unity, divination and weather. Her symbols are sunlight and gold dragons. As the Chinese mother of the sun, this Goddess joins our festivities today to celebrate Her child’s rebirth. Each morning, Xi Hou diligently bathes one of ten suns in the lake of creation so it can shine in purity, and then She puts it on top of the trees, where it’s received by a dragon chariot that moves the sun across the sky.

Consider following Chinese custom, and rejoice in the solstice by gathering in the kitchen with your housemates and leaving offerings of chopsticks, oranges, incense, and candles for unity and long life for all those gathered. Open a curtain to let the sun light flood in, than thank Xi Hou for Her child and its warmth. Also, at some point during the day, enjoy some Oriental-style dumplings (dim sum) for kinship.

Among the favorite activities today are weather prophecies. Go outside and see what direction the wind is coming from. An east wind portends trouble, west winds indicate the ripening of an effort or a good grain crop, south winds counsel watching your money, as the harvest will be poor (don’t invest in crop shares!), and north winds foretell bounty.

Red clouds reveal that your personal energy will wane and droughts may follow, black clouds predict floods, yellow clouds precede prosperity and abundant crops, and white clouds reveal arguments or war.”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

Hsi-Ho-large

“Hsi-Ho” by Janet Hess

The Goddess Xi Hou (pronounced SHE-hoe) is the “mother of the ten suns; this ancient Chinese heroine created the calendar by selecting the order in which She would bathe Her children – thus establishing which day came before which.  After bathing the child in the sweet waters of the Kan Yuan Gulf, She hung the day’s sun in a mulberry tree and raised it into the sky” (Monaghan, p. 156).

Also seen as Xi He and Hsi-Ho (see my February 7th entry Goddess Hsi-Ho).

 

 

Sources:

Monaghan, Patricia. The New Book of Goddesses and Heroines, “Hsi-Ho”.

 

Suggested Links:

Cnculture.org, “Ho Yi Shoots down the Suns“.

Wikipedia, “Dōngzhì Festival“.

Goddess Makar Sankranti

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“Makar Sankranti’s themes are blessings, offering, mediation, earth, sun, thankfulness, love, passion and abundance. Her symbols are water, light, soil and caves.  This is Makar Sankranti’s festival day, Pongol [actually from my research, it currently falls on January 14 – * see note below]. After many months of slumber, this mother Goddess awakens from the earth womb to restore love, abundance, and passion in our lives through sacred rituals, over which She presides.

Pongol is the Hindu word for Winter Solstice. It is a three-day harvest celebration with several ‘borrowable’ traditions that venerate both Makar Sankranti and the holiday. Begin with a ritual cleansing and blessing for your home in any manner suited to your tradition. This keeps relationships strong and banishes sickness. Bathing sacred cows today also brings prosperity. This might translate into washing the image of a cow, your images of the Goddess, or even a special coin to improve financial stability.

In terms of an offering for the Goddess, sweet rice is customary, followed by an afternoon of kite flying so that the burdens in your life will become as light as the wind! For people in four-season climates, it might be too cold for kite flying today, so just release a little of the Goddess’s soil to the wind and ask Her to take your problems away, replacing them with solid relationships and success.”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

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Makar Sankranti is a very popular festival in India and is celebrated in almost all parts of the country in myriad cultural forms, with great devotion, fervour and gaiety.  According to Hindu calendar, Makar Sankranti occurs when sun changes its direction northwards from Dhanu Rashi (Sagittarius) to enter the Makar Rashi (Capricorn) in the month of Poush. Makar Sankranti is considered very auspicious day and it is believed any sacred ritual or task can be started or performed on this day and it will be fruitful.  It marks the beginning of harvesting season and end of chilly winter season. [1]

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Sankranti is also considered a Goddess. According to Ramona Taylor, “there are several legends associated with this very special holiday.  One such legend relates to Sankranti, the deity who is linked to the motion of the Sun and the energy derived from the orb. As the tale goes, Sankranti slayed a demon, Sankarasur, on this specific day which is now celebrated as Makar Sankranti. [The next day She slayed the demon Kinkarasur, hence the day is called Kinkrant or Karidin].

Another legend regarding this harvest season holiday relates to Bhishma, the revered demigod born of the River Goddess, Ganga and a king. A gifted archer and devoted soul, Bhishma lived for more than three centuries. In the battlefield of Kurukshetra, the great warrior Bhishma was mortally wounded, but he held onto life until the start of Uttarayana. Once the sun had entered Makar, the great warrior died. It is believed that if a person dies on this day, their soul is released from the birth/rebirth cycle and joins with the Almighty.” [2]

 

 

 

 

* Note ~  “It is scientifically said that around December 21 – 22 is the shortest day of the year. After that the day span usually gets longer.  Hence, Winter Solstice actually begins around this date when the tropical sun moves into the Makar rashi or Capricorn zodiac sign.  Thus, the real Uttarayana is on December 21st.   Initially, it was considered as the actual date of Makar Sankranti too.  However, the earth’s lean of 23.45 degrees caused Makar Sankranti to slither further over the years.  History of Makar Sankranti says that almost 1000 years ago it was celebrated on 31st of December.  Presently, according to the Hindu Solar calendar, January 14th is the celebration date of Maker Sankranti.” [3]

 

 

 

Sources:

Dhingra, Mamta. Ezinearticles.com, “Makar Sankranti Significance“.

Hindu Janajagruti Samiti. Hindujagruti.org, “Makar Sankranti Festival“.

Jupiter Infomedia Ltd. Indianetzone.com, “History of Makar Sankranti“.

Taylor, Ramona. Voices.yahoo.com, “The Festival of Makar Sankranti“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Hindu Janajagruti Samiti. Hindujagruti.org, “Makar Sankranti Festival” (HIGHLY RECOMMEND! Includes Methods of celebration and Culture & Festivities).

Of-india.com, “Makar Sankranthi – The Winter Festival“.

Goddess Bamya

“Bamya’s themes are victory, banishing, protection and overcoming. Her symbols are light and fire.  In Zoroastrian tradition, this Goddess guides the sun god Mithra’s vehicle through the sky. More important, as the Goddess of twilight, Her presence signals the beginning of today’s festival, Sada.

As the sun sets in Iran today, a huge bonfire will be ignited near a water source to symbolize the power of light to overcome darkness and the power of good over evil. For us this means accepting our power and potential to overcome and obstacles that life may bring in any season.

Too often our lives seem overwhelmed with obligations, and we find ourselves feeling lost in the seething sea of humanity. Bamya’s counsel today is to learn how to swim in that sea by recognizing the ability of one person to truly make a difference – be it within yourself, in the life of another, in a specific situation, or in the world.

At sunset today, light an orange candle (or another one the color of twilight) and greet Bamya with a prayer like this:

“Lady of the gentle twilight, I welcome you
As the sun sets on this day
let things from the past
that I no longer need
also fade away
Teach me to leave them behind
as easily as you leave behind the daylight
As darkness falls
grant rest to my unsettled spirit
so that I can rise tomorrow
renewed and whole
Bamya be with me.
Amen.”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

The few sites that I found that mentioned Bamya pretty much stated the same thing: “In Zoroastrian tradition, this Goddess guides the sun god Mithra’s vehicle through the sky. Also the Goddess of twilight.” [1]

In the The Complete Book of Muslim and Parsi Names, it states “Bāmyā: (Av) 1. shining; radiant; repsplendent. 3. deity of dawn who guides the vehicle of Mithra; epithet of the Fravashis.” [2]  Also in this book, under Hvare, it states: Hvare: (Av) 1. sun. 3. deity of the sun who is considered fairest of Mazda‘s creations and is considered to purify the earth and all things therein.  He is distinguished for powers of observation.  His chariot is drawn by Bamya.” [3]  Neither one of these entries mention whether this deity is male or female.

"Ushas" by Lisa Hunt

“Ushas” by Lisa Hunt

From the book Spiritual Body, Celestial Earth from Mazdean Iran to Shi’ite Iran, I found this entry: Siroza…Here we might mention other figures of ‘feminine Angels,’ in connection with Daena and Ashi Vanuhi;…Bamya (beaming, radiant), who drives the chariot of Mithra and the third night after death appears to the sacred soul when Mithra climbs the mountain; in Manicheism, She becomes the ‘Friend of Light’, Ushah, who bears the very name dawn; Ushahina, the special Angel of the hours between midnight and the moment the stars become visible” (Corbin, p. 280).

Sources:

Corbin, Henry. Spiritual Body, Celestial Earth from Mazdean Iran to Shi’ite Iran.

Gandhi, Maneka & Ozair Husain. The Complete Book of Muslim and Parsi Names, “Bāmyā“.

Gandhi, Maneka & Ozair Husain. The Complete Book of Muslim and Parsi Names, “Hvare“.

Levigilant.com, Gods List B., “Bamya“.

Suggested Links:

Bharucha, Ervad Sheriarji Dadabhai. A Brief Sketch of the Zoroastrian religion & customs, (p.xxxvii).

Hurst, George Leopold. Sacred Literature, (p. 85).

Iranpoliticsclub.net, “Persian Mythology, Gods and Goddesses“.

West, M.L. Indo-European Poetry and Myth, (p. 129).

Goddess Samjuna

“Ushas” by Lisa Hunt

“Samjuna’s themes are knowledge, learning, excellence and reason. Her symbols are walnuts (the mind). In Hindu tradition, this Goddess is the source of all conscious thought and action. Her name even means ‘consciousness’, and She is the patroness of learning, reason, logic and knowledge.

Every year at this time, the Nobel Prize is awarded for mastery in chemistry, medicine, literature and peace keeping. It is a time to revel in humankind’s achievements and limitless potential for good, motivated by Samjuna’s gentle leadings.

To honor this Goddess and the people who have achieved the pinnacle of what She represents, spend time enriching your mind today. For instance, you might read field manuals applicable to your career to advance your knowledge, watch educational television; go to a library, and perhaps donate to its shelves some old books that you no longer read; organize a local reading group for improved literary appreciation; or turn off the television and engage in intelligent conversation for mutual edification. The options here are limitless.

For a Samjuna charm that improves conscious awareness and your reasoning powers, carry a shelled walnut today. The shape of this nut equates to the mind. Eat this at the end of the day to internalize her power for thoughtful actions.”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

Surya and Sanjana

According to Patricia Monaghan, “‘Knowledge’ was the Indian wife of the sun [Surya], whose brilliance finally so tired Her that Samjuna hid in the wilderness disguised as a mare, leaving behind a replica of Herself [Chhaya or Savarna].  But he discovered Her ruse and transformed himself into a stallion to seek Her and, finding Her, to have intercourse with Her.  From this union came the twin gods of agriculture , the horse-headed Aswins.  Samjuna agreed to return to the sky with the sun god, but first She had Her father [Vishwakarma] trim away some of the sun’s rays to diminish his brightness.  From the extra pieces of the sun were fashioned the weapons of other gods”  (p. 272).

“The Goddess Within Painting” by Louise Green

“Saranya, or Saraniya (also known as Saranya, Sanjna, or Sangya) is the wife of Surya, and a Goddess of the dawn and the clouds in Hindu mythology, and is sometimes associated with Demeter, Greek Goddess of agriculture. According to Max Müller and A. Kuhn, Demeter is the mythological equivalent of the Sanskrit Saranyu, who, having turned Herself into a mare, is pursued by Vivasvat, and becomes the mother of Revanta and the twin Asvins, the Indian Dioscuri (the Indian and Greek myths being regarded as identical). She is also the mother of Manu, the twins Yama and Yami. According to Farnell, the meaning of the epithet is to be looked for in the original conception of Erinys, which was that of an earth-Goddess akin to Ge, thus naturally associated with Demeter, rather than that of a wrathful avenging deity. [1]

“She is considered as the Goddess who gave birth to all animals.  She is also thought to be the Vedic Mare Goddess.” [2]

 

 

 

Sources:

Indianetzone.com, “Saranyu“.

Monaghan, Patricia. The New Book of Goddesses and Heroines, “Samjuna”.

Wikipedia, “Saranyu“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Crystalinks.com, “Gods and Goddesses of Ancient India“.

Held, Catherine Anne. Dreamhorsewomen.wordpress.com, “Saranyu: the Runaway Horse Goddess: Part I” & “Saranyu: the Runaway Horse Goddess: Part II“.

Wikipedia, “Chhaya“.

Goddess Dou Mou

“Dou Mou’s themes are death, ghosts, divination and health. Her symbols are the sun, moon and stars. Dou Mou is the Chinese Goddess of the North Star. To this day, people invoke Dou Mou to protect spirits of departed loved ones and to safeguard the living from sickness. From Her heavenly domain between the sun and the moon, Dou Mou records each birth and death, and she is the patroness of fortune-tellers.

In mid-November, the Chinese celebrate the last of three festivals for the dead. Today they burn clothing for departed loved ones to keep them from death’s chill, along with money and other gifts that the smoke delivers.

If there’s someone you’d like to send a message to on the other side, burn it. Dou Mou will transport it to their attention.

Because of today’s focus on death and divination, you might wish to go to a medium today or try a fortune-telling method that uses spirits guides (like the Ouija).

***The only caution here is to invoke Dou Mou before you proceed, so only spirits that have your best interest at heart will respond!!!
Just as you wouldn’t leave your front door open to strangers, let the Goddess stand firmly between you and the spirit realm.

To generate Dou Mou’s protection for your health, wear silver and gold or white and yellow items today (representing the sun and the moon). Or dab yourself with lemon and lime juice for a similar effect.”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

This is another name for the Goddess Tou Mou, whom I did an entry on back on April 13.  You can click here to read my entry on Her.

 

 

Suggested Links:

MXTODIS123. An Inner Journey: The Moon, Mythology, and You, “Doumu“.

Sabrina. Goddess A Day, “Tou Mu“.

Taoist Resources, “Constellation Mother“.

Taoistsecret.com, “Goddess of the Northern Star“.

Vabien. Vabien’s Deities Site, “The Mother of Taoism – Dou Mu Yuan Jun“.

Werner, E.T.C. Myths & Legends of China, ”Goddeses of the North Star“.

 

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