The sun has always been a mysterious and prominent force, a bright ball of light in the sky, one that disappears every evening but returns with godly certitude at the start of every day.
In Egypt, the cult of Re (Ra), the God of the Sun was dominant around 2600 BC with its center at Heliopolis (Sun City). Greek myth has a somewhat confusing mix of 'sun deities': Apollo was the son of Zeus and, as one of the 12 gods of Mount Olympus, was known as the god of the sun. Before Apollo however, there was the Titan sun god, Hyperion; Helius, another god of the sun was perhaps contemporary with Apollo.
But the sun was not always seen as the dominant force in the heavens. In African mythology (Yoruba), the sun and moon were created by Oleron, the supreme deity who directed the sun and moon when to come out and how to behave.
In one aboriginal story from Australia, Wuriupranala, the 'Sun Woman' was given a torch of fire and her brother Thaparra, 'Moon Man', another torch but one of lesser intensity, explaining why the moon was never as bright as the sun.
|Florentine Codex-Aztec Gods|
If human beings do not work in harmony with the gods, this final age will also be destroyed, never to be created again.
A 'solar trinity' is seen in many theologies including Persian, Egyptian, Hindu, Babylonian and Christian (ie Father, Son and Holy Ghost) representing the light of the sun in its three phases: rising sun/dawn: God, the father, creator of the world, shrouded in blue (see blog: The Colors of Faith); the mid-day sun, the Illuminating One (yellow);and the setting sun: God, the Holy Ghost wrapped in flaming red.
The sun, since very ancient times, has been recognized as creator, sustainer and, sometimes as destroyer.
"Sun, sacred and blessed, rejoin your mother." - an ancient Basque bedtime prayer, still repeated in modern times.
*Sky worship: subject of research for the novel The Tao of the Thirteenth God - Amazon Kindle.