First  Prev  1  2  3  4  Next  Last
Solar deities throughout cultures
Posted 5/26/08
Solar deities throughout cultures
The winged sun was an ancient (3rd millennium BC) symbol of Horus, later identified with Ra
The winged sun was an ancient (3rd millennium BC) symbol of Horus, later identified with Ra

In different religions solarised 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 concept of a solar barge, the sun as traversing the sky in a boat, is found in the later myths of ancient Egypt, with Ra and Horus. Earlier Egyptian myths imply that the sun is within the lioness, Sekhmet, at night and can be seen reflected in her eyes or that it is within the cow, Hathor during the night, being reborn each morning as her son (bull). Proto-Indo-European religion has a solar chariot, the sun as traversing the sky in a chariot.

During the Roman Empire, a festival of the birth of the Unconquered Sun (or Dies Natalis Solis Invicti) was celebrated when the duration of daylight first begins to increase after the winter solstice, — the "rebirth" of the sun. In Germanic mythology this is Sol, in Vedic Surya, and in Greek Helios (occasionally referred to as Titan) and (sometimes) as Apollo. Mesopotamian Shamash plays an important role during the Bronze Age, and "my Sun" is eventually used as an address to royalty. Similarly, South American cultures have emphatic Sun worship, see Inti. See also Sol Invictus. Svarog is the Slavic god sun and spirit of fire.

[edit] Africa

Many[citation needed] African peoples use the local word for "Sun" as the name for their supreme being.[citation needed] The Munsh tribe considers the Sun to be the son of the supreme being Awondo and the Moon is Awondo's daughter. The Barotse tribe 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.

[edit] Ancient Egypt
Isis, bearing her solar disk and horns nurses her infant, Horus
Isis, bearing her solar disk and horns nurses her infant, Horus

Sun worship was exceptionally prevalent in ancient Egyptian religion. The earliest deities associated with the sun are Wadjet, Sekhmet, Hathor, Nut, Bast, Bat, and Menhit. First Hathor, and then Isis, give birth to and nurse Horus and Ra.

The Sun's movement across the sky represents a struggle between the Pharaoh's soul and an avatar of Osiris. The "solarisation" of several local gods (Hnum-Re, Min-Re, Amon-Re) reaches its peak in the period of the fifth dynasty.

In the eighteenth dynasty, Akhenaten changed the polytheistic religion of Egypt to a pseudo-monotheistic one, Atenism. All other deities were replaced by the Aten, including, Amun, 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 his death, worship of the traditional deities was reestablished by the religious leaders who had adopted the Aten during the reign of Akhenaten.

[edit] Chinese mythology

In Chinese mythology (cosmology), there were ten suns in the sky in the beginning. The world was so hot that nothing grew. A hero called Hou Yi shot down nine of them with bow and arrows. The world became better ever since. In another myth, the solar eclipse was caused by the dog of heaven biting off a piece of the sun. There was a tradition in China to hit pots and pans during a solar eclipse to drive away the "dog".

[edit] Hinduism
Surya at Konark Temple
Surya at Konark Temple

In the Vedas, numerous hymns are dedicated to Surya deva, the Sun personified, and Savitr, "the impeller", a solar deity either identified with or associated with Surya. Even the Gayatri mantra, which is regarded as one of the most sacred of the Hindu hymns is dedicated to the Sun. The Adityas are a group of solar deities, from the Brahmana period numbering twelve. The ritual of sandhyavandanam, performed by some Hindus, is meant to worship the sun.

The Mahabharata describes its warrior hero Karna as being the son of Kunti and the Sun. The Ramayana has its protagonist Rama as being from the Surya Vamsham or the clan of kings as bright as the Sun.

The charioteer of Surya is Arun, who is also personified as the redness that accompanies the sunlight in dawn and dusk.

At Konark, a town in Orissa, a temple is dedicated to Surya. The Konark temple has also been declared a UNESCO world heritage site. Surya is the most prominent of the navagrahas or nine celestial objects of the Hindus. Navagrahas can be found in almost all Hindu temples.

[edit] Indonesia

The same swapping process is seen in Indonesia. The solar gods have a stronger presence in Indonesia's religious life and myth.

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.

[edit] Folklore

In folklore traditions there are many preserved archaic Sun cults which incorporate themselves into newer religions. For example, the burning wheels rolled down hills during sun equinox days, the ban on using jiggers on certain days of the year or the custom of tying a man to a wheel. The "sun-fertility-hero/representative of the underworld" cult complex is also evident in Japan where there is a custom that young people representing the Sun's ancestors (i.e. the dead) should paint their faces red and visit village homes, guaranteeing the land's fertility through this magical ritual.

Another important mythological complex is that of the "Sun Hero", typical of the nomad-herders. Such heroes are encountered among the African nomad tribes, the tribes from Central Asia (Gesen Khan), and among all Indo-European peoples. The Sun Hero always has a "dark" side - he has some sort of connection with the underworld, with the initiation ritual and with fertility. The Sun Hero myth contains many elements that link the Hero with the Demiurge. The Hero often saves the world, renews the world, opens a new epoch, and generally brings about some major renewal to the established cosmical order. These functions of the Sun Hero represent the demiurgical "legacy" left from the supreme celestial being. A typical example for such evolution is the god Mithras.
Sun Disciple
3133 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
20 / F
Offline
Posted 5/27/08
that's quite long winded~ i thot solar deities were egyptian gods ~nyaa~
Posted 5/27/08
not only egyptian.
Posted 5/27/08
the sun has be worshiped by different cultures for years, not years, but decades.
12441 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
30 / F / Where ever I feel...
Offline
Posted 5/28/08
There is also Amaterasu I think who is the Japanese Sun Deity.




Amaterasu is described in the Kojiki as the sun goddess who was born from Izanagi, who was also accompanied by her siblings Susano'o, the storm deity, and Tsukuyomi, the moon deity. In the Kojiki,
Amaterasu is described as the goddess from which all light emanates and is often referred to as the sun goddess because of her warmth and compassion for the people who worshipped her. Some other myths state that Amaterasu was born from water.

Most of her myths revolve around an incident where the goddess traps herself in a cave because of her brother's actions. For a while, everything amongst the three revered gods was peaceful and all of the world ran smoothly. One day, Susano'o, in a drunken rampage, trampled Amaterasu's rice fields, filled all of her irrigation ditches, and threw excrement into her palace and her shrines. The Omikami asked her brother to stop but he ignored her and even went so far as to throw the corpse of a skinned horse at her hand-maidens who were weaving at the time. The women were killed by the wood breaking apart and piercing their bodies (in the Kojiki it was their reproductive organs that were pierced[1]).

Amaterasu was greatly angered and in protest she shut herself in the Heavenly Cave and sealed it shut with a giant rock. As a result, the world was consumed with darkness. Without her, everything began to wither and die. Eight million Kami gathered in front of her cave and devised a way to lure her out. They all sat around the cave and set up a mirror across from the entrance. Ame-no-Uzume, the voluptuous goddess of merriment turned over a wash-tub and began a sensual dance, tapping the beat on the tub. She exposed her breasts and lifted her skirts as she danced. All of the gods made a great noise of yelling and cheering and laughing. Amaterasu peeked out to see what the noise was about. She asked the nearest god what was going on and he replied that there was a new goddess. When Amaterasu asked where she was, he pointed to the mirror.

The Omikami had never seen herself before and when she caught her reflection, she stared at the radiance of her own form. She was so surprised she said "omo-shiroi", which means both "white face," which the Omikami had, and "fascinating". When she was out of the way, Tajikara-O shut the rock behind her. Having lured her out of the cave, the gods convinced her to go back into the Celestial Plain and all life began to grow again and become strong in her light. Once back in the Celestial Plain, she made sure that she was ready for her brother's harsh actions again by having a bow and quiver at her side.
Posted 5/28/08
Thats cool, hmm that should be a anime i think, or soon to be one i think.
5735 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
F
Offline
Posted 5/29/08
I think the anime's name is Amatsuki ^^
Posted 5/29/08
could be.
Sun Disciple
2291 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
21 / Singapore
Offline
Posted 5/30/08
oh so that's where the name susanoo came from..ehe(kishin taisen gigantic formula)
some interesting info you have there.
16324 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
22 / F
Offline
Posted 5/31/08

Fyrune wrote:

There is also Amaterasu I think who is the Japanese Sun Deity.




Amaterasu is described in the Kojiki as the sun goddess who was born from Izanagi, who was also accompanied by her siblings Susano'o, the storm deity, and Tsukuyomi, the moon deity. In the Kojiki,
Amaterasu is described as the goddess from which all light emanates and is often referred to as the sun goddess because of her warmth and compassion for the people who worshipped her. Some other myths state that Amaterasu was born from water.

Most of her myths revolve around an incident where the goddess traps herself in a cave because of her brother's actions. For a while, everything amongst the three revered gods was peaceful and all of the world ran smoothly. One day, Susano'o, in a drunken rampage, trampled Amaterasu's rice fields, filled all of her irrigation ditches, and threw excrement into her palace and her shrines. The Omikami asked her brother to stop but he ignored her and even went so far as to throw the corpse of a skinned horse at her hand-maidens who were weaving at the time. The women were killed by the wood breaking apart and piercing their bodies (in the Kojiki it was their reproductive organs that were pierced[1]).

Amaterasu was greatly angered and in protest she shut herself in the Heavenly Cave and sealed it shut with a giant rock. As a result, the world was consumed with darkness. Without her, everything began to wither and die. Eight million Kami gathered in front of her cave and devised a way to lure her out. They all sat around the cave and set up a mirror across from the entrance. Ame-no-Uzume, the voluptuous goddess of merriment turned over a wash-tub and began a sensual dance, tapping the beat on the tub. She exposed her breasts and lifted her skirts as she danced. All of the gods made a great noise of yelling and cheering and laughing. Amaterasu peeked out to see what the noise was about. She asked the nearest god what was going on and he replied that there was a new goddess. When Amaterasu asked where she was, he pointed to the mirror.

The Omikami had never seen herself before and when she caught her reflection, she stared at the radiance of her own form. She was so surprised she said "omo-shiroi", which means both "white face," which the Omikami had, and "fascinating". When she was out of the way, Tajikara-O shut the rock behind her. Having lured her out of the cave, the gods convinced her to go back into the Celestial Plain and all life began to grow again and become strong in her light. Once back in the Celestial Plain, she made sure that she was ready for her brother's harsh actions again by having a bow and quiver at her side.


Yup....ive heard of her...^_^
in our class....Filipino class...talking about Asian Religions
and this is Under Shintoismo(Shintoism i think>.<)...
and the Emperors of the Japanese Empire are believed to be children of Amaterasu...and Amaterasu is Sun goddess...
Thats what my text book say anyway...>.> just translated from Filipino to English
16324 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
22 / F
Offline
Posted 5/31/08
and that's really interesting...thnx for the info...i had fun reading it^_^
12441 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
30 / F / Where ever I feel...
Offline
Posted 5/31/08

saberStarLight wrote:

and that's really interesting...thnx for the info...i had fun reading it^_^


NO problem, are you by any chance a filipino/a?
16324 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
22 / F
Offline
Posted 5/31/08

Fyrune wrote:


saberStarLight wrote:

and that's really interesting...thnx for the info...i had fun reading it^_^


NO problem, are you by any chance a filipino/a?


Filipina yes^_^ hehe...
12441 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
30 / F / Where ever I feel...
Offline
Posted 5/31/08

saberStarLight wrote:


Fyrune wrote:


saberStarLight wrote:

and that's really interesting...thnx for the info...i had fun reading it^_^


NO problem, are you by any chance a filipino/a?


Filipina yes^_^ hehe...


Ah... kami rin nung HS pa ako at pati sa world literature na discuss samin and tungkol dyan.
3860 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
22 / Where you least e...
Offline
Posted 5/31/08
interesting
First  Prev  1  2  3  4  Next  Last
You must be logged in to post.