Sun Gods

A sun god or solar deity represents the sun, as well as its strength and energy. The sun has a strong connection with agriculture and in many cultures the sun was seen a source of life, often sun gods were some of the most powerful and important deities. We share some our of favourite sun gods and the myths that surround them.

In ancient China, it was believed there were 10 suns, who were the sons of the sun goddess Xihe. Each day Xihe would pick one of the suns to ride across the sky in a chariot with her, the other suns would play among giant mythical fusang trees. However, one day the suns became bored and decided to run across the sky together, this resulted in the earth becoming scorched from the intense heat, rivers dried up which led to a widespread drought. To save the earth, the sun god Di Jun, enlisted the help of expert archer Hou Yi, who according to legend killed 9 of the suns with magic arrows however the tenth sun stole the last arrow and prevented the earth from being plunging into total darkness.

 
Chinese Archer Hou Yi

Chinese Archer Hou Yi

Chinese Sun Goddess Xihe

Chinese Sun Goddess Xihe

The falcon-headed sun god Ra was one of the most important deties in Ancient Egypt, he was the captain of a ship, crewed by gods who would sail the across the sky and each night the ship would pass through the underworld to give light to the dead. It was a treacherous journey and the evil serpent god Apep tired to prevent Ra from entering the underworld, nights when Apep got the upper hand were said to be solar eclipses– but Ra always managed to escape and the sun always came out again.

In Ancient Greece, Helios was the sun god, his father was Titans Hyperion, god of light, and his mother was Theia, goddess of sight. Helios rose from a golden palace beneath the sea and drove his fiery chariot from east to west across the sky every day, he was responsible for bringing light to the world.

 
Ancient Egyptian Sun God Ra

Ancient Egyptian Sun God Ra

Helios and Phaeton with Saturn and the Four Seasons by Nicola Poussin.

Helios and Phaeton with Saturn and the Four Seasons by Nicola Poussin.

In Japanese mythology, the sun goddess Amaterasu hid in a cave after becoming angry with her younger brother, Susanoo, the god of the sea and storms. With Amaterasu hidden, it caused the world to plunge into complete darkness, to lure her out the other deities hung a mirror outside of the cave to trick her into thinking they had found someone who could do her role. Amatersu emerged from the cave, curious to discover the new sun god, only to find herself looking at her own reflection, the cave entrance was blocked and the light returned to earth once again.

Surya is the Hindu god of the sun, he is the supreme source of energy and light and the origin of the earth. In Hindu art, Surya rides a chariot with seven horses, which represent the seven chakras and the colours of the rainbow, he is often shown holding a lotus flower in each hand to represent rebirth. Surya also controls the seasons, has healing powers and brings good luck, often shopkeepers place the symbol of the sun over their entrances to promote good fortune.

Amaterasu Cave by Utagawa Kuniyoshi

Amaterasu Cave by Utagawa Kuniyoshi

 

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Celebrate your favourite sun gods with our wild-inspired flowers

Aurora’s Call Flower Bouquet

Midsummer’s Reverie Flower Jar

Magic Hour Flower Bouquet

 

MusingsJess Piatigorsky